A generous $500,000 lead gift from Amy and Bill Rhodes has made it possible for Overton Park Conservancy, in partnership with the City of Memphis, to propose a major renovation of the Overton Park golf course and the Abe Goodman Golf Clubhouse.
The Conservancy would oversee the dramatic improvements to revitalize and reimagine the nine-hole course, while still keeping it affordable and welcoming to junior and senior golfers, as well as beginners. Our partner in this project is King-Collins Golf Course Design, whose flagship project is Sweetens Cove Golf Club outside Chattanooga. Sweetens Cove is ranked by Golfweek as a Top 50 Modern Course in America, the “#1 Course You Can Play in Tennessee,” and the #7 Nine Hole Course in the World by GOLF.COM.
Working within the existing footprint, the course would be designed with a focus on youth golf and beginner-friendly play, as well as ease of maintenance. A youth putting course would be added, along with an improved practice green. The clubhouse improvements would be focused on access, structural repairs, efficiency, and cosmetic upgrades to better support park visitors, and to host events such as the popular Park Friends music series.
Pending approval by the City of Memphis, renovation could begin as early as December 2020 and conclude late summer of 2021. While the course would be closed during this time, the clubhouse would remain open to the public, except for a period of time when it too would be closed for renovations. The budget for this project is just under $2 million, the majority of which is being provided by private donors. The course is, and will remain, a public golf course that is accessible, affordable, and welcoming to all.
The historic and beloved Overton Park Golf Course is one of the oldest continuously-operated municipal golf courses in the country. After 114 years without significant change to the course or its maintenance, this proposal seeks to polish this jewel and ensure its longevity well into the future by attracting new junior players and elevating its stature among golf courses in this region.
This renovation project will be considered part of the comprehensive planning process for Overton Park. Our current proposal to the City is for the renovation only, with a discussion about the Conservancy’s potential management of the renovated course to follow next year.