Early Debate around Tiger’s Chicago Project

A few hours after the Chicago Tribune broke the news of Tiger Woods’s involvement in the effort to renovate the city-owned Jackson Park and South Shore golf courses, I registered my skepticism on this blog. I admit that this response was premature; we will not know the details of this vast public works project, much less be able to assess its effects, until years from now. A couple of smart folks on Twitter, in that unmistakeable tone of mild social media annoyance, told me as much. While I still think my doubts are well founded (see: the general history of gentrification and the specific history of Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the South Side), I do acknowledge the wisdom of chill the eff out and see what happens.

But I can still follow the debate, right?

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Tiger’s Chicago Project: Quick Thoughts

News broke today that Tiger Woods, with the encouragement of President Barack Obama, has signed on to help transform Chicago’s Jackson Park and South Shore golf courses into a complex “that could host a premium PGA Tour event such as the BMW Championship.”

The whole affair savors of a well-planned rollout by Mayor Rahm Emanuel: ask the President to make a phone call, get the Big Cat on board, offer the scoop to a Tribune reporter, and watch the thing go viral. But the glittering names of Woods and Obama are a distraction here. The more important part of the story will play out over the next several months, as Emanuel and his allies try to sell Chicago on a $30-million plan to replace an affordable muni with an upscale championship track.

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Pacific Grove Golf Links: Holes 7-9

Hole 7: Par 4, 310 Yards

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The tee shot — uphill, blind — is intimidating but not really dangerous. Just carry the ball more than 150 yards, avoid the dense grove to the left, and make sure not to hit up on the group ahead of you. Even if you lose your drive to the right, toward OB, a tall fence and a taller stand of eucalyptus will likely kick your ball back into play.

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Pacific Grove Golf Links: Holes 1-3

Hole 1: Par 3, 146 Yards

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The green sits between two fronting mounds and a raised bunker back left. From the tee you will have trouble making out the bunker as well as much of the putting surface. Still, it’s not a complicated shot. If there were a bunker short left, the right-side mound would be more useful. But as it stands, the hole calls for nothing fancier than a short iron aimed at the center of the green. A slightly underwhelming start to the round.

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