Overland Golf Course Eyed for Major Concert Event

Overland Golf Course, Hole 2
Overland Golf Course, opened in 1895, could be hosting a gathering far bigger than any tournament in 2018.

Denver’s Overland Golf Course, the 120-year-old municipal layout that once staged an exhibition by the legendary Harry Vardon, could soon be welcoming the talents of Beyoncé and scores of other performers if a proposal for a three-day music festival gets approved.

According to Grace Ramirez at Denver’s special events office, the interested companies are a branch of AEG, which owns the Coachella festival, and Superfly, a co-producer of Bonnaroo and Outside Lands.

The three-day event would begin in 2018, drawing an estimated 40,000 people a day to the course at Santa Fe and Huron in southwest Denver. The proposal calls for a multiyear commitment.

Golfers aren’t happy.

“The kicker is the course will be closed down for five to six weeks” in order to set up and break down the event, golfer Chuck Dreiling emailed. Not only would that inconvenience golfers, it would likely adversely impact the condition of the course, which originally opened in 1895 as Overland Country Club.

Overland Golf Course 10 tee/11green
Overland’s 11th tee and 10th green. (Photo by Barry Gutierrez)

“This is just another example of Mayor Hancock’s administration’s attempts to turn our parks into profit centers,” Denver resident Bridget Walsh told CBS4, citing the Chive Festival at City Park in 2014. “It hurts quality of life in the city.”

The other side of the argument is that profits from the festival could be plowed back into enhancing the city’s quality of life.

Hancock’s administration also plans on closing City Park Golf Course for all of 2018 and part of 2019 in order to convert 138 acres of it into a stormwater detention area. Opponents have already mounted legal challenges.

Overland, Hole 2
Overland’s second hole looks straight at downtown Denver.

The proposal for the Overland event will not proceed until the City of Denver has reviewed the plans with stakeholders, residents and businesses.

The first of these discussions occurred at a Golf Community Meeting on Monday, January 30, at the Overland clubhouse to ensure active users of the course had the opportunity to provide input regarding the festival and discuss golf-related needs and interests.

Another general public community meeting will take place Wednesday, February 1, at Schmitt Elementary School at 1820 S. Vallejo St. in Denver.

Concerned golfers can also contact Denver City Council Member Jolon Clark of the Seventh District at [email protected] or 720-337-7777.

Harry Vardon at Overland
Six-time British Open champion Harry Vardon at Overland Golf Course in 1900, the year he won the U.S. Open.

RELATED LINKS:

Denver to Accept Proposals for City Park Golf Course Redesign

Denver’s City Park to Close in 2018

The Case for City Park

For the Love of Munis: Denver Courses Celebrate Anniversaries

The Back Forty: Golf in Colorado Predates the CGA by 40 Years

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