A view of a green from Bittersweet Golf Club
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4.0
126 Reviews (126)
5 Stars
44
4 Stars
67
3 Stars
10
2 Stars
4
1 Stars
1
Conditions
4.0
Value
4.1
Layout
4.1
Friendliness
4.2
Pace
3.8
Amenities
4.1
88.1%
Recommend this course
117 out of 126 reviews
Read Reviews
Average Rating
Avg Rating
3.7
14 Reviews (14)
5 Stars
4
4 Stars
6
3 Stars
1
2 Stars
2
1 Stars
1
Conditions
3.6
Value
3.9
Layout
4.1
Pace
3.5
Amenities
3.6
StaffFriendliness
3.6
85.7%
Recommend this course
12 out of 14 reviews
Read Reviews
Average Rating
Avg Rating
3.8
19 Reviews (19)
5 Stars
6
4 Stars
8
3 Stars
2
2 Stars
2
1 Stars
1
Conditions
3.7
Value
3.8
Layout
4.1
Pace
3.5
Amenities
3.9
StaffFriendliness
3.9
84.2%
Recommend this course
16 out of 19 reviews
Read Reviews

About

Holes 18
Type Public
Par 72
Length 6751 yards
Slope 135
Rating 73.3

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.

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Course Details

Year Built 1996
Golf Season Open: 3/15 Closed: 11/15

Rentals/Services

Carts Yes
Clubs Yes

Practice/Instruction

Driving Range Yes
Caddies No
Golf School Academy Yes
Teaching Pro Yes
Putting Green Yes

Policies

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

Food & Beverage

Restaurant

Available Facilities

Clubhouse, Banquet Facilities

Accolades

  • Golf Advisor: Top Courses in Illinois (2016 #12)

Reviews

4.0
126 Reviews (126)

What Golfers Are Saying

The 19th Hole is Great For:
Drinks 14
Patio Dining 8
Course Challenges Include:
Water Hazards 23
Forced Carries 18
Bunkers 12
This course/club is great for:
Advanced Golfers 19
Locals 14
Wildlife/ Scenic Views 13
This Course's Location is:
In the 'Burbs 17
Worth the Drive 15
Near Local Attractions 8

Numbers based on reviews tagged with attribute.

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Overall Rating
Recommended
Handicap
Age
Type of Golfer
Gender
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played

Slow day

We lIke this course. It rewards good shots and penalizes poor ones rapidly. We were directed to play from 10th but as a two ball we hit a very slow foursome on the first tee and the day went downhill from there, it was slow. Course condition was generally good but people are just not repairing divots or pitchmarks and it’s taking a toll. The management would benefit from reminding patrons to observe etiquette and maintain the course as they would hope to find it.

Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Good
Friendliness Average
Pace Poor
Amenities Average
Played On
Reviews 2
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played

Decent Value

Played for $59 on a Sunday. Good value. The course is in good condition. My big complaint is the huge discrepancy between the white and blue tees. There is more than an 800 yd difference. We were in a foursome with some playing white and some playing blues and it was like we were on different courses. Move the whites back a little.

Conditions Average
Value Good
Layout Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Average
Played On
Reviews 299
Handicap 10-14
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
2.0
Illinois Advisor
Top 10 Contributor

Not a friendly course for high handicappers - slow play abounds

A lot of this is verbatim from my 9/1/19 review - 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's 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 always a 5 hour plus slog of wait. On a really nice Tuesday afternoon our 3 some teed off a little after 2pm and got around the course in well under 4 hours. When we made the turn we picked up some beverages and walked out of the clubhouse to go to the 10th tee. Then I was asked by two really heavy set guys sporting t-shirts and tennis shoes....hey do you know where the 10th tee is? Pro shop trying to send off a two-some with no course knowledge to play the back 9 holes directly in front on us?? That turned into a mess because the 1st two holes of the back nine are complete trouble/water/swamp everywhere you look....the 10th hole you can't even see most of the fairway from the tee box. The 11th hole you can't see the green from the tee box or your second shot. Had we not insisted (and argue) that we play first off the 10th (sorry guys not our problem the pro shop tried to put you in front of us plus there was a single that caught us on the 9th that we wanted to let play through us) all four of us would have been held up yet again by high handicapped golfers who then easily took 2.5 hours or more to play the back nine & playing the 130 plus slope blue tees - we were putting on the Par 5 11th green when this two-some finally left the 11th tree box... it definitely took them well over 30 minutes just to navigate the 10th and 11th holes.

