Ravisloe Country Club Overview
The fact that we, the general golfing public, can play a gem like Ravisloe is due to the club’s own misfortune during the recession of 2008. Due to financial issues, the historic private country club that opened in 1901 ended up for sale, and was bought by veterinary surgeon Dr. Claude Gendreau. Ravisloe opened to the public in 2009, allowing everyday duffers to experience 18 holes of Donald Ross’s ”architectural brilliance.”
While Ross didn’t design the original layout in 1901, he did enact renovations from 1916-1920, putting his stamp on the property, turning it into a more challenging and provocative experience. The club was named into the National Register of Historic Places in 2021. It’s also currently rated 9th in Golfweek’s “Best Public Access Golf Courses” in Illinois.
While Ravisloe has thoughtfully designed holes, it isn’t terribly long at 6,405 yards. Par is either 70 or 71, contingent on how you play the 12th hole. It’s either a par 4 or 5, depending on which tee box you use. I recommend the par-5, since it’s only slightly longer. There’s not much water at the venue to contend with, but it’ll splash you in the face at the tough 7th hole
. It’s a 200 yard par-3 almost entirely over water. Throughout the course, lots of carefully placed fairway bunkers and deep greenside bunkers aim to impede your progress. Deceiving sightlines from the tee box create doubt before shots, something obviously mitigated by modern GPS apps and rangefinders. And while the course is mostly flat, Ravisloe’s tricky greens are anything but. The course rating is 71.4, with a slope of 130.
The grand clubhouse is a beautiful Spanish Revival-style structure with an 80-foot tall tower. The inside is gorgeous too; they host lots of weddings and events here. Ravisloe’s pro shop is sizable and has tons of great merch, both logo and non-logo options. There’s a restaurant here called Rossy’s Roost and the outdoor area is dog-friendly. They serve upscale American classics. The hot dog I had here was incredible, the best in Chicagoland according to my ratings
, with its butter-toasted bun and huge grilled dog that tasted like heaven. Unfortunately the hot dog I had from the halfway house wasn’t prepared the same way, and was far more average.
Finally, Ravisloe’s practice area is really solid. A driving range is on the right as you pull up to the club. Just south of the range is a short game practice area, where you can dial-in wedges up to about 60 yards. That green has a bunker too. Next to the first tee is a large putting green. Ravisloe has everything you need for an incredible day of golf. Get over there soon!