Winnetka Golf Club Overview
Winnetka GC is currently undergoing a massive renovation that started in 2022 and should be complete in summer 2024. Updates are posted
on the club website. The course is closed, but the driving range, clubhouse, and pro shop are still open.
Over a century old, Winnetka Golf Club is a functional monument to municipal golf. Work started at the course in 1913, according to the July 6th, 1913 Chicago Tribune. “The Winnetka Golf club is rapidly taking form and shape. The fields and woodlands that compose its 280 acres are being drained, plowed up, laid out, and developed as fast as men and horses can carry on the work.” The course opened with 9 holes in 1917, designed by prolific golf architect William B. Langford. Back in 1920, it cost residents $0.75 to play a round.
In 1922, another 9 holes were added to complete the 18 hole track. In the 1930’s, a par-3 course was added which still stands today, and is lots of fun for the family.
Although the result of Winnetka’s renovations remains to be seen, drastic changes and improvements can be expected to fairway and green surfaces, along with drainage improvements. With the Skokie Lagoons directly to the west of the venue, water management has always been an issue here, going back to its earliest days before WWI. Flooding has closed the property numerous times. Speaking of water, lots of small ponds on the course result in 15 of the 18 holes having the possibility of a watery demise for your golf ball. Previously the course was 6,517 yards, and while that may change, the par-71 design isn’t expected to. The course previously had a rating of 72.5 with a slope of 131. Tons of big, mature trees line the many parallel fairways at Winnetka, adding to the difficulty. As for the topography, the course is extremely flat, with no hills to worry about.
There’s two practice greens to tune up for short game, and a mats-only driving range. There’s also a golf sim for training sessions inside the clubhouse. A modestly sized pro shop is directly to the left when you enter the clubhouse, and offers a healthy selection of merch. The restaurant here is called The National Grill. It offers breakfast and quintessential bar food classics.