Cog Hill Golf & Country Club #4 (Dubsdread)

 Cog Hill Golf & Country Club #4 (Dubsdread) – Played 2014

  • Rankings: Golf Digest Public #64, Golf Magazine Public #21
  • Location: 12294 Archer Avenue, Lemont, Illinois
  • Year: 1964
  • Architect: Dick Wilson & Joe Lee
  • Course Access: Public
  • Walking Rules: Carts & Caddies Available

Score Card Information:

  • Black: 7,554 yards, Par 72, 77.8 Rating/151 Slope
  • Gold: 7,144 yards, Par 72, 75.8 Rating/144 Slope
  • Blue: 6,750 yards, Par 72, 73.9 Rating/138 Slope
  • White: 6,382 yards, Par 72, 71.9 Rating/134 Slope
  • Green: 6,033 yards, Par 72, 70.2 Rating/130 Slope
  • Forward: 5,441 yards, Par 72, 72.8 Rating/135 Slope

The complex at Cog Hill consists of four courses.  The original course was built by three brothers with the last name of Coghill who were brought to Chicago by electrician work.  The elevation changes on the property differed from the plains covering much of Illinois.  Their work resulted in the first course opening in 1927.  An early reason for success was the streetcar route that provided easy access to the course.

In 1951, Joe Jemsek purchased the two existing courses from the lone living Coghill brother for $400,000.  He had been a tour pro and caddie at Cog Hill in his earlier days.  He worked at Cog Hill in other ways such as parking cars, manning the desk, the kitchen, giving lessons, and serving as the caddie master.  Jemsek has an interesting golf accomplishment on his resume.  In the 1934 Chicago World’s Fair he drove a golf ball 501 yards from a tower 168 feet tall into Lake Michigan beating out the other local golf professionals in the process.

After some time he commissioned the third and fourth courses to be built.  The fourth course was started by Dick Wilson who died before it was completed.  Joe Lee stepped in to complete the design.  Jemsek wanted the course to be good enough to host the US Open or the PGA Championship.  The collaboration was a success evidenced by its consistently high ratings.  It was nicknamed Dubsdread by Jemsek after an Orlando course where he spent his winters as a young professional.

Dubsdread has hosted many prestigious tournaments over the years.  These include the 1970 and 1989 USGA Men’s Public Links, the 1987 USGA Women’s Public Links, the 1988 Western Junior, and the 1997 USGA Amateur Championship  In 1991, the Western Open came to the course and brought PGA Tour superstars to the course.  Tiger Woods is a five-time winner of the event.  The event is now known as the BMW Championship and moves around to different courses.

Joe Jemsek was a pioneer for upscale public golf and provided the vision for many other public courses to be built.  His legacy lives on with Cog Hill now being operated by his son and granddaughter.  The other courses in his portfolio are still family-run as well.

I was in the Chicago area to play in a tournament on a Monday, but I needed something to do on Sunday.  After watching my beloved Clemson Tigers lose to the hated Florida State Seminoles on Saturday, I headed up to Cog Hill.  I called and made a tee time when I was about an hour out from the course.  When I stopped to make the phone call I got a glimpse of this expanse of windmills.  This was really cool to me.  As you are driving along it seems like there are hundreds of these things that stretch for as far as the eye can see.

Cog - Windmill 2

Cog - WindmillI played the blue tees and all distances reflect that.

Hole 1 – 425 yards – Par 4

The first hole is no pushover to start the round.  A long draw will play well here.  A good line is at the middle bunker in the distance.

Cog 1-1Get used to seeing bunkers.  They are all over this course.  The first green has on opening in front, but it pretty much surrounded by sand.

Cog 1-2Hole 2 – 182 yards – Par 3

The second is a really traditional parkland par three.  It is fronted by the bunkers you see here with others also around the green.  A mid-iron approach requires precise distance control.

Cog 2-1The green is mostly flat as you can see here.

Cog 2-2Hole 3 – 407 yards – Par 4

The third hole plays a little downhill to the landing area.  If you score a drive in the fairway a little more roll might be your reward.

Cog 3-1The approach shot plays back uphill over a minefield of bunkers.  The front greenside traps are particularly deep.  Those should definitely be avoided.

Cog 3-2The green had a large ridge than runs the length of its middle section.  You can see it in this photo taken from short, right of the green.

Cog 3-3Hole 4 – 397 yards – Par 4

This hole seemed to play tighter than it looks in this photo.  A straight drive is the best play here.  Let me just tell you that the rough is pretty brutal at Cog Hill.  Putting the ball in the fairway is a must.

Cog 4-1The approach plays quite a bit uphill and over some bunkers.  Be sure to take a little more club to avoid coming up short.

Cog 4-2Here is a shot of the green from the back left side.

Cog 4-3Hole 5 – 479 yards – Par 5 

This is listed as a shorter par five, but it seemed to play longer than the yardage.  It does play uphill off the tee.  The bunkers on the right are in play.

Cog 5-1Here is a view of the second shot.

Cog 5-2The green has a bit of undulation as you can see in the photo below.

