Glenway Golf Park
Last Updated: 03/17/2021
The City of Madison Parks Division has an exciting opportunity, through the generous donation of Michael and Jocelyn Keiser, to reimagine municipal golf in Madison so that it may flourish for generations to come. Michael Keiser, who draws his eco-centric inspiration from renowned naturalists as well as age-old public courses in Scotland and Ireland, approached Madison Parks and the Madison Parks Foundation, to redesign and reconstruct the 9-hole Glenway Golf Course.
"The future for Glenway can include a dynamic blend of mixed-use outdoor recreation – imagine yoga classes in #1 fairway, morning walking trails, and evening kite flying. Through a thoughtful site redesign, the entire property can be made more inclusive and engaging for both golfers and non-golfing neighbors in Madison." - Michael Keiser
The goal of the project is to implement the recommendations of the Task Force on Municipal Golf in Madison Parks at Glenway Golf Course. The project would improve the golf course, park, environment, and community. Michael has a deep understanding of golf course architecture and the ability to ensure high-level professional work on such a project. Michael has offered to donate both his knowledge and expertise in providing a professional redesign for the course and to provide the construction services required to build it in an expedited timeframe. The focus of the project will be on ecological restoration and multi-purpose benefits of the golf course, which will at the same time enhance the golfing experience, for players of all skill levels. The work will highlight the natural beauty of the course by opening up key vistas across the course, in which native prairies and woodland edges with high-value oaks will be highlighted. This project would not include the Glenway Woods next to the Golf Course (see area map), but rather seek to highlight this area and work to promote improved access. A community-focus will connect more members of the community with the courses through alternative recreational activities, which will boost the community’s intrinsic value of the courses and possibly introduce new players to the game.
The Task Force on Municipal Golf in Madison Parks did not provide a detailed roadmap to move the Golf Program forward, but it did provide a future vision that this collaborative project has the potential to assist with. The Glenway Golf Park Project that will be funded by Michael and Jocelyn Keiser will strive to directly address at least half of the 10 recommendations set forth by the Task Force. It also has the potential to serve as a prototype for future improvements of other City of Madison courses.
- The City should provide Municipal Golf in Madison Parks.
- This project would improve the 9 hole Glenway Course so that it will be available for generations to come with limited City investment required.
- The City should update the mission of the golf program.
- The work will be based on deepening the vision of the Task Force, shaping the mission to allow golf to be community-focused, ecologically-focused and overall reimagined.
- The City should work to promote positive ecological outcomes at the golf courses through reducing reliance on limited natural resources and providing ecological assets.
- Through the inspiration of conservationists, the proposed design will focus on sound active ecological restoration strategies and techniques that will position the course for long-term sustainability by restoring native habitat.
- The design will maximize ecological value of the landscape to areas that are no longer manicured turf, increasing biodiversity of flora and fauna, including pollinators. The design would also promote the long-term health of the landscape through removal and pruning of select trees, replanting of appropriate tree species, restoration of native understory/savannah plantings, and establishment of native prairie areas.
- The City should work with stakeholders and staff to develop a specific action plan to promote equity and inclusion at all courses.
- Michael has extensive knowledge in golf course designs and recognizing that many of today’s courses are geared towards advanced male players. Michael’s design will seek to remove gender biases, making the course more enjoyable for all ages, genders and abilities.
- The City should work with residents, stakeholders, and partners to promote wider utilization by the community of the golf courses to better integrate the courses into the wider park system for uses other than golf.
- Inspired by the Scottish and Irish principles of municipal golf, where walking and biking coexist alongside of the golf game, the design will seek to connect a variety of members of the public with the natural beauty of the course for purposes other than golf.
- The City should ensure that if City resources are used to invest in capital projects at golf courses it is done in an equitable and fiscally responsible manner to reduce negative impact on park services across the system.
- Aside from staff involvement in the project, the project will be fully-funded through the generous donation of Michael and Jocelyn Keiser.
- This work will positively influence other areas of the park system by promoting diversity of uses and connections, including to the Glenway Woods.
- The City should not sell parkland to fund capital improvements of the golf courses.
- No City land will be sold, rather, this capital improvement will be funded completely with private resources and would enhance access to additional parkland.
The goal of the project is to implement the vision of the Task Force at Glenway Golf Course. The project would improve the golf course, park, environment, and community and is made possible by a generous donation from Michael and Jocelyn Keiser and with the support of the Madison Parks Foundation.
1. Master Plan Design Team
- To propose an Updated Master Plan for Glenway Golf Course that is consistent with the Task Force on Municipal Golf recommendations that are funded through a significant private donation.
2. Ecological Resources Team
- To assist the Design Team with ecologically based land management planning that promotes more natural areas into the Master Plan and to assist Parks staff in developing a sustainable land management plan that enhances the environmental benefits (e.g. stormwater retention, pollinator habitat) of the park property.
3. Program and Park User Team
- To assist the Design Team in park amenity planning to enhance diverse use of the park and to develop an operational programming plan that promotes enhanced use of the park (e.g. Sunday afternoons at the park, movies in the park) and provides equitable and affordable access to the golf course.
4. Turfgrass Science Team
- To assist the Design Team on turf management matters and to assist Parks staff in developing an Operating and Maintenance Plan that provides quality playing conditions and reduces reliance on resource inputs.
Timeline & Meetings
- Introduction to Golf Subcommittee – January 28, 2021 (Legistar File # 63722)
- Introduction to Board of Park Commissioners – February 10, 2021 (Legistar File# 64072)
- Public Information Meeting – February 17, 2021 (Presentation)
- Golf Subcommittee – February 22, 2021
- Introduction to Common Council – March 2, 2021 (Legistar File # 64472)
- Finance Committee – March 8, 2021 (Legistar File #64472)
- Board of Park Commissioners – March 10, 2021 (Legistar File #64495)
- Common Council –March 16, 2021 (Legistar File # 64472)
- Construction Start Goal - April/May 2021
- Operations, Programming, and Ecological Land Management Plan Development & Adoption - Spring/Summer 2021
- Project End Goal - Fall 2021
The City of Madison will continue to operate 63 holes of golf for the 2021 season.