3 courses in Illinois to play before heading into Wisconsin

 Chanceman ·  
ChancemanChanceman Members  857WRX Points: 240Handicap: 14Posts: 857 Golden Tee
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Planning a buddies trip to Erin Hlls/Sand Valley/Kohler in October 2020 but flying into ORD.

Current plan is to play Highlands of Elgin, Stonewall Orchard and Thunderhawk before going north to Milwaukee.

Is that a better group than Cog Hill, Cantigny, Glen Club? Seems less expensive for a start.

Is there an even better group of 3.?

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  • Argonne69Argonne69 Members  23354WRX Points: 7,326Posts: 23,354 Titanium Tees
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    Along I-94 many would also recommend Shepherd's Crook.

    Out along I-90, there's Bowes Creek, and a bit further is Blackstone. Blackstone would be a great choice if you were planning to drive up to Sand Valley via Madison. If you plan to finish the trip at SV, you could return to ORD via I-90, and play Blackstone as your last stop.

    Personally, The Glen Club is my favorite course in the area. Rates are much cheaper in October, and it's definitely worth considering. I do like Cog Hill Dubs, but it's location southwest of the city will have you going in the wrong direction. Cog doesn't offer discounted prices, and I wouldn't pay $155 in October given the chance of mediocre conditions. Cantigny is top notch. It would be a coin flip between it and Highlands.

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  • mci711mci711 ChicagoMembers  1494WRX Points: 481Posts: 1,494 Platinum Tees
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    I prefer the 2nd grouping, but logistically it doesn't make as much sense. I think Cog, Cantigny, and Glen Club are each better than the other 3. If it were me and I was flying in the first course I would play would be The Preserve at Oak Meadows, right next to the airport and one of my favorites. For ease I'd do The Preserve, Glen Club, and Thunderhawk. I'm just not as high on Highland of Elgin as everyone else and would play Blackstone and Bowes Creek over it every day.

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  • ChancemanChanceman Members  857WRX Points: 240Handicap: 14Posts: 857 Golden Tee
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    A question on Cantigny which does sound very good although not even rated by Golfweek. Which is the best 9 of the three - Hillside, Lakeside or Woodside?

    After Cantigny, I think it will be day 2 at Glen Club, day 3 at Thunderhawk and on to Milwaukee for the main EH-SV-WS trip.

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  • Argonne69Argonne69 Members  23354WRX Points: 7,326Posts: 23,354 Titanium Tees
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    I'd rank the 3 nines at Cantigny: 1) Lakeside, 2) Woodside, 3) Hillside.

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  • ChancemanChanceman Members  857WRX Points: 240Handicap: 14Posts: 857 Golden Tee
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    As a 14 handicapper, am I just asking for trouble if I play Dubsdread? I am an accurate but short driver with a fairly good short game and solid putting. But I am not a fan of hacking around from bunker to bunker and seeing good putts go west.

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  • PhreddyPhreddy Members  705WRX Points: 241Posts: 705 Golden Tee
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    Do yourself a favor and play comfortable tees at EH and Kohler. If you do you will have a wonderful and memorable time. If you don't you will be miserable.

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  • geochitowngeochitown Members  2129WRX Points: 297Handicap: 14Posts: 2,129 Platinum Tees
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    I like your 2 and 3., but not sure I'd go with Dubs. I think you'd be ok playing there, and as a visitor, you can play at the site of the BMW/Western/Cialis opens, which might have some extra attraction.

    I like the Preserve at Oak Meadows and think it's a solid design and a lot of fun to play, and it's close to the airport, as mci711 stated above.

    #2 at the Glen Club will get you reduced rates (watch for aeration schedule), and a Fazio design that's back to hosting Korn Ferry events, now the Evans Scholars Invitational.

    #3 at Thunderhawk will tick the Trent Jones box (I would consider Shepherd's Crook instead of Thunderhawk) - SHepherd's has fewer trees than Thunderhawk.


    Depending what time in October could mean a lot of fallen leaves on courses as well.

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  • stringbean502001stringbean502001 Members  127WRX Points: 78Posts: 127 Fairways
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    Sorry to be so late chiming in, but have a few comments. It's been awhile since I've been on Dubs, so I won't comment there.

    My biggest comment would be that you must be in great shape!! I'm not young anymore but am in excellent shape and what you laid out would bury me.

    The highlight of your trip will be SV, Mammoth, EH and Kohler in some order. Some of those (walking only), in particular EH, can be physically taxing particularly if you stray off the fairway. You might consider keeping your "early" trip a bit on the soft side to save a bit of energy for what is to come. I would leave ORD get over to the Northshore and do Glen Club or Thunderhawk from relatively easy tees, maybe Shepherd's (really interesting, but you mentioned putting and it has some challenging green complexes--I like it, some don't). Then, keeping in mind you are less than an hour from Milwaukee at Thunderhawk/Shepherd's, think about Brown Deer in Milwaukee--old tour stop and great fun I think.

    Just some thoughts

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  • ChancemanChanceman Members  857WRX Points: 240Handicap: 14Posts: 857 Golden Tee
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    The itinerary is not finalized but is most likely to be:

    Cog Hill, Stonewall, Thunderhawk, then a day off.

    Brown Deer, Erin Hills, Lawsonia, another break.

    Sand Valley, Mammoth, Sand Box, break (drive to Kohler, stopping off at Packers HOF)

    Straits, River, The Bull and home.

    We should be fine with all those breaks. Keep ourselves fortified with lots of beer and cheese.

    I used to run marathons and played 20 rounds in 20 days last year in ireland so I anticipate this will be quite doable although obviously a challenge. I am 70.

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  • stringbean502001stringbean502001 Members  127WRX Points: 78Posts: 127 Fairways
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    Wow--I'm in the gym a lot, but either need to get there more...OR have more beer and cheese (maybe both ideas). All kidding aside, 20 rounds in 20 days walking Irish links is strong, at any age

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  • ChancemanChanceman Members  857WRX Points: 240Handicap: 14Posts: 857 Golden Tee
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    Thanks but we did use a cart on a few courses and a caddy at RCD lightened the load. I credit Guinness and clam chowder for the energy supply.

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