Architect: C.B. MacDonald / Seth Raynor
Year: 1894 / 1923
Wheaton, Illinois 60189
- Course Access: Private
- Driving range available
- Motorized golf carts and caddies available
- On-site accommodations
- U.S. Open – 1897, 1900, 1911
So why is the Chicago Golf Club one of the most important clubs in America you ask? Where shall we start? Lets see, for starters it was the first 18 hole golf course in North America and the club that established the modern Out of Bounds rule. Next, you have that the club was founded by the first US Amateur champion and de facto father of American golf, Mr. Charles Blair Macdonald. If any more evidence of the clubs importance were necessary, you can make note that Chicago Golf Club is one of the original five clubs that founded the USGA in 1894. If you’re looking for a place that has had a profound impact on golf in America, look no further than Wheaton, Illinois and the Chicago Golf Club.
And why has the golfing public at large never heard of this clearly significant and important club? Well, there are just 125 members and a great many of them play their primary golf at other clubs in the area. This results in very, very little play at Chicago Golf Club. The lack of play also means that guest invites are terribly rare, and truly something to be cherished by the lucky golfers who receive one. When I started the Top 100 quest back in 2007 I identified Chicago Golf Club as one of the five courses that may keep me from completing the quest. Everything I learned over the next three years confirmed that my fears were indeed well founded. In short, getting a chance to play Chicago Golf Club may be as likely as getting struck by lightning.
When the day arrived and I pulled into the driveway at Chicago Golf Club I was pretty excited. After parking my car I went into the locker room to change my shoes and have a look around. The first thing I noticed in the locker room were the cool subway tiled walls which were very popular in the late 1800s/early 1900s and the old metal lockers found at many of the great clubs from this era. I love a locker room with a vintage vibe so I had a good feeling about this place immediately. As would be expected the walls were adorned with golf memorabilia from the club’s history including one of the five original signed documents incorporating the USGA. It was pretty neat to see this important golf document and C.B. Macdonald’s bold signature in the flesh.
Before we tee off so to speak, I’ll give a very brief history of the course itself. Chicago Golf Club was founded in 1892 and at the time was located in Downers Grove, Illinois on Belmont Avenue. In early 1894 the club moved to the current location and C.B. Macdonald laid out the first 18 hole golf course in the United States. As years went by Macdonald felt that the technology of the game was advancing beyond the golf course he had created and it was necessary to redesign the course. He requested his protegee, Seth Raynor, do the work and in 1923 a new course was born. Raynor’s revisions and changes along with a handful of Macdonald’s original holes is the course that remains today.
As we prepared to start our game and discussed the tee selection there was not really much of a decision necessary as far as I was concerned. The back tees played 6,846 yards which on a par 70 course is a pretty serious test. We elected for the considerably more manageable 6,571 yard white tees.
The 1st hole is a 450 yard par 4 and is absolutely not your typical warm up starting hole. The golfer needs to be at ready from the start when teeing it up here. The photo below was taken from the tee and the best line of play is up the right side of the hole as the fairway falls off to the left.
The photo below is where I hit my approach shot from (the rough of course). I was still a good 200 yards out.
The 2nd hole, pictured below, is Raynor’s version of the Road Hole at St. Andrews. This one plays 440 yards from the white tees. Anything in the middle is just great here. The approach shot will be another long one.
The photo below is of the approach shot on the 2nd hole. Note the Road Hole bunker at the front left.
The 3rd hole is a par 3 Biarritz Hole that we played from 219 yards. What makes this a Biarritz is the swale just in front of the putting surface which is just slightly visible in the below photo.
Here is a closer look at the swale in front of the green.
The 4th hole is one of the two Cape Holes at Chicago Golf Club. This one plays as a par 5 and is 536 yards long. Playing to the left of the bunker sets up the ideal second shot.
Below is a look from the fairway at about 180 yards out from the center of the green.
And here is a closer view of the green complex. The bunker that is visible on the left side of the green actually wraps all the way around the back of the green as well as the right side. Regardless of hole location, its best to aim for the middle here.