Course suffers because the white tees yardages are too short - you get into trouble quickly from them as it gets tighter to fit your balls into windows/targets......and the blue tees (which most weekend warriors play) are way too much for them to avoid not losing a dozen or more balls 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. Downgrading a full 1.5 stars this year to 2 stars overall because pro-shop was clueless and didn't have a care at all about our experience when making the turn.....I'm still hearing the question - hey do you know there the 10th tee is? Always a 5.5 hour plus round when crowded and that's just not acceptable. $35 value.

Conditions Good
Value Average
Layout Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
1.0
First Time Playing

Course sucks

First golfers very rude since we only played back 9 course is horribly laid out no idea where fairways are leaves allover course lose golf balls when shot is down the middle this was the first and you can bet it will be the last time I EVER play here again worst experience I ever had playing golf this course SUCKS

Conditions Poor
Value Poor
Layout Poor
Friendliness Poor
Pace Poor
Amenities Poor
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played

Well maintained golf cc.

Fairway is well maintained. Good place to play golf. I wish faster green speed though. Nice work!

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Average
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Default User Image
Anonymous
Played On
Reviews 53
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 16
Handicap 15-19
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played

Great test

Bittersweet offers a fair test for golfers of intermediate or better skills. Tight fairways, lots of marsh and sand, thoughtful hole layout present risk/reward decisions throughout the round. Slope is definitely under-rating the difficulty. Greens and fairways were in great shape.
It would be great if a blue/white combo were offered to split the difference between the 5500 yard whites and the almost 6400 yard blues. There is a 5 stroke handicap difference between the two tee setups.

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Average
Played On
Reviews 14
Handicap 15-19
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Used cart
Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Good
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
2.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing

Did not think that the course was in good condition for just opening to foursome play and not having much play due to the Covid lockdown. It did not appear to have been mowed recently. Also there was supposed to be 10 minutes between tee times and they were sending out the next foursome while the one in front of you was still in the fairway.

Conditions Poor
Value Poor
Layout Average
Friendliness Average
Pace Fair
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 8
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Windy weather
Walked

Tough Round

Course was in good condition considering recent heavy rains. Bunkers needed work but otherwise playing well. Greens were in great shape. The wind came up strong out of the east which makes the course play tougher than with a south or west wind..

Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Reviews 3
Handicap 20-24
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
3.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing
Wet weather
Walked

Fun Course, Poorly Managed

This was my first time playing the course. The course was a bit wet coming off some significant rainfall a couple days earlier. The course is a pretty fun track and I'm sure it would play differently if a bit drier.

I was a bit disappointed by the management of the course. Given the amount of rain we had prior to my round, there should have been a cart restriction. With that said, management ignored the state's golf operational restrictions regarding the cart usage. The two pairing behind me were all driving carts despite the cart restriction put in place. The four golfers in those carts did not appear to have any physical disabilities or physical restrictions which would prevent them from walking the course. Even as I completed my round, more carts were being sent out. I have compressed discs and numbness in my left leg, yet I don't consider myself unable to walk the course with my push cart. I think there was a certain amount of nepotism given to the local regulars in violation of the state's restrictions set in place due to COVID-19.

Conditions Fair
Value Average
Layout Good
Friendliness Fair
Pace Fair
Amenities Fair
Difficulty Moderate
Played On
Reviews 5
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Previously Played

Great Course, But Prepare for a Grind

I don’t know why, but this course attracts many slow golfers. Most play from the wrong tees given their ability and spend too much time looking for lost balls. On this course you’re going to lose a lot of golf balls! I rarely see a ranger on the course to keep track of pace of play.

Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Poor
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 2
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 11
Skill Intermediate
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 4
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Used cart

Excellent value. Course in good condition despite all the rain.

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Previously Played

Challenging

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.

Conditions Average
Value Average
Layout Average
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Fair
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a month
4.0
Previously Played

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.

Conditions Good
Value Average
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Poor
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 299
Handicap 10-14
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
3.0
Illinois Advisor
Top 10 Contributor
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Used cart

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.

Conditions Good
Value Average
Layout Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 95
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 12
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Good
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