Willow Hill Golf Course’s elevation allows view of city skyline

An assignment to photograph a golf pro earlier this summer brought me to the Willow Hill Golf Course in Northbrook, and when I pulled into the parking lot I was in awe of the view of the surrounding area, which includes the Chicago skyline.

I returned recently to take an aerial photo that showed elements of the golf course, including the 2nd green, with the skyline — which is 20 miles away — in the distance.



Built on the site of a former landfill, the 87-acre, par-35 golf course includes a 35-station, all-grass driving range, a practice green and a clubhouse, according to Willow Hill’s website.

Willow Hill, which is approximately 100 feet higher than the surrounding area, may as well be a mountain.

In addition to the Chicago skyline, there’s a great view of the nearby Techny Towers, and you can see Northbrook and Glenview’s downtowns in the distance.

Rail traffic passes below at the busy Shermer railroad junction between Canadian Pacific and Union Pacific mainlines, and CP crews refer to their connection with the UP as “the dump,” due to its proximity to the former landfill. It should be noted, though, that there isn’t a noticeable smell of methane gas at Willow Hill.

Since its inception, this space has been dedicated to aerial photos taken with a drone, which is basically a flying wide-angle lens. I considered “breaking the rules” and taking a photo of the skyline from the parking lot with a camera and a 400-mm telephoto lens so the city would be more prominent in the photo.

After a little thought, I decided I wanted the golf course to be a part of the photo. I’ll revisit the telephoto view another day.


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