Why is Canal Shores being renovated?

After 100+ years, the course’s turf and infrastructure are, according to the USGA Green Section and irrigation engineers, in an “end of life” state. Canal Shores Board of Trustees, staff, and volunteers have worked hard for years to “apply another coat of paint to this old house”, but for this cherished course to survive, be a vital part of our communities, and provide a path for local kids, we need to renovate.

Who is involved in the project?
  • Western Golf Association/Evans Scholars Foundation: The WGA will recruit and train caddies who will caddie at Canal Shores for one summer (with the WGA covering their caddie fees.)  After that, fully trained caddies will be placed at local clubs like Evanston GC, Skokie CC, Westmoreland CC, North Shore CC (and more), where they can continue to work toward earning an Evans Scholarship.
  • First Tee – Greater Chicago: a nonprofit youth development organization dedicated to teaching kids and teens aged 7 to 18 life skills through golf, First Tee – Greater Chicago will create a comprehensive outdoor youth development facility dedicated to youth golf that will not only increase access to important life skills and education, but also afford local kids an array of opportunities that were previously unaware to them.
  • Quitno Golf Designs: a Chicago-based firm dedicated to the advancement of golf course design, redevelopment and the long-term growth of the game.
  • Wadsworth Construction: a leading course construction firm based in Illinois, they are dedicated to delivering the architect’s vision with uncompromised quality yielding a course that can withstand the test of time and provide enjoyment to all golfers.
  • KemperSports: Founded in 1978, KemperSports is a leading golf, sports, entertainment and hospitality company based in Chicago that delivers operational excellence in property and experience management. From its first development project to its award-winning portfolio of golf courses, private clubs, sports venues and destination resorts– including more golf properties named among the top 100 U.S. public and resort courses as rated by GOLF Magazine, Golf Digest and Golfweek than any other management company – customer satisfaction and best-in-class service are at the core of KemperSports’ business.
What’s the timeline for the construction?

The course will close down in phases, beginning with the north end, on approximately June 5, 2023. Our plan is to keep as many holes open during the summer as practical. We anticipate a full shutdown on approximately August 1, 2023. Our goal is to reopen in July 2024. Click HERE to view the Construction Schedule and WATCH THIS VIDEO to understand how it may affect your neighborhood.

Did you consider renovating the course over two years to keep half the course open each year?

To stretch the project over two years would add significant expense. It is much more efficient to mobilize the construction company,  begin construction, and complete the project in one continuous process. A one-year plan also reduces any impact to the neighborhood.

Will any taxpayer funding support this renovation?

No taxpayer funding will be used for this 100% privately-funded renovation. As always, Canal Shores relies on golf revenue and the generosity of the community and our partners to maintain operations. We receive no tax support from Evanston, Wilmette, or MWRD. 

Will Out of Space at Canal Shores still be held in 2023?

Yes, the community favorite Out of Space at Canal Shores will be back in 2023! The planned dates are July 27-30.

Will I be able to walk my dog on the course and enjoy the green space during construction?

We are still working through fencing plans with the construction team, but we hope to keep some walkways adjacent to the fairways open, where safe, during the construction. Please keep in mind the main fairway areas will be in the process of being completely reseeded and therefore walking on the fairways will not be permitted.

Will the American Legion and The Patio be open during construction?

Yes, Post 42 and the Patio will be open during construction.

Who do I contact if I have issues or questions during the construction?

As always, contact our GM, Tom Grey, at the Pro Shop at 847-475-9173 or email us at info@canalshores.org

What are the hours of construction?

We will post construction hours once plans are finalized, but they will follow Evanston and Wilmette ordinances.

What equipment will be used during construction?

Wadsworth, our construction partner, will use small bulldozers and earthmovers during the initial phase of construction. Smaller equipment will be used for shaping the greens. Once construction is over and we are growing in the course, it will be similar to normal golf course maintenance. 

What does the construction process involve?

The sequence of construction is as follows: earth moving, irrigation and drainage, green construction, grassing and finally growing in the grass.

What kind of fencing will be on the course?

Fencing will vary, but it will include chain link and other suitable formats to provide public safety and golf course construction integrity safeguards.

Are you going to renovate the clubhouse?

There are no current plans for renovating the clubhouse at this time.

Will greens fees be higher when construction is over?

We don’t plan on increasing rates beyond what is normal based on market conditions for a Par 60 golf course. 

Are you offering season memberships in 2023 and 2024?

We will offer modified season memberships both years based on the shortened golf season. 

Will the Pro Shop be open during construction?

The Pro Shop will be open during construction to sell golf merchandise and answer any questions the public might have during the process. 

Is the course routing going to change?

The general routing of the course will remain the same. There will be only one hole in front of the clubhouse (instead of two,) so we plan to add an additional hole on the northern end of the property near the Bahai Temple. 

Will there be new benches and tee signs on the course?

We plan to have all new benches, tee signs and directional signage on the course. 

Will the course be more difficult to play after construction?

Todd Quitno, our architect, has designed a course that will have the similar fun, challenging appeal to golfers of all skill levels. We don’t believe it will be any harder to play than it currently is. 

Are caddies going to be available to the general playing public?

The Western Golf Association and Evans Scholar Foundation have committed to creating programming and work opportunities by funding the Chick Evans Caddie Academy at Canal Shores. The program will introduce local kids to caddying and the game of golf. Caddies will be available to anyone who would like one.

What will caddies cost?

Caddies will be free to interested golfers. We would hope that patrons will generously tip the young caddies at the end of the round. 

Will there be football parking in 2023 and 2024?

There will be no football parking in 2023 and 2024.

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