Elgin, IL 
Rolling Knolls Share
Uploaded By: notapro Hole #5 (Taken 7/2017)
3 / 393ft. Par / Distance:
Hole #5 Tee

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Reviews: 17
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Rough is just that...

1    6/27/2022   8/31/2022
Review By: knobby325
Played: 305  Reviewed: 219  Exp: 7.7 Years
16 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Concrete tees, good size
-Excellent signage, good map
-Good Baskets
-Good mix of open/technical, long/short
-Lots of elevation in use
-#18 finish over small pond is cool
Cons: -Rough is mostly tall grass, shoulder height in areas
-Disc loss potential is high
-#10 has strange configuration, needs more fairway mowed
-No 9 hole loop
-Long hike up #17
Other Thoughts: Rolling Knolls is an 18 hole DGC that has taken over an old WB course in the eastern part of Elgin, IL. You get away from the bevy of 9 hole courses that littler the landscape around Chicago, here. You also get a fair amount of elevation. The old ball golf course has faded and this course has taken good shape. The tees are concrete and generous, signage and baskets are good. The rough is what will get you here. Tall grasses line most of the holes with some clumps giving constricted paths to the basket. The worst is Hole #10. Teeing across a marshy "ditch" area and then up and to the right. The ditch area has only a narrow path cut through, so if you can't clear it, you'll be searching a while for your disc. #11 is a great elevated tee shot, but again a narrow cut through the grass, hope you clear to the road. We actually lost a disc on #12 in the woods, rolled away to oblivion.... The elevation in play gives interest. A couple of boomer holes (#8, #9) give an arm a chance to air out as long as you can stay in the fairway (fairways on these two are ample). The hike up #17 winded the old guy. The finish was cool with a layup to a shot over small pond (or tee over it if you have the power & control). I agree with others that probably not a place to take the novice. You will want some power and control to tame this one...and probably some discs you don't mind losing. We did enjoy our round and might play again, if in the area.

16 of 16 people found this review helpful.

Rolling in the Deep (Rough)

5+    10/19/2021   11/17/2021
Review By: SneakyJedi
Played: 133  Reviewed: 78  Exp: 13.8 Years
15 Helpful / 0 Not
- Excellent use of hills and elevation change along fairways and greens throughout the course

- Good mix of hole lengths and a few more wooded fairways sprinkled in

- Two basket locations on each hole, most of which give quite different looks

- Good quality tees, baskets, and signs
- Generally more open golf style fairways with rough that can easily swallow discs

- Tee signs do not indicate which basket location is in use

- Almost no benches or garbage cans and you don't loop back to the parking lot until Hole 18
Other Thoughts: The Rolling Knolls disc golf course is fairly unique among the Chicago area courses. The old ball golf fairways and abundance of hills were used about as well as possible by the course designer. Almost every hole has elevation change from tee to basket or a sloping green with rollaway potential. There are a smattering of more wooded holes that require gaps to hit, but the main challenges here are controlling your angles while throwing up, down, and onto hills, keeping your disc out of the high-grass rough, and dealing with the frequently significant wind.

The combination of tall grass and/or thick rough and elevation change on many fairways means that lost disc potential is higher here than many courses. I would hesitate to bring newer players here and recommend the use of spotters on many holes unless playing with exclusively experienced golfers. That said, this is a really fun course for players with a bit more distance and accuracy and you by no means need to be an advanced level player to enjoy it. The variety of shots and fairway types is surprisingly good for a course on an old ball golf property, and holes 8, 9 and 10 are among my favorite three-hole sets in Illinois. These three par fours show the best of Rolling Knolls: big downhill and up-hill shots where nose angle, hitting a gap or landing zone, and staying calm if you go off the fairway are all important to score well. Big arms have a chance for eagle (at least on 8 and 9) and most players have a fair chance for birdie on these holes, but a single mistake can mean bogey or worse very quickly.

The course equipment is mostly good here. The orange Mach V's catch well and are very visible, concrete tees are generally large and grippy enough, and the tee signs look nice and show just about all the information you could want. Unfortunately, the tee signs do not indicate which of the two basket positions present on every hole is currently in use. The alternate basket placements are a mixed bag with some resulting in a significant change to the hole and others changing little other than distance. Benches and trash cans are almost non-existent.

