Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa Review
If you are looking for a perfect golf getaway location without breaking the bank next season, Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa needs to be on your short list of considerations. Not only will you treat yourself to world-class championship golf, but the resort amenities and peaceful scenery round up one of the best golf experiences in the country. Located in Galena, Illinois – about three hours northwest of Chicago – Eagle Ridge is home to 63 holes of incredible golf strung throughout 6,800 acres of the finest Midwest scenery this side of the Mississippi River. Highlighted by The General – which is routinely ranked in the top 100 golf courses you can play in the United States – Eagle Ridge offers a unique series of challenges for golfers of any skill level.
I had the honor of playing every course at Eagle Ridge recently and can safely say it is an experience I will never forget… and for all the right reasons.
The East Course (9 Holes -- $40 incl. cart)
The East Course at Eagle Ridge is perfect for beginners and golf veterans alike, offering a manageable par-34 nine hole layout amid rolling hills and subtle elevation changes. Golfers also have the chance to try Hack Golf – the up-and-coming golf alternative that features 15-inch cups on every green – or Kick Golf, the newest “soccer-style” golf hybrid introduced in 2014 (traditional holes are also on every green). This was my first experience playing Hack Golf, and it may have been the most fun I’ve had playing nine holes in my life. I highly recommend it.
The North Course (18 holes -- $95 incl. cart)
The North Course at Eagle Ridge is reportedly the “ownership’s favorite” and it is easy to see why. The scenic views you’ll experience while weaving through the course layout is worth the price of admission alone. The signature hole is the par-3 eighth, which features a 90-foot elevation change from tee to green and requires a tee-shot over an elbow of Lake Galena. This course’s back nine holes are some of the prettiest I’ve ever played and was a highlight of the trip.
The South Course (18 holes -- $95 incl. cart)
Easily the most difficult course on the property (140 slope from the back tees), The South Course features holes that are narrower than the hallways in the clubhouse. This is a true shotmaker’s course, challenging every ounce of your mental game while tempting you on high-risk-high-reward opportunities throughout. The weather took a nasty turn to sub-40 degree temperatures during my round, adding to the difficulty without compromising an overall incredible golf experience.
The General (18 holes -- $115 incl. cart)
My final round was reserved for Eagle Ridge Resort’s flagship course: The General. Designed by Andy North and Roger B. Packard, this diamond in the Midwest features a 73.8 rating and 137 slope from the tips. The overwhelming course features are rolling hills and elevation changes, personified by the signature par-4 no. 14 hole that requires a tee shot down to a fairway more than 180 feet below the teebox. Four sets of tees make The General completely playable by any golfer, but I would reserve this course for mid-to-low handicappers.
Overall, Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa is far and away the best golf resort location in the Midwest. In addition to championship golf, guests can also enjoy trail hiking, horseback riding, hot air balloon rides, award-winning spa services, fine dining and wedding reservations. Historic Downtown Galena is a short car ride away and offers unique shopping, dining and much more.
The resort’s motto is “A World Away. Today,” and it is perfectly fitting. If you are a fan of this great game, Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa needs to be on your golf bucket list; no questions asked.