Moving to the Chi?

Greetings and thanks for reading.
I am in the golf industry and I am going to be relocating to the northern suburbs (Schaumburg) to be exact. Before anyone goes off on me I know that my timing is terrible and the winter is coming up and I am probably crazy for leaving PHX before winter but I have my reasons. Now for the questions, what are some good ranges in the area for practice? What are some MUST PLAY courses in the burbs, also how late do people usually play before the white stuff blankets the course?
I am going to be teaching indoors so I won't have to worry about the weather so any help would really be appreciated.
THANKS!
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   Ummm... can't you practice wherever you'll be teaching?  No lo comprendo.
   Anyway, there are a couple golf domes where you can practice year-round.  White Pines in Bensenville would be the closest, I guess, it's just a couple miles southeast.  There's also at least two outdoor heated ranges that are open all-year.  One is across the street from my office, about a mile from Schaumburg, but it sucks because the balls don't fly straight.  The other, Fresh Meadows, is about 10 miles south, and fine.
   Assuming you can't get on any private courses, I would say the must-plays are Harborside, Dubsdread, and Prairie Landing.  The first two are probably beyond argument, the latter is not on most lists, but once you've been here a while, you will get tired of the same parkland designs repeated over and over, so a real-ish links course is a real nice change of pace.  If you're a history buff, you can play the oldest course in the western US ( as in west of the Alleghenys ).  Originally the Chicago Golf Club, it's now just a nine-hole muni.
   Most people are wusses and play May to September, or so, but many courses are open year-round except when there's snow cover ( which is not as often as southerners tend to expect, we aren't Canada ).  You can easily play ten months a year.  I play every month except December and January, and only skip those because I'm busy with my winter hobby ( racing cars on frozen lakes ).  I played Cog Hill on Presidents' Day in short sleeves, and shot my best golf of the year.
   Spring and fall golf is great here.  Rates are low, courses are wide-open, and you can walk without sweating.
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Their is a nice heated driving range in Des Plaines it will be east of you off of golf road. Lot of nice courses in the suburbs... Bolingbrook Golf Club is a nice 18 hold links type course.... if you dont mind driving a lil north to gurnee their is bitter sweet. But like the second poster posted Dubsdread for 150 bux is a good deal for the type of course it is
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But like the second poster posted Dubsdread for 150 bux is a good deal for the type of course it is
   Actually I wouldn't agree with that.  Unfortunately, the people who play it are too good to pick up their divots, or fix ball marks, or rake traps.  It's still worth playing because there aren't that many public courses that host Tour events, and it's really difficult and challenging, but it's not a very good deal.
   $12 to play twilight at one of the other Cog Hill courses, now _that's_ a good deal.
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There is a great little driving range in Roselle, IL right off of Elgin-Ohare expressway and Lake St. called Green Valley. They are open year round and also have about 18 or so heated bays. They get brand new range balls every spring and they also have a decent grass area to hit off of. Theres also a great proshop called Chicago Bills that share the same building and they will give anyone great deals on everything you need. The best part is the friendly atmosphere.
Now as for where to play. Other then the ones mentioned above checkout Orchard Valley GC in Aurora, IL. IMO very good layout and a fun track that is very well maintained. You will also have to try Oak Grove GC in Harvard,IL its a bit of a hike but wellll worth it.
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oh that sux, haven't played dubs since the renovations.... i played at the cog hill courses and played 18 for like 30 something came back into the club house and they told us we could play as much as we liked so 30 something for 36 holes was great!
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MUST PLAY Village Links at Glen Ellyn
Just go there and play it. Trust me.
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Pine Meadow in Mundeleien, Makray Memorial Golf Club in Barrington, Glen Club in Glenview, Lake Bluff in Lake Forest
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golf club of illinois isn't bad either.... #11 is 678 from the tips
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   Ummm... can't you practice wherever you'll be teaching?  No lo comprendo.
   Anyway, there are a couple golf domes where you can practice year-round.  White Pines in Bensenville would be the closest, I guess, it's just a couple miles southeast.  There's also at least two outdoor heated ranges that are open all-year.  One is across the street from my office, about a mile from Schaumburg, but it sucks because the balls don't fly straight.  The other, Fresh Meadows, is about 10 miles south, and fine.
   Assuming you can't get on any private courses, I would say the must-plays are Harborside, Dubsdread, and Prairie Landing.  The first two are probably beyond argument, the latter is not on most lists, but once you've been here a while, you will get tired of the same parkland designs repeated over and over, so a real-ish links course is a real nice change of pace.  If you're a history buff, you can play the oldest course in the western US ( as in west of the Alleghenys ).  Originally the Chicago Golf Club, it's now just a nine-hole muni.
