A fabulous foursome of public golf courses in Chicago

By Erik PetersonSeptember 9, 2009, 3:58 am
glen club no 4
The par-3 fourth hole at The Glen Club in Glenview, Ill.

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CHICAGO – When the seasons change from summer to autumn, Chicago golf goes from good to great. And while the window of opportunity closes fast – most courses close by Thanksgiving – fall is widely considered the best time of the year to enjoy some of  the Second City’s second-to-none public courses. Here are four courses you'll want to play as part of your autumn golf experience in Sweet Home Chicago.

Cog Hill Golf & Country Club
It’s not often you’ll find a public-access PGA Tour venue with “country club” in its title, but such is the case at Cog Hill. In fact, four courses – including the recently redesigned Dubsdread course – make Cog Hill the largest and most popular collection of public golf courses in the Chicago area.

Cog Hill G&CC
Lemont, Ill.
Southwest Chicago
Web site

Getting there: 30 minutes from Midway Airport, 40 minutes from downtown Chicago

Price: Course 1 & 3 - $61, Course 2 - $73, Dubsdread - $150

Did you know: Cog Hill is the only course to host a U.S. Amateur (1997) and a U.S. Amateur Public Links (1970, 1989)

Of the four courses at Cog Hill, the 1,000-pound gorilla is Dubsdread, which hosts this year's BMW Championship for the second time in three years (it was home to the PGA Tour's Western Open from 1991 through 2006). But with the advancement of golf technology through the years, Dubsdread has become more like a 1,000-pound teddy bear: Since 2001, the average winning score in each PGA Tour event has been 17 under par. To give it more bite, course owner Frank Jemsek hired Rees Jones, aka the U.S. Open Doctor, to redesign the course with the hope that the U.S. Golf Association will select it for a future U.S. Open. Bunkers were deepened, greens rebuilt, and tee boxes extended.

What do the changes mean for the average golfer? A golf course with a rating of 75.4 just got a lot tougher. Granted, five different tees allow amateurs to play the proper length, but the greens are severe no matter who's playing. The green at No. 3, for example, was made much smaller and more boldly contoured. Precision is a must, whether you're Tiger Woods or Joe Golfer.

The other three courses – known simply as Nos. 1, 2 and 3 – aren’t nearly as memorable, but hold their own nonetheless. No. 2 hosted qualifying for the 1997 U.S. Amateur, which was at Dubsdread that year, and is regarded as one of America’s best courses under $100. Nos. 1 and 3 you can play for $20 on a weekday after 3 p.m.

Cantigny Golf Club
Due west of downtown Chicago sits Cantigny Golf Club, a 27-hole facility that’s only been open since 1989 but has already hosted a U.S. Amateur Public Links and three Illinois State Amateurs.

Cantigny Golf Club
Wheaton, Ill.
West Chicago
Web site

Getting there: 40 minutes from O'Hare Airport, 45 minutes from downtown Chicago

Price: $90 (cart extra)

Did you know: One nine is reserved for nine-hole play, where the rate is an affordable $30.
The experience at Cantigny is special from the moment you pull into the parking lot and head down the tree-lined driveway that’s every bit as visually stunning as Augusta National's Magnolia Lane. As guests pull up to the bag drop they’re greeted by employees dressed in knickers.

Each nine at Cantigny is distinctly named – Woodside, Hillside, Lakeside – and while each emphasizes characteristics indicative of its namesake, the entire property features diverse numbers of indigenous oak, ash and hardwood trees. When the leaves begin to turn, Cantigny is simply one of the most breathtaking golf courses in America.  

The newly-constructed practice facility at Cantigny features a covered and heated hitting area that’s designed to allow Chicago golfers the opportunity to practice all year round (No small feat, considering wintertime temperatures rarely get above freezing.). Private indoor instruction areas also enhance Cantigny’s instructional offering, and an adjacent short game area is frequented by PGA Tour up-and-comer Kevin Streelman, who grew up in the area.

The Glen Club
On the north side of town is The Glen Club, Chicago’s most impressive golf resort. Situated near a flourishing new residential and shopping district, this Fazio-designed track maintains an isolated, private feeling with holes that offer views of nothing but native rolling terrain. The $10 million clubhouse is replete with all the amenities of a private club, and also has luxurious guest rooms named after various Chicago golf landmarks.

The Glen Club
Glenview, Ill.
North Chicago
Web site

Getting there: 20 minutes from O'Hare Airport, 35-40 minutes from downtown Chicago

Price: $177 (cart extra)

Did you know: Stay-and-play packages start at $250. Check their website for details.
Opened in 2001, The Glen Club has championship pedigree at a young age – it hosted the Nationwide Tour's LaSalle Bank Open from 2002-2008. Several golf publications have it tabbed as one of the top-5 public courses in Illinois, and it was regarded as one of America's best new public courses when it opened.

