Sunday, July 26, 2009

Golf in Illinois - Aldeen Golf Club

I thoroughly enjoy travelling the state to play some of its premier public golf courses. My favorite has to Aldeen Golf Club in Rockford. This muni is a superb track that could challenge any level of golfer. Golf Digest gave Aldeen 4 1/2 stars in 2008, and Golf Magazine ranked it #23 on its top 50 courses under $50 in the entire country. The staff is friendly, and the four times I have played there, the course conditions were flawless. Most fairways are generously wide. However, only narrow strips of rough separate the fairways from rows of trees and hefty berms. Water comes into play on twelve holes, including the signature island green on the par-3 8th hole. The greens are typically guarded by bunkers and are quite undulated. My favorite holes are 17 and 18. The 17th is unique because of the OB woods right, left, and behind the hole. It is a short par-4 with a pinched landing area to a large green. Birdie is a definite possibility with an accurate drive, but bogey or worse quickly comes into the equation with an errant tee shot. The finishing hole is a long par-5 with water down the entire left side. The same lake fronts the green with bunkers to the right. Once again, birdie is possible, but accuracy is the key. This course is the best public links I have played in the state, and I have only paid $20 every time. That is the twilight rate that starts daily after 3:00 PM. Watch for future postings on other great courses such as Lick Creek, Deere Run, The Den at Fox Creek, and The Rail. All of these excellent courses can be played for under $22.

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