To the left in the photo below is more of the wrap around bunker.
And here is a little bit more that wraps around the back side.
The 5th hole is a finally a little break in the difficultly. This is a short par 4 that we played from 320 yards. The photo below was taken from the tee box.
After a good drive just a short 60-80 yard pitch will be left to the green. This is where I finally got the message that the greens here are firm and getting shots to hold is difficult. My little wedge into the green didn’t bite and I ended up in the bunker and made double from 70 yards out. Ouch.
The photo below was taken from the 6th tee which is a 395 yard par 4. This is a fairly straight forward drive and you just want to get something in the short grass.
Here is a view to the green from about 80 yards out.
The 7th hole, pictured below, is a par 3 Redan Hole which is another one of Raynor’s template holes. We played this one from 207 yards. The idea here is to hit your ball on the right side o the green and have it feed down the hill to the left where the hole location is.
Below is the 8th hole which is a 413 yard par 4. The line to take with the drive is over the left half of the mound where the caddies are standing.
The approach shot pictured below is fairly straight forward. There are bunkers on the right of the green and behind it so, ideally hitting the second shot from the left side of the fairway would be the best.
At the 9th hole we’ve got a nice 403 yard par 4 hole with a carry over water to the green. You don’t find many water hazards on classic courses so it is a bit of an anomaly. The photo below was taken from the tee box.
Here is a look at the green complex from the edge of the water.
The 10th hole is a par 3 that requires a carry over the same body of water from the 9th hole. It’s not really visible in the photo below, but this green is completely surrounded by Raynor’s shallow bunkers.
Below is a photo taken from the 11th tee. This is a 410 yard par 4 that just slightly bends to the left. The main challenge here is to avoid the numerous bunkers in the fairway and around the green.
At the 12th hole we’ve got another of Raynor’s templates with this one being a Punchbowl Hole. We played this hole from 414 yards to a par of 4. The photo below was taken from the tee box.
Below is a look at the approach shot for this hole. Its crucial to hit your ball left of the hole location in this photo. If you go too far to the right you will find the punchbowl and have a fairly difficult putt back to the correct part of the green.
Here is a closer view of the green and its false front.
Its hard to see in the below photo, but the putting surface takes a bit of a dip behind the flag stick. This is the punchbowl portion of the green and you don’t want to be down there unless that’s where the hole is.
The 13th hole is Raynor’s take on the very famous Eden Hole at St. Andrews. It is a par 3 and we played it from 149 yards. In the photo below you can see that there are bunkers on the front and sides of the green. They also continue almost all the way around the back.
Below is a photo of the 14th hole which is the last of Raynor’s template holes and is another example of a Cape Hole. This one is a par 4 that we played from 351 yards. I didn’t realize that the hole was so short until I nearly hit my driver into the bunker on the right that is just 60 yards short of the green. I probably wouldn’t have hit driver had I looked at the length of the hole, but it turned out fine and I was happy to have a short pitch to the green.
Here is a closer look at the green complex.
I thought the photo below was interesting. Raynor is known for his angles and sharp edges so I thought that the way this green was cut on the corners and front was very Raynor-esque.
Below is the 15th hole that we played from 393 yards to a par of 4. A good drive here will carry the front bunker and stay far enough to the right to avoid the bunker behind it which is just barely visible off the left edge of the front bunker. Unfortunately, I did not do that and my ball found the back bunker and nestled up right next to the lip.
The approach shot to the green at the 15th hole.
The 16th hole which is pictured below from the tee box is a par 5 that we played from 525 yards. The ideal drive will favor the left side of the fairway.
Below is a view of what the second shot looks like. Just make sure you avoid both the bunkers.
And here is a photo of the 16th green. There is a fairly significant false front here that will be a problem for approach shots that don’t quite carry far enough.
Below is a photo of the 17th hole which is a par 4 that we played from 382 yards. There are numerous bunkers to be avoided on the right side of the hole as well as around the green.
