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4.6
84 Reviews (84)
5 Stars
57
4 Stars
18
3 Stars
6
2 Stars
2
1 Stars
1
Conditions
4.4
Value
3.9
Layout
5.0
Friendliness
4.3
Pace
4.7
Amenities
4.2
98.5%
Recommend this course
77 out of 84 reviews
Read Reviews
Average Rating
Avg Rating
4.7
6 Reviews (6)
5 Stars
5
4 Stars
0
3 Stars
1
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
0
Conditions
4.3
Value
3.8
Layout
5.0
Pace
4.8
Amenities
4.2
StaffFriendliness
4.5
100.0%
Recommend this course
6 out of 6 reviews
Read Reviews
Average Rating
Avg Rating
4.6
7 Reviews (7)
5 Stars
5
4 Stars
1
3 Stars
1
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
0
Conditions
4.4
Value
3.9
Layout
5.0
Pace
4.9
Amenities
4.2
StaffFriendliness
4.3
100.0%
Recommend this course
7 out of 7 reviews
Read Reviews

About

Holes 18
Type Public
Par 72
Length 7031 yards
Slope 141
Rating 74.2

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.

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ThunderHawk Golf Club
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Course Details

Year Built 1999
Fairways Bent Grass
Greens Bent Grass
Golf Season Open: 4/01 Closed: 11/15
Architect Robert Trent Jones, Jr. (1999)

Rentals/Services

Carts Yes
Clubs Yes

Practice/Instruction

Driving Range Yes
Bunker Yes
Teaching Pro Yes
Pitching/Chipping Area Yes
Putting Green Yes

Policies

Credit Cards Accepted VISA, MasterCard, Amex Welcomed
Metal Spikes Allowed No
Walking Allowed Yes

Food & Beverage

Bar, Grill, Restaurant

Available Facilities

Clubhouse, Banquet Facilities

Accolades

  • Golf Advisor: Top Courses in Illinois (2017 #11)

Reviews

4.6
84 Reviews (84)

What Golfers Are Saying

The 19th Hole is Great For:
Drinks 12
Patio Dining 9
19th Hole Scenic Views 6
Course Challenges Include:
Bunkers 17
Water Hazards 14
Forced Carries 12
This course/club is great for:
Advanced Golfers 16
Wildlife/ Scenic Views 15
Entertaining Clients 12
This Course's Location is:
Worth the Drive 16
In the 'Burbs 14

Numbers based on reviews tagged with attribute.

Advanced Filters
Overall Rating
Recommended
Handicap
Age
Type of Golfer
Gender
Played On
Reviews 1
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Walked

Love this Track!

I used to live in Zion but moved a little further away.

Every chance I get, I come back and play ThunderHawk. It is a true measuring stick for my game. A friend on mine joined me and he also had to drive from Tinley Park to play, but didn't hesitate saying he would join me.
The course was in great shape, as usual.

Thanks again for a great day!

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 3
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Average
Played On
Reviews 24
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
3.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played

A very wet morning round

I decided to take advantage of a discount to walk this course. Played as a single as there was nobody on the course, maybe 4 people on the entire course. I was shocked at the amount of water that was still on the golf course, standing water in every fairway and I mean standing. It’s the wettest fairways I have ever experienced. To the course credit it was still very playable. No way you could have played the back tees, it would have played to 8000 yards as there was no roll on any shots. The course has only been open for 4 days. The biggest surprise was the amount of divots and ball marks that were visible on all of the tees, greens and fairways. It appeared that there had been no maintenance done this season as some of these were from last fall.:I was hoping to see near perfect conditions except for the water of course, since they have had virtuallY no play and no carts on the course this season. I suspect maybe there have been cutbacks due to our health crisis. There were also a few washed out bunkers. It was great to play this layout as it’s one of the best in Illinois. However they are also one of the most expensive and with our current economy this place better be perfect for the price and it was not. It appeared that the tee markers had been in the same place for 4 days ....in wet conditions this is not a good idea.
I might try it agin in the fall when conditions are back to normal.:

Conditions Fair
Value Fair
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 3
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a month
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played
Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Average
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played
Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Played On
Reviews 4
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 136
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Chicago Advisor
Top 50 Contributor
Previously Played
Wet weather
Walked

Thunderhawk GC - RTJ Jr. Gem at IL/WI Border

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. Was particularly impressive how well the course recovered from significant rains the past few days. 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. The closing stretch of 16-18 is one of my favorites in the greater Chicago area. Good practice facility with nice range and short game area. Good clubhouse and on-course restroom stations. Well-priced around $90 w/ cart 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 and a creek. Tough!

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Average
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 67
Handicap 5-9
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Top 250 Contributor
Chicago Milwaukee Advisor
First Time Playing
Windy weather
Used cart

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.

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Good
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing

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.

Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Average
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 31
Handicap 10-14
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Nevada Advisor
Hot weather
Used cart

FAN-TAS-TIC

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.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Reviews 3
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing

Must Play

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!!!

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Pace Excellent
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
2.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played

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.

Conditions Good
Value Fair
Friendliness Average
Pace Poor
Amenities Average
Played On
Reviews 39
Handicap 10-14
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
Top 1000 Contributor
First Time Playing
Fair weather
Used cart

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.

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a month
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing

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.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 1
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played
Excellent weather
Walked

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.

Conditions Good
Value Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing

Nice challenge

Love the course great shape Challenging will definitely come back

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 1
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing
Good weather
Used cart

Challenging Layout

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.

Conditions Good
Value Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 1
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Excellent weather
Used cart

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.

Conditions Fair
Value Average
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Good
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Default User Image
Commented on 02/12/2020

Golf courses will NEVER tell you they have aerated. You have to ask when September, October rolls around. Only way to be sure. I've been burned in the past.

Played On
Reviews 1
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Fair weather
Used cart

Hankster

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.

Conditions Fair
Value Fair
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Good
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 13
Handicap 5-9
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing
Excellent weather
Used cart

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.

Conditions Fair
Value Good
Friendliness Average
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
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