Mount Prospect has legitimate Golden Age claims, at least in terms of when it was constructed. Although the course debuted during 1929, there is no architect of record, which means it was not created by any of the other icons who were busy in the Chicago area during that era. Not discouraged, the club brought in local architect David Esler during 2017 to “restore” the course through renovation, giving a personality based on the templates and tendencies of Seth Raynor.
That includes replica holes, such as the par threes — which now include a Reverse Redan, Biarritz, Short and Eden, respectively. Raynor already has wide acclaim in the golf course architecture world, so no one can blame Esler for putting his own twist on Raynor’s ideas.
One example is where the modern architect worked long, skinny greens onto holes where Raynor may have opted for large and wide. These include No. 5, a creek-crossed take on the Cape, and No. 14 “Double,” which is inspired by the numerous double greens at St. Andrews...although this, ironically, is a long single green.
Mount Prospect is a model that every municipal course should follow. They took a mediocre course and turned it into an insanely fun template course. Some of the greens may be turned up a bit too much for some people's tastes but it still provides tons of options and things the common man has never seen before. For $30 anyone can experience Raynoresque templates present at the exclusive CGC and Shoreacres. I know for me personally, I practically grew up at my local muni. If I had access to something like this as a kid, my appreciation for golf and architecture would have come much MUCH sooner.
The routing has a great amount of variety creating a great match play course. My personal favorites include the maiden 2nd, Lion's Mouth 7th, Double Punchbowl 13th, and Road hole 17th. Its an extremely fun round and one of the best public courses in the area.