Charting a New City Park Golf Course

How waves of emotion over losing my first home course turned into a wellspring of hope for Denver’s City Park.

By Ed Mate, Executive Director, Colorado Golf Association

East High Alums at City Park
On October 15, former East High golf team members (from left) Andrew Macfarlane, Ed Mate, Jason Katzman, Josh Long, John Koepe and Vic Sulzer got in a final round at City Park, where they practiced and played in mid-1980s.

Growing up in the Park Hill neighborhood, I played City Park Golf Course hundreds of times. As I got older and as my game improved, I measured the increasing length of my drives against the 200-yard stone to the left of the first fairway—the golf equivalent of the pencil marks on the wall in my bedroom indicating my height at the start of each school year.

With so much personal history at City Park, I was very concerned when I heard rumors that the course would be closing to make way for a major flood control project.

Thankfully, I have since learned that this is not the case.

On November 1, the course shuttered for an 18-month period during which it will undergo a complete makeover. And while I am sad to see the course I grew up on go away, I am very excited about the future.

I have learned that the stormwater detention element will not be an obnoxious structure blocking views of the course but will be integrated into a new, modern, 18-hole course design.

Conceptual drawing of redesigned City Park Golf Course in Denver
Proposed redesign by Hale Irwin and Todd Schoeder.

I now understand that the project will result in an improved driving range, enhanced First Tee facility and clubhouse location that capitalizes on the incredible views afforded by the site.

I have learned that the city has selected a great team of professionals to complete the project and that the final result will be a rebirth of a new and improved City Park for summer 2019.

The preservation of City Park Golf Course is important to all of us—not just those who play golf. City Park will continue to be an oasis of open space in an ever-growing city.

In addition to its obvious benefits as a place of recreation for people from all walks of life, the course will also continue to provide more than 100 acres of wildlife habitat and make a positive contribution toward the reduction of carbon emissions.

Edward Mate
Ed Mate

While the holes might look different in summer of 2019, I am very optimistic that City Park Golf Course will be better than ever. The course will continue to be a gathering place for one of the most diverse neighborhoods in our community and an outdoor classroom and haven for hundreds of kids in the First Tee of Denver’s programs.

Not bad for a stormwater detention project!

Ed Mate is the executive director of the Colorado Golf Association. He grew up playing City Park Golf Course and caddying at Denver Country Club.




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