5 Best Public Golf Courses In Chicago, IL

Chicago boasts some of the finest public golf courses, offering a variety of challenges and scenic views for golfers of all skill levels.

Here are the top five: Harborside International Golf Center, Cog Hill Golf & Country Club, Ravisloe Country Club, The Glen Club, and Schaumburg Golf Club.

Keep reading for a more detailed explanation of what makes each course special.

Harborside International Golf Center

Harborside International Golf Center, located in Chicago, offers golfers a premier experience with two championship-caliber courses: the Port and Starboard Courses.

Designed by renowned architect Dick Nugent, these links-style courses are celebrated for their challenging layouts and exceptional maintenance.


The Port and Starboard Courses at Harborside International are designed to provide a top-tier golfing experience.

Dick Nugent, a respected figure in golf course architecture, crafted both courses to challenge players while offering enjoyable play.

The links-style design features open, rolling terrain with few trees, characteristic of traditional Scottish courses.

This design choice not only enhances the challenge but also offers breathtaking views and a unique golfing experience in the heart of Chicago.


Both the Port and Starboard Courses are known for their championship-caliber conditions.

Golfers can expect meticulously maintained fairways and greens, ensuring a high-quality playing surface throughout the year.

The courses are designed to challenge even the most skilled golfers, with strategically placed hazards, undulating greens, and varied hole layouts that require thoughtful shot planning and execution.

The links-style challenges include wide fairways that appear forgiving but are coupled with deep bunkers and thick rough, demanding accuracy and precision.

The wind, a significant factor on these open courses, adds an additional layer of difficulty, making each round unique.


Harborside International Golf Center boasts several key features that enhance the golfing experience:

  • Multiple Tee Boxes: Catering to golfers of all skill levels, the courses offer multiple tee boxes, allowing players to choose the appropriate level of difficulty for their game.
  • Challenging Rough: The rough is deliberately maintained to be challenging, punishing wayward shots and requiring strategic recovery play.
  • Chicago Skyline Views: One of the standout features is the stunning view of the Chicago skyline, providing a picturesque backdrop that enhances the overall experience.

In addition to these features, both courses are equipped with modern facilities, including a well-stocked pro shop and excellent practice areas, making it a comprehensive golfing destination.


Harborside International Golf Center is suitable for golfers of all skill levels who seek a challenging, links-style experience.

Beginners can enjoy the course by selecting the appropriate tee boxes, while seasoned players will appreciate the strategic demands and nuanced shot-making required by the layout.

The variety of challenges presented by the wind, rough, and hazards ensure that every round is engaging and rewarding.

Whether you're looking to improve your game or simply enjoy a day on a beautifully maintained course, Harborside International offers an unforgettable golfing experience.

Cog Hill Golf & Country Club

Cog Hill Golf & Country Club, situated in Lemont, Illinois, is a premier golf destination known for its challenging layouts and historic significance.

This club is home to the famous Dubsdread course, which has hosted several PGA Tour events and is revered by golfers worldwide.


Dubsdread, the crown jewel of Cog Hill, is renowned for its demanding design and storied past.

Originally designed by Dick Wilson and Joe Lee in 1964 and later renovated by Rees Jones, Dubsdread has challenged some of the greatest golfers, including hosting multiple PGA Tour events.

The course's name reflects its reputation: “Dubs” from its original designer and “dread” for its intimidating layout.

With tight fairways, strategically placed bunkers, and fast greens, it tests every aspect of a golfer's game.


The challenging layout of Dubsdread is one of its most celebrated features.

Golfers encounter numerous elevation changes, complex greens, and narrow fairways that require precision and strategic thinking.

The course conditions are maintained to the highest standards, ensuring a top-notch playing experience with lush fairways and immaculate greens.

Cog Hill's dedication to excellence is evident in the meticulous upkeep of all its courses.

The club's reputation for excellent course conditions makes it a favorite among serious golfers.

The well-manicured fairways and greens provide a consistent and challenging playing surface, enhancing the overall golfing experience.


Cog Hill Golf & Country Club offers four distinct courses, each with its own unique layout and challenges.

This variety allows golfers to enjoy different styles of play and keeps the experience fresh and engaging.

Alongside Dubsdread, the three other courses—Nos. 1, 2, and 3—cater to various skill levels and preferences, ensuring that every golfer finds a course that suits their game.

  • Championship-Quality Greens: The greens at Cog Hill are known for their speed and complexity, providing a true test of putting skills. The championship-quality greens ensure a challenging but fair experience for all golfers.
  • Historical Significance: Cog Hill's rich history is highlighted by its association with golfing legends. Past champions like Tiger Woods have graced Dubsdread, adding to its prestige and allure. This historical significance enhances the club's reputation and attracts golfers looking to walk in the footsteps of greatness.


Cog Hill Golf & Country Club is ideal for serious golfers seeking to test their skills on a historically significant course.

