Courses

Best golf courses near Arlington Heights, IL

Below, you’ll find a list of courses near Arlington Heights, IL. There are 123 courses within a 15-mile radius of Arlington Heights, 75 of which are public courses and 48 are private courses. There are 98 18-hole courses and 25 nine-hole layouts.

The above has been curated through Golf Digest’s Places to Play course database, where we have collected star ratings and reviews from our 1,900 course-ranking panelists. Join our community by signing up for Golf Digest+ and rate the courses you’ve visited recently.

Medinah Country Club: No. 2
Private
Medinah Country Club: No. 2
Medinah, IL
4.7
45 Panelists
From Golf Digest Architecture Editor emeritus Ron Whitten: I’ve long been a fan of Medinah Country Club and everything about it. Its clubhouse, its friendly membership, its helpful staff and especially its golf. I think Course No. 3 is a true championship test of golf, a complete examination of one’s game with a lot more variety in shot values than most give it credit. I also think what Tom Doak did in rearranging Course No. 1 was exceptional. I must admit that until 2017 I had never played Medinah No. 2. A friend, who was a Medinah member and sponsored me for several rounds there, always referred to No. 2 as the “ladies course,” implying it was short and without challenge, and in those days, I took him at his word. But then it was announced that Rees Jones and his associate Steve Weisser were restoring No. 2 to its original Tom Bendelow design, and I became intrigued. Partly because Jones doesn’t normally work on historic restoration, and partly because I’d foolishly thought there wasn’t much there to restore. It turned out the restoration was being pushed by Curtis Tyrrell, who was at the time Medinah’s Director of Golf Course Operations (he's now Director of Agronomy at Desert Highlands in Arizona), and his influence was so strong that I include him in architecture credits. (Rees Jones is one of only a handful of architects I know who willingly accept design suggestions and quite often use them.) I toured the course with Tyrrell in 2016 while the course was torn apart and being reassembled, and then played the finished product with him in early 2017. What I discovered was a delightful 18 holes, the sort of short, manageable course that my fading skills could still handle. But more importantly, I found it to be a classic representation of Golden Age architecture. There’s the routing: clockwise around the perimeter on the opening nine, counter-clockwise through the interior on the back nine, with tee boxes nearly always close to previous greens. In some cases, the turf is mowed short into walkways flowing from green collar right down to the next tee. The greens themselves are small but wonderfully contoured. The bunkering is authentic. Tyrrell poured through old photos, relocated short “duffer headache” ones that were reinstituted less than 200 yards off some tees. They reintroduced the massive “snake bunker” that stretches across five and six, plus another that hugs the 11th fairway and intersects the 16th fairway. Tyrrell’s master touch was convincing Rees and Steve that they should link holes together with wide swaths of bentgrass. So the approach to the par-3 12th merges with that of the par-3 sixth to its right and still onward into the fairway of the par-4 15th. The 11th and 16th share a joint fairway as well as that joint bunker. Best of all is a massive slope of bentgrass behind the perched 18th green, a slope that flows down into a pond. It’s not often that you find hole locations protected by something beyond the green, and in the case of No. 2’s 18th hole, it also looks great from the clubhouse. Medinah No. 2 does have some 21st century touches. There are seven sets of tee markers on each hole, the shortest being developmental tees, all of it an adaptation of the Longleaf Tee system to promote young golfers and develop more players. And the bunkers were kept deliberately shallow, so they don't pose problems with ingress or egress. As they say: Know your audience. Of all the rounds of golf I played in 2017, my round on No. 2 with Curtis Tyrrell was the most fun. On foot, carrying our bags, we played in less than three and a half hours, gleeful as kids as Curtis pointed out features that we tried to use (or avoid) with a variety of manufactured shots. Sure, No. 2 isn’t a championship test. It’s just a fun place to play, which completes the hat trick for Medinah, as far as I’m concerned.
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Shoreacres
Private
Shoreacres
Lake Bluff, IL
4.5
211 Panelists
Shoreacres possesses perhaps the most fascinating topography upon which Seth Raynor ever created a golf course, with his usual collection of suspects, including No. 3 (Leven), No. 6 (Biarritz), No. 7 (Double Plateau), No. 8 (Eden), No. 10 (Road) and No. 14 (Redan) all playing along plateaus and over ravines that feed into Lake Michigan. The stretch of 11, 12 and 13, playing across a ravine, down into it and back out of it, are as unique a stretch of holes as can be found anywhere on a 100 Greatest course.