   Most people are wusses and play May to September, or so, but many courses are open year-round except when there's snow cover ( which is not as often as southerners tend to expect, we aren't Canada ).  You can easily play ten months a year.  I play every month except December and January, and only skip those because I'm busy with my winter hobby ( racing cars on frozen lakes ).  I played Cog Hill on Presidents' Day in short sleeves, and shot my best golf of the year.
   Spring and fall golf is great here.  Rates are low, courses are wide-open, and you can walk without sweating.
Chicago Golf Club a 9 hole muni ????
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I haven't played Dubs (Cog Hill) but of the people I've talked to nearly all say it's over priced for what you get. A course I do love is Ruffled Feathers (Pete Dye course) which is literally across the street from Cog. Prairie Landing is definitely nice and different from most courses around here. They do a nationwide event at the Glen Club. Never played it though.
like someone else said most courses stay open all year around. however, you can only post scores april to october so the official season is kind of short .
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Im sure, like anywhere else there are real nice munis, some nice and some ok.
Real nice here will cost you anywhere from $75 to well over $100.
Nice ones are usually in the $60 to $50 range. Although there are some, due to location to population that charge $$ for crap. Ill list some courses that are pretty nice starting north and moving south of your location. I'll list approx. drive time and weekend price.
Aldeen in Rockford 1hr drive $45
Oak Grove in Harvard 45min. $69 the price drops $10 every 3 hours starting at 6am
Plumtree National in Harvard 40 min. $65
Chatlet Hills in Cary 40 min. $75 but drops to $55 at noon
Foxford Hills in Cary 40 min. $79
Makray Memorial in Barrington 20 to 25 min. $74
Pine Meadows in Mundelein 35 min. $84
Stonewall Orchard in Greyslake 45 min. $77
Blackstone in Marengo 25 min. $68
Golf Club of Illinois 25 min. $59
Schaumburg Golf Club $49 (Havent played there in a while but was always in nice shape and close to home)
Village Links in Glen Ellyn 30 min. $59
Cantigny in Wheaton 30 min. $90
Cog Hill Dubsdread in Lemont 40 min. $150
Cog Hill #2 Ravines in Lemont 40 min. $75
Ruffled Feathers in Lemont 40 min. $98
Big Run in Lockport 40 min. $69
These are the courses I play or have played in the last year or two. Most are in or close to player/private country club condition. Also most of these course will offer a deal either on their own or through some website like GolfNow.com I know there are a few other courses but I have not played them and do not want to recommend them.
There are a few more closer to you as you will discover, but just not sure if you would like them or not.
As for indoor ranges there is also one not mentioned thats not far from Schaumburg that I think is closer then White Pines and thats in Addison on Lake St. called Links and Tees. Havent been there in awhile but I know alot of guys that go there.
For play here, well its Chicago and you never know what you might get 70 degree day in December is not unheard of so keep the sticks handy. I start play around March and end in November. But if ya get a fluke day here or there Ill go out. St.Andrews in West Chicago about 25 min. has 2 courses open for play year round. They also have the best outdoor practice facility near Schaumburg.
I would also like some lesson info maybe ineed of some coaching from time to time.
Good Luck with the move.
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Not sure if u have an iPhone but there is a cool app Crain's Chicago Golf Guide. It lists a good number of courses along with price and contact info. What's great is you can list by distance using gps or put in a location to find courses in that area. Makes it real easy to call places or dicover new ones.
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Chicago Golf Club a 9 hole muni ????
   __Originally__ the Chicago Golf Club.  In 1892, that is.  It was first built by Charles Blair Macdonald as a nine-holer, and later expanded to 18.  Some years later, the CGC moved to it's current home in Wheaton, and sold their original course.  The original 9 remains, and is now owned by the Downers Grove Park District.  They are somewhat-inexplicably adding new tees to virtually every hole right now.
   It's a great little track.
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I am going to be teaching indoors so I won't have to worry about the weather so any help would really be appreciated.
Will you be teaching at TopGolf in Wood Dale?
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It will be a hike from Schaumburg, but Balmoral Woods (in Crete, IL) about a half hour south of downtown (no traffic). LIke $60 - $45 depending on time. Great track, usually in great condition also.
+1 on Prarie Landing.
Harborside is cool, they have 36, but it is wide open... BUT it can be a b*tch up there when the wind blows hard. Both of the backnines have some of the coolest holes I've played. They hosted some Senior Tour events in the past.
NW indiana has some nice golf too, which is probably an hour from Schaumburg, maybe a little further depending. The Brassie, Aberdeene, and White Hawk are all nice places (and Indiana is usually cheaper for the value and much less crowded).
