In the fall of 2013, after nearly twenty-five years of leasing the City of Hartford golf courses to private, for-profit management firms, the City of Hartford decided to move the operational ownership back to City Hall and under the supervision and direction of the Department of Public Works.
An ad hoc committee was formed of city residents and officials to research various business models and potential partnerships with local non-profits. After extensive review, the City decided to partner with both the Connecticut Section PGA and KNOX Inc.
The PGA and the City signed a consulting agreement, through which the PGA would help the City set up its new business model. The PGA hired a dedicated employee to serve the City, and used the expertise of additional PGA Professionals to serve as subject matter experts.
KNOX Inc., which has a horticultural based job training program for City residents, was invited to provide its program graduates as members of the golf course maintenance crews. This way, the courses are a source of employment to city residents as well as improved amenities in the City’s park system.
Goodwin Park Golf Course reopened in June of 2014 and the City has invested over a million dollars in equipment, repairs, and proper maintenance practices. This has resulted in a steady improvement in course conditions over the 2014 and 2015 golf seasons, and more improvement will continue in the future.
Keney Park Golf Course had to be closed for a complete restoration and the City has invested close to six million dollars in this project. The restoration project, overseen by Dusenberry Design, has now been completed and the course will reopen in May of 2016.