The Preserve at Oak Meadows Overview
The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County owns this magnificent golf course, which completed a butterfly-like metamorphosis in 2017. Originally, Elmhurst Country Club occupied this land when it opened in 1923. It was on that course where the legendary Ben Hogan won the Chicago Open here in 1941 over fellow Hall of Famers Gene Sarazen and Sam Snead. The forest preserve purchased the property in 1985 and converted it into Oak Meadows. In 2015, they started an ambitious $17 million renovation, resulting in The Preserve.
The course is as challenging as it is beautiful. At 7,015 yards from the Championship tees, there’s a lot of real estate to navigate. With a 74.1 course rating and slope of 142, it’s in good company with courses like Ruffled Feathers, Makray Memorial, and The Glen Club. The Preserve is manicured handsomely, with attention to detail. Grip-it-and-rip-it isn’t the best plan here, since practically every hole requires some thought to score well. The carts have GPS to aid in the planning process. There’s not an extensive number of bunkers defending the property, but Salt Creek traipses through the heart of the tract and complicates matters frequently. About half the holes here are east of that creek, and are more tight and wooded than those on the west side. The USGA held qualifiers here for the 2018 US Amateur Championship.
The Preserve offers plenty of space to practice the craft before teeing off. A full driving range with both grass tees and mats is available. Three separate greens allow putting and chipping practice, along with a bunker. The restaurant here is called The Greenway Tap, and is open year-round. A huge outdoor patio area offers an array of outdoor seating. The clubhouse itself is modern and striking. The Preserve’s pro shop offers a solid selection of gear. This place has it all.