Robert Trent Jones Jr. has been vocal about his commitment to ecologically-friendly golf course construction over the past few decades, and this philosophy is in practice at ThunderHawk Golf Club, the first public-access course in Illinois to receive Audubon certification. Much of the course is open, with native marshland and prairie preserved between the holes, with a few playing through strands of forest.
The course’s branding features a capital letter for both the “T” and “H” in "ThunderHawk," but perhaps they should have considered “H” and “A,” because it’s the second holes that make the biggest splash on both halves. At No. 2, players can take a longer fairway left, or they can opt for a daring carry across a pond to offer a better angle to the green. Completing that step, they’ll need to avoid a Road-style pot bunker to the right of the green before they can putt for eagle.
No. 11 is much more reachable, playing 520 yards from the back tees, but an area of marsh separates the green-side and tee-sides of the fairways. Do you trust your second shot to cross?