Road Trips: Public courses worth the drive

By Kevin Beese Staff writer


Renovations at The Preserve at Oak Meadows have netted the Addison course awards and accolades. (Discover DuPage photo)

Getting in a round of golf can help you get some exercise, close a business deal, and enjoy nature — all at the same time.

This week’s Road Trips page takes us to some top public golf courses in the state. Chronicle Media will offer potential Illinois road trips weekly throughout the summer and early fall, highlighting go-to locations.

When looking to hit the links, there are some outstanding public courses in Illinois to consider. Here are some noteworthy options:



Cog Hill #4

12294 Archer Ave., Lemont


Given the nickname “Dubsdread” for being unforgiving to poor golfers, the course has been nationally ranked since opening in 1964. The championship course places a high demand on shot-making ability by providing tight landing areas combined with heavily bunkered, large, undulating greens. It has been the site of numerous professional events. Rates start at $159 and include golf cart. Book tee times at


Mistwood Golf Club

1700 W. Renwick Road, Romeoville


Renovated by course designer Ray Hearn, Mistwood features 20 St. Andrews-style sod-wall bunkers, bringing a feeling of Scotland to the Midwest. Mistwood has five tee placements per hole, with the ability to play at more than 7,000 yards. Rates for 18 holes start at $65 weekdays and $75 weekends (including Fridays). The 9-hole rate is $45 and available weekdays and after 2 p.m. weekends. Book tee times at


TPC Deere Run

3100 Heather Knoll, Silvis


A 7,256-yard, par-71 course built on a former Arabian horse farm. Course architect and former professional golfer D.A. Weibring used the natural, rolling landscape to create a championship course that stretches along wooded ravines of the Rock River. Rates start at $56 weekdays and $59 weekends. Book tee times at

A golfer heads down a fairway on Cog Hill’s course number 4. The Lemont course is nicknamed “Dubsdread” for its unforgiveness to poorer golfers. (Fairways and Freeways photo)

The General at Eagle Ridge Resort

444 Eagle Ridge Drive, Galena


Eagle Ridge Resort’s crowning achievement, The General opened in 1997 and consistently ranks among the top 100 courses in America. With a 250-foot elevation change from the first hole to the 18th, it offers picturesque views of the area. The signature hole is number 14, a par 4 with 180 feet of elevation change from tee to green. Rates begin at $75 weekdays and $95 weekends (including Fridays) for resort guests at prime time (8 a.m. to 2 p.m.). Call 800-892-2269 to book a tee time.


The Highlands of Elgin

875 Sports Way


Nine new holes reclaim an old stone quarry and take advantage of the landforms left behind, including a 12-acre quarry lake. Four holes hug the top of a bluff 30-40 feet above the water, providing scenic views and numerous shot options. Rates for 18 holes are $46 weekdays and start at $47 for weekends. The rates for 9 holes are $24 weekdays and $35 after 3 p.m. weekends. Book a tee time at


The Preserve at Oak Meadows

900 N. Wood Dale Road, Addison


After two years of construction and renovation, The Preserve at Oak Meadows reopened in 2018. The course’s new layout, practice areas and scenery resulted in awards and accolade, including Golf Inc. Renovation of the Year, Golf Digest’s Green Star Award, and Golfweek’s Best Courses You Can Play. Rates for 18 holes are $55 weekdays and $69 weekends. The rate for 9 holes is $35. Book tee times at


The Highlands of Elgin features nine holes created out of an old stone quarry. (City of Elgin photo)

Pine Meadow Golf Club

1 Pine Meadow Lane, Mundelein


Known as a fair test of skills for any golfer, Pine Meadow has fairways lined with blue spruce pines as well as wildlife. It continues to be ranked among the top 10 public access courses in Illinois. Pine Meadow has seven sets of tees, playing from 7,238 yards to 5,272 yards. The course has 86 sand traps and three grass bunkers. Rates for 18 holes start at $58 weekdays and weekend afternoons. The rates for 9 holes start at $32. Book tee times at


Mount Prospect Golf Club

600 S. See Gwun Ave.


The Mount Prospect Park District course has low square tee boxes, cross bunkers, and plateau greens in a parkland setting. The course is all about grass, sand, and trees. It is in a historic neighborhood minutes from O’Hare Airport. Rates for 18 holes start at $35 prepaid weekdays and $40 prepaid weekends. The rates for 9 holes start at $20 prepaid weekdays and $28 prepaid weekends. Book tee times at


The Glen Club

2901 W. Lake Ave., Glenview


Located at the former site of the Glenview Naval Air Station, The Glen Club is a 195-acre refuge that features rolling terrain, elevation changes of up to 40 feet on certain holes, lakes, streams and vistas, including the Chicago skyline in the distance. There are 75 acres of prairie grass flowing throughout the layout. Rates start at $110. Book tee times at


Starboard at Harborside International Golf Center

1101 S. Doty Ave. East, Chicago


The Starboard Course opened at Harborside in 1996. Starboard’s finish is highlighted by its signature par 3 number 17, “Buccaneers Cove.” A middle iron is needed to carry Lake Calumet, which looms from tee to green and up the right side to an angled green. Three deep bunkers on the left offer no bailout option to the memorable hole. Rates start at $42.51. Book tee times at


Arrowhead Golf Club

26W151 Butterfield Road, Wheaton


The Ken Killian design (Greg Martin redesign) is comprised of three nine-hole courses that can be combined to form three separate par-72 18-hole layouts. The course is meticulously manicured and surrounded by forest preserve with no houses in play. Water comes into play on 17 of the 27 holes. Rates for 18 holes are $57 weekdays and $67 weekends. The rates for 9 holes are $28.50 weekdays and $33.50 weekends. Book tee times at


Schaumburg Golf Club

401 Roselle Road


Originally built in 1928, the course was purchased by the Schaumburg Park District in 1989 and renovated by golf architect Bob Lohmann. The 27-hole course has played host to qualifying events and championships. The course features manicured bent grass tees, fairways, and greens, and undulating terrains. Rates for 18 holes start at $32 weekdays and $52 weekends. The rates for 9 holes start at $17 weekdays and $21 weekends. Book tee times at