Below, you’ll find a list of courses near Schaumburg, IL.
There are 128 courses within a 15-mile radius of Schaumburg,
77 of which are public courses and 51 are private courses.
There are 91 18-hole courses and 35 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.
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Chicago Golf Club opened the country’s first 18-hole course in 1893, built by C.B. Macdonald, the preeminent golf expert in the U.S. at the time. Two years later Macdonald built the club a different course after the membership moved to a new location in Wheaton, Ill.: “a really first-class 18-hole course of 6,200 yards,” he wrote. Members played that course until 1923 when Seth Raynor, who began his architectural career as Macdonald’s surveyor and engineer, redesigned it using the “ideal hole” concepts his old boss had developed 15 years earlier (he kept Macdonald’s routing, which placed all the O.B. on the left—C.B. sliced the ball). For reasons of history and practicality, no major remodels have occurred since then, allowing the club to merely burnish the architecture by occasionally upgrading worn parts, adjusting grassing lines and, recently, reestablishing a number of lost bunkers that had been filled in over time.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Conway Farms reopened in 2023 after substantial remodeling by Tim Jackson and David Kahn, who each worked under Tom Fazio and modernized the Fazio original design. The 1991 layout—one of the premiere championship venues in the Chicago-area, having hosted multiple BMW Championships, NCAA national championships and other big-time amateur events—underwent some minor changes such as the repositioning and reshaping of bunkers to help boost strategy and aesthetics—but other more significant changes were the overhaul of the irrigation system, removal of trees and the rebuilding of multiple green complexes and a creek that comes into play on a few holes.
Butler National was former tour player George Fazio’s ideal of a championship course, with 10 forced-carries over water in 18 holes. Even before it opened, it was signed to eventually serve as permanent site of the Western Open. Problem was, when it opened, it was the last cool-weather venue on the PGA Tour to utilize bluegrass rather than bent-grass for its fairway, and several prominent golfers declined to play Butler National because of potential flyer-lies from those fairways. Eventually the turf was converted, but then the Shoal Creek scandal occurred. Rather than change its restricted men-only policy, the club relinquished its role of Western Open host after the 1990 event. So why include a club on America’s 100 Greatest that won’t allow female panelists a chance to evaluate it? Because we rank golf courses, not club policies.
A dozen years ago, Joe Hills, a son of architect Arthur Hills, had a desire to follow his dad into the business, so he was given responsibility for Chicago Highlands, a private club built on a garbage dump across the interstate from Butler National. Joe did the routing and grading plans, supervised its construction and even shaped some holes on a dozer. Because the entire landfill had to be covered with soil, Joe had some of it piled into a dome 40 feet high on which he would carve out the ninth, a hole brilliant in its simplicity and named by Golf Digest one of the 18 best holes built in the U.S. since 2000. A reachable par 4 from all six tee boxes, it’s basically a volcano with a flag at the top. The slopes surrounding the small hilltop green drop off in every direction and are mowed tight, so errant shots will often roll to the base of the slope some 50 yards or more away. From there, recoveries can be like pingpong if one gets sloppy. A few years back, the slope beyond the green was filled in a bit, in an act of mercy for shots swept long by prevailing winds, but the other slopes, particularly the left one, are still long and steep.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.