Cog Hill Golf and Country Club is located some 30 miles southwest of downtown Chicago in the Des Plaines River Valley. There are four courses at Cog Hill but the one most golfers want to play is the world-renowned No.4 course, otherwise known as “Dubsdread”. We’d love to hear from anyone who knows why No.4 has earned the Dubsdread nickname.
Host to the 2007 BMW Championship, Cog Hill No.4 course is a course for the shot-maker, so it seems fitting that the world’s greatest in that department won the championship by shattering the BMW Championship scoring record, earning his 60th PGA Tour victory. Congratulations Tiger!
To score well on No.4 you’ll need a tidy and accurate driving game as the landing areas are tight. Heavily bunkered greens, which are huge and undulating, put pressure on approach play.
The majority of top-end golf courses in the USA are private members clubs but thankfully Cog Hill is a public access venue thanks to the patriarch of Chicago golf, the late Joe Jemsek. Joe will be remembered for raising the standard of public golf in the USA and for that we applaud him.
Dubsdread was once more the venue for Chicago's only PGA Tour championship when the 2009 BMW Championship returned to Cog Hill after a one-year hiatus when the event was hosted at Bellerive Country Club. In the third round, Tiger Woods broke the course record despite opening his round with a bogey. Tiger’s nine-under-par 62 was more than enough for him notch up his 71st Tour victory, taking the 2009 title on a newly renovated and toughened course.
The “Open Doctor”, Rees Jones, was set the objective to reinstate the original 1964 Dick Wilson and Joe Lee design. The renovation included rebuilding all greens, tees and bunkers, as well as adding a new pond, new tees and new bunkers. Work completed in May 2009 resulting in a more strategic and challenging Dubsdread. Tiger agreed it's now a longer course and Luke Donald reckons the par threes are now "obnoxiously long" but is it a better course? Click here fore more.
Dustin Johnson won the 2010 BMW Championship, but several pros criticised Cog Hill’s greens, which prompted owner Frank Jemsek to implement further improvements. Justin Rose claimed the 2011 BMW Championship title by two shots from Australia’s John Senden.
A difficult test of golf on rolling hills outside of Chicago. Dubsdread plays long with narrow fairways, difficult rough and elevated greens surrounded by deep penal hazards. Picking the right tees can help play-ability, but the extremely difficult green complexes seem over the top for even a single digit handicap. Not a course I would want to play every day, but a fun test of your game a few times throughout the golf season and was in excellent condition.
Former host to the Western open now known as the BMW championship. After the course was remodeled, many of the PGA TOUR pros were quite vocal about faults with the re-do. I couldn’t disagree more. I thought the redesign absolutely made it a better golf course. It is definitely challenging. It can play very long and the bunkers are definitely penal. Head and shoulders the best public golf course in the Chicagoland area.
Cog Hill isn't a must play but as far as public golf in Chicago, its clearly at the top. I've played it twice since the Rees Jones reno and enjoyed it. The bunkering protecting the greens is great and consequently requires good iron play. Classic american second shot course in which you need to hit the green in the air. Its a fair test though. The routing is so so, doesn't seem to flow like other courses of it's caliber. It was in very good shape both times I played it. I'd play it again anytime and its worth seeking out if you are in the Chicago area without access to the many terrific private clubs they have.
Perfect course for tour events, wouldn't say it is a lot of fun though. It absolutely rewards good ball striking, however, there is often only one way to play many of the holes here. Greens are generally only receptive to towering, high approach shots.