Golf Digest has just released its highly anticipated list of “America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses,” and six remarkable Illinois courses have earned their well-deserved spots. This prestigious ranking considered a range of factors, including shot options, challenge, layout variety, aesthetics, conditioning, and character.
With 1,800 panelists contributing over 85,000 evaluations over the past decade, this year’s edition stands as the most scientific and comprehensive assessment to date. Below are the golf courses that have been included on the list:
Chicago Golf Club, Wheaton (13th)
This is the legendary Chicago Golf Club in the charming city of Wheaton. It opened the country’s very first 18-hole course in 1893 under the skilled craftsmanship of C.B. Macdonald, a revered golf expert of his time.
Macdonald’s expertise led him to construct a new course in Wheaton just two years later, impressing members with a top-notch 6,200-yard layout. Fast forward to 1923, when Seth Raynor, an architectural protege of Macdonald, gave the course a redesign using the “ideal hole” concepts established by his mentor.
Chicago Golf Club continues to shine with its classic architecture, occasional upgrades, and meticulously restored bunkers that had been lost over time.
Shoreacres Golf Club, Lake Bluff (55th)
Located along the serene Lake Bluff, Shoreacres Golf Club makes a striking appearance on the list at an impressive 55th position. This private club offers a magnificent golfing experience with its awe-inspiring views of Lake Michigan.
Designed by English architect Harry Colt, the course encompasses a strategic layout that challenges players of all skill levels. With beautifully manicured fairways and meticulously maintained greens, Shoreacres stands as a testament to the artistry of golf course architecture.
Butler National Golf Club, Oak Brook (75th)
Oak Brook’s Butler National Golf Club proudly is a private sanctuary for golf enthusiasts boasting of a magnificent course that offers both beauty and a formidable challenge. Renowned architect George Fazio left his mark on the layout, creating a harmonious balance between nature’s splendor and strategic shot-making.
As you navigate the fairways of Butler National, be prepared to encounter an array of hazards that will test your skills and decision-making.
Canyatta Golf Club, Marshall (85th)
The Canyatta Golf Club in Marshall exudes a tranquil charm, surrounded by rolling hills and picturesque landscapes. Renowned architect Tom Doak masterfully crafted a course that harmonizes with the environment, providing golfers with an unforgettable experience. Immerse yourself in the serenity of Canyatta and relish every shot amidst the awe-inspiring scenery.
Medinah Country Club: No. 3, Medinah (93rd)
Medinah Country Club is home to multiple major championships, including several PGA Championships and the famed 2012 Ryder Cup, Medinah boasts a rich golfing legacy. The revered course, originally designed by Tom Bendelow and later modified by renowned architect Rees Jones, features challenging fairways, undulating greens, and strategically placed hazards.
Olympia Fields Country Club: North, Olympia Fields (99th)
The Olympia Fields Country Club is a beautifully designed layout that weaves through the lush surroundings, presenting golfers with a delightful mix of challenges and rewards. With its pristine fairways, well-guarded greens, and impeccable conditioning, Olympia Fields stands as a testament to the enduring allure of classic golf architecture.