Local golfers anxious as Metro Council combs through Mayor’s budget

Golf courses, like this one at Cherokee Park, along with libraries and pools around Louisville...
Golf courses, like this one at Cherokee Park, along with libraries and pools around Louisville are a few of the public services at risk of being cut thanks to the $32 million budget crisis. (Source: Phylicia Ashley, WAVE 3 News)
Updated: May. 14, 2019 at 12:39 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Golfers in Louisville fear their game may soon come to an end if private owners don’t take over public golf courses operating at a loss.

“I would hate to see this great facility lost for the people who enjoy getting out and playing golf,” Alfred Tilmes said.

Alfred Tilmes often plays at Cherokee Park because it’s a course close to his home. He has been playing for about 30 years and says it provides a sense of community. He said it’s worth taxpayer dollars.

“Have we considered everything before taking the drastic step of closing the course?” Tilmes asked.

Parks and Recreation presented a Budget Analysis to Metro Council, it shows all 10 Metro golf courses operating in the red since January, at a total loss of $1.3 million.

“Leave the golf courses alone and just let us play golf and find other avenues to get this money,” Rodney Crockett said.

Crockett pays less than $20 dollars to golf all day at Cherokee with a golf cart. He says he's willing to pay more if it means keeping the course open.

The Parks and Recreation department says the problem is less people are hitting the green. While they will operate through the profitable summer months bids will be placed for private owners to take over after that. If that doesn't work some golf courses will close.

“That puts golf out of the reach of the normal public,” Tilmes said. “It's only a limited number of people that can afford to pay country club fees.”

The budget committee has requested more documents to show the exact profits of each course.

Metro Parks will make their case again before council members in June.

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