Golf.com, a website that I enjoy visiting quite frequently, just published a list of their 10 most overrated golf courses in the world (http://www.golf.com/photos/10-golf-courses-get-too-much-love).
Ironically, three of those courses were in my college hometown of Chicago (which I consider to have the best collection of golf courses outside of the state of New York). I’ve played all three of the ones listed in the Chicago area, and I agree with one of them (Medinah). But Olympia Fields North, which I’m set to play again in a few weeks during their National Fourball Championship, should not be on the list.
Olympia Fields CC is a great, old-fashioned club located in the southwest portion of Chicagoland. They have two golf courses, the venerable North course (where Jim Furyk won his only major championship in the 2003 US Open) and the recently renovated South course. The North is long, difficult, and tree-lined, but there are still opportunities for birdies. Good shots are rewarded, and bad shots are punished. It’s a scenic and classic test that I very much enjoy playing. It has all the design elements that one would look for in a great course (length, elevation change, difficulty, water hazards, trees, and bunkers). I’m not sure what Golf.com thought it was missing, but I haven’t seen anything lacking.
Truth be told Olympia Fields North is not in my top 10 favorite golf courses, and it’s not even my favorite golf course in Chicagoland (that would be Skokie CC), but it is deserving of its place among the Top 100 golf courses in the country. If you get a chance to play it, I highly recommend that you do. And the photo above is the beautiful par 4 third hole at Olympia Fields North, just to give you a sense of the grandeur of the place.