ThunderHawk Golf Club
ThunderHawk Golf Course covers a diverse terrain of mature forests, marshland, and prairie. Designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. who made a commitment to preserving the natural terrain as much as possible, it was the first public course in Illinois to be certified by the Audubon Society. It has also been ranked as not only one of the top municipal golf courses in the state but in the entire U.S. as well. ThunderHawk is definitely a must-play if you're in the area. The layout balances challenging elements with more player-friendly features, offering a course that is versatile enough to accommodate players of all skill levels. The fairways are exceptionally wide with some room for error but there are a few tricky blind shots as well as strategically placed bunkers.
|Silver (W)||72||6124 yards||75.6||138|
|Auburn (W)||72||5046 yards||69.6||125|
|Black M: 74.2/141||414||573||212||446||416||178||522||338||481||3580||429||517||385||225||363||172||578||182||600||3451||7031|
|Brass M: 72.4/137||394||554||187||424||391||168||501||333||452||3404||409||512||363||200||317||145||568||154||559||3227||6631|
|Bronze M: 71.2/134||369||534||187||394||391||168||470||333||417||3263||362||512||363||160||317||172||568||130||514||3098||6361|
|Silver M: 70.1/131 W: 75.6/138||369||534||153||394||379||138||470||302||417||3156||362||503||331||160||276||134||558||130||514||2968||6124|
|Auburn M: 69.8/128 W: 69.6/125||298||453||95||309||326||90||422||254||378||2625||299||444||241||120||246||66||401||106||498||2421||5046|
Best of Lists
Golf Advisor: Top Courses in Illinois
Great Illinois public track
Heard great things about Thunderhawk and it surely didnt disappoint. We got a great $49 rate (not sure if I would pay rack rate to play here).
The Good: The back nine is awesome. It is a little more cut through the woods with style a links style feel. Love the rolling fairways you hit the right spot and the ball just goes. Love the back with 3 par 3s and 3 par 5s. #16 and #18 may be 2 of the best par 5s out there anywhere. Par 3s were great I am a big fan of courses with multiple tee boxes at different angles.
The ok: Course was in great condition but I was surprised green speed wasnt a bit faster but maybe the rain we had got slowed them down.
Overall: Thunderhawk is a cool track more of a Wisconsin style then Illinois but awesome all the way around. Definitely a place to come back too. And those par 5s WOW.
Top notch track
First time playing the course yesterday. Our group teed off a 2, which qualified for the "twilight" rate which was 49 to ride. We played from the tips, or black tees. It played at about 7100 yards that day. We played in four hours exactly, and never waited for a shot. The course lay out is very beautiful and tough, as a first time player I had trouble with what to hit off the tee, and there are many blind shots off the tee, for example I hit a great drive that ran through the fairway on 2 and was out of bounds. My lesson all day was don't hit driver. The course is tight with lots of weird angles off the tees, fairway bunkers, water, cat tails, and out of bounds in all the wrong places. Oh ya, the first 3 pat 3's are all 180-200 forced carries. Needless to say I got pretty beat up on my first loop. They have 3-4 other tees I think like 6300-6600, with a very short option as well. With whatever tee you choose, you will be tested on almost every swing. The course is fantastic, can't wait to play it again.
This course is easily ranked each year in the top 10 public in Illinois. Most "experts" rank this in the top 5, and I can't argue with that. The drive from the southwest suburbs just plain ol sucks. However, this track has an awesome layout, fantstic conditioning, and above average pace of play. Tough track, played Thunderhawk approximately 10 times and shot only two good rounds here. That being said the score doesn't deter me from driving all the way north past Great America pretty much a 9 iron away from the border of Wisconsin. Thunderhawk could hold a PGA tour event here, maybe a web.com event, which would be awesome. Championship caliber golf course from every aspect. Well done Thunderhawk, well done.
Well worth the hike from downtown. Course is in fantastic condition and has one of the better layouts around. It will help to play this track a second time around, but you can tell when to play smart...just listen to yourself. I will definitely be back here again. Can't wait!!!
Play it forward
Played on a an unseasonably warm fall day, so course was crowded, but Rangers need to enforce pace of play still. Saw the ranger multiple times and still played just under 5 hours! People who drive the ball 220 and not accurate should not play from the tees at 6600 yards, especially on this track.
