South Shore Golf Course is a par 33, 9-hole golf course located on the shores of Lake Michigan, offering panoramic views of the lake. The course is now a public facility, managed by the Chicago Park District. However, for 69 years, it was a private club.
No other Chicago-based private club, past or present, has as illustrious a history as South Shore. The original South Shore Country Club was founded in 1905. The course and the facility, which includes the South Shore Cultural Center, was bought by the Chicago Park District in 1975.
The club has hosted events for President Taft, King Peter of Yougoslavia,Edward – Prince of Wales and Buffalo Bill Cody. In 1980, the building’s exteriors were used as the “Palace Hotel Ballroom” in the movie “The Blues Brothers”.
In 1992, the wedding reception for Michelle and Barack Obama was held at the South Shore Cultural Center. On May 26, 2004, it became a Chicago Landmark.
At its peak, South Shore Country Club had over 2,200 members. With only a 9-hole golf course, members had many other interest groups including aviation, boating, equestrian, ice skating, lawn bowling and trap shooting.
In addition to the golf course, the South Shore Cultural Center features a 65-acre park with tennis courts and a beach. The current clubhouse was constructed in 1916 and was designed in the Mediterranean Revival style.
The South Shore Cultural Center now offers a variety of culturally rich programs to the surrounding community. The facility also partners with many local organizations including After School Matters, Chicago Music Association, Chicago Modern Orchestra Project and Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
In 2016, a $30 million initiative was announced that would upgrade the South Shore and nearby Jackson Park golf course, transforming them into a single 18-hole championship course designed by Tiger Woods. The project, along with road improvements that would coincide with construction of the Barack Obama Presidential Center, is currently on hold.