I have found myself heading to Rolling Knolls more frequently the last few years. The course has grown on my as I have played it more, but perhaps more importantly, it has always been less crowded than the Joliet area courses that I am equidistant to. Those courses (and The Canyons in particular) have seen such an increase in players recently that rounds can take a long time with waits on many holes and backups during peak times. On the flip side, I have had Rolling Knolls and the other nearby courses mostly to myself during my recent rounds. Joliet/Lockport is still destination number one in the Chicago suburbs, but Rolling Knolls, Shady Oaks, and Black Bear make for a pretty good alternative for a great day of disc golf, especially if you value quick play and particularly on weekends.

15 of 15 people found this review helpful.

Rollin in Fun

1    4/25/2021   4/25/2021
Review By: DiscGolfer80
Played: 57  Reviewed: 56  Exp: 3.7 Years
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Nice use of an old golf course, flow of course is very nice. I love the elevation changes throughout the course. Open fairways with minimal obstacles, exception is on holes 12 & 13 and water on 18. Nice mix of pars and distances on holes.
Cons: Wouldn't play if one is "just" starting out to play. Brush, once has leaves, could mean lost disc(s).
Other Thoughts: I agree course is designed for intermediate to experience players, but as a beginner player it was nice to come out for the challenge.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.

About The Most Rolling You'll Do In Chicago

1    4/16/2021   4/18/2021
Review By: EspressoPatronum
Played: 140  Reviewed: 130  Exp: 17.7 Years
15 Helpful / 1 Not
- some of the best elevation change in the Chicago area
- good mix of uphill and downhill shots, with some level, but most having a hill in play somehow
- respectable natural beauty, though falls short of top tier courses
- concrete tees
- many technically challenging holes, but playable fairways and some more opens hots
- excellent high visibility orange DGA baskets
- most holes have good next tee signage
- navigation is pretty straightforward
- well maintained park with mowed fairways and reasonable rough
- every hole has 2 pin placements (only 1 basket in at a time)
- excellent full color tee signs with accurate maps
- good mix of hole lengths
- 10 and 13 are particularly unique and take advantage of uphill/downhill shots
- a few safety issues such as cutting across hole 8 fairway to get to hole 9
- shares space with walking paths, which could potentially be dangerous
- no practice basket
- no garbage cans throughout course, only one bench i noticed on 13
- longest holes are interesting and not just long for the sake of being long
Other Thoughts:
Rolling Knolls is aptly named, with some of the best rolling hills I've seen in the Chicago area. This is a very good course, but for me it wasn't quite great - right around the 3.75 level, and in my opinion just slightly overrated. It's missing some of the nicer amenities (bathrooms, water fountain, garbage and benches, practice basket) of top tier courses, but I can overlook most of that. I think a little more variety and taking advantage of water hazards a bit more might bump this up for me.

There is one ditch i saw that is a pseudo water hazard but doesn't come into play much. There is also a large lake/creek that isn't much of a factor, but I suspect it might be over the property line, unfortunately. You can see this from hole 13, which was probably my favorite hole - a great downhill shot to the basket a bit short of the lake. It's only 215', but I enjoy some of these downhill shots. Hole 18 also throws over water but at 196' it isn't an especially high risk.

I also thought hole 10 was really cool, but saying I enjoyed it might be a stretch. It's probably one of the steepest uphill holes I've ever played, and I think it was my only 5 on the day. It definitely forces you to make solid uphill shots at an angle I've rarely had to pull out.

The few safety issues here didn't come into play much, but they should be noted. At least one hole cuts back across its own fairway to get to the next basket (8 to 9) and in general, there are walking trails all over the course. I didn't see a single person on these, but if someone was unfortunate enough to get near an errant throw, it could be bad. Otherwise, the park is devoted to disc golf, which is great.

Natural beauty here is average for the Chicago area, and there is a mix of open and wooded shots, with some very long ones that play more like the old golf course this used to be. The elevation change makes up for the lack of natural variety in Chicago. I think the course designer used the space available very well to make an intriguing course.

One nit that isn't really the fault of the course - when I was trying to play hole 18, a few guys were using the basket as a practice basket, since it's near hole 1's tee. This is bound to happen with no practice basket, but these guys putted forever with me standing there waiting to tee off and couldn't be bothered to let me finish my round. Again, not really an issue with the course, but a reminder to follow basic course etiquette.

There are plenty of complaints in the reviews about this course being a "disc eater" and having thick rough. Admittedly I played this course in April so things weren't especially overgrown, but I didn't have this issue at all. I suspect some of the people who had issues here haven't played some of the most challenging wooded courses out there. I played solo and felt the rough was pretty reasonable here.

