Founded in 1900, North Shore Country Club moved to its current Glenview location in 1924 when C.H. Alison designed the new 18-hole layout. The following decade, the course was duly recognised when it was selected to host both the US Open (1933) and US Amateur (1939). The US Amateur has since returned here, Jay Sigel winning the 1983 edition ten years before he embarked on his professional golf career.
In the book The American Private Golf Club Guide Daniel Wexler writes: “the course is routed over flat terrain, yet retains enough of C. H. Alison’s original, large-scale bunkering (plus two post-war lakes affecting play on four holes) to remain interesting.
Strong tests abound, including the 516-yard 2nd (where a lake pinches the run-up to the putting surface), the 189-yard, over-water 3rd, and the demanding 231-yard 8th. On the back nine, the 557-yard 12th features an angled green best approached from the right.
The 515-yard 15th doglegs gently left, with a lake menacing both the lay-up area and the putting surface. The 432-yard 18th, though not backbreaking, is a fine finisher, complete with a huge Alison cross bunker angled some thirty yards shy of the green.”
North Shore is a classic throwback course and club. The club dates back to 1900 and has been at the current location since 1924.
The first hole is less than welcoming, a long par four, two fairway bunkers left and one right. The 2nd hole is a good birdie oppty. Fairly tight par five with fairway bunkers in the landing zone. Definitely, reachable in two, but there is a water hazard right. The 3rd hole is a short par 3, carry over water, protected by bunkers, but another birdie oppty. The 4th is a tough hole. Carry over h2o, but unless you really hot a lousy drive it is not in play. It is a long par four, multiple fairway bunkers and two front greenside bunkers pinching in the front of the green. The dogleg right 5th is a good birdie oppty. You can drive through the fairway, your tee shot needs to be well right of the fairway bunker on the outside elbow. Another well-designed green complex, redan green with bunker front right and back left. Everything is right in front of you on 6. Another classic protected raised green. I would categorize the par 5 7th as sneaky. Not that long and two well positioned and struck shots can get you home. Tree lined both sides the hole is 80 straight with a left hook at the end. A water hazard comes into play on the right just in front of the green. To get home in two favor the right side off the tee, my recommendation is play it as a 3 shotter and choose your ideal wedge yardage into the green. The 8th is a long par 3. I was not embarrassed to hit my driver, as I was the only one who reached the green. The bunker on the right side appears to be greenside, but it is an optical illusion and is well short of the green. The 9th heads back to the clubhouse. Favor the left side off the tee, there is a pesky crossing bunker on the right side.
The back starts off by punching you in the nose. A long par 4 dogleg right, fairway bunkers on the left elbow. If you are right you are blocked out and too far left in the bunkers. There are two greenside bunkers, left and right, but they are not guarding the front of the green. Fortunately, 11 is a birdie oppty. Short dogleg right, favor the left side. This will give you a great angle to attack the pin as opposed to navigating the front right bunker. The 12th is a mi-yardage par 5. I am not sure why it is the number4 handicap. Fairly straight, with some fairway bunkers offering token resistance. Three average shots and you are putting for birdie. Having said that, I was not. The uphill, tabletop 13th is a par 3 that is well protected and probably requires an extra club. The 14th is eerily similar to 12. The par 5 15th is also similar to 2. A bit shorter, thus more easily reachable, it also has a water hazard sneaking into play on the right side near the green. The 16th is the shortest and the easiest hole on the course. Front bunker provides some drama, but that is about it. The 17th and 18th are tough finishing holes. Long, but pretty straight, the only big difference is the fairway bunker in the middle of 17.
If you can get on, do it.