Free Golf at Overton Park?

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  • Park Friends
Memphis advertising executive and business consultant John Malmo has a suggestion for Overton Park Golf Course — make it free.

Malmo, the former chairman of the Memphis Park Commission when it still had a private board, is also a lifelong Memphian and a golfer who grew up using public parks.

A Memphis City Council committee has recommended closing the city's three nine-hole courses to save money. The most prominent of them is Overton Park Golf Course, which shares the park with the zoo, Old Forest, Brooks Museum, war memorial, Levitt Shell, and Memphis College of Art. The full council has yet to consider the proposal.

Malmo said the city should close all the golf courses except for Galloway, Fox Meadows, and Audubon.

"Give Audubon and Fox Meadows the same treatment we gave Galloway, and, as Galloway, they’ll operate in the black," he said. He suggested adding a driving range, which is a good revenue producer, at Fox Meadows because there's room for one.

As for Overton, which is scenic but has rough greens and short fairways, Malmo suggested eliminating all equipment, golf labor, and greens fees.

"Mow the grounds and greens and keep nine flags in nine holes and let whoever wants to play do so free," he said. "They’re probably paying more for the labor to collect the money than the money they are collecting."

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