Denver is not asking what the Kennedy Golf Course can do for the city, but what the city can do for the golf course.
A master plan is being developed to redesign the golf course so that all segments are comparable to one another, and to include a new clubhouse and other features.
Kennedy is the largest of Denver’s seven golf courses. It has 27 holes of regular golf between three nine-hole sections. The first two nines, Babe Lind and West, were built in 1963, and the Creek Nine was completed in 1994.
There is also a par-3 course on the golf campus that doubles as foot golf, and two putt-putt courses adjoin the clubhouse. The campus has a large driving range with a practice putting green, but the short game practice area has been closed for the time being.
Richard Mandell, a golf architect hired to lead the city’s renovation of the course, has plans to redesign it for the foreseeable future. Kennedy was built when drivers were still made of wood and technology wasn’t helping players hit 350-yard drives.
Provided by the City of Denver
Richard Mandell is the golf architect leading the city’s renovation of Kennedy golf course.
Although Kennedy has some of the most challenging holes on any golf course in Denver, it shows his age. Tee boxes, for example, are typically designed to vary in length depending on a golfer’s skill set. But Kennedys are close together.
“We’re planning to renovate all three nines on the golf course, and one of the goals we discussed was to get all nines the same so it doesn’t always end up being Creek and Babe Nine and the west overflowing. “Said Mandell.
Scott Rethlake, the city’s golf director, said creating continuity across the three courses is a huge focus.
“You can tell that things were developed and built at different times. This is an attempt to make it more consistent, ”said Rethlake, adding that the course is being redesigned“ so that everyone wants to play those three nines ”.
The projects would span five to ten years. Denver is still taking input from people to determine what to put in the master plan before sending it to the city council for review. The cost of the renovation has not yet been determined.
The West Nine is considered the easiest of the three (depending on who you ask), and the babe Lind Nine is her more difficult sibling. Creek is slightly shorter than the three, but narrow and requires accurate shots.
“For budget reasons, we cannot build everything at the same time. But we can do everything at the same time, ”said Mandell.
Provided by the City of Denver
The clubhouse at Kennedy Golf Course could be renovated or replaced as part of an upcoming master plan.
Some of the other changes Mandell mentioned would be putting bunkers in the middle of the fairways rather than on the sides, which would encourage players to strategize more than “grab and snap”.
The goals of the master plan include modernizing the course’s infrastructure, improving the environmental efficiency of the course, and improving safety by making holes further apart.
Mandell said the renovations are necessary as golf courses have a lifespan of around 30 years before they need at least soil replacement and other upgrades due to drainage issues.
“We’re not tearing up the whole house completely anyway. It’s not part of our plan, ”said Mandell. “But we’re thinking about how we can best use the features. On creek nine, I wonder how we can best use Cherry Creek. We’re not interfering with Cherry Creek, but we might postpone things for Cherry Creek. ”
The course would never be completely closed, Mandell said, adding at least 18 holes will be playable while one of the nines is reconfigured.
Councilor Kendra Black, who represents the southeast corner of Denver, said she might not be a golfer, but she is anxious to see certain features of Kennedy overtaken.
“I really want a new clubhouse, more like the one in City Park, and a putt-putt refresher,” Black told BusinessDen. “Community members have been campaigning for these improvements for years. The course itself has a lot of great features but is very old. Many functions date from 1963. ”
The next meeting for the master plan of the golf course will take place on October 27 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Hebrew Educational Alliance, 3600 S. Ivanhoe St.
One of the biggest Denver golf course renovations completed in 2019 in City Park near the Denver Zoo. This $ 45 million project completely redesigned the golf course and built a new 11,000-square-foot clubhouse about 15 years after the city built a clubhouse on 26th Avenue and York Street.