The approach shot, pictured below, shows some of the bunkering around the green. Its hard to tell from the photos, but the bunkers in front of the green complex are actually about 45 yards from the green.
I forgot to take any photos on the 18th hole except for the green. Its a bit fitting though as the one photo I did take is of a classic Raynor feature. Note in the photo below that the corner of the green is squared off. As I mentioned before Raynor loved sharp edges and this is a very common feature on many of his courses.
One of the things that struck me most about Chicago Golf Club is how difficult the course was. From the tee, hitting the fairway was imperative as the native grass was so penal that hitting into it usually resulted in a lost ball and hitting your third stroke from the tee. The greens were as firm as can be and I lost track of how many times my approach shots landed on the putting surface but ended up the bunkers that are found around many of the greens. Apparently, I’m not the only one who thinks the course is hard because the course rating is 72.1. That’s more than 2 strokes above the par of 70. Luckily for me I caught fire coming down the stretch and parred 4 of the last 5 holes to tie Mike and beat Larry in our little King of the Hill game we were playing. I could hardly wait to spend my 50 cents!
Something else I found of great interest about Chicago Golf Club is that the course is built on completely flat land. This is clearly noticeable from my amateur photos above. It is hard to catch the nuances of this course and really show its genius in photos taken from ground level by someone with no photography experience like me. I’ve often read statements from the builders of golf courses that the most important piece of the puzzle is having a great site. At Chicago Golf Club Macdonald and Raynor did not. They were not able to rely on breathtaking vistas or undulating terrain so they had to use good old fashioned strategy to make an interesting golf course and I believe they succeeded in spades. Tee to green the course is a challenge, but the real scoring at Chicago Golf Club is done on and around the greens.
I left the clubhouse that day with a renewed enthusiasm for giving back to this great game that has given so much to me. Chicago Golf Club is a very special place and I was very lucky to have an incredible day there with a couple of great guys. What an amazing journey this has been and I’m barely halfway finished.
During the 2010 final round of the AT&T National, Sean O’Hair, hit a wayward drive on the 18th tee and nailed spectator Chris Logan the temple. Normally that’s not a good thing, but getting hit in the head ended up saving Chris’s life.
It turns out that when checking Chris for a concussion doctors noticed a lump in his throat that turned out to be Thyroid Cancer. Luckily it was caught early and Chris is now cancer-free.
Because of the concern of a head injury, the tournament medics rushed him away and Chris never actually got to meet Sean after getting hit. However in the mid 2011, he was finally able to meet Sean in person and thank him for hitting him in the head and saving his life.
I’m guessing that’s probably the first (and last) time O’Hair will get thanked for hitting somebody in the head with a drive.
Derek @ 72strokes.com
Ballyliffin club, founded in the year 1947 is Ireland’s most ‘northerly’ golf club. Located in the extreme north-east of the Republic of Ireland close to the Inishowen Peninsula, Ballyliffin comprises of 365 acres of spectacular dune land which is surrounded by hills and mountains with the only borderline being the Atlantic Ocean.
Two outstanding and distinct 18 holes link – the classic Old Links and the wonderful new Glashedy Links, a world-class club house, and an unprecedented panoramic view of mountains and coastline make up Ballyliffin Golf Club a stunning and an amazing destination to sport. The Old acreage is designed by Mother Nature herself with little succor from Eddie Hackett and English architects – Lawrie and Pennick, who offered a final touch to the course.
The Old Links undulate in a natural setting that provides a sense of tranquility, presenting an immensely enjoyable challenge to every golfer. Running across 6,937 yards from the championship tee and a par of 71 with sweeping ocean views, the old links offer many fantastic holes with challenging fairways riding dangers at every turn. Upon his first visit to Ballyliffin in the 1990s, Faldo reportedly fell so in love with the Old Links that he stayed overnight to finish playing all 18 holes and attempted to buy the club which was later turned down. But nevertheless his work at the Old Links clearly showcases his attachment to the place. Faldo renovated all the bunkers and repositioned several tees, allowing for more awe-inspiring views of the Glashedy Rock off the coast.
