The Glen Club

The site of a former Naval air base in suburban Chicago became a blank canvas upon which Tom Fazio painted traces of the Carolina foothills

By: Josh Karp

Appeared in July/August 2005

For 70 years Chicago-area parents took their youngsters to watch fighter jets take off and land at Glenview Naval Air Station. When the base closed in 1995, an ideally located 195-acre site was suddenly available. Pancake-flat and half-covered in concrete, Glenview’s proximity to downtown, O’Hare International and the affluent North Shore suburbs nonetheless made it the most sought-after golf-development deal in the country. The winning bidder was a local outfit of national repute, KemperSports, and Kemper’s first call was to course designer Tom Fazio. In his patented painterly style, Fazio created The Glen Club, a parkland sweetheart with the feel and dramatic elevations (some 40 feet high) of a Carolina foothills layout. It hosts a Nationwide Tour event, but the course  (847-724-7272, is better known for the graceful contours that make it playable for grown-up kids who come to watch their own booming drives take off and land.


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