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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This is one of the more visually easy tee shots on the course. A nice fade or draw will play well here.
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.
The sun gave me a little trouble with the camera here, but the tee shot is pretty straightaway.
Yet another solid hole here with a multitude of bunkers.
The 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).
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.
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.
There is no mystery here. A long, straight tee shot will do the trick.
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.
I 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.