The Old Course at Ballyliffin is the most natural course I have ever played.”
- Nick Faldo
Glashedy measures over 7,000 yards from the Championship tees with large undulating greens, deep bunkers and fairways that twist and roll between towering dunes. The challenges presented by the Glashedy Links are almost as intimidating as exciting. Many regard the Old Course as ‘better’ than the newer Glashedy course and this is because, without doubt, Glashedy is a severely punishing golf test that demands you to be on top of your game from start to finish. But nevertheless both these wonderful courses guarantees a lifetime experience for any golf lover, especially to a keen golfer who appreciates beautiful views and challenging courses.
There have been a few times in our sport’s history where it seemed the world held its breath to watch golf. It likely happened in 1930 when Jones capped off the unthinkable ‘Grandslam’ win. Again in Augusta, Georgia, when Nicklaus awakened from hibernation at the age of 46 to win his sixth green jacket. Most recently, Tiger in 2008 as he hobbled to victory on a torn knee. It’s moments like these that become the greatest marketing campaign our sport could ever get.
There’s arguably no other sport where the perception of a level playing field exists — even the early duffer can sink a 40 footer every now and then. While with other sports, it becomes certain at point, playing baseball at Wrigley or dunking on Lebron is unlikely.
Despite our game’s significant advantages in appeal, it takes considerable effort to understand and appreciate its depths. The idea that you can be just as good as Tiger on one hole won’t resonate with the average golfer until they’ve played enough to develop confidence and skill. The feeling of striking the perfect shot is addicting. Yet, knowing that perfect shot is still in you after the third duffed shot in a row is the ultimate enigma. But golf is in a decline; if it were a stock, Wall Street would be yelling “sell!”
Even a polished Power Point presentation couldn’t disprove the numbers. “Rounds played per year” is the standard barometer of measuring the sports popularity, however a much more alarming data point comes from a source most of us use every day: Google. Search terms with the word “golf” have steadily dropped year after year since 2004. It’s down 40% since 04’. You can see below, each summer, the game hits its annual peak, falls in the winter months, only to rise again during Masters’ time (indicated by bump in April).
Each year pundits matter-of-fact-ly suggest why golf is in decline. Nobody wants to belabor on the point because it’s uncomfortable. The typical reasons continue to rise: it takes too long, rounds are too expensive, it’s too exclusive, we need bigger holes, etc. The real problem is much deeper and solutions perhaps even tougher to find.
While all the other reasons are considerations, technology continues to lead the decline. Not the bigger-driver-heads, longer-ball, range-finding type of technology, but the type of technology that’s disrupting industries across the nation.
Before the internet disrupted the way we communicate, business deals were done in person. Mostly in person, sometimes on the phone, but almost always concluded with a handshake and a likely friendship. Buyers had less information, so they relied on personal relationships and trust as the backbone of commerce. Since no other sport cultivates relationships better than golf, it makes for a perfect marriage. Plato was onto something when he stated: “you can learn more about a man in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” Playing business golf is safe, tried and true, but not scalable…or as scalable as the mechanisms today.
Relationship oriented businesses have and will continue to fuel the golf business but technology is transforming industries rapidly. Information on the web make buyers more informed and relationships less of a commodity. For example, if I want an office printer, my first action is to go directly to Google and search “office printers Atlanta.” Within 15 minutes, I’ll know exactly what I want, the suitable price range, and reviews of what I’ll buy. Pre-internet, Facebook, and Twitter, a sales rep would have developed a strong, personal relationship with a company. He would have been the expert on all things printers and every time our office grew, we’d give him a call and talk about new options over a round of golf. Those days are less and less. Everything is open, online, and transparent. None of these adjectives describe golf.
In a game baked-in of exclusion, there were barriers thwarting adoption from minorities and social classes, golf now has it’s own barrier to contend with: technology.
We’re entering an era where the business leaders of today aren’t doing business on the golf course. Carnegie, Ford, Rockefeller — business tycoons of their time — were all golfers. Translate to today’s innovators: Ellison, Zuckerberg, Bezos, and the late Steve Jobs have never been associated with the game. The time it takes to play a round, a CEO could write a blog post read by millions.
Golf has likely seen it’s brightest time in the business world, yet it definitely hasn’t seen it most popular time in history.
We have to use technology to benefit the sport. As the game’s global expansion into developing countries continue, instruction and access is paramount. Organizing golf’s most passionate young players into communities outside of expensive clubs will be beneficial as well as providing quality instruction to those willing to give the game a try. Golf must embrace technology. There’s no reason a high-schooler in Argentina shouldn’t be able to take a video of their swing, upload it to YouTube, and receive feedback from a golf professional in the States.
The love of the sport will be the driving force of golf’s growth and that’s a type player every true golfer wants in their outing.
Jon @ atruegolfer.com
Continuing with our series from The Itinerant Golfer’s quest to play all top 100 American golf courses, The Scratch Pad is glad to bring you a profile of the 25th rated golf course in America, Prairie Dunes CC. Click here for other entries on this series click.
Location: Hutchinson, KS
Architect: Perry Maxwell/Press Maxwell
Year Constructed: 1937/1957
Played: October 9, 2010
Prairie Dunes perennially ranks in the Top 25 courses in the US and is a bit of a ‘hidden gem’ among golf nerds . . . well, as much of a hidden gem as you can be when you’re listed in the Top 25 every year.
Because of the golf course’s high ranking on most of the major lists, Prairie Dunes enjoys a very robust non-resident membership, creating an interesting dynamic at the club. On one hand you’ve got your local families who use the club for tennis, golf and swimming and on the other hand you’ve got your hard core golf aficionado crowd with their Pine Valley, Cypress Point and National Golf Links logos bringing in groups of their friends on golf trips. I have to believe there are a number of local members who must scratch their heads and think “why on earth did this guy from New York City join our little club??” I also have to believe that the board of directors meetings get pretty interesting with two distinctly different member groups to serve – each of whom have a different set of needs.
The golf course at Prairie Dunes Country Club has quite an interesting story to it. Perry Maxwell was the first architect on the site who, in 1937, laid out the original nine hole course. The course remained this way for twenty years until his son, Press Maxwell, came along in 1957 to add nine more holes and make a full eighteen hole course. Unfortunately, it wasn’t as simple as just adding holes 10-18 to complete the course. The land that Press wanted to work with didn’t allow him to keep the original number sequence for the first nine holes so he ended up having to do a little renumbering. The original nine holes play today as 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 17, 18.
At first glance Prairie Dunes doesn’t appear terribly long but it only plays to a par of 70 so the tips that play 6,759 yards are a little longer than they appear. Since it was our first trip around the course we decided to play the 6,153 yard white tees which had a rating of 71.2. That rating translates to 1.2 strokes over par for a scratch golfer and is usually a sign that a course will play fairly tough.
The photo below was taken at the 1st tee. The first hole is a dogleg to the left that played 401 yards from the white tees. If you get too cute and try to go too far to the left there is a ton of rough over there waiting for your ball to nestle down into it. Take note of the brown native grass lining the hole. Out in Kansas they call this “gunsch” and it will swallow a golf ball up just as quick as water does.
Below is a closer look at the green. It really can’t be seen in this photo but this was a pretty severe green and could be very penal if your ball ends up in the wrong spot.
The 2nd hole is a fairly short par 3 that plays 142 yards from the white tees. The green sits at the top of a hill so a little extra club is necessary. The photo below was taken from the tee.
Below is a photo of the 2nd green. You can slightly make out the contours of the green, but in person they are far more intimidating. This hole instantly made my favorites list.