As you stroll the perfectly manicured fairways you’ll notice elevation changes that are vintage Fazio, including the downhill fourth, the signature hole at The Glen Club. Wind can make club selection at this short par 3 difficult, but for players who study the wind and commit to club selection, this can be a birdie opportunity on a nine that’s otherwise very difficult.  

The back nine at The Glen Club plays at least two shots easier than the front, with two reachable par 5s and a two short par 4s. The 18th is a demanding risk-reward par 5, which has made for plenty of exciting finishes on the Nationwide Tour.

Bolingbrook Golf Club
Shining like a beacon atop the corn fields of the southwest Chicago suburbs is Bolingbrook Golf Club and its 76,000-square-foot clubhouse. And while the clubhouse is indeed a sight to behold – it’s the second-largest clubhouse in America next to TPC Sawgrass – the golf course is just as splendid.

Bolingbrook Golf Club
Bolinngbrook, Ill.
Southwest Chicago
Web site

Getting there: 40 minutes from Midway Airport, 50 minutes from downtown Chicago

Price: $90

Did you know: Plans for a second course, designed by John Daly, are in the works.

The vision of Bolingbrook mayor, Roger Claar, this Arthur Hills and Steve Forrest design is links golf in its truest form. You won’t find many trees on this exposed layout, but you better bring your knockdown shot, as several holes play into a steady 20-25 mph breeze.

Two holes will bring you to your knees, but for different reasons. First, the par-5 fifth is a 600-yard juggernaut that plays into the prevailing wind. If you can imagine hitting driver, 3-wood, 3-wood and still ending up short, that’s what you might find at No. 5.

The signature hole at Bolingbrook is No. 15, a devilish little par 3 that plays to an island green. Think No. 17 at TPC Sawgrass but a little longer and with a little more wind. Good luck!

Whether you’re visiting the north, south or west side of Chicago, there’s great public golf within a short distance. But get there while the weather boasts its best temperatures and the foliage flaunts its most vivid colors. Autumn is truly the season to experience golf in the Midwest.
<table style='border: 3px solid #dea226; padding: 5px; float: right; margin-left: 5px; margin-bottom: 5px; width: 150px; height: 94px;'><tbody><tr><td style='background-color: #fbf5e7; text-align: left;'><b style='color:#dea226;'>George Wright Golf Course</b><br /><span style='font-size:10px;'>Boston, Mass.

</span><br /><span style='font-size:10px;'><a href='http://www.cityofboston.gov/parks/GWGC/'>Web site</a><br /><br /><span style='font-size:10px;'><b>Style</b>: Municipal<br />     
<b>Price</b>: $44
<br /></span></span></td></tr></tbody></table>
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J. Korda leads M. Jutanugarn by four in Thailand

By Associated PressFebruary 24, 2018, 3:00 pm

CHONBURI, Thailand - Jessica Korda kept an eye on her younger sister while firing a 4-under 68 in the third round of the LPGA Thailand on Saturday to lead Moriya Jutanugarn by four strokes.

A day after a course-record 62 at Siam Country Club, Korda fought back from a bogey on the front nine with five birdies to finish on 20-under 196 overall. The American was on the 18th hole when concerns over lightning suspended play for 30 minutes before play resumed.

''(I) was playing really well at the end of the season, but I haven't been in this (leading) position. Being back, it just takes you a little bit of time,'' said the 24-year-old Korda, who won her fifth and last title at the LPGA Malaysia in 2015.

Her 19-year-old sister Nelly Korda (65) is eight shots off the lead.

Full-field scores from the Honda LPGA Thailand

''I'm definitely a leaderboard watcher. I love seeing her name up there,'' said Jessica Korda, who was playing her first tournament since jaw surgery.

Propelled by eight birdies and an eagle on the par-4 No. 14, with three bogeys, Moriya signed off with a 65 and a total of 16-under 200.

''Everybody has the chance to win as all the top players are here this week,'' said Moriya, who has a chance to become the first Thai winner in her home tournament.

Australian Minjee Lee (68) is third on 15-under 201, followed by former top-ranked Ariya Jutanugarn (65) on 202. Lexi Thompson (69), the 2016 champion, is a stroke further back. Michelle Wie (69) is tied for sixth.

Brittany Lincicome was in second place after the second round, four shots behind Jessica Korda, but the American dropped down the board and is tied for ninth after a 73.

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The Tiger comeback just got real on Friday

By Randall MellFebruary 24, 2018, 1:11 am

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Slow play was a big storyline on the PGA Tour’s West Coast swing, but not so much anymore.

Not with Tiger Woods speeding things up Friday at the Honda Classic.

