Area Golf Courses

By Blake Schnitker

The Links Golf Course:

Links02-2015The Links Golf Course, 38 years old, is owned and operated by the City of Jacksonville. Concessions are sub-contracted to outside agency, which currently is operated by Butch Wood (Charlie’s 19th Hole). The course is open to the public, which t-times are not required but recommended up to 7 days in advance. A variety of tournaments ranging from individual, fundraisers, and holiday events are offered throughout the year. As an 18 hole championship course, The Links is a par 72, with a course rating of: 71.6, slope 121 from the Blue tees, 70.1, slope 117 from the Whites, 67.6, slope 111 from the Gold tees, and 69.2, slope 113 playing from the Red tees.

Aside from the 18 hole course, the Links also provides the Nicholas Park Course – often referred to as “the Old Course” – which consists of 9 executive holes stretching throughout the park with a par of 32 strokes.

As for The Links, it is important to note that league play is a major part of the course’s operations, with different leagues running every weeknight, Monday through Friday. These include: Knights of Columbus League on Mondays, Links Ladies and Ladies Rec League on Tuesday mornings and afternoons, respectively, Longneck and Virginia Leagues every Wednesday evening, Elks League on Thursdays, and a Couples League on Fridays.

The Links G.C. is host to Jacksonville High School, Routt High School, Our Savior Junior High, Illinois College (Men’s and Women’s) and MacMurray (Men’s and Women’s) golf teams.

General pricing for The Links Golf Course, including greens fees and cart rental for both weekdays and weekends, as well as information regarding season passes is as follows:

• $3 – $20 greens fees

• $7 – $15 cart rental

• CDGA Handicap posting $25

• Driving range: $4/token (35-40 balls), 10 tokens for $30, individual season range $150, and family season range $225.

• Season pass: regular $575, senior $475, junior $250 ($50 discount for following year if purchased by end of current year)

Jacksonville Country Club:

JCC02Located at 100 Country Club Road, the Jacksonville Country Club is a private, 18-hole course managed by golf professional, Mike Anderson. Originally, the course contained just 9 holes, which were designed by Tom Bendelow in 1924. Later, in 1965, the club added a second 9 designed by Lawrence Packard. The course plays 6597 yards from the blue tees, 6258 yards from white tees, and 5447 from red tees, with 72 as par. The course record by a professional at the Jacksonville Country Club is held by Jim Cisne with 64 (8-under par), while Red Hohmann’s 7-under score of 65 stands as the course’s amateur record. Amateur Lynn Cox’s round of 76 stills holds the course record for ladies.

Whereas other links-style courses are characterized by wide fairways and lower trees, The Jacksonville Country Club offers a bit more of a challenge off of the tee, with narrow fairways surrounded on each side by towering trees.

“Our course is known for its tree-lined fairways,” said club pro Mike Anderson “It’s a fun course to play and most find it to be an easy course to walk.”

As a private club, course play is permitted to club members and their guests only. Guest green fees are $35 on weekdays and $40 on the weekend. All guests must be sponsored by a member. For information regarding prices and membership, please contact the Jacksonville Country Club by calling 217-245-2134, or visit their website at The Jacksonville Country Club is an official member of the Chicago District Golf Association.

Northridge Hills Golf Course:

NorthridgeNorthridge Hills Golf Course is a 9-hole executive length course that provides a challenge for golfers of all skill levels. Situated on the northwest outskirts of Jacksonville, at 1265 Sandusky Road, Northridge Hills is a public course open to golfers of all ages. The head professional at Northridge is Derek James, while Howard Pillsbury works as the course’s manager and superintendent.

At 2300 yards Northridge Hills offers a course with rolling terrain and challenging greens. With three lakes and a creek in play on seven holes, an errant ball can easily find water. For those of you that hit’em straight, the well-groomed fairways provide a safe haven for par-saving approach shots. In addition to this, our practice area consists of a twenty station driving range and a 6000 square foot practice green. If honing your golfing skills is what you desire, Northridge Hills is the place to be. Northridge Hills has a course slope and rating of 104 and 31.2 respectively.

In terms of pricing, green fees at Northridge Hills are $12 during the week and $16 during the weekend. Northridge also has golf carts available to rent, with weekday fees at $9 and $11 rates for the weekend. If interested in making a tee-time – which can be done over the internet or by calling in – Northridge Hills asks that its guests schedule their desired times 7 days in advance of a round. For more information regarding course description, pricing, and seasonal passes, call 217-243-4241 or visit their website at

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About the author

Sports writer with two and a half years as Jacksonville High School's starting quarterback from '06 to '08. Blake currently volunteers his knowledge as a football coach.

View all articles by Blake Schnitker

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