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Mayor Emanuel, Chicago Park District Announce Creation of the Chicago Parks Golf Alliance
New group will raise funds, plan restoration of Jackson Park, South Shore Golf Courses; Tiger Woods’ TGR Design will design upgraded facility
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Park District General Superintendent and CEO Michael Kelly today announced the creation of the Chicago Parks Golf Alliance (CPGA), a group to be led by Mark Rolfing, who will serve as the organization’s President and Founder. In partnership with the City and Park District, the CPGA aims to restore and improve the existing golf courses at Jackson Park and South Shore Golf Courses to create an economic and recreational asset for the South Side of Chicago.
“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 Mayor 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 idea to restore the historic golf courses – Jackson Park opened in 1899 and South Shore Golf Course opened in 1907 – is not a new idea, as a framework plan created by the Park District in 2000 contained various recommendations for the South Lakefront area, one of which proposed upgrading the two golf courses.
The not-for-profit CPGA will oversee fundraising and development of a combined and upgraded golf facility, which would be situated within the confines of the existing two golf courses. The golf course restoration would tentatively begin in 2017, financed primarily through private funds generated through the CPGA. Completion of the course, which would allow players to start and finish their rounds at either South Shore or Jackson Park, as well as the completion of a short course for the entire family, is targeted for late 2020.
In launching the CPGA, Mark Rolfing, an award winning Golf Course Developer and NBC Golf Channel Analyst, also announced the golf course restoration would be designed by Tiger Woods’ TGR Design.
“It’s an honor for me and TGR Design to be designing this golf course in one of America’s greatest golf cities,” said Woods. “This project can create incredible possibilities for the community on the South Side. We want to design a course that everyone will enjoy.”
Additionally, the CPGA will work with the Chicago-based Western Golf Association to promote caddie programs that will help young men and women from nearby neighborhoods earn the prestigious Evans Scholarship and create a venue worthy of hosting its flagship PGA TOUR event, the BMW Championship.