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Bob O'Link Golf Club
Private
Bob O'Link Golf Club
Highland Park, IL
4.4
52 Panelists
Bob O’Link was originally designed by Donald Ross in 1916 on a tight 125-acre site. In 1923, the club acquired an extra 36 acres and hired C.H. Allison to redesign a layout that opened in 1925. The course long suffered issues with drainage as it was located on the floodplain of the Skokie River. In 2014 when all 18 greens were damaged in a cold winter, some up to 80 percent turf loss, the club hired Jim Urbina, who co-designed Old Macdonald with Tom Doak and had recently renovated both Pasatiempo and Yeamans Hall. Urbina removed 700 trees and transplanted 40, improved drainage and irrigation, and replaced the Poa grass with bent. What remains is a golf course more inline with Allison’s original intent and more strategic and enjoyable than ever before.
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Medinah Country Club: No. 3
Private
Medinah Country Club: No. 3
Medinah, IL
4.4
159 Panelists
Medinah No. 3 is Exhibit A for the notion that great golf courses aren’t created, but evolve. A major tournament site since 1949, it has undergone a succession of remodelings and has improved with every session. Its par-3 17th is the most prominent example. It was shifted to a new location in 1986, to precede a whole new 18th hole. (The original 17th is now the 13th.) Ten years later, the 17th green was moved away from a lakefront to a spot atop a hill, but after Tiger Woods’ first (of two) PGA Championship victories on the course, the green was moved back down to water’s edge, where it remains today. Time will tell if that trend continues: after falling from no. 11 in the rankings in 2007 to its current position of 93, the No. 3 course will undergo a major revamping once again by the Australian firm of Ogilvy, Cocking and Mead in 2023 in preparation for the 2026 Presidents Cup.
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Conway Farms Golf Club
Private
Conway Farms Golf Club
Lake Forest, IL
4.4
89 Panelists
Conway Farms reopened in 2023 after substantial remodeling by Tim Jackson and David Kahn, who each worked under Tom Fazio on many of his western U.S. projects before joining together in 2009. The 1991 layout has been one of the premiere championship venues in the Chicago-area, having hosted multiple BMW Championships, NCAA national championships and other big-time amateur events. The remodel, conducted over 2021 and 2022, included the overhaul of the irrigation system, removal of trees and the rebuilding of multiple green complexes as well as a creek that comes into play on several holes. Significantly, Jackson and Kahn reoriented the course’s bunkering strategies, adjusting their sizes and locations, adding new ones where needed and upgrading their appearance to a more modern aesthetic. The essential qualities of the holes haven’t changed—par 4s like the fourth with a cross-hazard drive, the long 10th and the par-5 18th with a creek slicing into the green’s front are still beasts—but some of the shorter holes like the first, now bisected with a ravine short of the green that’s been shifted to the right, the drivable seventh presenting more options to place tee shots, and the lakeside 15th with a 75-yard deep serpentine green running along the water, are much more interesting.
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Old Elm Club
Private
Old Elm Club
Highland Park, IL
Old Elm, a male-only club on Chicago’s north side, has one of the country’s most unique design pedigrees. British architect Harry S. Colt laid out the course in 1913 on one of his few visits to the U.S., collaborating on-site with Donald Ross, who to that point had designed courses in the Northeast and at Pinehurst but was not nationally known. After Colt departed, Ross, consulting Colt’s drawings and design notes, oversaw the construction of the holes. Over the last decade architect Drew Rogers has helped reclaim the property’s original spaciousness by removing hundreds of trees that had begun to clog the holes and expand fairways and greens. He also, with the help of designer/shaper Dave Zinkand, recreated the rough and rugged bunker edging that Colt was known for in his best U.K. designs. Their work has reestablished Old Elm as one of the top courses in the greater Chicago market.
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Skokie Country Club
Private
Skokie Country Club
Glencoe, IL
4.2
142 Panelists
Skokie Country Club is a classic championship venue that boasts a strong history and a unique combination of contributions from Tom Bendelow, William Langford, Theodore Moreau and Donald Ross. It has withstood the test of time with a strong collection of short and long par 4s, offering a great variety of risk-and-reward opportunities. The course is fair, balanced and promotes accuracy and requires a moderate level of precision. The challenge is presented through bunkering, tree-lined fairways and large contoured greens. With wider fairways and run-up options to many greens the course is very playable for gofers of all ability and presents a very enjoyable experience.
