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About the City Park Golf Course Redesign


During major storms, the redesigned City Park Golf Course will temporarily hold and slow floodwaters while protecting the course from damage. The detention area is an essential part of Platte to Park Hill: Stormwater Systems. It will be integrated into an updated course design that will be even more enjoyable for golfers and help protect some of the city’s most at-risk neighborhoods from flooding.

Integrating stormwater detention in golf courses is a very common practice. Outside of major storms, the area will remain a dry, fully-functioning golf course.

After considering technical merits and community input, City Park Golf Course was selected for water detention because it will protect significantly more homes and businesses; enhances an existing city asset; reduces the need for private property acquisition; and provides for future stormwater needs.

The team leading the redesign is Saunders Construction, iConGolf Studio with Hale Irwin Golf Design, and clubhouse architect Johnson Nathan Strohe.

Project Status

Design guidelines for the City Park Golf Course Redesign were finalized in late 2016.

Construction began in November 2017. City Park Golf Course is currently closed and will reopen when the turf is fully established. An opening date for the golf course will be based on regular assessments of the turf. Establishment of the turf is largely dependent upon weather conditions.


Planning Process 2015–2017

Guidelines for the City Park Golf Course Redesign were finalized in late 2016, as part of an eight-month collaborative process with representatives from Registered Neighborhood Organizations, community groups, the golf community, and residents.

Design Guideline Themes (PDF)

October 2017 Open House Materials

The City and County of Denver hosted two identical community meetings to share plans for the redesign of City Park Golf Course and introduce the community to the design-build team of Saunders Construction, iConGolf Studio with Hale Irwin Golf Design, and clubhouse architect Johnson Nathan Strohe. Materials from the Open House are provided in PDF format.

Open House — January 31, 2017

Meeting Summary (PDF)

Community Workshop — October 25, 2016

City Park Golf Course Redesign Drop-In — July 30, 2016

Denver’s Park and Parkway System was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986. City Park Golf Course (CPGC) was included in the nomination which covered many of Denver’s parks and parkways.

CPGC’s historic recognition

  • CPGC is also listed on the Colorado State Register of Historic Places
  • Listing identifies the course’s defining features that are historically significant

The City is working closely with the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) to ensure we are addressing the elements of the course required for continued eligibility on the historic registry.

The following table includes the defining features as described in CPGC’s National Register nomination. A summary of the current status is also included.

Character-Defining Features Current Status

Clubhouse (1923)

Pueblo Revival Golf house at the NW corner of the course was built in 1918 and enlarged in 1923. The main block of buildings rises one story in height behind the pergolas and 2 stories in height behind the central portico. Flat roofed building is of Stucco, with red tile on the second story buildings

Clubhouse replaced in original location in 2001, does not reflect the historic design

Starting House

Other structures on the course include a small starting house (Stucco with red tile roof)

Original starting house was removed in 2001

Snack Bar/Toilet

Mid Course-Small gable and toilet facility

Original snack bar/toilet buildings were replaced in 2001 

Storage Maintenance Yard

South side across from City Park Shops

Buildings in the maintenance yard appear to date to circa 1970. 


From the high point near Colorado Blvd. the terrain drops to the west. In a natural swale there are several giant plains cottonwoods, which are also found along the street on the west perimeter. Looking back to the east the rise in the course becomes the horizon, providing an illusion of vast space.

Remains historically consistent

Select Trees

Greens and the tees are surrounded by islands of evergreens. These islands are an excellent mixture of forms, colors and textures. 

Many have died/been removed

Historic Layout/Design/Use

The layout of the course is conventional, consisting of wide and straight fairways. The Fairways are for the most part, planted only with grass.  The layout provides a sense of vastness created by the openness of the course.

Multiple changes to the course since its inception, most recently in 2000-2001

Mountain View

The natural topography of the land permits an unequaled view of the mountains and the Denver Skyline.

Remains historically consistent

Historic Planting/Plant Material

The Fairways are for the most part, planted only with grass. Greens and the tees are surrounded by islands of evergreens. Giant plains cottonwoods (which are also street trees along the west perimeter).

Remains historically consistent

As part of the City Park Golf Course Redesign process, we’ve heard from the community that seeing examples of courses with integrated stormwater detention would be helpful. Below is more information on the topic with visual examples of courses locally and around the country.

Golf courses have a proven track record of providing neighboring communities with effective flood control. By integrating stormwater detention into City Park Golf Course, damaging floodwaters will be temporarily held during major storms and slowly released, lessening their impact on homes, businesses and the community.

The City Park Golf Course Redesign also presents an opportunity to consider how all elements of the course fit and work together to ensure it continues to be a tremendous asset to golfers and community members alike. Simply put, City Park Golf Course will always be one of Denver’s best and most popular 18-hole golf courses.

There are many examples of how stormwater detention can be beautifully integrated into golf course design — view an example gallery here.

Integrating stormwater detention in golf courses is a very common practice because of the many environmental, public safety and recreational opportunities it provides. In fact, City Park Golf Course already has a smaller level of natural stormwater detention integrated into it.

Outside of major storms, the integrated detention area within City Park Golf Course will remain mostly dry and fully compatible with golf operations. In addition to reflecting the course aesthetic, the planting and vegetation in the detention area will provide opportunities to:

  • Better control stormwater and minimize public safety risks
  • Improve water quality through natural filtration
  • Improve natural ecosystems, plant diversity and wildlife habitat
  • Protect the course from damage from major storms
  • Preserve existing healthy trees whenever possible
  • Plant new trees to ensure the character of the course well into the future

Throughout the redesign process, the City is placing a priority on avoiding impacts to large stands of healthy trees – especially those on the edge of the course. However, it is likely that some trees will need to be replaced. The redesign process will include working with arborists and City of Denver Forestry on strategies to minimize impacts based on a comprehensive inventory of course trees and their current condition.

For those trees that do need to be removed as part of the project, the City’s policy is to replace the level of tree canopy coverage, not number of trees. This means that, rather than replacing one large tree with one smaller one, one large tree is typically replaced by multiple smaller trees that create the same level of canopy coverage.


City Park Golf Course putting green with golf course logo