Medinah (No.3) - Illinois - USA

Medinah Country Club,
Medinah Rd,
Medinah,
Illinois (IL) 60157,
USA


  • +1 630 773 1700

  • Curtis Tyrrell

  • Tom Bendelow, Harry Collis, Roger Packard & Roger Rulewich, Rees Jones

  • Mike Scully


Medinah Country Club played host to the 2012 Ryder Cup matches between the USA and Europe. Team Captains were Davis Love III (US) and José María Olazábal (Europe). Dubbed the “Miracle of Medinah” by commentators, the 39th Ryder Cup equalled the biggest singles comeback in Ryder Cup history. Team USA required only 4½ singles points to win, but dressed in the colours of the late Seve Ballesteros, the European team found spirit to dramatically win the first five singles games. Europe then added two further points to lead by one with three matches remaining. Remarkably it was Martin Kaymer (left out all day on Saturday) who secured the point Europe required to smash the away team comeback record. Europe 14 ½ - USA 13 ½. The Ryder Cup was played at Celtic Manor in 2010 and will be played at Gleneagles in 2014.

The Shriners, or the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, are an association not unlike the Freemasons and we have to thank the local Order – who came from the Chicago Medinah Temple – for realising their dream country retreat, which is now known all over the world as the Medinah Country Club.

Medinah was first founded in the Roaring Twenties and the objective was to create the finest country club in America. 54 holes were planned, and the first course, simply called No.1, was ready for play in 1925. The second course, unsurprisingly called No.2, followed behind a year later. We’ll give you one guess as to what the third course was named, but most people won’t know that it was originally laid out for the Medinah ladies. No.3 course was ready for play in 1928 and much has changed since then.

Tom Bendelow, a Scotsman, laid out all three Medinah courses but his No.3 design did not last long. The original layout was considered too easy after Harry Cooper shot a 63 in the 1930 Medinah Open, and so the course was refashioned and toughened up in the 1930s by Harry Collis. Further changes were made by Roger Packard and Roger Rulewich ahead of the 1988 US Senior Open, which Gary Player won. In 2002 by Rees Jones made further fortifications and he also spearheaded renovations to the No.3 course as part of the club’s 2012 Ryder Cup preparations. The work included greens renovation and a dramatic redesign of the 15th hole, which is now a drivable par four sporting a new lake. We're also led to beleive that George Fazio made changes to the layout somewhere along the line.

Lake Kadijah is a pretty backdrop to a number of holes but it also doubles up as an intimidating water hazard at three par threes, the 2nd, the 13th and the 17th, all of which require a forced carry across the water – the 17th is perhaps the best hole on the course. Vicious doglegs feature on a number of par fours (most notably the 9th and the 11th) where an accurate tee shot will reap more benefit than sheer length.

Three US Opens have been held on the No.3 course and Tiger Woods acquired his fifth major here in the 1999 USPGA Championship. The 88th PGA returned to Medinah in 2006. Tiger claimed his 12th career Major title after destroying the rest of the field on Sunday with a 4-under 68 which propelled him to a massive five-shot victory.

The 39th Ryder Cup proved to be perhaps the most incredible series of matches in Ryder Cup history. Team USA dominanted the foursomes and fourball matches, taking a 10-6 lead into the Sunday singles games. USA required only 4½ points to win the Ryder Cup, but Europe smashed the away team comeback record, completing Mission Impossible, winning 8½ singles points from the 12 available to clinch an historic 14½-13½ victory at Medinah Country Club.

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Reviews for Medinah (No.3)

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Description: Medinah Country Club was originally founded in the Roaring Twenties and the objective was to create the finest country club in America. Rating: 4.5 out of 6 Reviews: 4

Course #3 has three tee boxes: 7,508 yards, 7,096 yards, and 6,776 yards. We played the short 6,776 tees (yeah right, real short). Course #3 is cut out of woods, one long tree-lined hole after the other. It is lined with more than 4,700 specimens of oak and other species. Each tree is catalogued and labeled for type and age. The grounds crew anticipates the life of each tree and begins to grow a new tree nearby that will be maturing when its neighbour dies. Several hundred replacement trees are planted each year. Course #3 is challenging, but somewhat dull because most of the holes look alike and three of its four par 3s play at approximately the same length across Lake Kadijah (named in honor of Mohamed’s wife). Of course, the fact that I shot 101 might have tainted my view somewhat. Larry Berle.
2 / 6
Medinah (No.3)
November 05, 2014


