Here’s a little tip for Northwest Side duffers planning to hit the links at Chick Evans Golf Course: Wear comfortable shoes.
Chances are you’ll be walking the 18-hole course after a suspicious Labor Day fire wiped out nearly the entire golf cart fleet at the Cook County public course just outside the city limits along the Chicago River North Branch bike trail.
The fire, which destroyed 45 golf carts, started after the course closed on Monday, authorities said.
The Chick Evans general manager told investigators he locked up the pro shop at about 8:20 p.m., spotted the fire about 30 minutes later and called 911, Cook County Sheriff’s Police spokeswoman Sophia Ansari said.
Investigators suspect foul play. In fact, preliminary reports suggest that someone or a group of people used tiki torches to ignite the golf carts, which cost $3,000 each, authorities said.
“The fire is still under investigation, but it doesn’t appear to be an accidental fire,” Ansari said.
No suspects were in custody Wednesday.
Only five golf carts were spared in the blaze.
But by Wednesday, golfers were able to rent carts on loan from other Cook County public courses, Chick Evans spokesman Jared Wieland said.
Still, the loaner carts went quick and by noon golfers had to hit the links on foot.