South Shore Chamber supports proposed Jackson Park Golf Course

To the Editor:

The South Shore neighborhood, as the name would suggest, is nestled along the southern shores of Lake Michigan. This south side community is a gem for city dwellers and visitors. We are one of the rare communities in the country that boasts two urban golf courses – The South Shore and Jackson Park Courses. These courses provide local golfers an outing that is not only affordable but just a short drive away or even walking distance for many. Sadly, these century old courses have deteriorated, contain flood areas and lack the challenge sought by seasoned golfers. These conditions do nothing to attract golfers from other parts of the city and suburbs and have no significant impact on the local economy.

Tiger Woods and his team have come up with a design that will offer community golfers the course they deserve and thrust millions of dollars into the local economy. The PGA Certified golf course will be the future home of major tournaments, attract tourism from all over the world and generate millions of dollars in corporate sponsorships. The influx of revenue from the new golf course will not only strengthen the local businesses but stimulate job growth in a community whose unemployment rate is close to 12 percent. Procurement opportunities will be available for minority and women owned businesses. This is an opportunity for South Shore to become a destination community and end decades of divestment.

Economic growth cannot happen without change. And a capital project of this magnitude will surely be met with opposition. We share the passion of community groups that have taken an interest in preserving the surrounding nature sites and those seeking transparency. But the lack of jobs and businesses that are struggling to keep their doors open, must be the priority. The at-risk youth that will benefit from the Youth-to-Tour program, must also be a priority.

Organizations like the South Shore Chamber of Commerce have fought for years to have equal investment and the same services and amenities you see in other parts of town. That time has come. The newly designed golf course will surely be a catalyst for other development opportunities, where we have had none.

We support the proposed new golf course and TGR Design. And we will work closely with all parties involved to ensure diversity, equity and community input are the driving forces that will make this project a success for all.

Tonya Love Trice, executive director
South Shore Chamber of Commerce