When you’re enjoying the views of the Chicago skyline at Harborside International Golf Center, it’s hard to argue with the assertion that Harborside is Chicago’s golf course. Located about 13 miles south/southwest from State and Madison, Harborside International Golf Center opened in 1995 on land that was a former landfill along the banks of Lake Calumet. It’s a quick drive down The Bishop Ford expressway to this 36-hole facility that offers arguably the best view of the Chicago skyline of any golf course.
The facility features two 18-hole courses designed by Dick Nugent in the traditional links style. The Port Course, which plays at 6,589 yards from the championship tees, hosted the SBC Senior Open, a PGA Champions TOUR event in 2002 in which Bob Gilder defeated Hale Irwin in a playoff.
The Starboard Course, which is slightly longer at 6,600 yards from the championship tees, offers one of the most challenging forced carries in Chicago. The 17th hole on the Starboard Course at Harborside International is a par 3 that plays to a length of 174 yards with a forced carry over Lake Calumet.
A major factor when playing this signature hole is the wind direction, which can often stretch a mid iron into a long iron if the wind is into the face of the golfer. The green is protected by three deep bunkers on the left, limiting any hope of a bailout option, while adding a significant amount of drama in the Windy City.
The 17th hole requires the right club and the courage to hit a shot over a water late in the round when fatigue typically sets in. Hit a solid shot and it could make your round. Fail to execute and you’ll be forced to quickly clear the disappointment for your final tee shot.
This signature hole is a fitting tribute to the City of Chicago and its beautiful skyline. Both out of town visitors and local residents should make time for a trip to experience Harborside International Golf Center and the 17th hole on the Starboard Course.
Harborside International Golf Center
11001 S Doty Avenue
Chicago, IL 60628