The Course

A classic course for the ages, Barrington Hills stands the test of time

Brad Klein- Golfweek 2006
It is a lovely place, and unusually spacious for Chicago, or for any parkland golf setting. You get a sense of its enormity as you walk out of the clubhouse and make your way across the field to the first or tenth tees. There is no particular need to busy the scenery with undue ornamentation. Life and recreation are kept simple here. And the enduring virtue of the golf course is that it is modest, thoughtful strategic virtues have survived in an age when so many contemporary courses hurried to modernize and make themselves showy and monumental.

At Barrington Hills, course architect George O'Neil let the limitations of his day function as his strengths. Nobody moved earth in building courses in those days. Instead, you fashioned a good routing, or sequence of holes, one that made use of the native contours. The you got a work crew to move a little dirt here and there, hollow out a few pits for bunkers, smooth over would-be putting surfaces, and then you let the course mature over the next several years while it was being played.

All it takes is a first stroll down the massive fairways to see that the holes all have some kind of intrigue or alternate paths. in that sense, Barrington Hills is the perfect member's club, since it can accommodate the playing preferences of high handicappers as well as scratch golfers all on the same day.