Perhaps the best course in the region, this gem is somewhat hidden among the more prominent names of Geneva National and Grand Geneva. Located just north of downtown Lake Geneva, about an hour and 30 minutes from Chicago, this course offers the pristine conditions of a private club with the value pricing tiers of a public course offering. With unique and picturesque layouts to nearly every hole, this par 72 championship course, 7,074 yards from the back tees, carrying a slope rating of 133, offers both difficulty and reward to delight every level of player. Bunkers, tall grasses, trees and water find a home along each hole, protecting the both the fairways and greens. This course continues to be our mainstay for our annual golf trip to the area.
We played this course on an early Saturday morning, with a bit of unfavorable weather to start the round. While there were spots of rain and high wind, the course was freshly cut, bunkers properly groomed, and the greens fast as always. Even with the wet conditions, the ball still rolled at challenging speeds on the putting surface. Along with a large amount of bunkers, the tall grass or fescue is an added challenge to this course, not leaving much room for error off the tee or around the green. The greens are typically large with multiple tiers, but as mentioned above, the speed is the main threat. The course does have a decent amount of water hazard, with Como Creek coming in to play on both the front and back nine.
Pace of Play:
We have played this course multiple times in the past, usually taking advantage of a twilight round discount, however this time we played an early round. Both times of day found a steady flow of golfers, as this has quickly become the local favorite. We had 7 in our group, teeing off as a threesome and foursome. The weather created a bit of a backup on the front nine with occasional downpours causing minor delays. The course layout, however, is well paced and even with crowds there are usually only a few times a round where you may wait a minute on the tee. The course is by far the most picturesque in the area, taking advantage of its meandering layout along the old ski hill of Mt. Fuji. Waiting at any tee here is great opportunity to capture a few pictures.
The clubhouse is generously sized, extremely clean and modern. The bar and restaurant offers views of the finishing hole along with a terrace facing the former ski hill. The pro shop provides plenty of gear and a few snacks to grab to start your round. There is both a practice putting green and chipping area, along with a fun driving range with targets that run up the old ski hill. One thing to note about the course layout is that the 1st and 18th hole are adjacent to the clubhouse, with a separate halfway house at the remote turn. There is also an 18-hole par-3 course, Barn Hallow, which shares the same pristine conditions just with fewer hazards. We played this par-3 course a few years ago as a quick ending round to our golf trip.
The standard weekend rate is $85 with riding cart, $75 during the week. There is a twilight rate of $45 (5 hours before sunset), check their website for current pricing as they offer discounts depending on the time of year.
While the par-3 17th may be their signature, playing from the highest point of the former ski hill, this course is littered with amazing hole layouts. With excellent course conditions, challenging greens, varying looks at tee shots, and plenty of difficulty along the way, this course offers exceptional playability for all levels. The staff is great and the proximity to the other championship courses in the area make this a must.