Prairie Bluff Golf Club Overview
Built in 1998, the Lockport Township Park District owns this property, which is actually in Crest Hill. Previously, the land was owned by the Department of Corrections and used as the farm for the Stateville Correctional Center next door. The Park District purchased the land for $710K, and hired Andy North and Roger Packard to build the golf club, which ended up costing $7 million.
Prairie Bluff is a links-style affair with relatively few trees in play. When I played here, it was really windy, and I’m told this is usually the case. The greens here are generally pretty large, but with sustained 15-20+ mph winds, they felt a lot smaller. Many seemingly straightforward holes turned into complex puzzles as a result on this 7,007 yard course. If you play from the back tees, the course rating is a stiff 73.5 with a slope of 129 on the par-72 track. There’s water on 8 holes, but realistically it comes into play on maybe 6 of them.
The property is nicely manicured; you can tell they take pride in it. There’s no dramatic hills here, but there are enough elevation changes to spice things up. I particularly liked the visual framing of the uphill
holes. The holes have room to breathe at Prairie Bluff, as they’re well spaced out and feel independent from one another. And from the 12th fairway, you can actually see the prison in the distance next door. Ironically, with my poor tee shot, I felt like I was in jail on the 15th hole, an uphill 609 yard par-5.
When I visited, the practice facility was under construction, which you can see in the photos. When it’s complete, supposedly mid-June 2023, Prairie Bluff will have a brand new driving range with Trackman technology and a robust short game area. There’s also a large practice green. The pro shop here is well stocked with both logo and non-logo merch. Prairie Bluff’s restaurant offers classic American fare and does it very well. I can personally recommend the pot roast sandwich.