Old Elm—Highland Park, IL
Old Elm is what I would call a hidden gem. It is not ranked by any of the three major golf rating entities, yet the
course is a true joy to play golf on. The course was built in 1913 with an H.S. Colt routing and Donald Ross
construction. Not too shabby a cast of characters to be associated with a golf course.
The course is currently under-going a renovation project that is projected to last 4 years. They are only 2 years
deep into the project and the place is totally amazing!! However, I was told to come back in 2 more years and I’d
be even more awed by the renovation work. In fact, a lot of that work can be seen at this website.
There are quite a few things that jumped out at me regarding Old Elm. The thing that smacks you right in the
face instantly is the immaculate maintenance of the facility. I don’t mean flowers and waterfalls and non-sense
like that…I mean true great golf producing maintenance practices. Here is a picture of one of the fairways, which
is perfectly manicured and produces wonderfully fast and firm golf turf.
The greens are also perfect. The place is just a joy to play golf at.
And among the other great things at Old Elm is the routing. The holes fit together like a hand and glove and the
walk is quite simply wonderful.
If I lived in Chicago, I’d hope to be a member at Old Elm.