Bittersweet Golf Club
Bittersweet Golf Club in Gurnee, Ill. is ideally situated for a scenic round of golf. The diverse landscape flows seamlessly from lush wetlands to native prairies covered with colorful wildflowers. The layout also winds across a 100-year-old sage meadow and through forests of mature hardwoods, which serve as a home to an abundance of wildlife. Beyond the beautiful scenery, the terrain presents many challenges. The undulating fairways demand accuracy as you hit from multi-tiered tee boxes. Water also comes into play on almost every hole and there's an array of strategically placed bunkers you'll have to avoid. The eighth is the toughest hole on the front nine, a par-4 dogleg right with a lightning fast green. Bittersweet Golf Club's back nine is known for its scenery, which is best displayed on the signature par-5 11th hole, which offers not only a challenge but also a spectacular view from the tee.
|White (W)||72||5559 yards||72.8||128|
|Red (W)||72||4952 yards||70.0||121|
|Black M: 73.3/135||338||565||196||344||371||148||346||422||516||3246||369||546||403||200||506||420||421||203||437||3505||6751|
|Blue M: 71.4/131||319||531||169||334||361||126||326||404||485||3055||340||530||363||183||496||376||409||190||403||3290||6345|
|White M: 67.8/122 W: 72.8/128||298||490||127||323||234||106||309||328||410||2625||329||507||319||145||445||341||360||133||355||2934||5559|
|Red W: 70.0/121||283||469||93||279||234||76||288||323||402||2447||241||424||289||115||371||290||327||126||322||2505||4952|
Best of Lists
Golf Advisor: Top Courses in Illinois
Excellent value. Course in good condition despite all the rain.
This is the toughest 6700 yard course you’ll find. 2 Holes don’t have water. 190 yard par 3s. While the course is looking nice the greens are not a s fast as previous times (just above average) I play here at least 3 times a week and it is fun. Teaches you how to hit the ball straight. Possible to score well if you can hit the greens. Overall great course great staff.
Good challenge... but SO slow.
I’ve played this course a bunch as it’s 5 min. from my house. The course itself is usually in pretty good shape. If we have had a lot of rain it can be very wet. There are either hazards or OB on every tee shot and most tee shots must be placed well. If the greens are playing fast some hole locations seem too tough for most who play this course. The course is a good challenge, though every time I decide to go back though I always regret it. The pace of play extremely frustrating, and it’s difficult to get into rhythm having to wait on every shot. I’ve played several rounds over 5 hours on the weekends. If you can get out during the week it might work. On the weekends, don’t play unless you don’t mind 5 hour rounds.
Not for Everyone
Refer to my 9/24/18 review for more info. Bittersweet is in very nice shape and the greens are rolling very well - faster than most places. The track itself has water and danger all over the place. There aren't many breathers or room for error. Shots must be properly routed. It a course you have to play a few times....several of the green sites are very sloped.....to the point where you feel the course is a bit tricked up. A pretty place but when crowded it's a 5 hour plus slog of wait. Amazingly there was hardly anyone there mid-day Saturday on a holiday weekend. We got around in 4 hours. We were held up by golfers who easily took 5 hours plus on back nine (and they were teeing off mid-morning). Course suffers because the white tees yardage is too short - you can into trouble quickly from them as it gets tighter to fit your balls into windows......and the blue tees (which most weekend warriors play) is way too much for them to avoid not losing 1/2 dozen balls plus in the numerous water hazards. Folks are nice and welcoming, grass range and chipping area to warm up and decent clubhouse/showers with food and proper orange whip selections. Once a year is enough for me but still recommend. 3.5 stars. $40 value.
Accuracy a must
From the back tees this can be a real test
Water on 14 holes out of bounds on the other 4
Greens rolled true but were slow
Staff is always friendly
Pace of play can be an issue
If you want to play a slow, difficult round with OB and hazards on every drive, this is the one for you. I’ve played Bittersweet many times. I’m done with it. Too stressful.
The was really nice but with all the rain we have had real wet
Downgrading 1/2 star after a few plays
Bittersweet is just that. A bit of both. You can also refer to my 9/23/17 review.
The Sweet - friendly folks in the pro shop, grass driving range, practice area, water jugs on course, decent clubhouse with a shower and nice outdoor patio with golf course food service. Course nurse service on weekends. Loved the greens they were really speedy and very smooth and somewhat held good iron play but you have to hit the green surface. Tough angled deceptive greens sites. Overall maintenance 4 stars except for tee boxes - a really pretty and interesting routing.
The Bitter - crowded just count on a snail pace - gird yourself for 5 hours plus. Medicate and bring some cheese snacks to munch on. Occasional players and novices playing blue tees (131 slope) will lose at least 1/2 dozen balls. White tees (122) are too short - especially the Par 5's - guarantees weekend warriors will play the wrong set of tees for their skill level. Design is over the top target oriented throughout the round. Marginally off line or poorly hit shots will be penal. Swift greens - short siding or down hill chips the green slopes are almost too severe. A back left pin on the short Par 4 1st getting your ball to stay by the cup within 3 feet was quite an accomplishment - not a good way to build confidence in players from the get go - a big buzzkill pace monster. 8th green slopes severely left towards water - 9th green slopes right towards trouble. Easy to find water or wetlands on 16 holes. Some fairways are really small which require you to "fit" shots defensively into them. Local course knowledge mandatory (several rounds) to know how to route your ball off the tee box with many approach shots into angled sloping greens sites. Hit the green on the fly or watch out!
All in all I do enjoy Bittersweet - we lucked out and had a very well paced round. A bit too much of a challenge for less accomplished payers - course design for me is over manufactured. Greens were some of the best all season. Will return. 3.5 stars $30-$35 value.
I have played this course many times.
I enjoy playing golf at this course and I visit the course frequently. The course is well maintained but a bit crowded and the pace of playing is hurried. I guess you can't have all.
Complicated coarse, buitiful layout
I enjoyed this coarse. Coarse is complicated, so not good for beginners, get ready to loose some balls
Awesome course, challenging. Bring balls! Fast paced
One thing I love about this course is they make sure course pace is kept. Nothing worse than waiting around for other golfers. Course is a lot of fun, and no hole is the same.