Year after unveiling, what's latest on Tiger Woods' Chicago golf project?

Teddy Greenstein, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Golf

-- This isn't merely adding a course. Golfers loyal to the Jackson Park and South Shore courses fear something will be taken from them. Or made more expensive.

-- The construction of an underpass at 67th Street to link the properties could cost around $25 million. Other expensive roadwork needs to be done so golfers no longer have to dodge cars between holes. And the shoreline might have to be fortified.

-- Some residents are wary of traffic issues during construction and the relocation of a nature sanctuary.

-- The biggest reason? Those in the know say the priority for the Mayor's Office is the Obama Presidential Center, being constructed potentially within steps of the first tee at the yet-to-be-named golf course.

The proposal for the Obama center's 20-acre campus is under federal review because Jackson Park is on the National Register of Historic Places. While the Mayor's Office views the review as standard procedure, others wonder if authorities will deem that elements are incompatible with the park.

Officials from the Chicago Park District, which would own and operate the golf course, paint a different picture, saying the $30 million project is not on the same timeline as the Obama center, which has a completion goal of 2021.

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They continue to seek community input on "potential course routing, programming and infrastructure options," according to a statement released Friday, adding: "It is premature to present a project timeline or cost estimates."

Friends of Obama's say the former president has tremendous enthusiasm for the golf project, peppering associates with questions about the course design. Woods' TGR Design team envisions a 7,354-yard, par-70 course that has views of the Chicago skyline and will be playable for both major champions and major hacks.

"This is a very special project that can have many positive results beyond the game," Woods said in a statement provided to the Tribune. "I am honored to be a 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."

Some community residents believe their concerns are being heard.


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