Like with most tournaments, the golf course tells us a story and the President’s Cup is no different. There’s a unique place that can host a future President’s Cup or Ryder Cup, and it’s called Harborside International in Chicago.
Much like the Ryder Cup, the President’s Cup has been played at some amazing golf courses. Liberty National is the latest beauty to get added to the list.
Illinois is no stranger to world-class golf, with courses such as Chicago GC, the breathtaking Canyata GC and the legendary Cog Hill leading the charge. One course that always stands out is Harborside International’s Port Course located just a short drive from downtown Chicago.
Designed by Dick Nugent in 1995, what pops out about Harborside is how it looks incredibly similar to a Scottish links course. Although there are no pot bunkers, the deep rough, green shapes and mounding make you feel like you’re on a historic seaside track.
It’s a course that is always recognized as one of best courses in the state, and the links style setting is perfect for team competition. Plus, the course has experience with professional golf tournaments.
It hosted the SBC Senior Open on the Champions Tour in 2002. In that tournament, Bob Gilder defeated Hale Irwin in a playoff to secure the title.
The setting of the course is about as epic as you can get. The Chicago skyline hovers over you as you try to drill some putts. This is similar to this year’s President’s Cup host, Liberty National with Manhattan in the background.
As you start to play the holes that are furthest from the skyline, is when the course takes you to another place. All you’d be missing is some ocean breeze.
What makes Harborside an awesome design is how it’s friendly to you at first. From there, however, it slowly starts to grow some claws and this could throw some players off, making things challenging.
Some holes feature numerous bunkers, including the eighth and ninth. The finishing four holes, however, would put on a show.
This includes the iconic par-3 15th hole known as the “Anchor Hole”. You’ll know exactly why it is called this.
The anchor-shaped green with sand all around making it one of the most fun, but toughest par-3’s in the Midwest. Follow that up with one of the best finishing three holes in the state.
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Interestingly, 16 and 17 are both the same exact length at 407 yards from the tournament tees. 17 is undoubtedly the most terrifying hole of the final three, with a long bunker just waiting to gobble up your ball on the left side. It stretches all the way down to the green.
In other words, it’s going to haunt you until you get on the green safely and start putting. The finishing hole at Harborside is a par-5 that may be reachable in two for the longer hitters but has a narrow fairway.
Not only are these holes great, but they each have Lake Calumet coming into play, making it an epic finishing stretch. Finally, probably the coolest thing about Harborside, and I can’t emphasize this enough, is that it’s a public course.
Public courses are warm and welcoming to anyone and everyone. Plus, that would mean that you’d be able to tee it up at a Presidents Cup golf course if it did become a host.
The Presidents Cup is still fairly young at 20-years-old, which means there are always new, exciting opportunities to play at some unique courses. I feel that with a links setting, an epic final four holes, and the Chicago Skyline in the background, Harborside International would make for a fantastic Presidents Cup host.
Be sure to keep it locked right here at PGN for more Presidents Cup stories and you can follow me on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio.