The Onwentsia Club is a private country club located in Lake Forest, Illinois, United States. It was founded in 1895 as a golf club and has since expanded to offer a variety of recreational activities, including tennis, swimming, and dining.
The club features two 18-hole golf courses, designed by prominent golf courses architects such as Donald Ross and Tom Fazio. The courses have hosted several major golf tournaments, including the Western Open and the U.S. Senior Amateur.
Onwentsia Club History and Founding
The Onwentsia Club was founded in 1895 by a group of prominent businessmen and professionals from Chicago who were seeking a location to play golf and socialize outside the city. The original name of the club was the Lake Forest Golf Club, and it was located on a 9-hole course in Lake Forest, Illinois.
In 1896, the club purchased a 220-acre parcel of land nearby and began construction of an 18-hole golf course. The course was designed by golf course architect James Foulis, who had previously designed the Chicago Golf Club course.
Over the years, the club continued to expand its facilities and offerings, adding tennis courts, swimming pools, and dining options. The club also hosted several major golf tournaments, including the 1932 Western Open, won by Gene Sarazen, and the 2005 U.S. Senior Amateur, won by Mike Bell.
The club’s name was changed to the Onwentsia Club in 1906, in reference to the Potawatomi Indian word for “place of the white deer”. The club’s logo features a white deer, which has become a symbol of the club’s history and tradition.
Today, the Onwentsia Club remains a private club that is highly regarded for its golf courses and other amenities, as well as its commitment to preserving its heritage and traditions.
Famous Golf Tournament held at Onwentsia Club
The Onwentsia Club has hosted several famous golf tournaments throughout its history, including:
- Western Open: The club hosted the Western Open in 1932, which was won by legendary golfer Gene Sarazen. The Western Open was one of the oldest golf tournaments in the United States, and it was considered a major championship during the early part of the 20th century.
- U.S. Senior Amateur: The Onwentsia Club hosted the U.S. Senior Amateur in 2005, which was won by Mike Bell. The U.S. Senior Amateur is a prestigious golf tournament for golfers over the age of 55.
- U.S. Amateur Qualifying: The club has also hosted several U.S. Amateur qualifying tournaments, which are open to amateur golfers who are seeking to qualify for the U.S. Amateur Championship.
In addition to these tournaments, the Onwentsia Club has also hosted several other amateur and professional golf events over the years, including the Illinois State Amateur Championship and the Illinois PGA Championship. The club’s golf courses are highly regarded for their challenging layouts and beautiful scenery, and they continue to attract golfers from around the world.
Onwentsia Club Membership Costs and Dues
As a private club, the Onwentsia Club does not publicly disclose its membership costs or dues. However, it is widely known that membership to the club is by invitation only and is limited to a select number of individuals and families. However, estimated initiation fees of approximately $150,000 and rumored annual fees of around $18,500—though these are merely speculation, of course, as the costs are kept private.
Onwentsia Club Amenities
The Onwentsia Club offers a variety of amenities for its members, including:
- Golf Courses: The club features two 18-hole golf courses designed by renowned golf course architects, Donald Ross and Tom Fazio. The courses are challenging and beautifully landscaped, with views of Lake Michigan and the surrounding countryside.
- Tennis Courts: The country club has 10 outdoor tennis courts, as well as an indoor tennis facility for year-round play. The courts are well-maintained and available for use by members of all skill levels.
- Swimming Pool: The club has a large outdoor swimming pool that is open during the summer months. The pool area includes a poolside grill and bar, as well as a children’s wading pool.
- Fitness Center: The club has a fully-equipped fitness center with a variety of exercise equipment and fitness classes available to members.
- Dining: The club offers several dining options, including a formal dining room, a casual pub, and a poolside grill. The club’s culinary team uses locally-sourced ingredients to create a variety of seasonal menus.
- Social Events: The club hosts a variety of social events throughout the year, including holiday parties, wine tastings, and live entertainment.
Overall, the Onwentsia Club provides its members with a wide range of recreational activities, social events, and dining options in a beautiful and exclusive setting.
Onwentsia Club Event Information and Dining Options
As a private club, the Onwentsia Club offers a variety of events and dining options exclusively for its members. Here is some general information about events and dining at the club:
- Events: The club hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including holiday parties, themed dinners, live music, and charity fundraisers. Members can check the club’s calendar for upcoming events and make reservations online or through the club’s front desk.
- Dining: The club offers several dining options, including a formal dining room, a casual pub, and a poolside grill. The club’s culinary team uses locally-sourced ingredients to create a variety of seasonal menus. The formal dining room offers a fine dining experience, while the pub and poolside grill offer more casual fare. Members can make reservations for dining online or through the club’s front desk.
- Private Dining: The club also has several private dining rooms available for members to host events and special occasions. Members can work with the club’s event staff to create customized menus and decorations for their private events.
It’s important to note that membership at the Onwentsia Club is required to access the club’s amenities, including events and dining options. Prospective members must be nominated by existing members and go through a rigorous vetting process before being invited to join the club.
Onwentsia Club Dress Code and Guest Policy
The Onwentsia Club has a dress code policy that applies to all members and guests. Here are the general guidelines:
- Golf Course: Appropriate golf attire is required, including collared shirts for men and appropriate golf shoes. Denim, cargo shorts, and gym clothes are not allowed on the golf course.
- Tennis Courts: Appropriate tennis attire is required, including tennis shoes and attire that is specifically designed for tennis. Denim, cargo shorts, and gym clothes are not allowed on the tennis courts.
- Clubhouse: Business casual attire is required in the clubhouse, including collared shirts, dress slacks, and appropriate footwear. Denim, shorts, and athletic attire are not allowed in the clubhouse.
The club also has a guest policy in place. Members are allowed to bring guests to the club, but they must register their guests at the front desk and accompany them during their visit. The number of guests that a member can bring may be limited depending on the time and day of the week. The guest policy is designed to maintain the exclusivity and privacy of the club for members.