"It's an open discussion process, and they are listening to everything we say," said Louise McCurry of the Jackson Park Advisory Council. "The golf restoration project will be wonderful for our kids on the South Side. Golf is a sports lifeline for community boys and girls who are not interested or built for football or basketball. And caddying is a way for kids to be mentored by role models who can help get them into college."
Brenda Nelms of Jackson Park Watch remains skeptical, saying project organizers have offered scant details on construction costs, economic impact, relocation of the nature sanctuary and green fees.
Plan advocates envision a three-pronged green-fee structure of hyperlocals (perhaps grandfathered in at Jackson Park's current 18-hole walking rate of $20-$33), Chicago residents and non-residents, who likely would pay in the $300 range.
But until the park district hires a company such as KemperSports or Troon Golf Management to run the course, organizers are reluctant to commit to prices.
"For us it's been a year of waiting," Nelms said. "We're still waiting."
Look at it this way: The Ricketts family purchased the Cubs in 2009 and immediately spoke of renovating Wrigley Field and its surroundings. The four-phase project will not be completed until 2019.
In 2011, Northwestern football coach Pat Fitzgerald began speaking publicly about building a multipurpose lakefront facility on campus. The $270 million building will open in the spring of 2018.
These things take time.
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