Spread out on a wide tract of land that reaches from Harlem Avenue to Ridgeland, Water’s Edge Golf Club draws its name from the canal directly to the south and is a unique Chicago golf challenge. Although never in play, the canal dictates the routing to a great extent, leading the golfer on a lengthy trip with lots of different looks.
Designed by Gary Koch, this land was reclaimed and is well worth the effort. Equal parts challenging and playable; Water’s Edge features a surprisingly varied layout with large greens, tough par fours and some reachable par fives, all requiring quite a few different shots.
The distance between holes at times can be lengthy, so although the course is walk-able, the experience is most likely better appreciated with a riding cart. As with most of the land in the area, the majority of the course is flat. However, there are a few exceptions with elevated tee shots on the par four, 424-yard 10th hole and the downhill par three 12th.
One of the most challenging holes at Water’s Edge is the 200-yard, par three 7th hole, which offers a massive green with three different levels. The hole is somewhat protected by the trees on the left, but don’t be fooled. Once your shot is airborne above the trees, the wind can play a role in the flight of the ball.
The green is protected by a large bunker along the right side, between the green and the pond. There’s also a deep bunker long left. There are a number of challenging elements that add up to a really tough par three.
The 12th hole plays from a raised tee with a number of different tee boxes at various lengths. The green is also quite large, so the hole can play at a variety of distances. Also, it’s a good idea to take an extra club on this hole as there is often a northerly breeze above the trees that will have a tendency to knock down shots.
The 575-yard, par five 11th is the signature hole at Water’s Edge featuring a tight drive with the canal on the left and a pond to the right. A solid drive aimed along the banks of the pond on the right leaves a manageable shot at reaching the green in two.
Tee shots that play it safe along the left side are well advised to lay up along the left side of the fairway. The massive green is guarded by some front bunkers on the water side and features a couple of radical tiers. A solid leave on this hole is anything on the correct tier that contains the pin.
The final par three at Water’s Edge is the 154-yard 16th. The hole is played to a slightly elevated green that is sloped dramatically from back to front. There is also a sizable bunker short right.
Picking a club on this hole can be quite a dilemma, especially if the pin is on the back of the green. If you’re long, you’re in serious trouble as it can be next to impossible to stop the ball if you’re chipping back down the green when the greens are rolling fast. A safe play is below the pin, but not too far back as this is another huge green.
Water’s Edge Golf Club is an excellent Chicago golf track for tournaments and events with normally a consistent flow that makes for quick play. Although there are some challenging shots, the average upper handicap player can still usually take advantage of the wide fairways and reachable greens for an enjoyable round.
7205 W. 115th St.
Phone (708) 671-1032