The Village of Glencoe administers the Glencoe Golf Club. The Board of Directors of this Not For Profit Illinois Corporation is the Village Board of Trustees of the Village of Glencoe. The Glencoe Golf Club is a 501c3, enterprise fund of the Village of Glencoe. The facility is self-sustaining and receives no financial support from tax dollars or any other outside source.
The Glencoe Golf Club was established in 1921 by a group of Glencoe residents in search of an alternative to private country club membership. On June 6, 1922, the Cook County Board approved an agreement with the Glencoe Golf Club granting the use of land for the first nine holes (the front nine as we know it today) and construction was initiated using funds from those Glencoe residents. The second nine holes (the back nine as we know it today) were constructed on the 31 acres owned by the Village of Glencoe adjacent to the golf course. In 1927, the Village of Glencoe purchased an additional 29 acres of land to go with the 31 acres already owned immediately south of the second 9 holes. Expansion of the back nine to the present condition was completed in 1930 with the full 18 holes put into play in 1931. Since its inception as one of the first public golf courses, the Glencoe Golf Club has grown to become one of the finest public golf facilities on the North Shore.
Village of Glencoe and The Forest Preserve District of Cook County Partnership
The Village of Glencoe has enjoyed a long and rewarding relationship with the Forest Preserve District of Cook County—a prime example of a successful intergovernmental land sharing agreement which has been in place since 1922. Recognizing that both the Village and Forest Preserve have continued to mutually benefit from the agreement, both parties determined that an amendment to restate rights and obligations relating to the operation of the Golf Club would provide clarity into the future. As such, both parties participated in negotiations and formalized an amendment to the original land sharing agreement in June 2017. The amendment codifies the commitment of all parties to ensure the long-term preservation of the 126 acres of treasured open space and ensures the that the golf course, a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary and Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary, can be enjoyed by all for years to come.
Glencoe Golf Club: A Summary of points of interest regarding GGC's early history
Leading citizens of Glencoe, working with the father of the idea for a public golf course, H.H Sherer -Glencoe Village Manager, laid out plans for the “finest 18-hole golf links on the North Shore” and broke ground in September of 1921. Thirty-one acres owned by the Village and supplemented by an additional seventy-five acres of Cook County Forest Preserve land, in the proximity of the Skokie River, were to be used. The Glencoe Golf Club first opened for play in the spring of 1922 with initially a 9-hole layout. The second 9-holes were dedicated in 1925. Originally conceived of as a municipal course with memberships offered, an initials membership roster of 200-300 members was estimated at the time, with fees of $25 for initiation and $25 for each adult member annually. Non-members Glencoe residents and those outside of Glencoe were able to play at the course for a fee.
Women were invited to join as members from the inception of the club. The 19th Amendment, securing women’s right to vote, had been recently ratified on August 18, 1920, so offering women golf memberships was certainly progressive for the time. Many private golf clubs even today remain men-only, while other very notable clubs have only recently offered women memberships.
The Original Course Layout and Design
The original course layout and design was done by nationally recognized, golf course architect George O’Neil the “Golf Expert of Chicago”. During the golden age for new golf links construction in the United States, the occupation of golf course architect was just starting to take shape. George O’Neil started his career out as the first golf professional at Beverly Country Club on the southside of Chicago and is credited with that courses’ original layout. George O’Neil then later became the golf professional at Lakeshore Country Club in Glencoe, where he was then asked to lend his services to a new cause, the Glencoe Golf Club. Additionally, Phil Gaudin, golf professional at Skokie Country Club in Glencoe, assisted O’Neil in the initial layout.
As a course architect, O’Neil is credited with the layout of many other courses nationally, some of which include:
1908 -Beverly Country Club, Chicago, IL
1916 – South Bend Country Club, South Bend, IN
1917 – El Campeon Course at the Mission Inn Resort and Club in Howey-in-the-Hills, FL
1920 – Pasadena Golf Club (renamed Altadena Country Club), Pasadena, CA
1921 – Glencoe Golf Club, Glencoe, IL
1921 – Barrington Hills Country Club in Barrington, IL
1924 – Green Acres Country Club in Northbrook, IL
1929 – Maxwelton Braes Golf Resort, Bailey’s Harbor, Door County, WI
Glencoe Golf Club was later renovated by the firm of Kilian and Nugent in 1964 and then again in 1978. Ken Killian and Dick Nugent, renowned and prolific, largely regional based golf course architects, have well over 60 course designs and remodels to their credit at some of the top courses in the Chicagoland area. Some of their most notable original, contemporary designs include Kemper Lakes Golf Club (Killian and Nugent) in Long Grove, IL both Harborside Golf Courses (Dick Nugent Associates) Port and Starboard, in Chicago, and the Dunes Club (Dick Nugent Associates) in New Buffalo, MI