Some American athletes at the Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia may have practiced cross-country skiing on Chicago-land golf courses. You may exclaim, “What, golf courses are for playing golf!” During winter months when fairways have abundant amounts of snow, Chicago-land golf courses are for skiing.
Since Jan. 1, 2014, the several snowstorms that have pummeled Chicago-land have left snow-laden fairways that are at least one foot deep. The consistent, cold temperatures have not allowed melting of this snow. Therefore, Chicagoan skiers can practice in these areas instead of travelling to Vail, Colo.
The best choices for skiing are Chicago Park District golf courses. These parks do not have gates. Jackson Park Golf Course is the largest of these courses, and will provide adequate length for practicing cross-country skiing. Robert Black Golf Course may be too small for skiers to use.
Winter conditions on Park District courses can be similar or more challenging than skiing at ski resorts. (I am referring to wind and temperatures, not hills or mountains.) Unlike at some ski resorts, skiers on Chicago-land courses will not see any bears or caribou.
Highland Golf Course, which is a Forest Preserve Golf course, has many steep hills that would be challenging to downhill skiers. Almost certainly some skiers bypass its closed gate to practice on this course’s fairways. On the other hand, this course’s management may freely allow skiers to use its fairways when there is sufficient snow on the ground. George Dunne National Golf Course and Edgebrook Golf Course may also allow skiers to use their fairways.