Cog 5-3Hole 6 – 194 yards – Par 3 

The second par three is a great hole in my opinion.  Along with the first par three they are a solid duo.  This hole has a large green to hit, but is mentally tough when you see all the bunkers.  If you can focus, hitting the green should be easier than it looks even though you are probably holding a long iron or more.

Cog 6-1This green has some serious mounding that you can see in this photo to the immediate right of the flag and about 15-20 feet left of the flag.

Cog 6-2Hole 7 – 385 yards – Par 4

This is a tough driving hole with the hazard on the right side.  You can’t really see it, but just off the fairway on the right side is a pond waiting to swallow up wayward shots.

Cog 7-1The approach is hopefully made easier by being able to play a short iron.  The ever-present bunkers however keep the challenge intact.

Cog 7-2Hole 8 – 341 yards – Par 4

The shortest par four so far, but definitely not easy.  The bunkers on the left pinch in the fairway.  I played an iron here for accuracy and the downhill slope helped me get enough distance.

Cog 8-1The second shot plays up a steep grade requiring more lumber to reach the green.  Beware of the greenside bunkers on the right.

Cog 8-2Here is a shot of the green.

Cog 8-3Hole 9 – 586 yards – Par 5 

This hole and tee shot made me appreciate the ability of the PGA Tour pros.  This hole is simply like staring down a hallway.  It is really narrow and the only places to miss are in the trees.  Oh and it is almost 600 yards long.  I was playing around in the trees and only managed to get a photo from the tee.

Cog 9-1Hole 10 – 353 yards – Par 4

The tenth is a welcome sight after the gauntlet on the previous hole.  Driver is not necessarily needed here, but a good draw with any club will be a good strategy.

Cog 10-1The green can be seen in the photo below.

Cog 10-2Hole 11 – 547 yards – Par 5 

This is one of the more visually easy tee shots on the course.  A nice fade or draw will play well here.

Cog 11-1The second shot requires a draw unless you hit it mammoth distances.

Cog 11-2This is a shot from the left side of the fairway about 100 yards out.  Once again, be sure to avoid the bunkers.

Cog 11-3Here is a little zoomed in version of that shot.  You don’t want to be behind this green if you miss.

Cog 11-4Hole 12 – 194 yards – Par 3 

This hole plays downhill, but didn’t play much shorter than the yardage for us.  It is a very large green so go for the middle to five yourself an putt at birdie.

Cog 12-1The green features a ridge running the length of the putting surface that you can see here.

Cog 12-2Hole 13 – 383 yards – Par 4

The sun gave me a little trouble with the camera here, but the tee shot is pretty straightaway.

Cog 13-1The green has a nice shape.  It has a back section that juts out to the back, right side of the green.  If the pin is tucked back here there is much less room to land the ball.

Cog 13-2Here is a shot of the green from the next tee.

Cog 13-3Hole 14 – 184 yards – Par 3 

Yet another solid hole here with a multitude of bunkers.

Cog 14-1The photo below reveals that this a smaller green than the previous two one-shotters.  Accuracy is a key to make par here.  You can also notice the undulation on the back side of the green (the right side in this photo).

Cog 14-2Hole 15 – 482 yards – Par 5 

This is a different looking hole than some of the others on the course.  You play out of a chute and the hole favors a fade with the trees tight on the right.

Cog 15-1The green is pretty large.  This shot from the front, right side shows the depth and slope of the whole surface.

Cog 15-2Hole 16 – 381 yards – Par 4

You want to avoid going too far left here, but a nice draw is still the play.  The fairway cants to the left and will propel balls that way.

Cog 16-1The approach shot also calls for you to the avoid the left side.  Even if you don’t go in the junk, the left bunker is very deep and will make getting up and down extremely difficult.

Cog 16-2Here is a shot of the putting surface from an elevated spot on the right side.

Cog 16-3Hole 17 – 399 yards – Par 4

There is no mystery here.  A long, straight tee shot will do the trick.

Cog 17-1The approach is also pretty vanilla.

Cog 17-2I would say, like the rest of the hole, that the green is pretty standard.

Cog 17-3Hole 18 – 431 yards – Par 4

This is a little more like it.  A longer hole that calls for a big tee shot.  It doesn’t really favor a draw or fade.  Just pipe one out there.

Cog 18-1The approach is all or nothing unless you bail out to the right.  It’s a fitting hole to decide a tournament.

Cog 18-2The green is long and narrow as you can see here.  The right bunker makes you think about the water if you have to play out of it.

Cog 18-3I liked Cog Hill overall, but did have some dislikes.  It is not the most visually spectacular course and some of the holes can run together.  It can also be pretty brutal for the regular weekend golfer.  It was cool however to play on a course where the greats like Tiger Woods have prevailed.  The best thing about the course is that the public can experience it.  So if you are in the area, make some time, hit up the practice area, and take a whack at Dubsdread.  I certainly think you will enjoy your time.

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5 thoughts on “Cog Hill Golf & Country Club #4 (Dubsdread)

  1. Pingback: Mid Year Newsletter | Tiger Golf Traveler

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