10 Best Public Golf Courses in Illinois

A great round of golf starts with a playable course that accommodates all experience levels. There are many noteworthy golf courses in Illinois, but these excellent public courses are among the best. These courses are well-maintained and conditioned, scenic, and dedicated to providing the best golfing experience. Here are our favorites. 

1. Crab Orchard Golf Club, Carterville, IL

Crab Orchard Golf Club is an enjoyable course for golfers of all skill levels. This beautiful, par-70 golf course sits on the original Ferrell Farm dating back to 1959 and was even featured in Golf Digest. Golfers love this course because of its convenient location, excellent greens, lush fairways, and overall pleasant experience. 

2. Edgewood Golf Club, Auburn, IL

This locally owned and managed golf course was recognized by CDGA Magazine as having the “smoothest and fastest greens around.” Locals and visitors alike appreciate Edgewood Golf Club for its lush, bluegrass fairways and overall well-conditioned course with amazing natural scenery. The prices here are reasonable, as well, and they welcome all skill levels. 

3. ThunderHawk Golf Club, Beach Park, IL

Known for the gorgeous scenery, ThunderHawk Golf Club is a challenging course with a great layout. This par-72 course sits on 228 acres of natural habitat and weaves through meadows, woodlands, and wetlands. ThunderHawk also features a 10-acre learning center, 40-station driving range, multiple tees, and much more. 

4. Pine Hills Golf Club, Ottawa, IL

Pine Hills Golf Club is the finest nine-hole course in Illinois. This family-owned business is also one of the oldest and most visually appealing courses in the Illinois Valley. Golfers appreciate the moderately challenging course and the mixture of holes at various elevation levels. The restaurant here is also worth checking out. 

5. Hickory Point Golf Course, Forsyth, IL

This central Illinois golf course is ideal for both beginner and experienced golfers alike. More experienced golfers are met with challenges such as long distances and the ever-present wind, while learners can appreciate the six-hole course, lighted driving range, and flat fairways. Hickory Point Golf Course has hosted several tournaments and events and was even recognized by H&R Readers’ Choice Awards. 

6. Turtle Run Golf Club, Danville, IL

Turtle Run Golf Club is a championship course offering four sets of tee lengths to accommodate players of all skill levels. This par-72 course features natural landscapes meticulously maintained by expert grounds crew. Visitors love the quick greens, friendly staff, and laid-back atmosphere. 

7. Timber Pointe Golf Club, Poplar Grove, IL

Timber Pointe Golf Club is a spacious, 160-acre course in a beautiful natural setting. This par-72 course offers many features including low-mow bluegrass fairways, elevation changes, desert-style waste bunkers, five sets of tees for every hole, and so much more. Golfers love this course because it’s affordable, fun, and challenging. 

8. Lick Creek Golf Course, Pekin, IL

Considered one of the best golf courses in Central Illinois, Lick Creek is dedicated to providing the best experience for all golfers. They recently renovated their course by converting all of their tees and fairways to bentgrass, replanting their greens with a newer bentgrass, rebuilding their bunkers, and repaving their golf cart paths. Golfers appreciate the beautiful-kept grounds and affordable prices. 

9. Mt. Carmel Municipal Golf Course, Mount Carmel, IL

Mount Carmel is very proud of their 18-hole course, which has some of the best greens in the tristate area. They host many tournaments here and the staff is always welcoming to locals and out-of-town visitors. Golfers appreciate the well-maintained course, prices, and friendly atmosphere. 

10. Timber Lakes Golf Course, Staunton, IL

Known as one of the finest courses in the St. Louis Metro East area, Timber Lakes welcomes all golfers regardless of experience. This beautiful 18-hole championship course offers a complete driving range, putting green, and sand bunkers for golfers wishing to learn or improve their skills. Golfers recommend this course due the friendly staff, great layout, and beautiful greens. 

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