As The Buzz first reported back in September, it has been confirmed that Tiger Woods’ TGR Design will be restoring two historic golf courses on the South Side of Chicago. The announcement came this week with the creation of the Chicago Parks Golf Alliance, to be led by NBC golf analyst Mark Rolfing, a native of the Windy City. The alliance was formed to redo the existing 18-hole Jackson Park and 9-hole South Shore courses—which opened in 1899 and 1907, respectively—turning them into one facility.
“This is more than simply a unique opportunity to restore a historic public golf course, it’s a unique opportunity to drive resources and investments on the South Side,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “And even with this restoration the course will remain a real community asset because we’re going to ensure that the neighborhood golfers who have been hitting the links here for years will be able to continue to access and enjoy it at a reduced rate.”
The $30 million restoration is scheduled to begin in 2017 and be completed in late 2020; it will be financed primarily with private funds. The plan is that golfers will be able to start and finish at either South Shore (shown above) or Jackson Park. The facility also will include a short course designed for family play.
Also involved in the project is the Western Golf Association, which will promote caddie programs drawing on local youngsters who will be eligible for the organization’s Evans Scholarships, and the PGA Tour, which plans to eventually host the BMW Championship on the course. The First Tee of Greater Chicago has been using the two courses for its various programs for more than 15 years. And behind the scenes is Bandon Dunes creator Mike Keiser, another Chicagoan, who is acting as an advisor to the project.
“Over the past few years, I have enjoyed meeting many avid golfers on the South Shore and Jackson Park courses,” said Rolfing. “The community’s passion for the site motivates the vision to enhance these lakefront facilities they are already so proud of.”