Really Something Special
This course is a real gem. Terrific mix of long "bomber" holes and short "target" holes. We had to drive an hour to get there but it was worth the trip. The weather didn't cooperate very well - cloudy, cool & BREEZY - but at least we stayed dry. We've had several days of rain so the course was pretty wet. Even so, the conditions were top-notch. Don't know when I'll get another chance to play here - but I'm sure I'll be back.
beautiful course layout
My first time in this course I was impressed by the layout. Very challenging holes and overall great experience I'll give a thumps up hope to comeback and play it again.
One of my favorites
I've played Thunderhawk quite a few times and it is one of the best in the Chicagoland area. Very well designed, challenging but fair, relatively secluded, typically in very good shape, and just a fun overall experience every time. Course was aerated a few weeks ago, greens weren't perfect but are close to normal at this point.
Love the course great shape Challenging will definitely come back
The course is setup for all skill levels. It is important to play from the appropriate tee boxes. I am a 12 index, 69 years old and played from the silver boxes. It was enjoyable. I played a week or two after the greens had been aerated so I didn't get a true indication of how the greens rolled.
Great course but fall season is always a crapshoot.
I've been playing the course sine it's opened - at least 4-5 times per year. My favorite time of year to play is fall, however, the course conditions in the fall are always questionable. The greens were aerated and sanded over about a week prior and were left to grow out, the fairways were drenched (there was no rain the night before) and as a result the experience was less than desirable. This is among my favorite courses to play and driving over an hour and half to play I was disappointed. The course should have warned us that they recently aerated and the greens have not been mowed for quite a few days, let alone they water logged the course. I'll go back, I know, but I'll avoid the fall season at all costs.
Great course, great layout, however, the greens were just aerated. Neither Golf Now nor the course mentioned it before I paid for the round.
Pro Shop should have mentioned the condition of the course and discounted the round before I paid.
More transparency please...
Beautiful and very difficult (penal) course that appears well maintained. The only (but significant) problem was that when we showed up, we were told all the greens were sanded down (virtually impossible to putt) and the 18th fairway was undergoing construction. I would have liked to know that at the time of my reservation. We did receive a break on greens fees but frankly, I would not have made a reservation if I knew this. Additionally, given the layout (narrow fairways with minimal rough and undulating lies--easy to lose balls) and price point, a course like this needs GPS on the carts.
Golfnow should tell ALL up front !
We were asked to play back first area
ting front nine. They said the holes would be all filled not true it was not puttable. Its to bad this place is really golf heaven.I golf a lot so $ brings me here once a year.
Great challenge and very fair course
Along with the great course layout, the staff are wonderful. They are very cordial, helpful and go out of there was to make you feel welcome.
One of my favorite courses in the area
Typically play here once a year mainly because of the travel distance.
Nice grass range, excellent course conditions and friendly staff.
Always an enjoyable round.
Beautiful place to plau
36 hours before we tee'd off the skies opened up and rained like no other. We were sure we would either be waking or dealing with cart path only rules. Incredibly it looked as though it hadn't even rained a drop!! The course was in magnificent shape! The greens were a touch on the slow side, and there is no GPS on the carts. Those are the only downsides to playing this gem of a course. I would highly recommend playing here, as I know I will be again.
Great Course, Great Layout, Make sure to get the yardage book if you dont have a gps.
Well worth the drive from south side of chicago
Thunderhawk Golf Club
The Good: Imaginative RTJ Jr. design just south of the Wisconsin border feels more like a northwoods Michigan track. Great course conditions and excellent, fair greens that hold well and putt true. Beautiful layout with nice variety of holes that weave through trees and Audubon preserves. Great mixture of short Par 4's and challenging doglegs. One of the best collections of Par 5's in the state, if not the entire Midwest.Good practice facility with nice range and short game area. Good clubhouse and on-course restroom stations. Well-priced at $85 during high season.
The Bad: Greens can put a little slow compared to similar caliber courses. No GPS is a negative. Course can be extremely difficult, especially when the wind blows.
The Verdict: Thunderhawk is one of the best municipal courses in the country. A course that will play different every day you tee up and is very fun to play. One of the best public facilities in Illinois.
Best Hole(s): You could pick each of the Par 5's to be the signature, but the 18th is the best. The Par 4 9th requires a long drive into a dog leg left with an approach that must navigate large overhanging trees. Tough!
This is my second time playing and I think it's one of the best courses I've played at. The fairways are very nice and the greens and hole location is always challenging. Pace of play was very good and staff are always friendly. Would recommend this course to anyone who's visiting the are.