Imagine long open stretches of fresh-cut grass, a pole with a flag in the distance flicks in the wind. From somewhere behind you hear the urgent cry 'Fore!' Immediately you search the sky for the incoming object, which lands inches from your plaid-pants clad foursome, only mildly disrupting the tranquil disposition of the scene but severely upsetting your drive which flanked to the edge of the fairway.
Walking about the straight avenues and rows of houses in the purely residential Chicago neighborhood of Big Oaks, you won’t have to worry about getting beaned with a small, white dimpled ball, but you might be surprised by what once existed where your feet now tread.
What is now blocks of housing was once the expansive, well-tended greens of Big Oaks Golf Course. Named after the area’s numerous oak trees, Big Oaks Golf Course was constructed as a public counterpart to nearby members-only Ridgemoor Country Club. In 1955, Big Oaks Golf Course sold its land to the city, which demolished the course, replacing it with hundreds of homes.
These days Big Oaks (the neighborhood took its name from the golf course it supplanted) is a pleasantly residential area, home to a number of Chicago’s police officers and cozy single-family dwellings.