Shepherd’s Crook is a public access golf course north of Chicago. It is one of the northernmost courses in Top 100’s Illinois list, with the green of No. 13 coming within 40 yards of the Wisconsin state line. In fact, groundskeepers who live in Illinois must leave the state to get to the maintenance facilities, which has a driveway off of the road that marks the state line.
All of the golf, however, is in Illinois, although Keith Foster and ownership have tried mightily to make you believe that you’re teeing off in Scotland. The links-like presentation involves deep bunkers, waves of native grass, and curvaceous putting surfaces (the winds coming off of nearby Lake Michigan don’t hurt the effect).
That said, there is plenty of American influence to be found in the water hazards, including several extended carries across ponds from the tee. Even so, the most prominent wet challenges at Shepherd’s Crook come in the form of traditional burns, such as that which crosses the fairway at par five No. 14, making players question their second shots, or the creek that sits very close to the green on the 570-yard closer.