Not with Woods thumping the gas pedal around PGA National’s Champion Course, suddenly looking as if he is racing way ahead of schedule in his return to the game.

The narrative wondrously started to turn here.

It turned from wondering at week’s start if Woods could make the cut here, after missing it last week at the Genesis Open. His game was too wild for Riviera, where a second-round 76 left him looking lost with the Masters just six weeks away.

It turned in head-spinning fashion Friday with Woods climbing the leaderboard in tough conditions to get himself into weekend contention with a 1-over-par 71.

He is just four shots off the lead.

“I’d be shocked if he’s not there Sunday with a chance to win,” said Brandt Snedeker, who played alongside Woods in the first two rounds. “He’s close to playing some really, really good golf.”

Just a few short months ago, so many of us were wondering if Woods was close to washed up.

“He’s only going to improve,” Snedeker said. “The more time he has, as the weather gets warmer, he’ll feel better and be able to practice more.”

Snedeker has had a front-row seat for this speedy Tiger turnaround. He played the third round with Woods at the Farmers Insurance Open last month. That was Woods’ first PGA Tour start in a year.

Full-field scores from the Honda Classic

Honda Classic: Articles, photos and videos

How much improvement did Snedeker see from that Torrey Pines experience?

“It was kind of what I expected – significantly improved,” Snedeker said. “His iron game is way better. His driver is way better. I don’t’ see it going backward from here.”

This was the hope packed into Friday’s new narrative.

“I’m right there in the ballgame,” Woods said. “I really played well today. I played well all day today.”

Tiger sent a jolt through PGA National when his name hit the top 10 of the leaderboard. He didn’t do it with a charge. He did it battling a brutish course in wintry, blustery winds, on “scratchy” and “dicey” greens that made par a good score.

When Woods holed a 25-foot putt at the ninth to move into red numbers at 1 under overall and within three shots of the lead, a roar shook across the Champion Course.

“It got a little loud, which was cool to see,” Snedeker said. “It’s great to have that energy and vibe back.”

Woods sent fans scampering to get into position, blasting a 361-yard drive at the 10th, cutting the corner. He had them buzzing when he stuck his approach to 9 feet for another birdie chance to get within two of the lead.

“I thought if he makes it, this place will go nuts, and he could get it going like he used to,” Snedeker said.

Woods missed, but with the leaders falling back to him on this grueling day, he stuck his approach at the 12th to 10 feet to give himself a chance to move within a shot of the lead.

It’s another putt that could have turned PGA National upside down, but Woods missed that.

“It really is hard to make birdies,” he said. “At least I found it hard. It was hard to get the ball close, even if the ball is in the fairway, it's still very difficult to get the ball close, with the wind blowing as hard as it is. It’s hard to make putts out here.”

Patton Kizzire, a two-time PGA Tour winner who won just last month at the Sony Open, could attest to how tough the test at Honda has become. He played alongside Woods this week for the first time in his career. He shot 78 Friday and missed the cut.

Kizzire had a close-up look at what suddenly seems possible for Woods again.

“He’s figuring it out,” Kizzire said. “He hit some nice shots and rolled in some nice putts. It was pretty impressive.”

Woods could not hide his excitement in getting himself in the weekend hunt, but his expectations remain tempered in this comeback. He knows the daily referendums his game is subject to, how we can all make the highs too high and the lows too low.

“We’ve got a long way to go,” Woods said.

Woods lost a tee shot in a bush at the second hole and made bogey. He hit his tee shot in the water at the 15th and made double bogey. He three-putted the 16th to make bogey. He knows this course can derail a player’s plans in a hurry, but he knows his game is quickly coming around.

“I’m right there where I can win a golf tournament,” Woods said. “Four back on this golf course with 36 holes to go, I mean, anybody can win this golf tournament right now. It’s wide open.’”

Woods hit his shot of the day at the 17th to right his game after the struggles at the 15th and 16th. He did so in front of the Goslings Bear Trap Party Pavilion, cutting a 5-iron to 12 feet. It was the hardest hole on the course Friday, with nearly one of every three players rinsing a shot in the water there. Woods made birdie there to ignite an explosion of cheers.  He got a standing ovation.

“I was telling you guys, I love Riviera, I just don't play well there,” Woods said. “So here we are, we're back at a golf course I know and I play well here.”

So here we are, on the precipice of something special again?

Woods seems in a hurry to find out.

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List, Lovemark lead; Tiger four back at Honda

By Associated PressFebruary 24, 2018, 12:41 am

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Even with a tee shot into the water for another double bogey, Tiger Woods could see the big picture in the Honda Classic.

He was four shots out of the lead going into the weekend.

Luke List delivered a round not many others found possible in such difficult conditions Friday, a 4-under 66 that gave him a share of the lead with Jamie Lovemark (69). They were at 3-under 137, the highest score to lead at the halfway point of the Honda Classic since it moved to PGA National in 2007.

