Ivanhoe is credited by literary experts as turning public interest back to the era of the Middle Ages, and the Ivanhoe Club may deserve some credit for turning Chicago-area golfers’ interest back to the classic era of links golf.
Such, at least, was the goal of the Prairie nine at the club, which Arthur Hills designed to emulate the most historic era of golf. This club, however, is not strictly a links devotee, more interested instead with showcasing the numerous ecosystems of Illinois. The club also features a Marsh nine, but it’s traditionally the Forest nine that is combined with the Prairie to form the most celebrated 18.
Despite the trees, the hilly nature of the Forest half also offers some of the best views on the property. And where there are not trees, Hills happily incorporated water, with several greens being framed by imposing ponds. The closing hole of this round is a par five that wraps tightly to a lake all the way from tee to green, which translates to 540 yards of white knuckles for those playing a match from the back tees.