January 4, 2017

Rich Harvest Links

Sugar Grove, Ill. / 7,715 yards, Par 72 / Points: 61.1771
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Courtesy of Rich Harvest Farms

88. Rich Harvest Links

Jerry Rich (9 1991)/Jerry Rich & Greg Martin (R. A. 9 1998)/Jerry Rich & Rick Jacobson (R. 2005)/Jerry Rich (R. 2012)

It began as a six-hole backyard course for computer billionaire Jerry Rich, then expanded into a nine-fairway, 11-green layout that could be played multiple ways, finally evolved into a conventional 18-hole layout strong enough to host the 2009 Solheim Cup. With its polish and landscaping, some call Rich Harvest Links the "Augusta of the Midwest," but even Augusta National doesn't have Rich Harvest's flexibility, where every hole can play differently every day, some even from different angles and par.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 2003. Highest ranking: No. 45, 2005-2006. Previous ranking: No. 81


Panelist comments:
“Rich Harvest Farms is clearly defined by its design characteristics and its difficulty. It requires precision shot-making and difficult risk/reward decisions. Hit a poor tee shot on one of the par 4s, and you'll be out of position into the greens -- and par will be a struggle.”

“One of the most impressive things was how well the course flowed together, though it was built in stages. They did a great job of building great continuity from one to the next.”

“Upholds the traditions of the game nicely with a simple but elegant clubhouse and locker room, all amid gorgeous surroundings. The practice facilities are quite impressive -- there are two full practice ranges, plus indoor facilities for practice in the offseason. It'd be a college team's dream.”

“With all of the variations of the holes, you could theoretically never play the same course twice. How many other people do you know who have had an international team competition in their back yard? Once you go to RHL, you will see why Jerry Rich is the only one.”

“Impressive work to build this place into what it is. But some of the design elements are just too quirky. The 14th and 15th holes share a tee box, so we hit our tee shots back to back. Sort of strange. And the third hole has a tree in the middle of a dogleg. That to me is not much "reward" to balance the "risk.”


Courtesy of Rich Harvest Farms

Hole No. 4

Courtesy of Rich Harvest Farms

Hole No. 5

Courtesy of Rich Harvest Farms

Hole No. 7

David Cannon/Getty Images

Rich Harvest Links Clubhouse

Rich Harvest Farms

Rich Harvest Links indoor practice facility