What’s better than a good golf game? A good golf event or tournament, that’s what. And what better place to host an event than in beautiful Williamson County, Illinois, with its Ozarks-like terrain and truly breathtaking golf courses?
This 444-square-mile region of southern Illinois is easy to get to and easy to fall in love with, whether you’re visiting in spring, summer or fall. (You’re welcome there in the winter, too, of course, but golfing in a parka isn’t typically recommended.) The weather in Williamson County is archetypal: wet in the spring, hot in the summer and mild in the fall, with beautiful scenery all year round.
And with no shortage of golf courses and country clubs, Williamson County is an ideal place to host your next event on the links. Communities like Marion, Herrin, Carterville and nearby Carbondale (home of Southern Illinois University — go Salukis!) offer plenty of hotels to house your participants and spectators. Ample outdoor and cultural activities ensure that there is enough to do between rounds. And the courses themselves feature variety, expertise and no shortage of event-hosting excellence.
The answer to “What am I going to do there?” is “Plenty”
As you’re planning your golf event in Williamson County, you’ll find that there are opportunities aplenty for your participants and spectators.
Before tee time and after the 18th hole, people can lose themselves in the natural beauty of Williamson County and the nearby Shawnee National Forest. They can enjoy the area’s exceptional fishing, wildlife watching, hiking and cycling. And they can spend a day relaxing in one of many area parks.
If being indoors is more enticing, Williamson County has you covered as well. You can try your hand at a non-club sport like bowling or roller skating (or laser tag at Pirate Pete’s!). You can steep yourself in the history of the area at several monuments, memorials and museums, including the Williamson County Historical Society Museum. Or you can satiate your hunger and thirst at one of the county’s great restaurants, pubs and wineries.
And who doesn’t like a nice between-round shopping spree? From specialty boutiques to big-brand outlets, antique dealers to unique gift shops, Williamson County surely has the store that can provide you with that item you’ve been looking for — or didn’t even know you wanted.
- Work with hotels to get blocks of rooms
- Social media marketing
- Local media coverage
- Site visits
Quality Golf Courses Galore
Stardust Golf and Country Club
Sometimes the big courses start to feel a little redundant, don’t you think? For an antidote to that 18-hole sameness, check out Stardust Golf and Country Club in Johnston City, a semi-private, nine-hole course that features 2,972 yards of golf from the longest tees. The par-36 course shouldn’t be mistaken for a lightweight facility just because it’s smaller. With a course rating of 35 and a slope rating of 129, it boasts three ponds, tree-lined fairways and numerous sand bunkers to challenge golfers of any skill level. Its recently opened new clubhouse features a snack bar, full-service bar, game room, shuffleboard and plenty of seating.
If you’re looking for a top-of-the-line, 18-hole course to host your golf event, look no further than Pine Lakes Golf Club in Herrin. The course, with its recently expanded sand traps and 5,889 yards of golf from the longest tees, has a course rating of 67 and a slope rating of 107. Its beautiful views; upgraded yardage markers, flag poles, tee boxes and greens; and newly built clubhouse can comfortably and ably host your next golf event or tournament. Spectators and participants alike will enjoy the club’s amenities like big-screen TVs, a game room and a snack bar.
The Links at Kokopelli Golf Club
When Golfweek Magazine names a course one of the best places to play in Illinois, as it did for The Links at Kokopelli Golf Club in 2014, you know the place is legit. And Kokopelli definitely doesn’t disappoint. With 7,154 yards of golf from the longest tees, this par-72 course in Marion is just the right amount of challenging. It has a course rating of 72.2 and a slope rating of 132 and it boasts well-groomed fairways and greens to go along with its 96 bunkers. And with its on-site restaurant and sports bar, Kokopelli offers no shortage of entertainment and food options for participants and spectators.
Crab Orchard Golf Club
You trust Golf Digest, right? So do we. That’s why we love Crab Orchard Golf Club, which was named one of Golf Digest’s “Best Places to Play.” The par-70 course in Carterville has lush fairways, subtly breaking small greens and 6,420 yards of golf from the longest tees. Its course rating is 71 and its slope rating is 129, but it offers five levels of challenge to accommodate all levels of competition and skill. With a large driving range, target greens and a practice bunker, participants can stay loose between rounds. And with a full-service dining room, bar and club room, spectators can enjoy themselves all day long.
How do I get to Williamson County?
By land or by air, getting to Williamson County is a wonderful adventure. It’s easily accessible and just waiting to host you and your event.
By Car: With major highways and interstates running around and through Williamson County, you can navigate there easily from most anywhere in the country. Major roads include I-24, I-57, and U.S. Highway 45.
By Air: Williamson County Regional Airport in Marion is the region’s only commercial service airport, with daily flights to St. Louis. You also have the option of flying into St. Louis and making the scenic 135-mile drive to Williamson County.