Geeked on Golf

A Celebration of the People & Places that Make Golf the Greatest Game

Support Canal Shores

Momentum and enthusiasm for the transformation of Canal Shores are building.  I continue to be very grateful for and humbled by the support that we have received to date.  Now more than ever, we need sustained support to finish what we have started.

Canal Shores is managed by a non-profit 501(c)(3) that is comprised entirely of volunteers.  We are not funded by tax dollars, and receive no financial support from MWRD, the City of Evanston, the Village of Wilmette, or any other government entity.  We count on support from members of the community and lovers of the game of golf.

A great way to support the ongoing operation of the course is to come out and play.  Or even better, buy a season pass and make visiting Canal Shores a regular thing.  Click here for details on Season Passes.


To formalize the Master Planning process and capital campaign, we have given it an official title – Canal Shores 100.  As we approach our centennial in 2019, we are celebrating the first 100 years, and preparing for the next 100.  For more on Canal Shores 100, visit the official page here.

We have divided the project into 2 components – Golf & Ecological.  I will continue to share details on the development of the Golf component, while my Committee-mate Steve Neumann works on the Ecological component.  We hope to have the planning process finished by the end of 2016.


In order to complete the Master Plan and associated Pilot Projects, we estimate that we will need to spend $100,000.

Through its Site Improvement Program, the USGA and ASGCA were among the first contributors to our campaign.  It is an exciting affirmation of the direction that we are headed, which is evidenced by their official announcement:


Thanks to the efforts of members of the Grounds Committee, and with support from MWRD, we applied for and were awarded a Coastal Management planning grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.  That matching grant is helping us to concurrently compile both the golf and ecological components of our Master Plan, ensuring that they are harmoniously interdependent.

We have also received a pledge from the First Tee of Greater Chicago to assist with planning, and we are working with several other parties on large donations.

Although we are off to a good start, we still need support from golf geeks and the community.  There are three ways that you can support Canal Shores 100:


All donations, large and small, will make a difference.  You can send a check with Canal Shores 100 in the memo to: Tom Tully, Canal Shores, 1030 Central Street, Evanston, IL 60201.  You can also donate online by clicking on the button below:



With generous help from Tom Young at Ballpark Blueprints and our friend Joel Murray, we now have Canal Shores 100 gear available in our store.  A portion of every purchase goes directly into our planning fund.

Go ahead, be like Bill and get yourself a t-shirt.  You can be one of the cool kids and help us spread the word.


David Shaffer and the good folks at Imperial have joined the community golf movement.  They were kind enough to create a killer throwback hat design for Canal Shores that is now available on their website.  A portion of each sale goes to the planning fund.

I ordered mine the first day so that I can rock it on The Shores all season.  Click here to place your order now for these Limited Edition hats.


Obviously, we cannot begin the renovation until we have a finalized Master Plan that has been approved by our Board, MWRD, the City of Evanston and the Village of Wilmette.  To be prepared to begin the renovation when that approval comes though, we have begun to gather funding commitments.

We received word from the Wadsworth Golf Charities Foundation that they have approved our project for a $200,000 development grant through their Links Across America program.

We are not yet collecting cash for the renovation, but if you are willing to make a pledge, please email me at and I will connect you with our Board members Jay Ryan and Kevin Kane.  They are spearheading the campaign and will be happy to share more information with you regarding donor tiers and benefits packages.


The pace of progress on planning is brisk, but we are still in the preliminary planning stage.  Below is the most recent preliminary design incorporating both the Golf & Ecological components.  For even more information on the Golf component, read my recent post here.



Click here to view a larger version: CanalShores100-PreliminaryLayout-TQCompilation_120115

The design provides an idea of how the pieces of the puzzle fit together, but it does not indicate what a player will see when they tee it up at the new Canal Shores.  Some time ago, I made this post regarding our design inspirations.

Since that post, we have zeroed in on Old Elm and Shoreacres as key sources of inspiration.  As the pictures below illustrate, these courses are classic, interesting, and beautiful.  They are also enormously fun to play.  This is the level of design quality and thoughtfulness that our talented Lead Architect David Zinkand intends to provide.






(photos by Jon Cavalier – on Twitter and Instagram at @linksgems)


As those who have been following our progress to date know, we have already undertaken projects to combat native tree, vine, and brush species, and replace them with trees from our approved list and other native grasses, flowers, and plants.

We have also been gearing up to tackle a short list of pilot projects that address specific issues with the property, especially drainage.  The good folks at Ecology+Vision were kind enough to do the design of one of those areas in need of attention on a pro-bono basis.  It is exciting to imagine the marriage of beauty and ecological sustainability that is possible for us at Canal Shores with the right resources.


Click here to view a larger version of this project, which is tentatively scheduled for installation in Spring:  Ecology+Vision Native Area Project Plan

Stay tuned for updates here from Steve here as he and his experts make progress in working their ecological restoration magic.


Copyright 2016 – Jason Way, GeekedOnGolf