The management of Louisville’s public golf courses has been a hotly debated topic for years. The city says attempts to take on bidders on Cherokee have not worked.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Community members share their thoughts on the future of Louisville’s oldest public golf course, amid the latest push to close it in favor of turning the property into expanded park space.

Olmsted Parks Conservancy, a nonprofit that helps run many of the Metro’s largest parks, has renewed efforts to turn what the group calls an “underused” area into a Cherokee Park expansion.

In a proposal sent to Metro Parks and Recreation, originally submitted in 2019, Olmsted expressed a desire to turn the land into a hotspot for fishing, boating and even restaurants.

The city does not yet take a position.

“We just want to hear from people about what they want to see the Cherokee Golf Course become: remain a golf course, or do they support the Olmsted Conservancy’s plan?” said Margaret Brosko, acting director of the parks department.

The Historic Cherokee Golf Course has been around for over 125 years, one of the oldest in the country. But some argue that the qualities that hold so much sentimental value are many of the same reasons the course has been a hard sell for years: an aging, shorter 9-hole course, and the only public in Louisville without a golf professional. golf or not. -profit run the show.

“Sometimes you don’t know what you have until it’s gone, and I think that’s what’s going to happen if this place is closed,” said golfer Tad Desanto, who plays at Cherokee since the 80s.

Councilwoman Cassie Chambers-Armstrong says she has received more than 100 emails in the past five days regarding the future of the course.

“We are not opposed to the repurposing of this golf course, but before doing so, we want to make sure that we carefully consider the possibility of keeping it open,” said Chambers-Armstrong, who also told us that the course had taken a long time. financial losses over the years.

Golfers we spoke to say they respect conservation efforts, but believe there is a way for the group to fulfill its mission while keeping at least parts of the course intact.

“I would like to see the course maintained as a nine-hole course if possible,” Desanto said. “I think there may be a trade-off in how this thing is developed.”

The city says it hasn’t made a decision yet and will take public input first. On Monday evening, April 25, Parks and Recreation officials along with Councilman Armstrong hosted the second of two public meetings — this one at the clubhouse at the Cherokee Golf Course — to get feedback from the community.

Even if the city chooses to accept and move forward with the proposal, ultimately any proposed changes will need to be approved by the Metro Council down the line.

The management of Louisville’s public golf courses has been a hotly debated topic for years. The city says attempts to take viable bidders on Cherokee have not worked so far.

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