Jackson Park redesign unveiled

Assumes closure of two streets within park

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

By Tim Cronin

The redesign of the Jackson Park and South Shore golf courses from 27 holes to 18 has been revealed, and, aside from a 7,354-yard, par 70 golf course largely designed by Beau Willing of the golf course architecture firm headed by Tiger Woods, calls for the closure of part of Cornell Ave. from about 65th St. to 67th St., and Marquette Dr. from Stony Island Ave. to Jeffrey Ave.

If built as planned, there would be two underpasses, one under Jeffery and another under Richards Dr., next to the lakefront, to connect what are envisioned as three parcels for the 18-hole course plus a six-hole short course and junior golf area on what is currently the 18th fairway of Jackson Park, adjacent to the current clubhouse on Richards.

“We are looking to maximize playability with ample width and low cut green surrounds while still offering a strategic test for players of all skill levels,” a statement by Woods’ TGR Design explained. “We want to ensure that we provide a memorable course for all ages to enjoy, but also one which will stand up to the world’s best players.”

Willing’s routing provides for wider fairways than those on the current courses. The footprint of the property meant he came up with a routing with five par-3s and three par-5s, rather than the usual four of each.

The course would start by a new building, called the pavilion, with 10 holes on the largest footprint of the three, between Richards, Jeffrey, 67th St., Stony Island, the truncated Cornell, and Hayes Dr. Three holes would be located east of Jeffrey and serve and the connection to the South Shore property, where the 10th through 14th holes would be wrapped around the South Shore Cultural Center – the old clubhouse for South Shore Country Club – and a public beach. If a tournament is held there, tees adjacent to the par-3 12th hole would be used to drive over the beach to the 13th fairway, bringing Lake Michigan into play.

From the 11th green to the 14th green, the lake will be on the golfer’s right, with the 12th green on a peninsula currently not used for golf and the 13th fairway running aside the shoreline.

The last four holes of the course would be along the perimeter of the property with out-of-bounds to the left. The par-5 18th hole would be a slight dogleg right, going north from 67th St., with Cornell in play for a really wayward left second or third shot to the final green.

The original plan called for $30 million for construction and an endowment of lower green fees for city residents. That does not include the underpasses or expected reconstruction or reinforcement of lakefront shoreline walls. One estimate for one underpass was $11 million.

The first public comment on the plan and other aspects of the Jackson Park-South Shore renovation and the Obama Presidential Center will come tonight at 6, when a public meeting is held at the South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 South Shore Dr. Other meetings are Saturday at 10 a.m. at Hyde Park High School, 6220 S. Stony Island, and Tue., June 27 ay 6 p.m. at La Rabida Hospital, within Jackson Park on the lakefront.

Note: An earlier version of this story stated there were five par-5s on the course.


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