golf course tee box facing community homes and amenity lake

The Carillon Golf Course can be utilized by residents by simply making a tee time.

Although it may still be winter outside, it will not be long before enthusiastic golfers at active adult communities are shining up their clubs and hitting the links. Many of Chicagoland's most dedicated retirement-age golfers spend their winters in warmer places like Arizona and Florida. While it is true that the most serious of golfers head south for the winter, most 55+ golfers remain right here in Chicago.

Even though golf is no longer the main attraction at most active adult communities, it still remains a popular pastime for much of the 55+ crowd. For those 55+ golfers who want to live in an active adult community and have access to a golf course, we have compiled a list of Chicago's active adult golf communities.

Sun City Huntley

Del Webb's first community in Illinois was built with a golf course as the centerpiece of the community -- much like many of the active adult communities that made Del Webb famous across the Sun Belt. Sun City Huntley's Whisper Creek is an 18-hole course designed by Greg Nash and Hall of Famer Billy Casper.

Whisper Creek offers some of the finest play of any golf course in the Chicago area. The course is kept in pristine condition and players can enjoy GPS-enabled golf carts. Golfers will find a challenging par 72 course that is 5,500 to 7,100 yards. Residents enjoy discounted rates and varied membership programs.

Grand Dominion - Mundelein

Though Grand Dominion (a Del Webb community) does not have a golf course in the community, it is surrounded by several notable golf courses. Steeple Chase is across the street from the community and is a favorite among many residents. Steeple Chase is an 18-hole, par 72 course of 6,827 yards. The course even offers a league specifically for Grand Dominion residents. In addition to Steeple Chase, residents are near two private courses: Ivanhoe Golf Club and Royal Melbourne.

Carillon - Plainfield

Carillon in Plainfield (by Cambridge Homes) was the first active adult community built in the Chicago area. The Links at Carillon features 27 holes of championship golf that is open to the public. The course is divided into three 9-hole courses that all offer something unique. Residents of Carillon can enjoy 18 holes of golf plus a cart for just $30. Carillon is a golf cart permissible community, and residents are allowed to use their own golf cart.

Regency at Bowes Creek Country Club - Elgin

Regency at Bowes Creek is Toll Brothers' latest golf course community in Elgin. The course is expected to be ready for play in 2009. Designed by Rick Jacobson, Bowes Creek Golf Course will play from 5,100 to 6,900 yards with four tees on every hole.

For the not-so-avid golfers that still want the opportunity to play a few holes every now and then, check out Carillon Lakes in Crest Hill and Carillon Club in Naperville. Each of these communities offers a signature 3-hole course free for residents to use at any time.