Louisville Metro Government reaches agreement for Crescent Hill Golf Course

February 21, 2020

 Louisville Metro Government has reached an agreement with Kentucky Golf Hall of Famer George “Moe” Demling to operate Crescent Hill Golf Course.

After months of review and discussion designed to maintain municipal golf without negatively impacting the city budget, the city now has agreements in place for eight of its 10 courses, the most recent being Crescent Hill Golf Course, 3110 Brownsboro Road. The 9-hole course will be operated by Demling, who previously served as the PGA Professional at Long Run Golf Course.

“I am excited to get started at Crescent Hill,” Demling said. “It is where I learned to play golf as a kid, so this opportunity feels like I’m completing the circle. I look forward to passing the skills that I learned at Crescent Hill on to the next generation of golfers. The future is bright for golf in Louisville.”

Louisville Metro Council approved six other contracts on February 6.

  • Charlie Vettiner Golf Course, 10207 Mary Dell Lane, 18 holes: Patrick Vadden
  • Iroquois Golf Course, 1501 Rundill Road, 18 holes: Greg Basham LLC
  • Long Run Golf Course, 1605 Flat Rock Road, 18 holes: T Betz Golf LLC (Tommy Betz)
  • Seneca Golf Course, 2300 Pee Wee Reese Blvd, 18 holes: Kevin Greenwell, dba Seneca Golf Course
  • Shawnee Golf Course, 460 Northwestern Parkway, 18 holes: Youth Golf Coalition Inc., dba The First Tee of Louisville
  • Sun Valley Golf Course, 6505 Bethany Lane, 18 holes: Hummel Golf LLC

The existing contract for 27-hole Quail Chase, 7000 Cooper Chapel Lane, runs through 2024.

The new contracts mark the close of a process that began last spring, when Louisville Metro Parks and Recreation, working to help address budget constraints caused by the increasing state pension obligation, issued requests for information (RFI) to gauge interest and gather ideas for the golf properties’ use.

In fiscal year 2019, Louisville Metro Parks and Recreation golf operations lost approximately $1.2 million. This past September, the department issued a request for proposals (RFP) for management, operation, and maintenance of the courses with the goal of operational and financial sustainability.  This goal is expected to be achieved for the contracts approved this month.

Previously, golf operating contracts were generally structured with 100 percent of greens fees and small percentages of cart fees, concessions, and merchandise going to Louisville Metro Government. Through negotiations, the new contracts establish agreed-upon annual revenue projections for each course based upon all sources of potential revenue and provides a split of those revenues with 55 percent going to Metro and 45 percent to the contractor to cover expenses. Crescent Hill, the only nine-hole course included in the negotiation process, will provide 53 percent to Metro.

None of the contractors proposed to assume course maintenance responsibilities, so Louisville Parks and Recreation will continue those duties. Metro’s share of projected revenue will cover all maintenance and other golf operational expenses based on FY21 projections.

As an additional incentive designed to encourage more play and activity at Metro golf courses, the contractors’ share will increase to 50 percent of revenues that exceed their courses’ annual base revenue projection. After expenses are covered, any additional revenue received by Metro will be used for capital investment throughout the system of public courses.

No contract award recommendations have been made for the operation of Bobby Nichols and Cherokee golf courses.