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Keith Baxter
November 05, 2014
The above review is an edited extract from A Golfer’s Dream, which has been reproduced with the author’s kind permission. A Golfer’s Dream, by Larry Berle, tells the story of how a regular guy conquered America’s Top 100 Golf Courses (following Golf Digest’s 2001/2002 list). Larry has exclusively rated for us every course in the hundred, using our golf ball rating system. However, Larry did not rate the 100 courses against every golf course he has played, but instead he rated them in relation to each other within the hundred. Consequently, in some cases, his rating may seem rather low. A Golfer’s Dream is available in Kindle format and also on Kindle Unlimited via Amazon... click the link for more. 
Playing this course was an honor and meeting Mr Harmon and realizing how graciuos he was only added tot he excitement. The course was in absolute perfect condition and seemed pretty open till you get thru the first few holes. I have never played a course that demanded a perfect drive like Oak Hill does. The trees are so mature that if you are even 3 yards in the rough, there is no easy shot to the green. The course is solid and a joy to play. Maybe the truest test in major gof there is. Drive it straight and you have a chance.
6 / 6
Medinah (No.3)
July 09, 2010


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thomas
September 28, 2012
An observation about Medinah in relation to the Ryder Cup, but more specifically about the length of the manicured and prepared rough on all modern (and indeed not so modern) parkland and meadowland style courses. I am not referring here to links courses or to heathland/downland/mountain courses nor to the really deep rough which you'll find on most courses if you hit shots far enough off line (eg when a re-load is needed ). What I'm specifically referring to is manicured rough 2-5 inches thick immediately adjacent to fairways. If you hit the ball say 25-100 yards off line you pretty much deserve to lose the ball (some might deeply disagree, but I reckon you do!) but if you only hit it only say 1-10 yards off the fairway all players, whether they be young or old or fit and strong, should be able to find the ball pretty easily and be able to play a reasonable recovery shot which travels a reasonable distance. Frequently on parkland/meadowland courses this isn't the case as you often require semi-Charles Atlas like strength to play the smash-gorge shot with a short iron or wedge to move the ball even a short distance out of manicured rough 2-5 inches thick, and thick seems an appropriate descriptive word, immediately adjacent to most fairways.

Watching the Ryder-Cup at Medinah has been interesting. Tee-shots especially, when missing fairways have been bouncing and rolling quite some distance off line, but because the grass off the fairways is shortish the ball can be found fairly easily (okay I know the spectators/TV helps, but I'm sure you get the general idea). In addition, playing shots from shorter grass off the fairway, often with a tree canopy overhead and with tree limbs on the direct line of play, doesn't need semi-Charles Atlas like strength. No, recovery shots from this type of spot can be played by any level of player with skill, indeed even delicacy, witness mid-iron punches, draws and cuts, even chips with hybrid/rescue clubs. What's needed is skill, not just brute strength, and it's pretty much only brute strength that's needed to hack it out of 2-5 inch manicured rough. So maybe DL III by asking for Medinah to be set up with lower manicured rough has hit on something at parkland/meadowland courses, as in aiming to do something tactical or strategic in Ryder Cup terms, he and his R-Cup colleagues may have accidentally shown a revised style of parkland/meadowland course set-up better suited to all levels of player, whether they be Pro's, fit & strong fitness junkies, male or female, or juniors or seniors.

Furthermore, although I'm sure some would would argue the point, I for one would need quite some convincing that any more green-keeping resources would be needed, after all the mowers regularly cut the manicured rough anyway, so the mowers might as well have the blades set a bit lower and cut the rough a wee bit shorter each time they drive over it. I've just re-read Alistair MacKenzie's famous 13 principles of course design and can't help but wonder if this wasn't what he was aiming at nearly 100 years ago, ie more interest and enjoyment with less rough. Just a thought. Will the floodgates now open and drown me? In closing I'd just like to say that this is a splendid website full of excellent course reviews and comments. Well done to those who set the website up, administer it and contribute to it. I hope that those who are members at or love Medinah do not feel that I have criticised your course. This is not at all my intention, but what DL III has had done for the R-Cup at your wonderful looking venue is most interesting and thought provoking if considered in the wider golfing context.
Great old track that has been hurt by the "open doctors". Sure it's a test for the best players in the world, but I don't think even Tiger has much fun when playing here. If you can't consistently drive the ball 280+ and straight then you have no business playing here, and I mean from the whites! In addition, as it is the "name" course of the 4 courses as the facility, it gets quite a bit of play for a private club, so it is usually fairly crowded and the conditioning is below averqage for private clubs in the area.
4 / 6
Medinah (No.3)
May 16, 2009


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I’ve played all of the Major courses except for Augusta and for me Medinah is one of the very best and up at the top of my personal list. First off it’s gorgeous, superbly conditioned, completely fair and thoughtfully designed. The overall thrill starts as soon as you drive up to the clubhouse and that thrill has remained with me on the numerous occasions I’ve played here. Rees Jones has tweaked this old fashioned classic and it’s now a modern day brute stretching to more than 7500 yards from the tips. I’ve played this from the members tees (7100 yards) and it was a bruising experience with tight fairways, monstrous trees that cause all sorts problems and strategic bunkering. The par 3 2nd is a beauty and sets the tough tone early on in the round. I simply love this place and the other two courses have some great holes too and should not be overlooked. Classic clubhouse and great caddies make the total package. Magical.
6 / 6
Medinah (No.3)
October 27, 2006


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