Golf course architect Edward B. Dearie Jr. designed the golf course in 1930. The original name was the Waveland Golf Course. The design called for 18 holes, but due to budget constraints it never got past half-done.
The land for the course was bought from the city, built on fill and the course took more than two years to build at a cost of over $2 million.
It opened June 15, 1932, under the name “Waveland Golf Course. Green fees opening day were 25 cents to play all day, a true “daily fee” course.
Due to its popularity, ping pong tables and horseshoe pits were constructed for golfers waiting to tee off.
In 1932, course policy stated that beginners were not allowed to play because they slowed the course down and ruined the fairways and greens. Many disgruntled taxpaying golfers cried foul, and the policy was rescinded, and since then golfers of all levels have been enjoying play along scenic Lake Michigan.
In June 1991, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley re-named Waveland “Sydney R. Marovitz Golf Course.”
Sydney Marovitz was a commissioner on the Park District Board from 1974 to 1986. He is said to have been a kind, compassionate and thoughtful man, though not one who left much of a mark on the parks.
Golfers were outraged at the renaming. When the course was new, the name Waveland was appropriate since the pastoral and challenging links were located right where the land meets the waves.
Chicago-area golfers in an unorganized but widespread expression of civil disobedience have refused to adopt the new name. They still call it Waveland.
Marovitz Golf Course has always been one of the busiest courses in the Chicagoland area. It has been home to the Midwest Amateur Tournament, one of the most popular amateur events in the Chicago area.
In 1993, the Chicago Park District privatized the management of its six golf courses and two driving ranges. KemperGolf Management (KemperSports) has been managing all of the their golf facilities since 1993 and is responsible for the courses finally turning a profit for the taxpayers after they had been a huge financial drain for years. The transformation of all of the courses from their goat-ranch appearance to today’s well-maintained condition has been nothing short of miraculous. The first relics of the old era to go were asphalt tee boxes.
In 2003, Marovitz was certified by Audubon International as a Cooperative Sanctuary for golf. Audubon International provides information to help golf courses with: Environmental Planning; Wildlife and Habitat Management; Chemical Use Reduction and Safety; Water Conservation; Water Quality Management; and Outreach and Education.