In case you hadn’t heard, Tiger Woods is coming to the south side. Sort of. In 2016, his golf course design company, TGR Design, signed on to oversee the “restoration” of the Jackson Park and South Shore golf courses into a PGA tournament caliber course. However, plans for the restoration released this past June received a mixed response from the public. As a result, TGR went back to the drawing board in an attempt to appease some of the critics.
Local residents and long time patrons of the courses had a number of concerns about the plans. First and foremost, they do not want an beautiful course that they can no longer afford to play. Questions also exist about the cost and impact of several infrastructure improvements, which do not fall within the $30 million price tag set for the renovation. Under the plan, Marquette Drive will also be closed to vehicle traffic between Cornell and Lake Shore Drive, which could snarl local traffic. Finally, a number of park facilities that will be removed, including parts of a bird and butterfly sanctuary.
In response to these concerns, TGR release revised plans. You can see them here. The Park District addressed the price issue saying that greens fees for Chicago residents will be less than $50. Tiger himself has said that he would not be involved with a project that would result in a less inclusive course. Additional pedestrian trails have also been added, so that non-golfers can also enjoy the park. However, the infrastructure costs, road closure and removal of a portion of the nature sanctuary remain in the plan.
The golf course renovation, coupled with the Obama Presidential Library also being built in Jackson Park, would bring considerable change to the Park, and the surrounding neighborhood. Will more investment in the Woodlawn community follow?
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