Water’s Edge Golf Club is a public course designed by Rick Robbins and PGA Consultant Gary Koch, and operated through Billy Casper Golf. Located just south of Chicago, about 30 minutes from the loop, this course offers good value with above average playing conditions and challenging holes. At a par 72, 6,904 yards from the back tees, Water’s Edge may not be the longest course in the area, but with a slope rating of 131, there is enough difficulty to pose a threat to every level of player. Bunkers, tall grass, marsh and water find a home along most holes, protecting the fairways and greens.
We played this course on an early Saturday morning, with temps starting in the 80s. The course was freshly cut, bunkers properly groomed, and the rough just thick enough to penalize your wayward shots. Nothing beats the early round with fresh dew on the fairways and soft greens for pin seeking. We did notice the course get a bit more difficult as the round progressed with greens starting to dry. There are a decent amount of bunkers, but the tall grass or fescue is the real challenge to this course, not leaving much room for error. The greens had multiple tiers and the pins were positioned to give each putt a different look. The course does have a good amount of water hazard, making some fairways feel narrower from the tee box.
Pace of Play:
As I have stated before, we all have lives beyond golf so we try to play whenever our schedules will allow. This weekend we ended up playing an early morning round, teeing off at 6:10am. Aside from leaving the house before sunrise, this proved to be an extremely enjoyable way to experience the course. We had 3 in our group and played with no on in front of us. The next group behind us did catch up on a few holes, but we kept our normal pace and finished in 3.5 hours. This is obviously not a typical result, but highly enjoyable and certainly one that will have us seeking super early tee times in the future. Unfortunately the beverage cart didn’t find us until the 17th hole, but we did have first crack at each ice cold water station along the way. We did see the ranger a couple times during the round, so while the course was quiet early, they still cared to see us moving.
The clubhouse was small, but extremely clean and modern. The bar and restaurant offered views of the finishing hole. The pro shop offered plenty of gear, and nice discounts on last season merchandise. Perhaps the best part was the complimentary coffee stand, seeing that we teed off before even gas stations have their coffee brewed. There is also a practice green and decent driving range. One thing to note about the course layout is that the 1st and 18th hole are on the clubhouse side of a main roadway, with the rest of the holes laid out across the street, accessed by passing under a bridge. They do have a halfway house at the remote turn, but it was not open when we had reach it just before 8am.
The standard weekend rate is $52 for walking/$68 with riding cart. There is a twilight rate of $36/$52 after 3pm. Deals can occasionally be found on Golfnow.com or through the Water’s Edge website. Booking directly through the course website allows you to avoid any booking fees.
With excellent course conditions, enticing par 3s, challenging 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 city make this a favorite of ours.