Dubsdread's demanding layout will challenge even the most experienced players, while the other three courses provide enjoyable rounds for golfers of all levels.

The club's commitment to maintaining excellent conditions ensures that every round is played on pristine fairways and greens.

For those who appreciate a blend of history, challenge, and top-quality golf, Cog Hill stands out as a premier choice.

Whether you're aiming to improve your game or simply enjoy a round on a legendary course, Cog Hill offers an exceptional golfing experience.

Ravisloe Country Club

Ravisloe Country Club, located in Homewood, Illinois, offers a classic golf experience steeped in history.

Designed by the legendary Donald Ross in 1901, this course provides a strategic and enjoyable challenge for golfers who appreciate traditional course layouts.


Ravisloe Country Club boasts a rich history and a design pedigree that few courses can match.

Donald Ross, one of the most influential golf course architects, crafted Ravisloe with a focus on strategy and playability.

The course has maintained its historic charm while evolving to meet modern standards, making it a beloved destination for golfers who value tradition.

Over the years, Ravisloe has been carefully preserved and restored, ensuring that Ross's original vision continues to delight golfers.


Ravisloe offers a classic golf experience that emphasizes strategic shot-making over sheer power.

The course layout encourages thoughtful play, rewarding precision and planning.

Golfers will find that each hole presents unique challenges, requiring a mix of creativity and skill.

The overall experience is enhanced by the course's serene and picturesque setting, providing a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.


The features of Ravisloe Country Club highlight its commitment to maintaining a traditional golfing environment:

  • Tree-Lined Fairways: The fairways at Ravisloe are lined with mature trees, creating natural obstacles that demand accuracy off the tee. This feature not only adds to the aesthetic appeal but also increases the challenge, as wayward shots can find themselves blocked by the foliage.
  • Well-Maintained Greens: The greens at Ravisloe are meticulously maintained, providing a smooth and true putting surface. The subtle undulations and slopes require careful reading and precise putting, adding an additional layer of strategy to the game.
  • Strategic Shot Requirements: Ravisloe's layout is designed to test a golfer's strategic thinking. Players must navigate bunkers, water hazards, and doglegs, making course management a key component of success. The variety of hole designs ensures that no two rounds are the same, keeping the experience fresh and engaging.


Ravisloe Country Club is perfect for golfers who appreciate historic and strategic courses.

Its Donald Ross design emphasizes thoughtful play and rewards careful shot planning.

This course is particularly well-suited for those who enjoy a traditional golf experience, where precision and strategy are paramount.

Whether you are a seasoned golfer looking to test your skills or a history enthusiast eager to play on a classic course,

Ravisloe provides a fulfilling and memorable round of golf. With its well-maintained conditions and serene environment, it stands out as a premier choice for those seeking a timeless golfing experience.

The Glen Club

The Glen Club, located in Glenview, Illinois, offers a premier golfing experience with a course designed by the renowned Tom Fazio.

Built on the site of a former Naval Air Base, the club seamlessly blends history with modern design, providing a unique and challenging round of golf.


The Glen Club stands out due to its rich history and exceptional design.

The transformation of a former Naval Air Base into a top-tier golf course is a testament to Tom Fazio's architectural prowess.

Fazio, known for creating visually stunning and strategically challenging courses, has designed The Glen Club to be both beautiful and demanding.

The course features a variety of holes that take full advantage of the natural terrain, providing golfers with a memorable experience.


One of the main highlights of The Glen Club is its variety and the comprehensive amenities it offers.

The course is designed to provide a mix of challenges, ensuring that golfers face different tests on each hole.

From elevation changes to water hazards, every round at The Glen Club is dynamic and engaging.

Additionally, the club's amenities are second to none, offering golfers a complete experience both on and off the course.

The high standard of service and facilities enhances the overall enjoyment of the game.


The features of The Glen Club make it a standout destination for golfers:

  • Elevation Changes: The course's elevation changes add a layer of complexity to many holes, requiring precise club selection and shot execution. These changes not only enhance the strategic elements of the game but also provide scenic views across the course.
  • Water Hazards: Strategically placed water hazards come into play on several holes, challenging golfers to think carefully about their shot placement. These hazards add both beauty and difficulty, making accuracy paramount.
  • High Risk/Reward Shots: The Glen Club's design encourages golfers to take calculated risks, offering high reward opportunities for well-executed shots. This risk/reward balance keeps the game exciting and tests a golfer's decision-making skills.
  • Top-Notch Practice Facilities: The practice facilities at The Glen Club are exceptional, featuring a driving range, short game area, and putting greens. These facilities provide golfers with the opportunity to fine-tune their skills before heading out onto the course, ensuring they are well-prepared for the challenges ahead.


The Glen Club is great for golfers seeking a well-rounded challenge.

Its combination of elevation changes, water hazards, and risk/reward opportunities makes it suitable for players who enjoy a strategic game.

