Arnold Palmer, the legendary golfer and creator of the popular half-lemonade, half-tea refreshment, explained that golf is, “deceptively simple and endlessly complicated.” The next time you want to get mentally unhinged and spiritually balanced simultaneously, try a round of the exacting club and ball sport at one of these fine Chicago area courses, especially during August, the official National Golf Month. Pro shops, undulating terrain, good eateries, expert instruction and friendly staff separate the mediocre from the grand golfing spots.
(Photo Credit: Medinah Country Club's Facebook)

(Photo Credit: Medinah Country Club’s Facebook)

Medinah Country Club
6N001 Medinah Road
Medinah, IL 60157
(630) 773-1700

Open since 1924, golf enthusiasts simply adore the 600-acre Medinah Country Club  going on and on at sites like Foursquare about the “absolutely beautiful” clubhouse, the challenging courses and the site’s deep history. The grounds are kept in tip-top shape and even non-golfers rave about the property as a fantastic site for an event with stunning architecture and expert service. Each of the three 18-hole golf courses offers individual challenges, but it’s a private club so you need to sidle up to a member to play them. You may recognize Course #3, which played host to the Ryder Cup in 2012.

Conway Farms Golf Club
425 Conway Farms Drive
Lake Forest, IL 60045

(847) 234-6979

This could be the closest you’ll get to a course in the mother country of the sport, Scotland, minus the Loch Ness monster and plates of haggis. The 18-hole Tom Fazio and  Andy Banfield designed Conway Farms was constructed like a traditional Scottish course on some of the priciest real estate in the state — over 200 acres of it, too. Hosting the 2015 BMW Championship, the north shore club upholds classical customs such as quick play and lots of walking. There’s a driving range and a dress code, so do a once over in the mirror before heading out to the links.

(Photo Credit:

(Photo Credit:

Harborside International
11001 S.E. Doty Ave.
Chicago, IL 60628
(312) 782-7837

With limited open land, a large urban center like Chicago doesn’t see a lot of new golf courses; however, Harborside International was developed on what used to be a landfill, so it gets points for re-purposing. The course’s two 18-hole golf courses, Port and Starboard, found their way on the “Best Courses You Can Play in Illinois” list put together by Golfweek Magazine. You cannot beat the views of Chicago’s breathtaking skyline. Chicago’s home for golf since 1995 also boasts the biggest practice facility (57 acres) in the northern part of the state.

Related:  Best Mini Golf In The Chicagoland Area

The Glen Club
2901 W. Lake Ave.
Glenview IL 60026
(847) 724-7272

Another Tom Fazio designed course on the list, The Glen Club was constructed on what used to be Glenview Naval Air Station and its chow hall, er … clubhouse … has been metamorphosed as well, into a nearly 50,000-square-foot facility with great dining, overnight lodging, the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame exhibit and a grand ballroom. U.S. Golf Magazine liked it so much that the publication placed it in the “Top 100 Courses You Can Play in the U.S.” in 2014.

Cog Hill Golf And Country Club
12294 Archer Ave,
Lemont, IL 60439
(630) 257-5872

The public golf and country club has hosted the Western Open for more than 15 years (before it was dubbed the BMW Championship) and its four courses offer plenty of challenge for golfers of all skill levels (the difficult Dubsdread is the one for serious players to shoot for). Mature soaring trees, sloping hillsides, tee boxes for all kinds of players, decent prices, especially for twilight playing, and exceptional food and service keep locals coming to Cog Hill.

Related: Best Public Golf Courses In Chicago

Jacky Runice has been a columnist with the Daily Herald Chicago since grunge music and flannel was the new black. Her fingers and gray matter have been busy as travel editor of Reunions Magazine; penning a column that was syndicated around the nation via Tribune Media Services. Her work can be found at