Greetings –  I am still Chris Charnas, Vice President/Golf at Canal Shores, and this is your regular update on the progress of renovations at Canal Shores. The above photo is of the three holes located at the north end of the course–holes 6, 7 and 8 (formerly holes 6 and 7). We think that these holes will be some of the most photographed in the Chicago area when we reopen next summer. We can’t wait to introduce golfers to the new Canal Shores!

This week I want to highlight one of our key partners, The First Tee – Greater Chicago. The photo below is of our 30,000 square foot Putting Lawn which will also be the focus of our youth  golf training area in the coming years. 

30,000 square foot Putting Lawn

First Tee – Greater Chicago is a huge part of the Youth Golf programming that will be coming to Canal Shores once construction is completed. First Tee will be offering their core Life Skills Experience programming at Canal Shores. First Tee – Greater Chicago strives to instill in participants First Tee Nine Core Values: honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, courtesy, and judgment. Young people who become members of First Tee – Greater Chicago enjoy a variety of opportunities to learn life skills that can help them grow as individuals and prepare for the future.

First Tee enables kids to build the strength of character that empowers them through a lifetime of new challenges. By seamlessly integrating the game of golf with life skills curriculum, they create learning experiences that build inner strength, self-confidence, and resilience that kids carry to everything they do. 

We are excited to partner with The First Tee and to see firsthand their impact on the kids of Evanston and Wilmette. Special thanks to Lea Jesse, Jill Sylvester, Jane Seder and Taylor Lambertsen for working with us to bring the First Tee to Canal Shores. 

Progress Report:

The weather has been unpredictable, to say the least. The endless rains returned this past week which slowed us down and then it  SNOWED. Snow is generally bad for golf and building golf courses. The heat last week was great (yes it was hot before it snowed), the rain not so much, and the snow was completely unhelpful so we didn’t make all the progress we had hoped for. With temperatures dropping into the 30’s and snow on the ground, the grass won’t be growing much more in 2023.

Here’s a recap of the construction progress:

  • Holes 1-13: grassing has been completed 
  • Hole 14
  • o All fairway grading, irrigation and drainage complete
    o Green subgrade shaping complete and approved
    • Yet to complete: Drain green, sand install. Path install. Grassing and hydromulch.
  • Hole 15
    o All shaping and feature construction complete
    o Green and fairway have been seeded and hydromulched and path work completed
    •  Yet to complete: Finish grade, seed and mulch teeing area
  • Hole 16
    o All shaping and feature construction complete
    o Green has sand installed, sod and path work completed
    • Yet to complete: Finish grade, seed and mulch remaining green surrounds
  • Hole 17A
    o All shaping and feature construction complete; Principal’s Nose yet to be finish-shaped
    o Green has sand installed; cartpath installation in progress
    •  Yet to complete: Finish grade, seed and mulch remaining green surrounds, fairway and tees
  • Hole 17B
    o All shaping and feature construction complete
    o Wetland plants installed
    • Yet to complete: Drain green, sand install; path install; grassing and hydromulch
  • Hole 18
  • o All shaping and feature construction complete.
    • Yet to complete: Drain green, sand install; path install; grassing and hydromulch

As the holes grow in, we continue to  highlight the great new golf experiences coming to Canal Shores:

HOLE #3 (formerly #4)

PAR 3 105-140 YDS; FAMILY 75 YDS


This entirely new green site has been relocated about 90 yards short of the existing green to relieve safety issues with the 9th tee and the homes on the east. With the tees pulled back and right, and

the new green pushed closer to the canal, the 140-yd hole will still have some teeth. The new green site is situated within a series of existing ridges and swales that were formed when storm sewer lines were cut across the property decades ago. These ridges, resembling a rumble strip, will be pulled into the new green to give the putting surface a rippled effect that defines its distinct pinning areas. The area left over between the new green location and 9th tee will be used for ecology purposes, possibly to be reforested or made into bird and butterfly habitat. Green Inspiration: Original

Hole #10

PAR 3 120-195 YDS; FAMILY 106 YDS


The 10th (on the right side of the photo) is a fun hole in its existing configuration, with a fairway that rises between tee and green to obscure vision of the putting surface, much like the famed Dell template. Changes here will enhance that feature by building up the right side of the fairway just short of the green to further obscure vision up the right, while keeping the left side lower to allow a peak of the green. The green itself is expanded back and left to facilitate this view, but also to provide more sun exposure. The depth perception caused by the partial blindness will require players to trust their yardages, or use the banking slopes front and right to get a bit lucky. Green Inspiration: Restoration and expansion of existing green (original era uncertain)

Please let me know if you have any questions on the project or would like a tour. If you prefer to be unsubscribed from this newsletter, please let me know. Finally, a huge thank you to all that have donated to the Canal Shores 2nd Century project. We have currently raised $5.3 Million of our $5.9 Million goal.  If you have not yet donated and are interested, you can email me to set up a meeting or you can access our donation site here.



*** Photo Credits to Patrick Hughes, Jr. 

*** Writing help from Tim Pretzsch

Translate »