Where to go for a Chicago Golf Vacation: The Insiders Guide to Golf in Chicago.

I cannot count how many times I am asked the question:  Where should I play golf when I’m visiting Chicago?  My answer… well it changes from time to time, depends on who has a good deal, and what courses are in exceptionally great shape.  I wanted to give a more concrete answer, and to do so we really need to have a three prong approach.  I call it the EAGLE, BIRDIE, and PAR packages.

The Eagle package is for those of you who can make it rain, money is no object, and you have never heard of GolfNow.com  The Birdie Package is for the golfers out there that have saved a little spending money for a rainy day and this trip is that rainy day (metaphorically speaking, we really don’t want it to rain while you are in Chicago).  And finally the Par package: you are on a golf vacation but we are still clipping coupons, and make sure we stretch our vacation dollars.

All of the Eagle package courses are $100+, the courses that are mentioned below are always in great shape, the greens are fast hard and fun to play.  These are some of the top public courses (money wise as well as enjoyability) that Chicago has to offer.

  • Cog Hill Course #4 Dubs Dread
  • The Glen Club
  • Cantigny
  • Harbourside

Other Chicago stuff to do after your round of golf.  Since money is no object enjoy the best of Chicago’s restaurants.  Eat at places like Joe’s Stone Crab, The Chophouse, Alinea, Charlie Trotter’s, Moto (a must go for Top Chef lovers).  These are just a few of Chicago’s best and brightest restaurants, with the highest tabs.  Don’t worry about a reservation you’ve got money just slip the guy a hundie and you got yourself a seat for you and your golfing buddies.

Most of the birdie package golf courses are in the $50-$100 range. These courses are typically in very good shape, mabye a little rough around the edges, but all in all very good shape.  I am a big believer of good greens, and all of these courses typically have good greens.  When the greens are good I can deal with almost anything else.

  • Seven Bridges
  • Bowes Creek
  • Willow Crest
  • Cog Hill Course #2
  • Prairie Landing
  • Pine Meadow
  • Ruffled Feathers
  • Thunder Hawk
  • Highlands of Elgin
  • Orchard Valley
  • George Dunn
  • Mistwood
  • Klein Creek
  • St. Andrews Golf Course
  • Blackberry Oaks

All of these courses are in the $50-$100 range, and all of them are on GolfNow.com  So you can easily plan on short notice with any of these courses, and 9 times out of 10 have a great round with good greens and very good conditions.  Be prepared though that most of these places are going to be slow,  5+ hour rounds.  The birdie courses are going to have lots of play, and it could be a bit of a death march.  So bring something to do while waiting on each tee box: a book, a deck of cards, magazines, horseshoes, or possibly bags/cornhole which ever you call it.

DO NOT MISTAKE THESE COURSE’S AS THE BOTTOM OF THE BARREL, they are anything but.  These are just courses that are inexpensive.  The conditions can vary throughout the summer, sometimes the greens are sweet, and other times they can be a little slow.  I would recommend these courses if you are adhering to a strict budget.  These are courses that are going to run you under the $50 range, and are also on GolfNow.com (sometimes you can get a hot deal and pay next to nothing for these courses).  Plus with GolfNow.com hot deals you can always find other players to play with, if you are on vacation with the family and want to sneak out to play golf.

  • Sydney Maravitz
  • Carriage Greens
  • Fox Valley CC
  • Odyssey CC
  • Wedgewood
  • Innwood

What to do in Chicago after golf (when real money counts, meaning you actually look at the bills you get and have some kind of budget when on vacation): more details to come…

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