Chicago just may be the most historic golf city in the entire country. It is home to several of the best courses in the nation, and is the city that helped put golf on the map in the United States. It all started in 1888 with Charles McDonald, now fondly known as the “Father of Golf.” McDonald went to college in Scotland and fell in love with the game. He brought back a set of clubs and set up several makeshift holes to show his friends. With their interest piqued, he collected donations of ten dollars to acquire the land for what would become the nation’s first eighteen-hole golf course, the Chicago Golf Club. Its membership grew quickly and the community become ravenous for more golf. McDonald and other club leaders joined up with four other golf clubs around the nation in 1894 to create the United States Golf Association (USGA) which is golf’s governing body to this day. Over the years has hosted US Opens, US Amateurs, Walker Cups, and other major international competitions. Though the club is now considered too short to host major championships, it is still ranked the 14th best course in the nation.
It truly is remarkable the amount of golf options that Chicago has to offer. The city and surrounding areas are home to over two hundred courses, so regardless of your ability or budget, there will always be something for you. The Chicago Park District owns and operates six courses and three driving ranges right in the city. Their two flagship courses, the Sydney R. Marovitz and the Jackson Park Golf Course are meticulously maintained and offer beauty (and challenges) for all golfers. Despite their history, layout and wonderful playability, they are still very affordable, just like the other facilities operated by the Park District. Even on a peak-weekend, you will never spend much more than thirty dollars for a round. That’s hard to beat!
Located thirty miles outside of the city you will find one of the nation’s most incredible golf destinations, Cog Hill Golf and Country Club. The facility is open to the public and features four incredible eighteen hole courses. They have hosted PGA TOUR events and their most famous course, named “Dubsdread,” is regularly ranked one of the best public courses in the nation. There is one venue that stands above the rest in Chicago, however: Medinah Country Club. Medinah is one of America’s truly great, and elite private golf facilities. It features three 18-hole courses and has hosted five major championships, as well as the 2012 Ryder Cup. It covers an impressive 640 acres and has one of the most impressive clubhouses you will find anywhere.
Emily B. is PlayYourCourse’s featured pro providing golf lessons in Chicago, Illinois. Emily did not come from a golfing family, but found her passion at the age of 12. She played college golf and earned her PGA Class A certification and now teaches at the beautiful University Club of Chicago. She is a patient instructor who makes golf lessons fun for every level player and creates an environment that is very conducive to improvement!