Settler’s Hill Golf Course is a public track 50 minutes west of Chicago on the border of Geneva and Batavia, Illinois. A unique course offering multiple views of the Fox River valley from various elevated tee boxes. A former landfill, this now lush course has 18 distinct holes taking advantage of various hills across the property. At over 6600 yards from the back tees, this par 72 course provides an array of challenges in the form of doglegs, ravines, fescue and elevated par 3 tee boxes. Large bunkers line the fairways and greens, giving each hole a a daunting look for both tee and approach shots.
We played this course on a Saturday morning, after an early downpour. The course was in decent shape given the amount of water that had collected, but the trimmed fairways and well groomed bunkers still provided highly playable conditions. We have played this course a few times in the past with better weather, so I feel more than qualified to give it a fair review. While the greens were somewhat soft this time, they did have quite a bit of size and undulation, with multiple shelf locations on various holes. To say there is hazard in play is an understatement. Each hole has little room for error on wayward drives or approach shots. Tall grass guards the edges of each hole, just eating golfballs. The course plays like a hybrid between Scottish links and Michigan wooded runs. The real challenge here is the slew of doglegs scattered between the par 4s and 5s. While the safe play is often a long iron, there is usually an enticing look at high risk-reward shots. You can attack a couple of the par 5s with a well placed drives, however it is usually still a ways out coming home and the trouble around the green is best approached with a wedge.
Pace of Play:
We chose an early tee time looking to make it out before the crowds, however the weather created a slight log jam once the skies cleared. The course layout is fairly conducive to quick play, with the par 3s well spaced. On a normal crowd day, delays are likely never more than a minute or two, if at all. We played as a foursome and had a couple twosomes play through along the way. While it is a public course, they seem to allow twosomes to go off regularly, however that may have been due to a dip in the players that day because of the weather.
The clubhouse is an old dairy barn, modernly outfitted with a small proshop, bar and lounge. There is a putting green, but little else to make this a destination other than a bathroom break at the turn. The beer selection was just a traditional array of domestic offerings. The beverage cart was not out because of the weather, and the return to the clubhouse doesn’t actually occur until the end of the 13th hole, but they were more than happy to provide an ice bag for our round.
The standard weekend rate is $50 for residents/$65 for non-residents with cart. There is a twilight rate of $22/$27 respectively. Be sure to check on their website for current pricing as they offer daily specials. We found a Golfnow Deal Caddy voucher for $32 with cart earlier in the year. Other deals may be found for certain tee times throughout the year on Golfnow.com.
With better weather, this course provides excellent playing conditions, challenging hole layouts, various looks for your tee shots, and wide sweeping views. Even at the regular rate, this course offers a great value for all levels. The ability to try different shots and challenge all aspects of your game, especially the mental ones, make this an easy choice for Chicagoland golf, especially when you can take advantage of a discounted rate. This county provides many other great courses that will find their way to our reviews in the future.