(Photo Credit: cantignygolf.com)

(Photo Credit: cantignygolf.com)

The signs are there to pull out the clubs and check your tee and ball supply because you know the first signs of spring aren’t limited to robins or a crocus. You spied a golf cart and twosome on a local course even though the weather was still chilly. But there’s one more thing to do before you head out. You don’t want to wait until you leave for a golf date or lesson to know last year’s duds and shoes don’t fit. Unfortunately, some of the Chicago area’s excellent golf specialty stores that carried apparel have closed. The good news is that many public courses also have pro shops stocked with golf wear. In addition, shopping there means helping your local community, park district, county forest preserve or a foundation.
Prairie Landing Golf Club
2325 Longest Drive
West Chicago, IL 60185
(630) 208-7600

Owned by the Du Page Airport Authority, Prairie Landing Golf Club is public but its facilities, including its pro shop, make it feel like a private course. The pro shop is 1,800 square feet of equipment, accessories and clothes. Expect to find all the major brands and whatever you would find at a private club. The club is in West Chicago about half an hour west of Downtown Chicago.

Cantigny Golf
27w270 Mack Road
Wheaton, IL 60189
(630) 260-8197

If the name Cantigny sounds familiar, it’s because it’s connected to the Robert R. McCormick Foundation that operates Cantigny Park with its wonderful military museum, gardens and house. Cantigny is in Wheaton, also about half an hour west of Chicago. The pro shop is what you would expect at a fine golf course and of a facility operated by the McCormick Foundation. While there, check out the course’s dining room and grill room for a morning of shopping and eating.

George W. Dunne National
16310 S. Central Ave.
Oak Forest, IL (60452
(708) 429-6886

The pro shop has a very complete assortment of PGA equipment and apparel, as would be expected of a public course that is highly regarded by golf magazines. Managed by Billy Casper Golf for the Cook County Forest Preserve, George W. Dunne National is in the southwest suburb of Oak Forest. The advantage of shopping here if convenient is that the surroundings are beautiful.

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Sydney R. Marovitz Golf Course
3600 N. Recreation Ave.
Chicago, IL 60613
(312) 742-7930

Go to the pro shop at the Syndey R. Marovitz course for a good selection of jackets, tops and hats. But also go because it is east of Lake Shore Drive with great Lake Michigan views and is convenient to Chicago’s Near North. The golf course and pro shop are operated by the City of Chicago’s Park District. The course gets a lot of play in summer, so the pro shop may be busy but the staff is really nice.

Sportsman’s Country Club
3535 Dundee Road
Northbrook, IL 60062
(847) 291-2351
www.sportsmansgolf. com

Operated by the Northbrook Park District, Sportsman’s has been a longtime (think 75 years) north-suburban golf facility. It has been a popular place to take lessons and meet for a casual, reasonably-priced game of golf. Its location on Dundee Road means it is also a convenient place to pick up golf accessories and add to one’s golf wardrobe.

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Jodie Jacobs is a veteran journalist who loves writing about Chicago, art, theater, museums and travel. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.