If you have the time Cranes Creek is a amazing place. It's about a 30 min drive from Springfield. I am a d1 golfer and I always make a trip out there. I believe, it's the 3rd longest golf course in IL and it's cut out of the middle of a ancient old growth forest.
We love a golf date and then a drink at the country club afterwards.
Personally, if it is a first date though I would choose the rail if you want to play a nice course. Piper is always nice, but packed. They book tee times every 5 minutes and typically fill up. The rail books tee times every 5 minutes but is no where near as full.
The rail is a somewhat easy course while piper plays much harder as the fairways are more narrow. If you want a cheaper tee time you can see if the rail is running any kind of special. If you drive south down route 4 a little ways towards Auburn you'll find Edgewood golfcourse.
It's a mature course, cheaper fees, and I've never seen it in bad condition. It should be pretty nice considering the mild summer so far. Edgewood