This hilly and fun par 3 course owned by the Arlington Heights Park District has a major claim to fame. Before the property was turned into a golf course in the mid-1990s, there was a land fill here with a particularly steep hill. Chicago Bears legend Walter Payton lived nearby and came here to run the hill and workout. In honor of this, the hill was subsequently named Payton’s Hill. The 3rd hole currently occupies that space and the huge numbers 34 adorn a retaining wall there.
The course here is a little more adventurous than your typical par 3 due to the aforementioned hills. Those elevation changes add some spice to the round. This track is great for kids, and in fact they play a number of junior tournaments here.
There is no driving range at Nickol Knoll but there is a decent sized practice green. As you'd expect for a par-3 course, the pro shop has some staples like balls and tees, but not a tremendous amount of merch. The clubhouse has a number of Walter Payton memorabilia items which are fun to examine, including a photo of John Madden on the course with the clubhouse in the background.