So bunched were the scores that Woods was four shots out of the lead and four shots from last place among the 76 players who made the cut at 5-over 145. More importantly, he only had 13 players in front of him.

''This is a difficult golf course right now,'' Woods said. ''Making pars is a good thing. I've done that, and I'm right there with a chance.''

And he has plenty of company.

Full-field scores from the Honda Classic

Honda Classic: Articles, photos and videos

Tommy Fleetwood, who won the Race to Dubai on the European Tour last year, scratched out a 68 and was one shot out of the lead along with Webb Simpson (72), Russell Henley (70) and Rory Sabbatini (69).

Justin Thomas and Daniel Berger each shot 72 and were in a large group at 139. They were among only 10 players remaining under par.

Fleetwood laughed when asked the last time he was at 2 under after 36 holes and only one shot out of the lead.

''Maybe some junior event,'' he said. ''It's good, though. These are the toughest test in golf. Generally, one of the best players prevail at the end of weeks like this. Weeks like this challenge you to the ultimate level. Whether you shoot two 80s or you lead after two rounds, you can see what you need to do and see where your game is. Because this is as hard as it's ever going to get for you.''

The difficulty was primarily from the wind, which blew just as hard in the morning when List shot his 66 as it did in the afternoon. More aggravating to the players are the greens, which are old and bare, firm and crusty. It's a recipe for not making many putts.

Defending champion Rickie Fowler had six bogeys on his front nine and shot 77 to miss the cut.

''It's unfortunate that the greens have changed this much in a year,'' Fowler said. ''They typically get slick and quick on the weekend because they dry out, but at least there's some sort of surface. But like I said, everyone's playing the same greens.''

It looked as though List was playing a different course when he went out with a bogey-free 32 on the back nine, added a pair of birdies on the front nine and then dropped his only shot when he caught an awkward lie in the bunker on the par-3 seventh.

''It's very relentless,'' List said. ''There's not really too many easy holes, but if you hit fairways and go from there, you can make a few birdies out there.''

List and Lovemark, both Californians, have never won on the PGA Tour. This is the third time List has had at least a share of the 36-hole lead, most recently in South Korea at the CJ Cup, where he shot 76-72 on the weekend.

''It's kind of irrelevant because there's going to be 30 guys within a couple shots of the lead,'' List said. ''It's going to be that type of week.''

He was exaggerating – there were 11 players within three shots of the lead.

And there was another guy four shots behind.

Woods brought big energy to a Friday afternoon that already was hopping before he overcame a sluggish start and holed a 25-foot birdie putt on No. 9 to make the turn at 1 under for his round, and leaving him two shots out of the lead. Everyone knew it just from listening to the roars.

Woods had his chances, twice missing birdie putts from inside 10 feet at Nos. 10 and 12, sandwiched around a 12-foot par save. His round appeared to come undone when he found the water on the 15th and made double bogey for the second straight day.

Then, he hit out of a fairway bunker, over the water and onto the green at the dangerous 16th hole and faced a 65-foot putt. He misread the speed and the line, so badly that it was similar to a car driving from Chicago to Denver and winding up in Phoenix. A bogey dropped him to 2 over.

The big moment was the 17th hole, 184 waters into the wind and over water. That's where Rory McIlroy made triple bogey earlier in the day that ruined his otherwise solid round of 72, leaving him seven behind. Making it even tougher for Woods is the Brandt Snedeker hit 5-iron before him to about 6 feet. Woods got to the tee and the wind died, meaning 5-iron was too much and 6-iron wouldn't clear the water.

He went with the 5-iron.

''I started that thing pretty far left and hit a pretty big cut in there because I had just too much stick,'' Wood said.

It landed 12 feet below the hole for a birdie putt.

Thomas made 17 pars and a double bogey when he three-putted from 6 feet on No. 16. He felt the same way as Woods.

''I'm in a good spot – really good spot – going into this week,'' Thomas said.

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Woods to play with Dufner (12:10 p.m.) in third round

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 24, 2018, 12:10 am

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Tiger Woods will play alongside Jason Dufner in the third round of the Honda Classic.

Woods and Dufner, both at 1-over 141, four shots back, will tee off at 12:10 p.m. ET Saturday at PGA National. They’re in the 10th-to-last group.

Full-field scores from the Honda Classic

Honda Classic: Articles, photos and videos

Co-leaders Luke List and Jamie Lovemark will go at 1:40 p.m.

Some of the other late pairings include Justin Thomas and Daniel Berger, who will be playing together for the third consecutive day, at 1 p.m.; Louis Oosthuizen and Thomas Pieters (1:10 p.m.); and Webb Simpson and Russell Henley, in the penultimate group at 1:30 p.m.