The course's design requires thoughtful shot-making and offers a rewarding experience for those who appreciate a well-crafted layout.

The comprehensive amenities and excellent practice facilities also make it an ideal destination for golfers looking to improve their game or enjoy a full day of golfing activities.

Whether you're a local or visiting the Chicago area, The Glen Club provides an exceptional golfing experience that is both challenging and enjoyable.

Schaumburg Golf Club

Schaumburg Golf Club, located in Schaumburg, Illinois, is a top-tier public golf facility that has recently undergone extensive renovations by the esteemed architect Bob Lohmann.

These updates have revitalized the club, making it a favorite among local golfers and visitors alike.


Schaumburg Golf Club has a rich history of providing an excellent golfing experience, and its recent renovations have only enhanced its appeal.

Bob Lohmann's redesign has modernized the course while preserving its classic charm.

The updates include improvements to the layout, drainage, and overall playability, ensuring that the course remains in excellent condition year-round.

Golfers will appreciate the thoughtful enhancements that make each round both enjoyable and challenging.


One of the key highlights of Schaumburg Golf Club is its excellent course conditions and the pace of play.

The renovations have ensured that the fairways and greens are consistently well-maintained, providing a high-quality playing surface.

Additionally, the course is designed to facilitate a smooth pace of play, allowing golfers to enjoy their rounds without unnecessary delays.

This attention to detail makes Schaumburg Golf Club a reliable choice for golfers looking for a seamless and enjoyable experience.


Schaumburg Golf Club boasts several notable features that cater to a wide range of golfers:

  • Multiple Nines for Flexible Play Combinations: The club offers three distinct nine-hole courses that can be played in various combinations, providing flexibility and variety. This setup allows golfers to tailor their rounds to their preferences and keeps the experience fresh with different layout options.
  • Well-Maintained Greens: The greens at Schaumburg Golf Club are known for their pristine condition. Regular maintenance ensures that they are smooth and true, offering a consistent putting experience. The quality of the greens is a testament to the club's commitment to providing a top-notch golfing environment.
  • Friendly Atmosphere: Schaumburg Golf Club is renowned for its welcoming and friendly atmosphere. The staff is dedicated to providing excellent service, making every visit pleasant and enjoyable. This positive environment enhances the overall experience, making golfers feel valued and appreciated.


Schaumburg Golf Club is ideal for golfers who appreciate flexible and well-maintained golfing.

The multiple nine-hole courses allow players to customize their rounds, whether they prefer a quick nine or a full 18-hole experience.

The exceptional course conditions ensure that golfers can enjoy a high-quality playing surface, while the friendly atmosphere makes it a welcoming destination for all.

Whether you're a local resident or visiting the Chicago area, Schaumburg Golf Club offers a versatile and enjoyable golfing experience that caters to a wide range of preferences and skill levels.

Tips for Visiting

Visiting a top public golf course in Chicago can be an enriching experience if you plan well.

Here are some tips to help you make the most of your visit, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable round of golf.

Best Times to Play

Choosing the right time to play can significantly impact your experience on the course.

Early mornings and late afternoons are often the best times to play, as the temperatures are cooler and the courses are generally less crowded.

Weekdays, especially Tuesday through Thursday, tend to be less busy compared to weekends, providing a more relaxed pace of play.

Additionally, consider the season—spring and fall offer mild weather and beautiful scenery, making them ideal times to enjoy the courses in Chicago.

Booking Tee Times

Booking your tee time in advance is crucial, especially at popular courses.

Most courses offer online booking systems, which are convenient and allow you to see available slots.

Aim to book your tee time at least a week in advance for weekdays and even earlier for weekends.

If you have a flexible schedule, you might find last-minute deals or cancellations, but planning ahead is the best way to secure your preferred time.

Additionally, some courses offer twilight rates, which can be more affordable and still provide ample time for a full round.

Course Etiquette

Proper course etiquette ensures an enjoyable experience for you and your fellow golfers.

Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Pace of Play: Maintain a steady pace to avoid slowing down groups behind you. Be ready to hit when it’s your turn and keep practice swings to a minimum.
  • Repairing the Course: Always repair your divots on the fairways, fix ball marks on the greens, and rake bunkers after use. This helps maintain the course for everyone.
  • Respectful Behavior: Keep noise levels down, especially when others are taking their shots. Avoid using your phone on the course unless necessary, and keep conversations respectful.
  • Dress Code: Adhere to the dress code of the course. Typically, collared shirts, golf shoes, and appropriate shorts or pants are required.
  • Golf Cart Usage: Follow the course’s rules for golf cart usage, which may include staying on cart paths or adhering to designated cart areas.


Chicago's public golf courses offer a diverse and exceptional golfing experience for players of all skill levels.

From historic layouts to modern designs, each course provides unique challenges and beautiful settings.

Plan your visit, book in advance, and follow course etiquette to enjoy a memorable round at these top-tier venues.