Public golf courses, especially in the Chicagoland area are often overpriced and overcrowded. Typically, city dwellers are forced to venture further outside the area to take advantage of less populated tracks and better deals. Recent increased reliance on websites such as Teeoff.com and Golfnow.com often limit your exposure to viable area offerings in favor of paid advertised rates. Some municipal courses just outside the city limits do not always offer rates on these sites, which can actually work in your favor in terms of crowds, you just need to broaden your google search. Maple Meadows Golf Club in Wood Dale is an example of such a course. Although the course is technically in Dupage County, it is only a 20 minute drive down 290 from the Loop. While occasionally offering times on discount sites, they mainly offer tee times direct through their own site: Dupagegolf.com. We were able to find an early Sunday tee time with a few days notice, taking advantage of a discounted rate offered on their booking page. While close proximity and online convenience are certainly attractive, it is the course’s scoring friendly 18-hole, par 70 layout, measuring just under 6500 yards from the back tees, that is the real treat. Tall grass and water can be found throughout however, so it is not without challenge.
We played this course on a Sunday morning, and while the area has been known to retain water (the sister course being renovated to alleviate the common occurrence of flooding) aside from some morning dew, the fairways and greens were in excellent playing condition, especially for being late in the season. Bunkers were soft and the rough thick enough to make you power through your swing. While shots were able to hold the greens, they were still fast enough to keep your putter honest. Most greens were guarded by bunkers, however the fairways had an equal share of traps, often forcing more accuracy with your driver in order to be safely positioned for your approach. Water provides added challenge throughout the course, not leaving much room for error off the tee on a few par 4s.
Pace of Play:
With just two of us we ended up being paired off with another twosome. While there seemed to be a steady flow of groups on the course, there was never a wait on the tees an perhaps only a moment or two on the fairways. The starter was able to keep the groups properly spaced, sharing anecdotes to pass the necessary time. Rangers were prevalent on the course, monitoring pace, but never stopped to disrupt our play. The course layout is well paced with the both nines starting and finishing near the clubhouse. Given that the course across the street is set to reopen next year, I imagine pace of play should be able to stay fairly fast.
The clubhouse seemed appropriately sized for a municipal course, containing a small, but adequate pro shop, bar and lounge. While not completely outdated, I would assume there is a renovation scheduled in the near future. There is a practice putting green, however it is across the parking lot adjacent to the 10th hole which is a bit odd if trying to get a few putts in before the round.
The standard weekend rate is $64 with riding cart, however we were able to take advantage of a discount rate of $49. There is a twilight rate of $36, just be sure to check with the clubhouse as the times may change depending on the season.
It’s hard not to like Maple Meadows based on convenience and price alone. With great course conditions for a public track, challenging elements, and varying looks from the tee boxes, this course offers an excellent experience for all levels of golfer. The staff is friendly and attentive and with the prospects of a new course opening across the street, Dupage Golf is a great value.