In The New York Times today, I explore the price of progress at the oldest public golf course in Chicago.
History buffs and golf bums will appreciate this bit, which didn't make the cut.
“For a long time South Side golf enthusiasts have been dreaming of that happy morning when they should wake to find a golf course at a distance of less than twenty to thirty miles from their homes,” began an article in the Chicago Daily Tribune, April 30, 1899.
When Jackson Park finally did open as a nine-hole golf course month later, “nearly 100 persons, many of them women, went over the course during the day, while hundreds of interested spectators were scattered along the links, watching the players struggle to get the little balls to the red flags ….”
Golf at Jackson Park was free back then—the parks didn’t begin charging greens fees until 1920—and Jackson Park was immediately crowded … On the Fourth of July in 1906, 1,400 people played the course. …