Idlewild Country Club was originally designed by Al Naylor, who stayed on property as the superintendent when the club opened more than 100 years ago. His presence was no doubt helpful to William Langford, who came later and updated the course (without the help of his frequent partner Theodore Moreau).
The club features prominent bunkers that enforce a proper angle, tree-lined fairways that enforce accuracy off the tee, and small greens that enforce accuracy upon approach. Butterfield Creek is a noticeable aspect of the property, but it only provides a true hazard at Nos. 3 and 7, while otherwise providing pleasurable viewing.
The founders of Idlewild made a slight hiccup at the onset; Naylor suggested a plot of property nearer to the city, but ownership decided it was too close to downtown, and therefore Idlewild was built in Flossmoor. Naylor’s original plot was eventually purchased and developed into Beverly Country Club by Donald Ross. Nonetheless, Naylor and Langford managed to make a success out of Idlewild.
The club hosted the Western Open just four years after its opening.