Home Community Canal Shores renovations break ground; Officials plan to reopen course next summer

Canal Shores renovations break ground; Officials plan to reopen course next summer

Canal Shores renovations break ground; Officials plan to reopen course next summer

Canal Shores is the “home course” for Ryan Lach, a sophomore at Northwestern University, who was a guest speaker at the groundbreaking for the golf course’s 2nd Century renovations.

Announced by KemperSports in February, the $5.9 million project will focus on updating vital course infrastructure and establishing youth golf facilities and opportunities.

“I’m looking forward to how these renovations will turn this neighborhood gem into more of a treasure,” said Lach, who received a Chick Evans scholarship from the Western Golf Association, which supports the Canal Shores renovations.

Ryan Lach, a Northwestern student, speaks about Canal Shores golf course during the ceremony.

Built in 1919, Canal Shores is a 3,600-yard, par-60 course that straddles Evanston and Wilmette on 82 acres of land owned by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District land along the waters of the North Shore Channel.

The course was originally named after Peter Jans, an Evanston man who believed in a need for less expensive and more accessible options to play the game of golf. Jans’ sentiment continues to guide the future of the course, according to speakers during June 1’s groundbreaking.

Plans for the course center on turning Hole 1 into a youth golf training headquarters and making the course more playable while maintaining its unique qualities, officials said.

Construction has begun on the site, which officials hope will reopen in July 2024. Quitno Golf Designs and Wadsworth Construction head up the project.

The proposed design for a youth golf training area near the course’s first tee. | Image Submitted

The course is a nonprofit governed by the Evanston Wilmette Golf Course Association, which in January 2022 passed operations to KemperSports, a 44-year-old company that manages 120-plus recreation facilities, including The Glen Club and Deerpath Golf Course.

Kemper’s Josh Lesnik emceed the groundbreaking ceremony and introduced special guests involved in the project, such as Lea Jesse, CEO of First Tee of Greater Chicago, a youth development nonprofit that will be involved in Canal Shores’ youth golf program.

Lea Jesse (far left), with First Tee participants, talks about the nonprofit youth program.

According to release from KemperSports, more than $4 million has been raised toward the project’s $5.9 million goal.

For more information on the 2nd Century Campaign, visit canalshores.org.

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