Naperville Country Club
Naperville Country Club will host its first Western Junior championship 101 years after opening as a nine-hole golf course with sand greens. Shortly after opening, renowned course architect Tom Bendelow came in to build a challenging 18-hole golf course on the 124-acre property.
Bendelow’s design remained intact until 2006, when architect Steve Forest completed a major course renovation. He focused on adding length to the golf course and developing new green complexes. Overall, 13 holes were rerouted and the remaining five holes were strategically lengthened to complete the design. The result is a difficult test of golf.
Location: Naperville, IL
Architect: Tom Bendelow (1921); Steve Forest (2006)
Head Golf Professional: Brian Brown
Golf Course Superintendent: Kyle Barton
Championships Hosted: 2018 Women’s MAC Championship, 2016 US Amateur Qualifier, 1996 USGA Junior Amateur Qualifier
2023: Midlothian Country Club
Location: Midlothian, IL
Architect: Herbert J. Tweedie (1898)
Midlothian Country Club holds a special place in the history of the Western Golf Association and golf in America. One of the founding clubs of the WGA in 1899, Midlothian was one of the country’s first 18-hole golf courses. In its early days, it was one of the only golf clubs in the world to own its own railroad, which it used to ferry members the three miles between the club and Chicago.
The Herbert J. Tweedie design has hosted a number of prestigious professional and amateur events. Billy Casper won the 1969 and 1973 Western Opens at Midlothian, and Walter Hagen captured the 1914 U.S. Open. The club also hosted the 1901 Western Open and the 1901 and 1917 Western Amateurs. This will be Midlothian’s third Western Junior championship.
2024: Ruth Lake Country Club
Location: Hinsdale, IL
Architect: William B. Langford and Theodore J. Moreau (1922); Arthur Hills (2005)
Founded in 1922 by nine local businessmen, Ruth Lake Country Club – like Ruth Lake, which comes into play on multiple holes – was named for Linus Ruth, a Hinsdale native who died in World War I. Renowned architects William B. Langford and Theodore J. Moreau designed the classic 18-hole layout, and Arthur Hills oversaw a restoration in 2005. Drew Rogers did a bunker renovation in 2019-2020.
At 6,700 yards from the championship tees, the par 71 layout will test the field. Ruth Lake Country Club has hosted a number of championships and qualifiers for the PGA TOUR Champions, LPGA and USGA, including qualifiers for the U.S. Amateur, U.S. Women’s Open, U.S. Senior Open and U.S. Mid-Am.