Rocky Mountain golfers will soon return to City Park Golf Course in Denver, following a full remodel from Todd Schoeder, ASGCA (Grassroots Golf Design). Besides golfers, area property owners will benefit from the stormwater mitigation work that will reduce flood risks to neighborhood homes.

Golf Course Architecture reports:

“The 135-acre golf course is one of the last large open spaces in Denver that offers a natural space to capture and then release floodwaters,” said Schoeder. “The challenge was can you utilise an existing, 1913 historic Tom Bendelow-designed golf course in the heart of an urban environment to address major neighbourhood and regional flooding issues? How do you use the course to detain the required stormwater and then release the water within eight hours to keep the course playable?”

Schoeder’s solution was to create a new design that uses 20 acres of the golf course to hold and slow almost 75 million gallons of floodwater during storms. His design includes a natural water treatment channel that enhances course strategy, while allowing stormwater to pass through the course without looking like an ‘engineered’ feature.

The new par 70 layout retains the original course character, preserves sweeping vistas and uses many existing hole corridors. The project also includes a new four-hole First Tee course, a new and expanded driving range, a one-acre practice area, and a new clubhouse and state-of-the-art maintenance facility.

“Even though the course is designed to flood and temporarily store a massive amount of water, you would be hard pressed to identify where and how the engineering works,” said Schoeder. “The golf design was seamlessly woven into the stormwater management system.

“To respect the original Bendelow ‘sporty’ design, many of the golf course features reflect the same size, character and location. Eight of the original golf holes remain in the same playing corridor, albeit redesigned with more movement, width and playing options.”

The new design included expanding and reshaping all 18 greens (they are now 50 per cent larger on average), 36 all new bunkers, and increasing the number and sizes of tees.

“All project goals have been met and, in many cases, exceeded, including meeting all mandatory city technical requirements for golf, and urban drainage requirements for stormwater management,” said Schoeder.