This blog is probably going to be extremely lame to a large majority of you and I just want to say up front that I understand. Clubhouse architecture isn't for everyone, not even really me to be honest. I don't technically understand what makes one place cooler than the other. I just know that these are some of the coolest clubhouses in Chicago and (in large part) the country and I want to feature them because I find it ejoyable. Specifically, the instagram account golfclubhouses has been doing monthly countdowns on their favorites places and October focused on Chicago.
There's 16 clubhouses in total with six belonging to 100 national golf courses. More locally, eight are attached to top-10 IL courses according to golf digest with 14 of the 16 making the top 25. Basically a good correlation that this is the best golf and clubhousing that Chicago has to offer.
I think this is unique because finding pictures of the following golf clubhouses is very difficult. Course pictures are hard to come by as is, but the clubhouse is even more rare. Stick around long enough and you'll see a picture inside Chicago Golf Club. Again I know this isn't for everyone but if you like golf and you appreciate what we have here in Chicago, maybe this is pretty cool.
So wIthout further adieu, here's the 16-clubhouse spread from this past month on golfclubhouses. Worth a follow if you're into that kinda stuff.
Butler National - Colin Morikawa shot 82 here the week after winning the 2020 PGA. Phil says it's the hardest course he's ever played. Personally I think it's cool they don't have a menu because they can literally make you anything.
Medinah Part 1 - No explanation needed. 2012 Ryder Cup. 2026 President's Cup. MJ's home course, kinda.
Medinah Part 2
Olympia Fields - Site of the 2020 BMW Championship and probably one of the hardest challenges Chicago has to offer.
Shoreacres - Hank Haney's favorite club "in the world"
Old Elm - Under the radar but arguably the hardest course to get on in Chicago by virtue of the fact that there's only 100 members and they live all over the country. It's an all men's club. They don't care much about how fancy you think they are. It's literally just supposed to be a place to escape the real world and hang with the boys. Not like Bob O Link where it's a free for all. Just a nice calm relaxed environment on the 2nd Harry Colt course in the U.S. The other one is this place called Pine Valley.
Exmoor - you have to be so fucking rich to belong here
Beverly - this is where the Blackhawks play. One of the rowdier memberships. Hosted the Western for a number of years.
Chicago Highlands - $135,000 initiation fee for an amenity package that includes a bowling alley.
Onwentsia - There's Old Money and then there's the people who hang out at Onwentsia. Rumor has it F. Scott Fitzgerald based Daisy Buchanan on a member he met there. That kind of Old Money.
Black Sheep - Boys club in the middle of nowhere. Minimal design so you can focus on the golf which is supposed to be world class. Like most of these I wouldn't have the first fucking clue.
Kankakee - The only public place on the list and it couldn't fit Kankakee any better.
North Shore - Guys like me are not allowed here
Skokie - Arguably Donald Ross's finest work in Chicago and arguably the most underrated course on the list even if it's consistently top 10.
Knollwood - I don't know shit about this place other than I belong in the caddy shack
Rich Harvest Farms - The guy who built this place is so rich that I can't even exaggerate his wealth. Hundreds of millions of dollars worth of collector cars are on site. 7 total clubhouses. A lot of people say if you could only belong to one spot for the rest of your life, this is the place.
Chicago Golf Club - The grandaddy of them all. Guys spend their whole life around town waiting to play one round here. Top 15 annually in the United States but would probably be a lot higher if they wanted more of a profile. They don't so it "sneaks" under the radar by popular convention. No amount of money or power gets you in this place without this place hand picking you to maintain and fulfill it's legacy. So much so that MJ was rumored to be denied a membership at the height of his career. Think about that.
And thus concludes our blog. Hope you enjoyed these 16 unique clubhouses. Thanks to golfclubhouses for putting this together. Very enjoyable.