Buried in red tape, Tiger-designed Chicago course in holding pattern

December 18, 2017

One year ago this week, the Chicago Tribune broke the news that a new championship-caliber public golf course was in the works on the lakefront in Chicago. From the start, huge names in the golf and political worlds were involved.

Famed course developer Mike Keiser, of Bandon Dunes and Sand Valley fame, would spearhead the project. Tiger Woods would design the course, thanks to encouragement from former President Barack Obama. And all with the approval of Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

But, one year later, little to no progress has been made on the ambitious plan, according to a report by Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune.

Keiser put the blame on government red tape.

“We’re all sort of on hold, waiting for some electricity. It’s in bureaucrat land or politician land,” Keiser told the Tribune.

This is not all that surprising considering that Chicago is one of the biggest cities in the world. Several complications are slowing the process, including fears from local golfers that the green fees would be much higher than the current public course in Jackson Park.

In addition to regulatory approval, Greenstein also reports that the project would require “the construction of an underpass at 67th Street to link the properties,” which could end up with a $25 million price tag.

Finally, another major construction project in Jackson Park is the priority for the mayor and the city: the Barack Obama Presidential Library. Given that the library is scheduled to be finished in 2021, it may be a long time before anyone is teeing it up on Tiger’s Chicago course.