Editor’s Note: Ms. Starks sent this as a separate letter on Thursday, Aug. 31.
There has been a great deal of discussion and attention around the proposed plan to combine the Jackson Park Golf Course and the South Shore Golf Course. We are two amateur golfers who have played these courses for years and represent two organizations that, combined, represent hundreds of local golfers. More than most, we are ideally positioned to give some first-hand perspective on this proposal.
The two lakeshore golf courses are indeed community treasures but they are long past due for an upgrade. The fairways are narrow and the greens are small. The new course will emphasize playability, affordability and service to the community.
Following the recommendations of the Jackson Park Golf Association, design plans also feature new youth-centric amenities including the six-hole short course and indoor practice facilities. When completed, the new course will expose more children to golf, re-establish the caddie program bringing jobs to youth, reinvigorate intramural league/club play and revitalize economic growth around the courses.
The conceptual design plans also propose important public safety enhancements like new underpasses to ensure the safety of golfers, non-golfers and drivers. Additionally, new bushes and trees along the periphery of the course will add to the ecosystem while preventing stray balls from damaging windows on residential streets.
We believe the restoration of the golf courses will beautify the courses for golfers and create growth for two struggling communities, Woodlawn and South Shore. As community members, we understand the importance of community voices and we look forward to an ongoing dialogue about how this restoration project grows golf, revitalizes our communities, and empowers youth.
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