On a cold Thursday in December, Mike Keiser took a 240-mile trip from Chicago to central Wisconsin in search of the next great routing at his Sand Valley Golf Resort.
This commitment helps explain why the Lincoln Park resident is golf's premier modern builder -- and on the leaderboard among the game's all-time visionaries.
Here's the thing, though: The trip to Jackson Park is a lot shorter -- 12 miles.
Keiser is ready to lend his wisdom and donate his money for a project that would create a PGA Tour-worthy course locals and well-heeled tourists could enjoy with a caddie program that could provide summer jobs, mentorship and access to college scholarships.
One year ago Saturday, the Tribune broke the news that Tiger Woods, at the request of former President Barack Obama, would be the lead designer of a South Side project that has the blessing of Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Woods. Obama. Emanuel. A pretty impressive triumvirate culled by Mark Rolfing, the NBC/Golf Channel analyst and DeKalb native who is spearheading the plan via his group, the Chicago Parks Golf Alliance.
But one year later, there has been little tangible progress.
"We're all sort of on hold, waiting for some electricity," Keiser told the 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."
The point is dead on, like a 9-iron approach that spins back to a foot.
But as Keiser knows, building a golf course on the South Side is way more complicated than doing it in rural Wisconsin. Here's why: