A New Vision for Cherokee Golf Course

Last week, Olmsted Parks Conservancy submitted our response to Louisville Metro Government’s Request for Proposal for the 10 Metro Golf Courses. While we’re not sure what will happen next, since Metro Council voted in favor of raising greens fees to keep the courses open for 2020, we still feel that Cherokee Golf Course would be better suited to serve as a public park based on the public input we’ve received.

To make sure our RFP response aligned with the community, we asked current and former golfers (48.77% of responders) and non-golfers (52.93% of responders) if they supported turning Cherokee Golf Course into a public park in a quick survey. The result? 74.83% support turning Cherokee Golf Course back into a public park, so it can be used by all city residents instead of a few.

According to data from the Trust for Public Land, Cherokee and Seneca Park had an estimated 1,600,000 visitors in 2019. In contrast, Cherokee Golf Course has had only 15,000 rounds played in FY 2019 – less than 1% of total visitors. While Cherokee Park has been the most frequently visited and heavily used, the golf course has been one of the most underutilized courses in the city. Restoring the golf course property to a park will increase usage and expand access to all Louisville residents.

As a more equitable and environmentally friendly use of this land, we propose converting the golf course into a modern interpretation of an Olmsted Park, utilizing the unique landscapes to create a dynamic park space that will be open to all members of the community. Imagine the corner of Grinstead Drive and Lexington Road brought to life with new walking trails, a pond for canoeing and fishing, increased tree canopy, and hundreds of people enjoying the space daily. This underutilized, under-performing golf course can be reinvented as a vibrant and welcoming entrance into the most loved and used municipal park in our community.

As our city faces significant challenges and pressures, we see a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to invest in our collective well-being. We believe our proposal, A New Vision for Cherokee Golf Course, offers the best use of public space for the benefit of all residents, not just golfers.

We are excited to share our vision with you.

Your Voice Matters.

Every project that we take part in starts with listening and community input, and if selected we would utilize the Master Planning process to create a plan for the Cherokee Golf Course site that meets the needs of the people. These artistic renderings created by Taylor Siefker Williams Design Group, LLC are just a few examples of visions of what could become if we dare to dream big and invest in our community.

Whether you agree with the proposal or not – we’d love your feedback. Please tell us what you think in this short survey, and contact your Metro Councilor to express your support.


Fred Facts
Frederick Law Olmsted along with his design partner Calvert Vaux were responsible for designing Central Park and Prospect Park in New York City.

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