Cantigny Golf
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Cantigny Golf
A view of a green with water and bunkers coming into play at Cantigny Golf. Cantigny Golf
The Glen Club golf course
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The Glen Club golf course
The Glen Club, a Tom Fazio beauty that is the official golf course of the Chicago Bears, hosted a Web.com Tour event from 2003-08. Courtesy of The Glen Club
Harborside International Golf Center
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Harborside International Golf Center
A view of a hole at Harborside International Golf Center. Harborside International Golf Center
Stonewall Orchard GC
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Stonewall Orchard GC
The Stonewall Orchard Golf Club is a Chicagoland favorite. Courtesy photo
Cog Hill's Dubsdread Golf Course - 8th hole
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Cog Hill's Dubsdread Golf Course - 8th hole
The 379-yard eighth hole at Cog Hill Golf & Country Club's Dubsdread Course. Kiel Christianson/TravelGolf
Prairie Landing - holes 9 and 18
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Prairie Landing - holes 9 and 18
Many of Robert Trent Jones Jr.'s works come at resort courses, but he has some metro-area standouts. Chicagoland's Prairie Landing made our 2021 Golfers' Choice list. Courtesy photo
Ruffled Feathers - hole 11
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Ruffled Feathers - hole 11
A view from the 11th green at Ruffled Feathers Golf Club. Courtesy photo
Pine Meadow GC
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Pine Meadow GC
A sunset view of a hole at Pine Meadow Golf Club. Pine Meadow GC
Mistwood GC
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Mistwood GC
A view of a hole surrounded by water at Mistwood Golf Course. Mistwood GC
Bowes Creek Country Club - 17th
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Bowes Creek Country Club - 17th
A massive green awaits at Bowes Creek Country Club's 17th. Courtesy of Bowes Creek C.C.
Bolingbrook GC
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Bolingbrook GC
A view from a tee at Bolingbrook Golf Club. Bolingbrook GC
Highlands of Elgin: #4
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Highlands of Elgin: #4
A view of hole #4 at Highlands of Elgin. Highlands of Elgin
Ravisloe (Tweed).jpeg
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Ravisloe (Tweed).jpeg
Ravisloe Country Club is a former historic private club that is now open to the public. Bryan Tweed/Illinois Local Golf Advisor
Arrowhead GC
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Arrowhead GC
A sunny day view of a hole at Arrowhead Golf Club in the suburb of Wheaton. Arrowhead GC
bartlett hills tweed.jpeg
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bartlett hills tweed.jpeg
Bartlett Hills dates back to 1929 and has since been renovated. Bryan Tweed/Local Golf Advisor
mereva.jpeg
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mereva.jpeg
In Marengo, Blackstone Golf Club opened in 2006 and was designed by Bob Lohmann. Golf Advisor reviewer 'Mereva'
16 Images

In photos: The best public golf courses in Chicago

The Windy City's private clubs have all the glamor, but its public golf scene is gritty good.

The second stop of the 2020 FedExCup Playoffs is the North course at Olympia Fields Country Club outside of Chicago.

The host venue of the BMW Championship, also the site of the 2003 U.S. Open won by Jim Furyk, is one of a dozen or more premier private clubs that ring the Windy City. In addition to the town's granddaddy club, Chicago Golf Club, you've got Medinah (host of 12 majors and the 2012 Ryder Cup), Kemper Lakes (1989 PGA Championship), Rich Harvest Farms (2009 Solheim Cup), Shoreacres and Butler National, to name a few.

Chicago's public golf scene can't compete with these exclusive playgrounds, but it probably doesn't get the credit it deserves, either. There are a half-dozen "country club for a day" experiences with big green fees, and a few hidden gems, too. At the top of the list, the Cantigny Golf Club in Wheaton, the 72-hole Cog Hill in Lemont and The Glen Club in Glenview set the standard. Cog Hill's No. 4 course is the legendary Dubsdread that hosted 16 Western Opens. The Port and Starboard courses at Harborside International next to Lake Michigan are the municipal courses worth seeing.

If you're looking for some value-oriented picks, pay attention to our Golfer's Choice awards determined by user reviews. In 2019, the Highlands of Elgin, Arrowhead Golf Club in Wheaton, Bolingbrook Golf Club in Bolingbrook and Blackstone in Marengo rank highly.

You can tour Chicago's best public places to play in the photo gallery below:

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 1,000 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Instagram at @jasondeegangolfadvisor and Twitter at @WorldGolfer.
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In photos: The best public golf courses in Chicago