The photo below is of the 3rd hole which is a short par 4 that played 308 from the white tees. The green is visible in the distance and if a player wants to carry the gunsch he can hit driver right at the putting surface. A more sensible play is certainly a 200 yard shot somewhere between the green and the right fairway bunkers.
Another par 3 awaits at the 4th hole. This one plays 150 yards plus a little extra for the uphill. With today’s flag location it pays to hit the green. Missing left where the bailout area is leaves a short sided chip which can be tough to leave close to the hole and could end up back at your feet.
The 5th hole is a healthy par 4 of 402 yards from the white tees. The tee box is elevated so its one of those spots where it feels like you ball flies forever when you hit a good drive. The fairway is plenty wide but as you can see there is gunsch all down both sides waiting for the wayward tee shots.
I absolutely loved the 6th hole. It is another elevated tee box and is a slight dogleg left that played 360 yards from the white tees. As is the tee box strategy on most holes at Prairie Dunes, just try to hit it in the middle and avoid the gunsch.
Below is a photo of the approach on the 6th hole. This fantastic green was protected by a pair of very nasty bunkers.
The photo below is of the 7th green. For those players going for this green in two may I suggest making sure you hit the green or miss short. The gunsch on the sides and behind this green is absolutely unforgiving.
It’s no surprise that the most famous hole at Prairie Dunes is also the most difficult. Those two superlatives often keep company together and the 8th hole here is no exception. Playing 417 yards from the white tees (468 from the tips) and to a par of 4 this hole is uphill all the way and enough to bring a good player to his knees. The hole doglegs to the right so the drive must hug the right side of the fairway in order to have the shortest shot into the green possible. Drives that go left can have well over 200 yards into the green, even from the white tees. The photo below was taken from the tee box.
Below is a photo taken from where the ideal approach shot would be played from. This is a good 160-170 yards to the green from here. Note the topography of this hole and the course in general. This is not your typical Kansas flatland.
Here is a little more zoomed in view of the 8th green.
The 9th hole played a solid 400 yards from the white tees. The fairway is again very wide, but any swings that get too loose will result in a ball lost to the gunsch. Along the left side of this fairway is where the guest cottages will be next year once they are finished. Note that the fairway here is very undulating. Many of the fairways at Prairie Dunes have a rumple effect going on which makes for a lot of interesting uneven lies.
Below is a photo walking up to the 9th green.
After finishing up the 9th hole we walked over to the other side of the clubhouse where the second nine holes reside. This side starts off with a nice little par 3 that played 160 yards from the white tees. Again this shot is uphill so a little extra club is necessary. The photo below was taken from the tee box. I got a little carried away with the zoom during this round so this picture is essentially just the green.
The 11th hole is a serious par 4 of 442 yards from the white tees. The photo below was taken from the tee box and the hole doglegs to the left. If you can hit a high draw this would be the spot for it. Note the body of water on the left side of the photo. This is the only water on the course and its not really in play at all.
Below is the green complex for the 11th hole. Note the undulations of the fairway leading up to the green. Makes for some interesting bump and run shots.
The photo below is of the 12th hole which is a par 4 that we played at 371 yards from the white tees. The tee box is elevated so a little extra yardage can be picked up on the drive. Drives going too far to the right run the very likely risk of resulting in an approach shot that is blocked out by the trees. In the morning game I had to hit a low running shot into the green for this exact reason.
This is a closer shot of the 12th green. Even from this spot in the fairway you can see that the tree is a potential hazard.
The 13th hole is a par 4 that plays 357 yards from the white tees. The tee shot is blind as the ideal line is just over the bunker on the left side of the fairway. A driver can cause some trouble here so really a 3 wood or long hybrid will do the trick just right.
The photo below is of the 13th green complex. Yet another green that accepts a running shot. This course is definitely designed to allow the ground game. Very few of the greens require a shot in the air to reach them which no doubt comes in handy when the wind blows as it often does.
