The Takeaway: Boasting more character in the design than most PGA Tour courses, TPC Deere Run is a gem hidden in the Midwest. With public access, exceptional conditioning, and plenty of elevation changes to enjoy; it is a must visit when in the Illinois/Iowa area. Grade B+
Designer: D.A. Weibring in 2000
Cost: $49 - $189 (cart included) Click for current rates
Phone Number: (309) 796-6000
Course Website: Official Website - Visit TPC Deere Run's official website by clicking on the link provided.
Directions: Get here! - 3100 Heather Knoll, Silvis, Illinois 61282 – UNITED STATES
What to Expect: Admittedly, I was surprised how much I liked TPC Deere Run. I suppose my expectations weren't that high because the course hadn't surfaced on any national Top 100 Public rankings recently, the course wasn't in a location garnering recognition, and the name reminded me more of farming equipment than a top tier golf course. Couple all of that with the fact that TPC Deere Run has never been one of the higher acclaimed PGA Tour stops, and I just hadn't made it a priority to get there. Fortunately, when I committed to a golf trip to Iowa via Chicago, TPC Deere Run was a natural stop along the way. The course has SO much more character than I ever imagined. I had visions of flat corn fields being near the border of Iowa, but quite the opposite is true with fantastic undulations and movement throughout the property combined with architecture that is superior to many PGA Tour locations. The opening four holes completely captured me and the finishing three holes are a perfectly compelling conclusion to a tournament course where you want to create some drama. While the middle stretch of the course is solid, it doesn't draw you in like the start and finish is able to do. Course conditions at this tree lined course are exceptional, particularly for a public access track, and players are given the option of walking or riding; though most will ride. With movement throughout the property, enjoyable scenery along Rock River, and great conditioning, TPC Deere Run is well worth the 2 ½ hour drive from Chicago to play.
By the Numbers
Individual Hole Analysis
Signature Hole: 16th Hole – 153 Yard Par 3 – Playing along Rock River, the picturesque 16th is both a scenic hole to enjoy and one to score well on. Tipping out at just over 150 yards, players should have a club they are comfortable with taking dead aim at the flag. With the river on the left side, players may take some caution getting too aggressive attacking pins on that side of the putting surface but in general this is a great opportunity to score late in the round. Bunkers flank each side of the green near the front so if you are between clubs it is best to take the longer one and take the sand out of play. The final three holes are excellent for tournament golf with a pair of birdie opportunities followed by a challenging finishing hole.
Best Par 3: 3rd Hole – 183 Yards – I love a good uphill par three, and that is exactly what you get here. The raised green is protected by a kidney shaped bunker in the front right along with another bunker short of that which will only catch the worst of shots and is designed to be more of a factor from the front tees. The entire left side of the green slides off to a tightly mown chipping area that will test your short game, especially when the flag is tucked on that side of the putting surface. The most difficult pin to get close to is in the back right where the green shrinks up and a bunker must be carried on a direct line. This hole is a great use of terrain and transition moment in the routing.
Best Par 4: 4th Hole – 448 Yards – Holes 2-4 are a stellar three hole run and an unexpected pleasure so early in the round. This stretch culminates with the character riddled par four 4th where players will have their attention grabbed by the large tree that sits in the middle of the fairway at the apex of the right turn in the dogleg. There is more room to the left of the tree if players choose to go that route while cutting a drive to the right of the tree offers a bit shorter approach shot and a more welcome angle. The infinity edge green offers expansive views in the distance and provides an inspiring view as players attack the putting surface that is flanked by a bunker on the left while a second bunker is buried into the hill short and right. I love a hole that requires some thinking off the tee and TPC Deere Run has your cranium working early.
Best Par 5: 2nd Hole – 551 Yards – An impressive tee shot awaits on the 2nd hole where the elevated box plays down to a dogleg right fairway with Rock River providing the backdrop. Length and accuracy are required with the tee shot as bunkers protect both the inside and outside of the dogleg, but players who are successful in finding the fairway will have a green light to reach the green in two. There to protect the putting surface is a pond that runs 100 yards short of the green and up the left side. The water effectively cuts the fairway width in half and begs players to layup well short of it or take their chances trying to reach all the way to the green. Four bunkers are plotted starting at the pond with two on the right side of the fairway and one on each side of the green, so there is plenty of trouble to contend with when going for it in two. This is an exciting risk/reward opportunity that can set the tone quickly in the round.
Birdie Time: 14th Hole – 357 Yard Par 4 – A short par four awaits on the 14th and plays downhill to the green that features a single bunker at the front left. Big hitters can tumble a ball down towards the putting surface while conservative players can still leave a short shot into the green that they can hit close to the flag. The ideal line off the tee is over the second bunker on the right which will leave a short chip up the hill to the flag where distance control is easier and short putts await.
Bogey Beware: 9th Hole – 485 Yard Par 4 – The closing holes on each nine are stout tests, but the closer on the front takes the cake. Just 15 yards short of a full 500, this lengthy two-shotter is a brute to reach in regulation. A road runs along the left side of the hole to add distraction and the fairway tightens up the closer it gets to the green while the terrain starts to roll. With trees pinching the fairway on the second half of the hole, it is just one more element to contend with trying to card a par here. This hole is a brute so just do what you can to eliminate a big number.