Cantigny Golf Club Overview
The wonderful golf playground known as Cantigny is home to three formidable 9-hole golf courses, each with its own signature vibe. The beautiful property has the feel of a private club in many respects, with its attention to detail and focus on the overall golf experience. When it opened in 1989, it won various awards for best new course, and the place hasn’t lost any luster in the years since. The club is owned by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, whose namesake was not only editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune, but a World War I vet who wanted his land to be used for public recreation purposes upon his passing. Cantigny has hosted the Illinois State Amateur Championship numerous times, the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship, and a number of other notable tournaments throughout the years. This is one of the top golf clubs in Illinois, and has a premium price point to match.
As you drive along the long entrance road to the property, you pass by the Cantigny Golf Academy building on the right. Of course the club has the fundamentals, like a grass-tee driving range and a number of practice greens with bunkers. The range is open year-round, lit at night, and is now integrated with Trackman technology. There’s an indoor putting green too. The instruction program caters to both juniors and adults and has 8 teaching pros on staff. There’s a 9-hole youth golf course down the road for kids to work on their game.
As you’d expect, the pro shop here is top notch and stocks a ton of gear, both of the logo and non-logo variety. Cantigny’s main restaurant is called the Fareways Grill and overlooks the golf course. The property is also an Audubon International Sanctuary, meaning it is committed to preserving and enhancing wildlife habitats and protecting natural resources.
While Cantigny’s Hillside course may be the shortest of the three 9-hole tracks here, it still packs a punch and trouble lurks everywhere. Hillside’s course rating is 36.4 with a slope rating of 138. At 3,394 yards, it’s a tiny bit shorter than the Lakeside track, and water is on only three holes, which is a break compared to the other two courses.
The 5th hole has the club’s shortest par-3, at 151 yards from the championship tees. This downhill design showcases the elevation changes prevalent on the Hillside course, plus water is in play to the right of the green, keeping tension high. There’s really no “easy” hole on the course, but overall Hillside is a bit less demanding than the other two tracks.