WeaverRidge: One of the Best in Illinois for a Reason

Aesthetics. Conditioning. Playability. Affordability. Ranking.

Measured by any metric, Peoria’s WeaverRidge Golf Club is one of the best places to play golf in Illinois. Built on 300 up-and-down acres on the former site of Weaver Angus Farms, the 7,030-yard championship course was designed by the team of Dr. Mike Hurdzan and Dana Fry. The Hurdzan-Fry firm, based in Columbus, Ohio, is responsible for a number of well-received layouts scattered throughout the Midwest, including Wisconsin’s Erin Hills, host of the 2017 U.S. Open.

“WeaverRidge is one of the finest sites we have ever worked on with much of the golf course nestled between deep ravines and picturesque valleys above the scenic Illinois River in an area carved by glaciers,” reads the design group’s summation of the course.

Two hours south of Chicago traveling on Interstate 55, Peoria long ago emerged as a reliable barometer of mainstream American attitude. “Will it play in Peoria?” is a well-known slogan about gauging whether particular persons, products or promotional themes will resonate with an audience that’s been selected to represent our nation’s middle.

How is the premier course in one of the country’s finest mid-sized cities playing to the golf course rankings crowd?

Quite well, thank you.

In 2009, readers of the trusted Zagat golf guide pegged WeaverRidge as the top public course in Illinois. Golfweek’s 2010 “Best Courses You Can Play” state-by-state rankings listed WeaverRidge at No. 4, just behind usual suspects like Cog Hill’s Dubsdread. Among public, private and resort courses in the state rated by Golf Digest, WeaverRidge slid into the top 20.

On Golf Magazine’s national list of the top public-access golf courses, WeaverRidge ranked No. 89.

WeaverRidge has received national acclaim since it was first introduced to golfers in Central Illinois in 1998. That year, Golf Digest positioned the Hurdzan-Fry layout second on its docket of “Best New Upscale Public Courses.” The winner that year, by a microscopic margin of 0.04 points, was Pete Dye’s Bulle Rock Golf Club in Havre de Grace, Maryland. Bulle Rock has since hosted multiple LPGA Championships.

WeaverRidge is an enticing blend of beautiful scenery and substance. The layout itself is outstanding – a traditional course speckled with nearly 100 sand bunkers where the terrain retreats and rises as much as 12 stories.

On the 228-yard 12th hole, a spectacular par 3, your golf ball plummets more than 120 feet tee to green. Perched high above the eventual landing area, you’ll marvel at this picturesque hole. To complete the setting, the green is encircled by forest, and when autumn has turned the leaves hues of red, orange and yellow, this is really a magnificent site.

The finale at WeaverRidge is another spectacle to behold. At a length of 556 yards from the tips, the par-5 18th descends almost 80 feet from tee to green, crossing a creek at the 290-yard mark. Your round wraps on a behemoth of a green; it’s nearly 120 feet deep. Onlookers from the porch of the facility’s clubhouse have a fantastic vantage point 70 feet above the putting surface.

Overall, the nines nicely complement each other, though each has its own defining elements. The beauty of indigenous prairie grasses and flowers accents the front nine, while the back nine offers some wonderful views of the area.

There are homes at WeaverRidge as Crain’s Chicago Business pointed out in an article filed in June of 2010, but they’re not eyesores by any stretch and they don’t negatively influence play.

“Few of the state’s top courses are surrounded by homes,” the article started. “WeaverRidge is, with more than 300 upscale Georgian- and Tudor-style homes sprinkled along some fairways, though the residences are back far enough from the landing areas to present minimal bother. Some of the million-dollar edifices make the walk seem like a stroll through Architectural Digest.”

In every facet, WeaverRidge embodies what the spirit of American golf should be. The course is family owned and operated, serves the community (local high schools practice here), doesn’t cost an exorbitant amount to play, ranks high among actual golfers and offers a spacious, relaxing setting.

WeaverRidge also features top-notch practice facilities, and is capable of hosting weddings, banquets or outings. For more information, or to book a tee time today, visit www.weaverridge.com.


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