Wilmette, Community

11 holes at Canal Shores to reopen Aug. 1, with a new name and logo

(Editor’s Note: This story was reported by Jim Brown and originally published in the Evanston Roundtable, a neighboring independent newsroom. It was shared with The Record as part of an ongoing collaborative effort.)

The Evanston Wilmette Golf Course Association and KemperSports on Tuesday announced a rebrand of Canal Shores as “The Evans at Canal Shores.”

“The new name and logo spearhead the rebranding efforts as the 100-year-old course embarks on a new era of delivering exceptional and memorable experiences for Chicagoland golfers,” a news release said.

The golf course, located in Evanston and Wilmette on land owned by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District along the North Shore Channel, has been undergoing an extensive renovation since June of last year and all holes have been closed to play since August.

“The Western Golf Association was a major contributor to the Canal Shores renovation, and we gave them naming rights for the course. The new name recognizes the deep connection to the namesake of the Western Golf Association’s Evans Scholars Foundation, Chick Evans, who attended high school in Evanston,” said Matt Rooney, president of the Evanston Wilmette Golf Course Association. “Canal Shores has served a special place in the community for more than 100 years. The Evans at Canal Shores continues the legacy of Canal Shores while putting added focus on the youth development and youth caddie training opportunities that will come from the renovated golf course.” 

Rooney noted that the new name does not change the structure of course management. The course will continue to be professionally managed by KemperSports under the direction of the Canal Shores Board. KemperSports is compensated through a monthly fee, and there is no profit incentive in the compensation agreement. 

The 11 newly renovated holes north of Central Street will reopen Aug. 1, Rooney said. The first and 13th holes are set to open around Aug. 15, depending on the weather. The completely upgraded par-60, 18-hole golf course, youth development training center and Western Golf Association Caddie Academy will open in spring 2025. 

In addition to the new name, Canal Shores also has a new logo.

“The golf course logo is the graphical representation of an owl perched on top of a golf club,” Tuesday’s press release said. “The logo represents the course’s commitment to being a good steward to all inhabitants in the community and represents its mission of educating the community’s youth through golf.” 

The golf course’s new name and logo.

The Western Golf Association paid for a firm to design the new logo.

A Cook County Forest Preserves golf course in Morton Grove is also named in honor of Chick Evans, one of the greatest amateur golfers of all time. Evans, whose golfing career stretched from the 1910s through the 1960s, died in 1979.

In 1930, Evans worked with the Western Golf Association to establish the Evans Scholars Foundation. To date, the foundation has awarded full tuition and college scholarships to more than 13,000 youth caddies, including the 1,130 Evans Scholars currently enrolled at 24 universities nationwide.

The Evans Scholars Foundation will fund a caddy academy at Canal Shores for children who participate in The Golf Practice and First Tee of Chicago programs and have a high interest in golf. Those kids that qualify as caddies will then become eligible for Evans scholarships. 

“The Canal Shores Board is looking forward to introducing the game of golf to diverse youth in our community, provide work opportunities through caddying and access to college scholarships,” Rooney said. 

The Canal Shores Board, in conjunction with KemperSports, raised $5.8 million for the renovation of the golf course through a partnership of golf industry leaders, including the Western Golf Association/Evans Scholars Foundation, First Tee – Greater Chicago, Wadsworth Golf Charities, the Chicago District Golf Association, Quitno Golf Designs and through private contributions. The Village of Wilmette and the City of Evanston did not pay for any part of the renovation.

Evanston RoundTable

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