The tees, tee signs, and baskets here were all great. I think from 3 to 4 is the only place I had some navigation challenge, and I think the next tee sign may have disappeared. Some of them are temporary signs in the ground and some are permanent, so making the rest permanent would be an improvement. I enjoyed playing this course, but it didn't quite have the X factor for me vs. some I've played recently. It's definitely worth a bit of a drive if you're in the area. It beats most area courses and there are several others very close by if you want to make a day of it.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful.

 fun course

2-4    8/15/2020   8/28/2020
Review By: Nobird2210
Played: 12  Reviewed: 2  Exp: 6.8 Years
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Easy to find holes and fun to play. has not been busy the last times I have gone.
Cons: very woody and not cut down always
Other Thoughts: if you have a darker disc or green do not recommend throwing it or a one you have ace. very hard to find disc when they hit the forest.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful.

 See Me Rollin’

1    7/22/2019   7/28/2019
Review By: Magiken
Played: 74  Reviewed: 74  Exp: 13.7 Years
4 Helpful / 0 Not
• Easy to find
• All holes have multiple basket locations
• Tees are great (concrete squares with some minor seams)
• Signs are great (although a basket indicator would be appreciated)
• Baskets are in great shape
• No restrooms or water (that we could find anyway)
Other Thoughts:
• Bring a spotter
• Bring a map or take a pic of the one in the parking lot and also watch this excellent video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JO7WYaakNxY
• Bring another spotter
• Bring water and use the restroom before you head out
• Bring another spotter
• Don't bring beginners unless their sole job is to spot

Random Thoughts:
As has been described on this site, Rolling Knolls is built on the remains of a former ball golf course, only expertly shaped to now be what I'd describe as an advanced-pro style disc golf course. By 'shaped' I mean each hole is mowed to only be a fairway for that particular hole and nothing else. There is no place here where off the fairway doesn't mean pain. You're either in the fairway, where life is good.....grass is green and short.....birds sing.....rabbits hop along peacefully munching...., or you're not on the fairway and you're in the dense forest of very tall grass/trees...evil beings hide your disc although it's right in front of you...and the forest creatures laugh at your efforts to get anything close to a clear shot at the basket. Now you may be thinking that we didn't have a good time out here. Quite the contrary. We loved this course and thought it was one of the prettiest that we have played on. The scenery is beautiful. There are critters all over the place (bunnies, deer, squirrels, etc). There are water features and nice mixes of hills, flats, forests, and wide open spaces. The course is clearly loved by all of the attention that is paid to the maintenance. We thoroughly enjoyed this course and are happy we got to visit it on our trip. What I am saying though, is this course is not easy, and will severely punish an even slightly errant shot. Dems da facts. There should be a 'Sorry, no noobies' sign in the parking lot because you're going to have a long day with probably a lost disc or two if you don't heed the warning. To play this course successfully, you don't necessarily need to throw that long. A solid 300' drive will do ya fine for most holes. But you do need to be able to throw accurately straight, and in some cases, you need some shot shapes on both your drives and your up shots to land safely. It is not an exaggeration to say that you can have a great shot turn into a terrible result by your disc being so much as 1 foot left or right of a particular landing zone. If you keep it in the fairway, you're going to have a good day. If not, you're going to have a long day of scrambling just to make par (assuming you find your disc, of course).

