Lightly bunkered and with only one water hazard in play, the course at Kankakee Elks Country Club is a mid-1920s William Langford and Theodore Moreau layout which was carved out of forested terrain on the banks of the Kankakee River.
Tom Doak commented as follows in The Confidential Guide to Golf Courses: “A modest club in a blue-collar town, the Elks course is an audacious design, chock full of Langford’s bold greens and abrupt fairway hazards in spite of a fairly low-lying site. Unfortunately, as with many Langford designs, the wide scale of his fairways and features has been compromised by over-planting, so that key parts of the strategy are no longer available for play.”
Decided to stop by and play Kankakee earlier today on my way to Chicago. This is truly a throwback and a hidden gem. Green's were in great shape. Fescue fairways were pure as well. There are so many good holes here, but I'll say my favorite stretch was the closing holes from 15-18. #15 is a long uphill par 3 with a green that is atop a mound. #18 is a gentle dogleg left heading back to the lodge.
Couple other takeaways, the routing was fantastic and the subtle mounding and bunkering around the greens was perfect. There are several holes that have tree that are overgrown into the fariway and also a couple of holes that from the tee do not look like they were desgined to look due to tree growth. That would be the only negative that I could point out about the course. It does not need a massive tree removal as some of the trees actually are the courses defense. If you are in the area, this place is worth the stop, just for the opportunity to play a classic course designed by Langford if nothing else.