Phased renovation of Woodside, Lakeside, and Hillside nines to begin in June 2024

Wheaton, IL (September 7, 2023) – Cantigny Golf announced today major renovation plans for its 27-hole golf complex, building upon a 34-year legacy of championship golf surrounded by natural beauty. Construction is set to begin in June 2024 on the Hillside nine, followed by the Woodside and Lakeside nines in succeeding years, with all renovations projected to finish by summer 2027. For the duration of the process, Cantigny Golf will maintain 18 holes open for play. In addition, Youth Links, the 9-hole golf course for junior players, will remain open throughout construction.

Originally designed by Roger Packard, Cantigny Golf opened in 1989 and was named “Best Public Golf Course in America” by Golf Digest. While the facility was updated in 2003, the upcoming renovations mark the first significant upgrade to the property and its infrastructure since opening and will consist of:

Rebuilding and re-grassing all greens complexes and tee boxes
Redesigning and renovating bunkers and certain fairways to improve playability
Replacing irrigation systems for increased sustainability and water conservation
Developing an expanded putting green that will double as a practice area for players of all ages and levels
Adding a new halfway house for expanded event capabilities

These enhancements will reinvigorate the course, highlight the beautiful natural setting, and elevate the golf experience for all levels of players for decades to come.

Nationally recognized golf course architect Todd Quitno of Quitno Golf Designs is leading the renovation. With more than two decades of experience, Quitno has been involved in more than 150 renovation projects ranging from small upgrades on a single hole to full 27-hole overhauls. KemperSports, which has managed Cantigny Golf since 2014, will oversee the redevelopment project.

The Cantigny Golf complex sits on the 500-acre former estate of Colonel Robert R. McCormick, long-time editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune, which also includes a military museum dedicated to the U.S. Army’s 1st Infantry Division and formal gardens. For 65 years, Cantigny has offered families inspiring and accessible opportunities for recreation and learning. Cantigny Golf continues that tradition with its robust educational offerings, including a vibrant youth program that continues to grow the game of golf and a caddie program that has so far produced 18 Evans Scholars. Each year, Cantigny Golf hosts golf outings in support of numerous local nonprofit organizations.

Cantigny is a part of the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, which funds the continued operation of Cantigny, including Cantigny Golf, for the recreation, instruction and welfare of the people of the of Illinois. The golf course renovation will be funded through a grant from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.

“Cantigny Golf has been a premier destination for the public for over three decades,” said Timothy P. Knight, president and CEO of the Robert R. McCormick Foundation. “In addition to the 27-hole golf course, Cantigny has one of the region’s finest golf academies and a leading junior golf program. Working with Todd Quitno and KemperSports, we are confident that this renovation will preserve the hallmark features of each layout while enhancing them to better serve our golf community and grow the game for years to come.”

The estimated renovation timeline is as follows:

June 2024: Phase One construction begins on Hillside nine, halfway house, and putting lawn
June 2025: Hillside nine reopens; Phase Two construction on Woodside nine begins
June 2026: Woodside nine reopens; Phase Three construction on Lakeside nine begins
June 2027: Lakeside nine reopens

“I’m honored to be trusted with a course as respected as Cantigny,” said Quitno. “Cantigny represents some of the finest public access golf in the country, and our team can’t wait to deliver improvements that will elevate this status even more. Our number one challenge is to balance fresh ideas with the distinct character that identifies each nine to invigorate the property and provide some excitement for both returning and new Cantigny players.”

“Cantigny has a sterling reputation that attracts players from all over the country,” said Terry Hanley, KemperSports’ general manager of Cantigny Golf. “Part of what makes Cantigny so special is that each of our nines is unique to the other. We are thrilled to drive the Cantigny Golf experience forward to both preserve that legacy of excellence and improve on its successes.”

Cantigny Golf is consistently named on esteemed lists such as the Best Places You Can Play in Illinois by Golfweek, Best in State by Golf Digest, Golfers’ Choice: Best Golf Courses in Illinois by GolfPass, and Golfers’ Choice: Top 50 U.S. Courses by GolfPass. The property has hosted the Illinois State Amateur Championship, Chicago Open, U.S. Open sectional qualifiers, U.S. Amateur qualifiers, the USGA Public Links Championship, and many other tournaments and qualifying events.

For more information about Cantigny Golf and the planned renovations, visit


About Author

Glen Turk is a Wisconsin native who has been the Senior Writer/Editor of Midwest Golfing Magazine since 2006. Besides being an avid golfer, Glen enjoys traveling, music, and cheering on the finest professional sports team of all-time, the Green Bay Packers. Glen’s ultimate golf goal is to play in all fifty states and currently he is more than half way there. His other dream, albeit far-fetched, it to record an ace in all seven states of our distribution area. Thanks to an ace in Illinois in 2015, and one in Michigan in 2016, he has three down, four to go!

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