Brae Loch Golf Club Overview
Brae Loch is a historic track nearing its 100th birthday. When it opened in 1928, the Waukegan Daily Sun said “With a fine golf course, tennis courts, riding stables, boating, and swimming, the new club offers a fine variety of summer entertainment.” Of course, all those frills are gone now, but the golf course remains. In 1930, it cost $1 to play a round on weekdays, and $1.50 on Sundays and holidays. When the depression hit, the course (and many others in Chicagoland) went bankrupt in 1934 and reorganized under the federal bankruptcy act. In 1935, the price to play went down to $0.35 on weekdays, and $0.75 on Sundays & holidays -- to play golf all day long. The Lake County Forest Preserves bought Brae Loch in the late 1980s. The venue maintains an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary certification.
At only 5,891 yards, Brae Loch is a short course, but still manages to squeeze in three par-5’s with its par-70 layout. The track is very walkable and mostly flat. What you see is what you get at this muni; there are some slight doglegs, but most of the holes are parallel fairways with straight lines. However, those fairways average about 25 yards wide, with little room for error due to mature trees everywhere. There’s not much water on the property to avoid, with just four small ponds in play. Brae averages about two bunkers per hole. The hardest hole is the 6th, a 559-yard par 5. It is one of two holes here over 500 yards. As for course conditions, at this modest price point, the track isn’t maintained with perfection in mind, but value for your buck. The course rating is 67.9 and the slope is 117.
There’s no driving range at Brae Loch, but there are two practice greens. One is for putting, and the other is for chip shots. The clubhouse was under construction when I arrived, due to the partnership with the College of Lake County to move their culinary management program into the space. The pro shop was a small, spartan affair. There was barely any merch for sale there. Their goal is to get you on the golf course as quickly as possible.