As for thoughts on the holes themselves:
#1 - A nice easy warm-up but you do need precision as there are guardian trees around the basket
#2 - Warm-up's over. You now have your first needle to thread or you could lay-up in the gap.
#3 - Fairly straight forward unless the basket's in the back. In that case, you need your first shot long and straight or else your second shot is going to get a lot trickier with the narrow landing area.
#4 - Pretty straight forward. Just don't be short or too long as it drops off just past the basket. Land it on the hill near the basket and tweet tweet goes the birdie.
#5 - Keep your drive in the fairway and you should be good.
#6 - Keep your drive in the narrowing fairway and you should be good.
#7 - Slightly uphill right to left shot. Obviously avoid the tree on the left and land in the short grass.
#8 - Now the fun begins as this is where you're going to want to let fly the discs of wrath. Have at it...just land in the fairway, maybe slightly left as you'll appreciate the room for your second heave.
#9 - My goodness I stared at this one for a bit. You know what I'm going to say. Fairway. But it ain't easy. You're throwing downhill which means you need a disc that's going to stay straight or maybe a slightly left turn, which means starting it at the trees on the right (yikes) and then getting it to come back only slightly left so it lands in the middle. I threw what I thought was a great shot and it still went a couple feet into the rough on the left. Ugh....
#10 - Congrats! You made it through #9. Your reward: a tougher hole. You need a great, left to right drive to ensure you don't end up in the trees on both sides. Another one I spent a fair amount of time staring at.
#11 - Now that you survived that, these next few holes give you a chance to get some strokes back. Here is a dead straight ace run. Just don't be short as the road is OB. Mean! =P
#12 - Another ace run! Except there are a gazillion trees around so ya best be straight, and don't be long. Nasty behind the basket.
#13 - Not sure I'd call this an ace run but make your way past the trees up front and collect your birdie try.
#14 - A short but tricky slight left to right shot through the trees. Don't be too far right as there's water over there.
#15 - I really like this hole. Just throw a straight 200' shot that either finishes straight or slightly left and collect your birdie. Anything right or long is getting wet.
#16 - Yea, fun's over. Your first drive needs to clear that tree straight ahead because your second shot is a blind shot over an island of nasty to a tree-guarded green on the other side. Yeegads. Easily the toughest shot on the course. Send a spotter ahead and throw your best.
#17 - Pretty straight forward. Just long and uphill. Stay straight or right and you can attack the basket on your second shot. Then enjoy the view up there. It's quite purty.
#18 - Really cool finishing hole. There's a pond just short of the green that is nasssssssty. Don't go in there. If you don't feel comfortable trying to fire right at the basket, you can always lay-up and throw across but that's no fun right? Fire at that sucker. You have room right and long. Just don't be left and short. Then....celebrate!

Bottom Line:
This was a very nice surprise for us when we played. While it is a demanding course, it is quite scenic and we thoroughly enjoyed the thought and care that went into its design and execution. We are definitely looking forward to a return visit the next time we're in the area. A hearty thank you and bravo to the course crew!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.

  Lost disc :(

1    7/26/2019   7/26/2019
Review By: zackyp23
Played: 1  Reviewed: 1
0 Helpful / 8 Not
Pros: Sorry not a review I just lost two of my favorite disc so figured this was worth a shot.
Black discraft Yoda on hole 10 and turquoise discraft jawbreaker on hole 18. Will pay if returned
Cons: Please help
Other Thoughts: :(

0 of 8 people found this review helpful.

 How does it feel to be on your own with no direction home, a complete unknown. Just like a rolling stone?

2-4    11/24/2018   11/29/2018
Review By: Three Putt
Played: 143  Reviewed: 121  Exp: 28.2 Years
This review was updated on 1/9/2020
17 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Rolling Knolls Country Club was a ball golf course that closed around '08 or '09. The 55-acre site was acquired in 2010 by the Cook County Forest Preserve District and it sat undeveloped for a number of years until 2015, when the old clubhouse was demolished and construction started on the pavilion/welcome center. The basic layout of the old golf course was still there and it's used quite a bit it the disc golf course design. Initially the plan showed the area where holes 1-4 are and the area where holes 13-18 are used for disc golf, so somebody did a good job of advocating for more space to make this a very good 18-hole layout.

The disc golf course is a mix of park-style and links-style holes. Holes 1-4 pretty much play sideways across the old golf course and have a park-style feel to them; Hole 4 shoots across a service road and gets you over to the West side of the park. Starting with Hole 5 the course starts to use the old ball golf design so you have some very pretty shots with good elevation changes and tall grass rough on the edges through Hole 10. There are some healthy distances here with Holes 8 & 9 being 600'+ downhill shots followed by a 600' uphill shot on Hole 10. Hole 11 is a weird filler hole that gets you back across the service road. Hole 12 is a short wooded shot and Hole 13 is a cool elevated tee/early trouble to a ball golf green with tall grass rough hybrid shot. 14, 16 and 17 more or less use old ball golf fairways with an ace run hole 15 mixed in. The course ends with a 200'-220'ish ace run with a water carry close to the pin. The flow is very intuitive and easy to follow, but there also directional arrows on the baskets and a bunch of extra directional signs around to help you find your way.

The tees are concrete with good tee signs, although the holes have multiple placements and the signs do not tell you which placement is in use. I recall there being a few benches but not a lot. The baskets are nice orange DGA Mach V's with number plates. There are a couple of really nice pin placements on Holes 4 and 10 with some really nice rollaway danger, and a few of the pins like 16 are tucked into some trees, but for the most part the baskets are open with not a lot of late danger. Most holes have two pin placements, but other than Holes 3 and 14 I haven't really noticed a ton a difference in how the holes play from one placement to another. I'm pretty sure several of the holes have been in the same placement every time I've played it.