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There is also an outstanding dome in Addison called Links and Tees. It's probably the same distance or a bit shorter than White Pines. Todd runs the place and will take very good care of you. You've got a lot of great suggestions on the courses but I'd disagree and say Cog is not over priced. Have played it pre-redesign and post and very much enjoyed the track. It was humbling to see Tiger just tear it up from about 1,000 yards longer than we played it.
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Guys thanks so much for all of the help!
I am going to be teaching with GolfTEC in Schaumburg and I would love to have any or all of you in for a free 30 minute lesson to show you the system. I have been teaching with the company in PHX for the last four years and I am transferring to be closer to home. The teaching facility is located inside of the Golfsmith off of Golf Road just west of the mall.
I was looking for an outdoor facility to practice short game and intangables that you cannot work on indoors. Obviously more for next season because the hour glass is almost over for the 2009 golf season.
Thanks guys and if you are interested to come in PM me and I start teaching there Oct 15th!
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Diversey driving range in Lincoln Park. Just mats though...
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Illinois Golf Club is great and is pretty cheap right now, just played it this weekend and paid $45 with cart for a mid morning Sat tee time booked on Golfnow.com.
There is a nice course that I didnt see mentioned in any of the posts in Geneva, IL about 45 minutes southwest of Schaumburg called Mill Creek. Great course at a reasonable price.
Highland woods is a fun track, wide open but it plays long from the tips, close to 7000 yrds and they can have some difficult pin placements at times. Course is usually in decent shape and since its a forrest preserve course its pretty cheap even on weekends. Only problem is that it can get crowded on weekends, this course is located in the next town over from Schaumburg in Hoffman Estates.
Indian Lakes in Bloomingdale is not bad although I found it to be hit and miss this year in terms of course conditions, first year I have found that as it was always in great shape in previous years, they host a Hooters Tour event there each year. Make sure you catch a special, they want $90 on weekends for peak season with cart and while its nice, its not worth that much, with a deal you can get it for nearly half price and they offer deals all of the time.
Last course I would recommend that I did not see mentioned in other posts is Klein Creek in Winfield, IL, about 25-30 minutes form Schaumburg. Great course, always in great condition and not too expensive, $65-$75 on peak weekends with cart, worth every cent as far as I'm concerned.
Hope this helps.
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I was going to try Mill Creek a couple weeks ago, but I checked out some satellite images of it, and it looks wedged into the backyards of a housing development. Rates were pretty cheap, but not quite cheap enough for me to take a chance after looking at the pictures. I don't like playing in backyards ( mowers, stereos, yelling kids... basically all the things I don't want to hear on a golf course )... is Mill Creek not like that?
FWIW, I played Indian Lakes back in May and hugely disappointed in the condition. The fairways were at least 50 percent divots, and there were large areas of just dirt on and near the greens. I can't imagine it's usually like that, but it was in May despite plenty of rain, so I can't recommend the place, and won't go back. It's not even cheap. If I want to play a dogtrack there's always Country Lakes in Naperville that only gets watered when it rains.
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Their is a nice heated driving range in Des Plaines it will be east of you off of golf road. Lot of nice courses in the suburbs... Bolingbrook Golf Club is a nice 18 hold links type course.... if you dont mind driving a lil north to gurnee their is bitter sweet. But like the second poster posted Dubsdread for 150 bux is a good deal for the type of course it is
NO!!!! not bittersweet, why? that very word makes my cringe. Go play Pine Meadow!!!!!!
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I was going to try Mill Creek a couple weeks ago, but I checked out some satellite images of it, and it looks wedged into the backyards of a housing development. Rates were pretty cheap, but not quite cheap enough for me to take a chance after looking at the pictures. I don't like playing in backyards ( mowers, stereos, yelling kids... basically all the things I don't want to hear on a golf course )... is Mill Creek not like that?
FWIW, I played Indian Lakes back in May and hugely disappointed in the condition. The fairways were at least 50 percent divots, and there were large areas of just dirt on and near the greens. I can't imagine it's usually like that, but it was in May despite plenty of rain, so I can't recommend the place, and won't go back. It's not even cheap. If I want to play a dogtrack there's always Country Lakes in Naperville that only gets watered when it rains.
Played Mill Creek on Saturday. It's a target course and some of the holes do have houses on the perimeter of the course but they don't come into play. The difficulty in the course lies in the greens...quick with a lot of humps and bumps.
To the original poster, if you're looking for a great outdoors practice facility I'd try St. Andrews in West Chicago. Two ranges, nice short game area and at least 3 putting/chipping greens.