Testing, but not overpowering, best describes this golf course. The layout routes through gently rolling, wooden terrain and offers a nice blend of lengths and difficulty, requiring a range of shot-making ability. The course features enough sand, woods, and water to test the accomplished player without punishing the beginner.
In the early 1920’s the founding Coghill brothers had fallen for the game of golf. Though their background was in plumbing, they wanted others to be able to enjoy the sport and began looking for a site to build a golf course. All it took was one look at this property and they were taken by the change in elevation and the hills which are a striking contrast to the plains of Illinois. Having found their desired site, local golf architect Robert McIntosh (Oak Hills CC, Fort Wayne CC) was brought in to complete the project.
Building and maintaining a golf course today is a scientific operation. At the time, a golf course was built by manual labor and horse-drawn equipment. Men filled a scoop with two handles to move dirt and the horse would pull the scoop to an elevation they created and the men then molded and sculpted the dirt into a green. Mowers were pulled by horses. The back-breaking work produced the original Cog Hill No. 1 which opened on the 4th of July weekend in 1927 to rave reviews.
In 1963, Joe hired famed golf course archictect Dick Wilson (Bay Hill, Doral-Blue Course, Laurel Valley) to build a third course. The original layout of Course No. 1 had the front nine finishing at the clubhouse. This created both a problem and a solution for the new course. The problem was that there was not enough room to have the new course start and finish near the existing clubhouse.
The solution was to “break-up” the original Course No. 1 layout. It was accomplished as follows: No. 1 would be composed of the first four holes of the front nine, plus nine new holes, and then return to the clubhouse on the last five holes of the original front nine. Over the years, the “new” parts of the courses matured and blended with the old, presenting golfers with continuity in the routing.