The 14th hole is another semi-blind tee shot. This one is shortish par 4 that plays 342 yards from the white tees. There are options from the tee of playing the ball as far left or right as you like. The further left you go the shorter your approach shot will be but also the more gunsch that has to be carried. Its easy to make bad decisions on the tee box at this course, so unless you are very consistent off the tee my advice would usually be to take the safe route.
Below is the 14th green which sits back in a little hollow of trees. For a minute you might get confused and think you are playing a parkland course on the east coast.
The 15th hole is a mid-length par 3 that we played at 170 yards from the white tees. Again I got carried away with the zoom lens and didn’t really get the “whole picture”. If I had, you would see that there are trees around the tee box that create a chute that must be negotiated with the tee shot.
The 16th hole starts a fantastic stretch of finishing holes. This one is a par 4 that played 396 yards from the white tees. A good drive here is necessary to try and get as close as possible for the approach shot. The hole plays uphill so it takes a bit of extra club to get the ball to the green.
The 17th hole is the second and last par 5 on the course. This one plays 477 yards from the white tees so it is quite reachable as well. The drive is hit downhill and the the approach shot is back uphill to a green that sits on a plateau.
Below is a look at the approach to the 17th green from a layup position.
The 18th hole played as a 372 yard par 4 from the white tees and gives the player one last chance to hit a nice drive from an elevated tee box. The fairway falls off to the left so its best to favor the right side of the fairway. The photo below is of the approach shot into the green.
After we finished the morning game we went into the clubhouse for a little lunch and then got right back out there an played an afternoon game from the blue tees which stretched us back to 6,515 yards. My scores were essentially the same from both sets of tees . . . very bad. With the gunsch out there unmercifully punishing players who make mental and/or swing errors there are big numbers literally just lurking everywhere. Making your third stroke off the tee is no way to post a respectable score. As the sun was setting on our 36th hole of the day and I teed up my final drive I was literally down to my last ball . . . and had been for three holes!! If you haven’t picked up on my drift yet, the course is tough and good decision making on the tee is crucial.
Despite my lackluster play I had a blast at Prairie Dunes Country Club. The course is really a thing of beauty and quite the collection of fantastic golf holes. The course is full of really fun shots and also offers a great challenge for the low handicap players. It is no wonder that golfers from all over the country jump at the opportunity to be a member at a course like this and visit often. In my opinion, Prairie Dunes is well worthy of the high accolades it receives.
You drive for show, but putt for dough.
Do you know that you’ll never sink a putt if your ball is moving faster than 3.65 mph? How about if it is better to putt from above or below the hole?
Watch this video from ESPN Sports Science desk to learn a bit more on the physics of putting.
It’s a golfers dream to play at the best places in the world. Though “best” does not always line up with “most expensive”, here is a list of courses that can leave a hole in your wallet, but will surely find a spot in your bucket list.
1. Shadow Creek Golf Course – Nevada, U.S.A. ($500 per person, per round)
2. Pebble Beach Golf Links – California, U.S.A. ($475 per person, per round)
3. Old Head Golf Links – County Cork, Ireland ($400 per person, per round)
4. The Pinehurst Course Number 2 – North Carolina, USA ($375 per person, per round)
5. TPC Sawgrass – Florida, USA ($350 per person, per round)
6. The Ocean Course – South Carolina, U.S.A. ($320 per person, per round)
7. The Spyglass Hill Golf Course – California, U.S.A. ($315 per person, per round)
8. Kingsbarns Golf Links – St. Andrews, Scotland ($300 per person, per round)
9. Whistling Straits – Wisconsin, U.S.A. ($300 per person, per round)
10. The Barton Creek Foothill and Canyon Golf Club – Texas, U.S.A. ($298 per person, per round)
~ If you are fortunate to play any of these courses, you deserve the bragging rights and make your fellow golfers jealous of you. To help you, at MyScorecard we give badges if you’ve played some of these courses.
~ Do you also know you can track the amount you spend on greens every year? – Just go to “change / add” under “Optional Statistics”, click on any available drop downs (you can track a maximum of 10 statistics) and select “Green Fees”.