Tiger Woods-designed Chicago golf course project 'sort of on hold'

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Tiger Woods-designed Chicago golf course project 'sort of on hold'

Golf

Tiger Woods-designed Chicago golf course project 'sort of on hold'

One year after it was announced that Tiger Woods would design a golf course in the South Side of Chicago with the support of former President Barack Obama and Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel, the project is “sort of on hold.”

That’s according to renown architect Mike Keiser, famous for his work at Bandon Dunes in Oregon and Sand Valley in Wisconsin. Keiser, a Chicago-area resident, is offering to help with the project designed to give locals a world-class, par-70 golf course by overhauling the Jackson Park and South Shore courses while also creating a caddie program that would provide summer jobs and college scholarships for its participants.

But as Keiser hints, the project is at a halt.

“We’re all sort of on hold, waiting for some electricity,” Keiser told the Chicago Tribune. “It’s in bureaucrat land or politician land. … Bureaucracy and red tape in Wisconsin is nonexistent. They say: Build all the golf you want; it’s great for tourism.”

According to the Tribune report, the project is being spearheaded by the Chicago Parks Golf Alliance (a group led by Golf Channel analyst Mark Rolfing) and there are several concerns that are likely hindering progress. Among them: Expensive roadwork, including the building of an underpass at 67th Street, needs to be done and residents are worried about the traffic this would cause, and locals who currently frequent the two golf courses are also concerned that their golf will be made more expensive (though, officials say a plan is in place to grandfather-in these locals, who would pay $20-$33, not the expected $300 fee for out-of-town golfers).

The biggest concern, according to the Tribune report, is there is higher priority place by the major’s office on completing the 20-acre Obama Presidential Center, which potentially would sit just steps for the first tee at the new golf course. The $30 million project, currently in federal review, has a completion goal of 2021.

Chicago Park District officials say the golf course is not on the same timeline as the center. They released a statement to the Tribune on Friday, saying they continue to seek community input on “potential course routing, programming and infrastructure options” and “It is premature to present a project timeline or cost estimates.”

Woods continues to remain positive.

“This is a very special project that can have many positive results beyond the game,” Woods said in a statement. “I am honored to be part of this initiative. My TGR Design team continues working with the Chicago Parks Golf Alliance to gather feedback from local golfers and other residents who enjoy these parks.”

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