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Time to invest in that South Side golf course

Golf is probably the only sport that epitomizes the symbiotic relationship with nature. It creates “nature sanctuaries!”

The Chicago Park District wants to merge the Jackson Park (shown) and South Shore golf courses. Sun-Times file photo

The alarming misinformation campaign surrounding the Jackson Park/South Shore Golf Course must be addressed.

A recent letter in the Chicago Sun-Times noting the 114-year-old South Shore Golf Course will become a luxurious course under the proposed plan is another misguided attempt to deter progress and development.

The Chicago Park District will continue to own and manage the South Shore Cultural Center and golf courses. All Chicagoans are welcome to use the facilities, but why anyone suggests children “play ball” other than golf on a golf course is asinine.

SEND LETTERS TO: letters@suntimes.com. Please include your neighborhood or hometown and a phone number for verification purposes.

There are playgrounds and fields throughout the parks to accommodate children playing ball, but unfortunately stray bullets are the primary concern for parents today. It’s not the same environment and mindset we grew up with 40 years ago.

Proven facts and data attest to scholarships, careers and economic development through golf, as well the millions in charitable causes raised by the PGA Tour. Moreover, we applaud the efforts of 5th Ward Ald. Leslie Hairston to revitalize the community, notably 71st Street, which once was the “South Side Magnificent Mile.”

We are avid amateur golfers, our children are golfers, and we have countless friends and family that are amateur golfers. Many of us enjoy the sport because golf connects us with nature, allows us to walk miles boosting exercise, promotes networking and, when applicable, helps support caddying, employment and scholarship opportunities for juniors.

We, golfers, are actually contributing to economic development as opposed to stifling it by paying our greens fees and supporting concessions at the golf courses - all growing revenue for the Park District.

It’s time to promote a sport that can be played from toddler to elder, with a career path for children beyond basketball, baseball, soccer and football — with fewer physical consequences!

It’s time to end the misinformation campaign that the nature sanctuary will be destroyed. Golf is probably the only sport that epitomizes the symbiotic relationship with nature. It creates “nature sanctuaries!”

It’s time to emphasize that golf is a game for all, not only the privileged few. Diverse urban communities, particularly African American youth on Chicago’s South Side, can benefit from exposure to the game, and we are eager to extol its virtues.

It’s time to be thankful and note the golf course improvements will be funded by private charitable donations, not taxpayers!

It’s time to revitalize Chicago’s South Side and invest in the community’s children, elders, working-class (golf courses need employees) and safety!

Tracy Raoul
Jackson Park Golf Association

Mayor Lightfoot has let us down

It didn’t take long for Mayor Lori Lightfoot to become a typical Chicago politician.

She went on vacation to Maine before the end of her first 100 days.

The mayor also ordered a renovation of her office with $220,000 from the tax increment financing piggybank, with private contractors doing the job. This from the mayor whose city is facing an $800-million-plus budget deficit.

Even before Lightfoot was sworn in, she reversed her pre-election objections to the $2 billion in TIF taxpayer money to help rich developers create the “Lincoln Yards” and “78” projects, which shouldn’t even qualify for these funds under provisions of the state TIF statute.

Lightfoot also reneged on promises to increase funding for the homeless.

Brian Owen, East Rogers Park