Arboretum Club Overview
Owned by the village of Buffalo Grove, this picturesque golf club opened in May 1990 and was designed by prolific course architect Dick Nugent. The clubhouse here (named for former Buffalo Grove administrator William H. Brimm) is massive and modern. It houses a large pro shop, the Vin 90 restaurant, the WJ Golf simulator area, and one of the nicest public course locker rooms in the northwest burbs.
The Arboretum Club is very nicely manicured, with attention to detail. That’s important, because the mounting frustration I feel as I play the course is offset by the pleasantness of the surroundings. This track demands you to execute accurate golf shots throughout the entire round. The par-72 layout measures 6,447 yards from the back tees, but plays much longer due the constricted feel of many holes. Various tee shots force you to use 3-wood or less, rather than driver, to paint within the lines. Errant shots are often swallowed by the 8 ponds on the course, fed by nearby Aptakisic and Indian Creeks. Arboretum’s course rating is 71.7, but it has a slope of 139, meaning it absolutely punishes bogey golfers. Elevation changes spice things up too, like on the par-5 11th that has a blind tee shot.
Geographically the front and back nines are split between the intersection of Buffalo Grove Road and Half Day Road. The front nine is southeast of the intersection, and the back is northwest. A long tunnel interconnects the two nines. Homes line the outer edge of most golf holes here, and I imagine they never have to purchase golf balls, due to the dozens they must find in their yards.
Unfortunately there’s no driving range at Arboretum Club, but there is the WJ Golf simulator facility inside the clubhouse to warm up your swing. There’s one large practice green for chips and putts next to the first tee. The pro shop is large and has a solid amount of both logo and non-logo merch available. The locker room is modern, well appointed, and even has a TV, which is unusual for a public golf course. The Vin 90 restaurant offers upscale modern fare, but importantly you can also grab the hot dog you crave mid-round. There’s also a gaming room with slot machines here, something seen more frequently at courses I visit.