What I really take away from the park is that the property is being maintained very nicely by the forest preserve. It's a really pretty park, especially on the West side on those long ball golf fairways. It's really a very visually pleasing course.
Cons: I guess the main con is that big ball golf fairways don't really give you early or late danger. Really the danger is getting off the mowed fairway and tromping around looking for your disc in the tall grass, which on a recreational round is meh. I could see this course decked out in yellow rope O.B. to increase the challenge and being used for some more serious events with just a little tweaking, but for everyday play about half of the shots are very open.

There are a couple of iffy shots. Hole 11 doesn't really have a fairway; it's a 250'-280' "chuck it back over the road" shot with the road probably 230'away to clear from an elevated tee. If you don't make it over the road, there is really no good place to be. Hole 16 is a nice uphill shot, but the tee is in a weird place and it doesn't really give you a very good look at the fairway. If you are right-handed, it almost forces you to flick the drive. Hole 18 is debatable, but I guess people nowadays like to throw over water so I'll give it a pass. There is just room for it to be a more legit wooded hole without the contrived water "hazard."

Hole 10 is a really cool shot, but it has an early ditch you have to throw over that is overgrown; it's pretty easy to clear the ditch with your tee shot but it should have a walking path through it for people like me that seemingly can't avoid screwing up their drive and throw in the ditch. Every. Single. Time.

The path from Hole 8 to Hole 9 is pretty steep and gets really treacherous in wet and muddy weather. Some steps there would be a nice upgrade. The site in general tends to hold water in places, so it can be pretty sloppy at times. That isn't really a con but I need to mention it someplace. Also not a con is the fact that the larger lake you used to hit golf balls over is not used in the course design; the whole southern end of the park is bordered by Poplar Creek and is a native riparian restoration area that wasn't available for disc golf use. The lack of access to that larger lake probably is why hole 18 has a water carry, they really didn't have a better spot to work with for that.
Other Thoughts: In the Chicago 'burbs (not counting Indiana courses) I'd have to rank Fairfield, the Canyons, Highland, Rolling Knolls and Oswego as my personal top five.

I went to a wedding reception here once when it was a Country Club and watched some guys back a golf cart into a tree, then gun it forward into the lake. It was a good time.

Rolling Knolls is a bit open and the tall grass rough can be annoying, but overall I think the course delivers. I can nit-pick the design in places, but I don't think most players would be upset to make the trip to this course. It's a significant step up from Shady Oaks and worth the trip to play.

17 of 17 people found this review helpful.


1    4/13/2018   4/14/2018
Review By: Tyler4587
Played: 12  Reviewed: 5  Exp: 20.9 Years
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Hole #18 is probably the best hole in all of NW Chicago.

Great utilization of different throwing techniques and disc selection.

Blaze orange baskets, nice amenities, good signage, and beautiful scenery.
Cons: I've only played in early spring where the vegetation is sparse, but I can see how not being able to keep your disc in the fairway could be problematic.
Other Thoughts: I joined this website just so I could review this course. I've lived out in the NW suburbs for three years now, and I'm pretty much in the middle of this course, Riemer Reservoir, Lippold Park, and Black Bear, and I can tell you this is without a doubt the best of the four.

Beginners will find it tough (and long), but if you're a beginner you probably just like to play anyway.

The par fours are legit par fours. I'm usually skeptical of labeling a hole par four, but these holes deserve the designation. #10, given it is uphill could even be a par five for players rec or below.

I can't wait for a tournament here, and it better not be a shotgun start (have to finish on #18).

2 of 3 people found this review helpful.

 A welcome challenge in the NW burbs

5+    3/4/2018   3/9/2018
Review By: ChrisMacG
Played: 204  Reviewed: 30  Exp: 15.2 Years
This review was updated on 3/11/2018
5 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Rolling Knolls is what you should expect from a top quality disc golf course; excellent holes, great use of the land, good flow, challenging and in some cases awe inspiring. This course is a step above any other 18 hole course in the area.

- Excellent tees and signs, navigating the course is never difficult
- Fantastic use of the land with elevation challenges and tight fairways
- The groundskeeping is top notch with well defined fairways
- Great basket placements
Cons: This is not a beginner course by any means. This is a course for experienced disc golfers who have decent control over their discs. Multiple fairways are boarded by pretty thick vegetation that can make finding an errant throw a challenge.
Other Thoughts: You'll read reviews of this course giving it low marks for being a 'disc eater' - those reviews are from folks who are playing a course above their level.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful.

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