Bull Valley Golf Club is the reality of the dreams of three visionaries and is perhaps the most challenging and sensually stimulating course in the Midwest.
Situated sixty miles northwest of downtown Chicago in Woodstock Illinois, the course at Bull Valley Golf Club is a very tough Dick Nugent-designed track where housing flanks a number of the fairways.
The course is laid out on rolling terrain with long, difficult par fours – only a couple of the two-shot holes on the card measure less than 400 yards – characterising the layout, especially on the run of holes around the turn between the 9th and 12th.
Only one of the four short holes (the 179-yard 8th) plays to a putting surface that’s not aquatically protected whilst the tee shot on the finishing hole must be steered between two mature oak trees on either side of the fairway before an approach is played to a green guarded short and left by water.
Bull Valley is a course that just tries to be as hard as possible. I'm a scratch and had fun, but I couldn't see any double digit handicapper who hits it less than 250 having any sort of enjoyment out there. The piece of land it sits on is incredible for Illinois, and is well utilized on holes 4, 11, and 14. The green complexes are cool with a decent number of slopes and ridges. It would have been so cool to see what this course could have looked like were it built by a different, restorationist architect.
I am an unabashed Bull Valley fan! The course has many interesting holes and is certainly a challenge to play. Deserves a higher rating by the larger publications and this list as well.