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North Shore Country Club
Private
North Shore Country Club
Glenview, IL
4.1
80 Panelists
North Shore Country Club in Glenview is ranked as one of the best golf courses in Illinois. Discover our experts reviews and tee time information
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Exmoor Country Club
Private
Exmoor Country Club
Highland Park, IL
4
66 Panelists
Exmoor Country Club in Highland Park is ranked as one of the best golf courses in Illinois. Discover our experts reviews and tee time information
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Onwentsia Club: Onwentsia
Private
Onwentsia Club: Onwentsia
Lake Forest, IL
4
24 Panelists
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Lake Shore Country Club: Lake Shore
3.9
56 Panelists
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Knollwood Club
Private
Knollwood Club
Lake Forest, IL
3.9
57 Panelists
Knollwood Club in Lake Forest is ranked as one of the best golf courses in Illinois. Discover our experts reviews and tee time information
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Kemper Lakes Golf Club
Private
Kemper Lakes Golf Club
Kildeer, IL
3.8
58 Panelists
Kemper Lakes Golf Club is one of the best courses in Illinois. Discover our experts reviews and how to play the course.
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Medinah Country Club: No. 1
Private
Medinah Country Club: No. 1
Medinah, IL
3.8
101 Panelists
Tom Doak and his Renaissance Design team completed a substantial two-year transformation of Medinah Country Club’s Course No. 1 in 2014. Doak removed almost 800 trees to open up new playing corridors and improve drainage, while also infusing his diabolic philosophy to putting surfaces. The result is a great companion to the championship No. 3 course, which is being renovated by Geoff Ogilvy and his team, and the No. 2 course, which was also renovated in the 2010s.
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The Club At Wynstone
Private
The Club At Wynstone
North Barrington, IL
3.8
33 Panelists
The Club At Wynstone in North Barrington is ranked as one of the best golf courses in Illinois. Discover our experts reviews and tee time information
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Chalet Hills Golf Club
Public
Chalet Hills Golf Club
Cary, IL
3.6
18 Panelists
About an hour northwest of downtown Chicago, Chalet Hills is a public course with a blend of traditional parkland holes and others that play around a scenic lake. Many of the greens are wide but not deep, placing an emphasis on distance control. The affordable course is just $40 walking on Monday-Thursday.
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Westmoreland Country Club
Private
Westmoreland Country Club
Wilmette, IL
3.6
53 Panelists
Westmoreland Country Club in Wilmette is ranked as one of the best golf courses in Illinois. Discover our experts reviews and tee time information
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Pine Meadow Golf Club
Public
Pine Meadow Golf Club
Mundelein, IL
3.6
36 Panelists
Back in 1986 when it opened, Pine Meadow won our Best New Public Course award. Today, this northern Illinois layout continues to provide intriguing design variety at a reasonable rate. The well-bunkered track (there are 86 in total) opens with a playable front nine followed by a more challenging back nine with water and elevation changes. The course was formerly ranked on our 100 Greatest Public list, reaching as high as No. 28 in 2003-2004.
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The Glen Club
Public
The Glen Club
Glenview, IL
3.6
48 Panelists
The Glen Club, just north of Chicago, is a Tom Fazio design built on land that for over 70 years was a Naval Air Base. Fazio transformed the once flat land into a rolling layout with undulating greens and an abundance of natural vegetation. The scenic course features vistas of the Chicago skyline in the distance.
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Sunset Ridge
Private
Sunset Ridge
Northfield, IL
3.4
23 Panelists
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Mt. Prospect Golf Club
Public
Mt. Prospect Golf Club
Mount Prospect, IL
3.3
39 Panelists
Following a $9 million renovation project that was completed in 2015, this classic design (dating back to 1929) offers public golfers a chance to enjoy old-school design elements like canted fairways and multi-level greens at a heck of a bargain.
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The Preserve at Oak Meadows
Public
The Preserve at Oak Meadows
Addison, IL
2.8
37 Panelists
A couple of miles from Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, The Preserve at Oak Meadows is a relatively flat layout bisected by Salt Creek, which comes into play on many holes. The creek and surrounding marshlands require numerous forced carries. After the round, grab a bite to eat and a drink in the modern clubhouse that recently opened.
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