How Can Canal Shores Golf Course Be Saved?

By: February 7, 2023

When I learned about the history and current situation of Canal Shores Golf Course, I immediately felt I had to share it with you.

Canal Shores Golf Course will undergo a bold restoration plan to preserve and enhance the 103-year-old golf course located in Evanston and Wilmette, Ill.

According to the USGA Green Section and irrigation engineers, in an “end of life” state.

The cornerstone of the robust, privately funded project is an emphasis on youth golf and includes a renovation to the holes in front of Canal Shores Golf Course’s clubhouse.

It will serve as a new youth golf facility, as well as the creation of a caddie academy. The initiative is being led by

Canal Shores Golf Course-2nd-Century

Affectionately known as Evanston’s local “gem,” Canal Shores’ plans focus on the crucial pillars of youth development, golf, ecology, and community, with the goal of setting the property up for a second century of success.

Canal Shores Golf Course has raised more than $4 million of its $5.9 million goal for what is being called the “Canal Shores 2nd Century” campaign.

The course is Audubon International certified.

The project, which is set to begin in June 2023, will be conducted in phases with some holes remaining open for play until Aug. 1, and the popular “Out of Space” concert series taking place July 27-30 as scheduled.

The youth golf improvements, the creation of the caddie academy program, and golf course renovations are expected to be complete by the summer of 2024.

Canal Shores Golf Course-2nd-Century logo
Western Golf Association

The Western Golf Association (WGA), which administers the Chick Evans Scholarship Fund, is the lead donor on the restoration project. 

The WGA focuses on future generations of players while creating life-changing scholarships and youth caddie opportunities on the golf course.

A caddie academy program will engage with area golf clubs to ensure caddie employment opportunities are plentiful for graduates of the program while providing a pathway to the prestigious Evans Scholarship.

First Tee – Greater Chicago

First Tee – Greater Chicago also supports the project and will run their programming at a newly reimagined practice and teaching facility on the course between Central Street and Lincoln Street.

First Tee provides a fun, safe and welcoming place for local kids and teens ages seven to 18 of all backgrounds to learn the game along with important life lessons.

Greater Chicago CEO, Lea Jesse said

“KemperSports is a longtime partner that shares our commitment to creating experiences that build character and empower our city’s youth.

We’re proud to support a new 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 unavailable to them.”

The EWGCA has hired golf course architect Todd Quitno to oversee the restoration project. Wadsworth Golf Construction Company has been contracted to complete the renovations.