Cog Hill is one of Chicago’s premier golf courses, it is rich with golf history, home to the Western Open and then the BMW Championship, and easily the #1 public golf course in Illinois (I know that is a mighty statement, but I stand firmly behind it). Now a little history about Cog Hill:
Three brothers moved to the Chicago area in 1920. John W., Martin J., and Bert Coghill bought the McLaughlin farm on the east side of Lemont Illinois in 1926 to build a golf club. They then hired David McIntosh, who owned Oak Hills, to build them a golf course. Cog Hill Course #1 opened on the Fourth of July weekend in 1927. Reservations for golf were taken at the Boston Store, which, at that time, was one of the downtown Chicago’s leading department stores. The Chicago and Joliet Electric Railway ran from Chicago to Lemont giving golfers easy access for 25 cents. The club expanded in 1929 when the three brothers bought another 160 acres (0.65 km2) from the Reed Family on the east side of Parker Road. Course #2 was designed and built by David McIntosh and Bert Coghill. It was opened in the fall of 1929, within days of Wall Street Crash of 1929. Even during the tough twelve years of the depression Cog Hill was able to prosper. In 1951, Joe Jemsek bought Cog Hill. Course #3 was added in 1963 and Dubsdread was completed in 1964. The Western Golf Association awarded the Western Open to Cog Hill in 1991. It changed its name to the BMW Championship in 2007. Tiger Woods shot a course record 9 under 62 on Dubsdread in 2009.
Chicago Golf Guy’s Review:
Instead of writing about each course individually I wanted to write about all four together. Obviously #4 Dubs Dread is the most popular, and by far the most expensive. Every PGA Tour event ever played at Cog Hill has been on course #4, and it is truly one of the toughest and most beautifully kept in the Chicago Land area. A private course for the public joes in Chicago. At $150 a person, no twilight rates, no weekday rates, and some of the toughest greens in the area, some players will love Dubs, and others will think that they paid too much. I am one of those who thinks that the $150 is worth every penny, and I enjoy playing #4 as often as possible. I have played from the tips (not very much fun), and I have played a few tees up from there. I personally recommend the “members tees”, which is a good combination to play that keeps the course tough, but not impossible.
Course #2 is on the same side of the road as Dubs, and is the perfect compliment to the players that want the Cog Hill experience, but not at the Dubs prices. At around $60-$80 course #2 is fun, always in great shape, and typically very busy. It is also my least favorite course at Cog Hill. Course #1 and #3 are on the original side of the grounds, next to the big clubhouse that you see when players come up the 18th at Dubs. I love both #1 and #3 as they are always reasonable ($35-$50 range) and in very good shape. They have great finishing holes (#3 the last four are short par 5, long par 3, short par 5, medium par 4) so the gamblers our there will love the finish. Plus those courses are fun to play with a few tough holes, and a couple of lay ups (if a 280 yard par four sounds like a lay up to you). As my dad says “they are sporty”.
The Practice Facility at Cog Hill is second to none in Chicago. There are tons of grass areas, three putting greens, a great short game area with a practice bunker, heated areas for the winter, open until dark, and super reasonable prices puts the practice facility here as my place to practice. A Chicago golfer will not find a better place to practice, unless you are a member at a private club, and even then Cog Hill is up there.
Whenever someone says do you want to go over to Cog to play? My answer is always yes. I do not mind what course they are thinking, as they are all fun to play, have different qualities to each, and I like spending my golf money at Cog Hill. The men’s locker room or men’s grill (which ever you want to call it) on the 1/3 side is one of my favorite places to hang out after any round of golf. Public players really get the private club atmosphere when they hang out in the basement of the original Cog Hill clubhouse.
If you could not have guessed so far I give Cog Hill Golf and Country Club a BIRDIE overall with Dubs coming out at a Eagle. I know Course #4 is expensive, but you got to shell out a little cash in order to play the best, and in my opinion Cog Hill Course #4 Dubs Dread is my favorite golf course in Chicago (and I play a lot).
Cog Hill Golf and Country Club
12294 Archer Avenue Lemont, IL 60439