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Steve_ Shaffer

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Canal Shores in Chicago, IL
« on: November 24, 2023, 01:36:47 PM »
Quirky par-60 Canal Shores just outside Chicago is getting a much-needed renovation, without losing its character.Canal Shores Golf Course in Evanston, Ill., is most known for its unique setting in the middle of a bustling suburb of Chicago, for the trains that chug along right by a few holes and for the fact that the course is where comedian Bill Murray and his brother grew up playing and working long before the Caddyshack days.
Come next summer, and the completion of a $5.9 million renovation four years in the making, the 104-year-old course will be known for more.

So, why now for a renovation after over a century of the course seemingly being fine for golfers?
Well, for starters, Canal Shores desperately needed an irrigation system. Before these renovations, the course didn’t have one. This caused easy flooding with basically no drainage system, which is never ideal for a golf course. If this issue went ignored, it was likely Canal Shores would be near closing instead of amping up for a new look.
But the heart of the renovation lies with youth golf. Canal Shores is branded as a course for “juniors, seniors and poor golfers,” jokes vice president of construction Chris Charnas, himself a novice golfer. Pressure to be a sharp player is something members at Canal Shores don’t harp on at the par-60, 3,600-yard course.
Now, Canal Shores will have a First Tee training center for young golfers, officially sponsored by the widespread youth development program. The course will also have a caddie training program with the help of the Western Golf Association, which offers the Evans Scholarship that has provided full college tuition for youth caddies across the country since 1930. The first Evans Scholar was Chick Evans who went to Northwestern University, just right down the street from Canal Shores.
The course will still have the quirky qualities that golfers love, but now with a few upgrades. All of the greens will be bigger, which is more amateur-friendly. Another example is the installation of a new, 30,000-foot practice putting green where the original first hole was located.
“We wanted to create a facility in front of the clubhouse where a caddie training center could have a ground central, and then the First Tee and the golf practice could do all their lessons,” course architect Todd Quitno says.

Read more:
"Some of us worship in churches, some in synagogues, some on golf courses ... "  Adlai Stevenson
Hyman Roth to Michael Corleone: "We're bigger than US Steel."
Ben Hogan “The most important shot in golf is the next one”


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Re: Canal Shores in Chicago, IL
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2023, 06:41:42 PM »
been a topic for a number of years, mostly as the Reverse Jans.,62108.msg1623284.html#msg1623284

Paul OConnor

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Re: Canal Shores in Chicago, IL
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2023, 10:54:11 AM »
For those of us her grew up on Peter Jans, the idea of caddies out there is hilarious. 

Also $5.9 mil for drainage and irrigation is a crazy big number for a 3,600 yard course, but the results do look great, I was in the neighborhood last week, and the area in front of the "clubhouse" does look really cool.
Not sure I'd heard the Bill Murray connection story before either.   I can't believe any responsible adult would leave him in charge of the snack hut.  So many opportunities for Murray Bros. scams.


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Re: Canal Shores in Chicago, IL
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2023, 01:53:00 AM »
I think I paid $6 to play there when it was Peter Jans. A quick couple of hours with a pal. As Paul writes, $5.9 million is a lot for drainage and irrigation. Especially when most of the holes are adjacent to the canal.
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Jeff Schley

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Re: Canal Shores in Chicago, IL
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2023, 02:08:46 AM »
From the photos it looks like they tore the whole course up and had to redo all the greens and regrass.  Quite extensive for such a small place. Anything for growing youth golf such as this is commendable.
"To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice your gifts."
- Steve Prefontaine

Dan McCallum

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Re: Canal Shores in Chicago, IL
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2023, 03:55:11 PM »
Canal Shores is a special place.  I know it has been discussed on here at length, but I thought I'd add some context.  This $5.9 million renovation is essentially an entire rebuild of the golf course, which badly needed the new irrigation and drainage help, as noted.  The renovation is really the culmination of a community-led effort, ignited by my friend Jason Way and further propelled by Patrick Hughes and the Lumberjacks (a group of volunteers who have done a lot of work around the course including removing buckthorn, dismantling dead trees and building walking trails).  The work that the Lumberjacks do is inspiring and contagious.  Skratch Golf put together a nice video that I highly recommend watching.

The best part of Canal Shores is how it is shared by all walks of life: golfers of all ages, skill levels and backgrounds, as well as non-golfers taking a walk in the park.  The golf course is very approachable to kids and adults getting into the game, but don't let the yardage and par 60 fool you, it is a stiff test for scratch players and a great match play course.  Here's hoping the renovation (early photo's look cool!) continues to push forward the little course that could.


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Re: Canal Shores in Chicago, IL
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2023, 11:22:24 AM »
I'll always know it as Peter Jans, but glad to see it's getting some love.

It was always pretty run down when I was a kid but the setting, as it remains today, was always cool. Playing within neighborhoods of Evanston/Wilmette.

Back in the day they used to host a mini-tour level event and they used to have a bunch of Hooters Tour type guys roll through. The list of winners was actually impressive...think Tom Lehman and Tim Heron won in the 90's? Either way, they would play the course from the "tips" and some of those innocent par-3's actually turned into brutes. Some greens were like hitting the hood of a car from 200 yards out. And when you missed the green you had all kinds of crazy bad lies waiting for you!

Either way, glad it's being invested in for new generations of golfers. Wish them well!


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