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EAGLE RIDGE Resort & Spa  800-892-2269 - THE GENERAL

To visit this course's web site - click here

Chicago Golf Course Review

03 -The General Course at Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa

Introduction (scroll down for a review of the General Golf Course)

Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa offers four finely manicured golf courses (three 18-hole layouts and one 9-hole course) are the highlights of a 6,800 acre development that features the 80-room Eagle Ridge Inn plus 300 resort homes. Accommodations in standard hotel rooms and in 3 to 6 bedroom homes are available, and recreational opportunities abound, including tennis, swimming in an indoor pool with retractable windows, Jacuzzi, sauna, boating and fishing, hot air balloon rides, children's activities, fitness activities, horseback riding and more. For more information on what many feel is the top golf resort in the Midwest - visit our Eagle Ridge Inn page by clicking here.

 

Each of the four designs - The General, the North Course, the South Course and the nine-hole East Course, are rated 4 to 4 1/2 stars by Golf Digest Places to Play - with The General considered to be the top layout - annually ranked with the very best courses in the country. To play here - you must stay here, on one of the many packages that are available in a great variety of accommodations. There are four separate clubhouses, each with a pro shop, restaurant/lounge and practice putting green. The North, South and General clubhouses feature locker rooms with showers, and a spacious grass driving range is centrally located at the North Course - easily accessible from anywhere at the resort.

The General Course at Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa

The General Course at Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa

Golf at Eagle Ridge provides outstanding facilities and top notch conditioning and service. Golfers on any of the four courses will find finely sculpted tees, fairways and bunkers - and immaculate putting surfaces that roll true. The terrain is unique for the region, as ice age glaciers left behind steep hills, limestone cliffs and breathtaking views. Though each course is unique, one will find that all 4 maintain the same course marking systems, with measurements on tee boxes and on sprinkler heads, and with 150 yard stakes visible in the fairways. Daily pin placement sheets for the three rotating hole locations are posted on each golf cart. On The General, cart paths also have measurements at 100, 150 and 200 yards.

 REVIEW - THE GENERAL

With a 4 1/2 star rating and mention from Golf Magazine as the 52nd best public course in the country in 2002, The General provides a dramatic setting, with incredible elevation changes and spectacular vistas.  Tee boxes located on the sides of hills, rolling fairways defined by natural areas and high grasses, and beautiful water hazards are some of the features that sets this course apart. It is also the most finely conditioned course at the resort. 

The General Course at Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa

The General Course at Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa

The 6820 yards play to a 140 slope rating from the 4 star tees, while the 3 stars measure 6434/136, the 2 star 6008/131, and the 1 star or forward tees 5337/126. For women golfers, the 2 star tees are sloped at 135 and the forwards at 128. With the elevation changes and tree lined fairways defined by tall fescue/heather rough, golfers should choose their tee areas wisely - this golf course packs some punch. Keep it on the fairways and hit the greens - and one and two putts are a reasonable expectation. Score well on the par fives and threes, and manage the par fours cautiously - a good formula for success here.

The opening hole is a picturesque par four, playing from an elevated tee area to a rolling fairway bordered by tall fescue left and trees right. Land it on the fairway and this is a fairly easy par. Play from the rough and bogie or higher is possible. Number two is tree lined with more heather on the left, and narrows considerably as you approach a tight green complex. The beautiful par three 3rd has bunkers protecting either side of the green and a water hazard surrounding the putting surface like a horseshoe, but as the 18th handicap should yield a good score.The fourth plays uphill with moguls and pot bunkers all along the right side - a lay up past the 150 will set up nicely here. Five is long dogleg left four par that invites a shot to the right center of the fairway- anything left will be blocked by trees. This hole turns past the 150 yard stake, demanding accuracy and length off the tee. Number six is a gorgeous par five that bends in the opposite direction - actually bananas to the right along a water hazard. The fairway narrows to an L-shaped putting complex, which slopes left to right. A simple uphill par three on seven is followed by a short risk/reward par four. Long hitters will be attempted to cut this hole and play for the green - others should lay up with a mid to long iron for an easy approach - lots of birdies here. The finishing hole on the front demands a carry over a deep ravine, with the right center of the fairway the best location from which to approach the elevated, well bunkered putting complex.

The General Course at Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa

The General Course at Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa

The back side continues where the initial nine left off, as this number 5 handicapped par four plays over water to a raised fairway with trees on both sides making this one of the day's tightest approaches. The left center is the place to be here. Eleven is a beautiful par three that is all carry over a natural ravine, with not much room for error. The two back tees are elevated and the middle and front tees are quite level. The finely sculpted fairway on 12 is about 25 yards wide and is flanked by fescue mounds left and trees right. Land it on the fairway however and this short par five is a good scoring hole. A tee shot over a natural area should be aimed over the 150 yard stake to leave the best approach to a tight green complex on the dogleg left par four13th. This is the course's number one handicap - and a tough par. Fourteen follows with what we found to be the most score-able hole of the layout - or as Tigger says - "eagable". Long hitters may be able to reach the green off the tee, as this short par four plays extremely downhill. Land it anywhere on the fairway, and this hole can be had. Be forewarned that a water hazard rests about 100 out on the right side past the tree line, and is not visible from the tee boxes (and also is not in the yardage guide booklet). The view for the elevated tee area is outstanding! If you can avoid the green-side traps on 15, this par three should also turn out some good scores. It is easy however to drive through the green, as it is quite narrow. Aim just left of the 150 to cut off some distance on 16, which bends left and presents a fairly simple approach. The par four 17th is a tricky hole. It plays uphill to a wide landing area, but the uphill second shot will demand 1 1/2 to 2 clubs extra. Anything hit left center or short on the green will run all the way down into a grass swale that fronts the putting complex. The par five closing hole is very tight off the tee, with trees on either side protecting an undulating fairway that splits about 185 out. The top shelf on the right side is the place to be for an approach to a green that slopes considerable from right to left.

The General Course at Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa

The General Course at Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa

The general is top dog at Eagle Ridge - a fine golf course at a fine golf resort. The drive from downtown Chicago is about 2 1/2 to 3 hours depending on traffic. For a one day trip - we recommend you play a couple of rounds, with the General and the North Course being our first two choices. You can't go wrong on the South or East courses either. Better yet - spend a long weekend or at least overnight in one of the fine accommodations available, and play them all. Four Troon golf courses on one property - need we say more?

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For more information on this course and a link to its website (if available) visit our detailed listing page in the Two Guys Who Golf Chicago Section: click here.

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