A Golf Storied Estate

Most homeowners might buff out unseemly scuffs on wood-planked floors. Not here, at the former clubhouse and caddy shack of the legendary Mill Road Farm in Lake Forest.

Here they venerate the subtle cleat marks left by countless golf legends. You would too if the likes of Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Babe Didrickson had tracked their way through your living room to have lunch and play poker.

It just goes to show: one person’s divot is another’s mark on history.

Built in the late 1920s by advertising pioneer Albert Davis Lasker, Mill Road Farm was considered one of the ten most beautiful estates in America. The “Farm” spanned 480 acres and featured a working dairy farm, state-of-the-art theater, 26 outbuildings and its own celebrated golf course.

Exclusive to Lasker and his friends, it was a golf course like no other. Bobby Jones dubbed Mill Road Farm one of the three best courses in the United States. Tommy Armour was the only pro to break par. William S. Flynn, brilliant revisionist of Pine Valley and Shinnecock Hills, designed the course, and the CDGA ranked it tougher than the infamous Medinah No. 3. At its heyday, the Farm employed more than 150 gardeners to maintain the course and farm, including two men whose sole responsibility was trimming the property’s six miles of clipped hedges.

Renowned architect David Adler designed the estate’s large manor house and main buildings, remodeled an existing farmhouse into the estate clubhouse and added the caddy shack. And while the main structures replicates 17th century French architecture, the clubhouse has its own casual sophistication while offering all the amenities and comforts required for today’s lifestyle.

Walking inside the current structure, it’s easy to imagine golf’s greatest adding up their scorecards, scotch in hand. Every room offers a peek into an exclusive membership, from the basement, where Adler once sited showers and lockers, to the elegant butler’s pantry with original wavy glass cabinets, to the back patio that overlooks what used to be the 18th green.

And while the golf course has long since disappeared, this home, like the 16 other buildings that remain of Mill Road Farm, maintains the same tradition of fine gardening and lush plantings. Today, the home sits on almost two acres with mature trees, three patios, shade and vegetable gardens, an exquisite walled garden, and its own koi pond.

For more information on this historic property, contact Coldwell Banker realtor Lori Baker at 847-735-7637. (For specifics on the home, see MLS#07252065- the property is listed at $1,379,000.)