Hilldale Golf Club Overview
On October 1st, 1970, the Elk Grove Herald stated “[there] will be an 18-hole golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones [Sr]. It will be the only course in the Chicago area totally designed by Jones, who designed such courses as Augusta National and Hazeltine.” The land on which this course was built previously belonged to Chicago retail magnate Marshall Fields, who’s hunting club and skeet shooting range occupied the landscape. Hilldale is a sprawling course that winds through a number of communities, apartment complexes, and even the main Hoffman Estates Village government office building.
If the design of Hilldale could be described with one word, that word would be “tight.” The fairways on this 6,417 yard, par 71 track are notoriously narrow. On the hardest (and longest) hole, the 602 yard par-5 11th, the fairway is 25 yards wide at its most spacious point. Most holes feel constricted, with trees, homes, and water buttressing many of the fairways. Speaking of water, it comes into play on 13 holes. The course demands precision. The course rating is 72, but the slope is a whopping 140, which is a clue that this place absolutely punishes bogey golfers. The terrain is hilly throughout, which adds to the Hilldale adventure.
Don’t be distracted by the newer-looking building with the blue awning when you drive into the parking lot. That’s not the clubhouse or pro shop; it’s an event/office space. The clubhouse, pro shop, and restaurant are just a bit further down the road. Those spaces show their age and could use some TLC, but are fully functional. The pro shop is large and pretty well stocked with merch. The restaurant is called CK Mulligan and also feels dated, but they did cook up an absolutely awesome char dog though -- respect. The course has one practice putting green. Next to that is the driving range, and like the rest of the course, it’s a bit on the narrow side.