Renewed push to change City Park Golf Course in Baton Rouge has community divided

A lot of changes are happening at City Park in Baton Rouge, with the first phase of the University Lakes Project finally underway.
Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 10:37 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A lot of changes are happening at City Park in Baton Rouge, with the first phase of the University Lakes Project finally underway.

But now, some folks are pushing for more work to be done at the golf course nearby, but not everyone is on board with the idea.

BREC is currently seeking input on its next master plan for the upcoming 10 years, while there’s a renewed discussion about what to do with the City Park Golf Course and the land it sits on.

But it’s the battle off the green, that’s has people divided on the issue.

“If we had the little golf course and then the public park, to me that’s a perfect compromise,” said Jenni Peters, the owner of Varsity Sports.

“To just summarily say this is no longer needed, this nine-hole facility, is missing the point,” said Bo Boehringer, with Friends of City Park Baton Rouge.

A petition from over the Summer now has more than 1500 signatures, calling for BREC to create a spectacular City Park for Baton Rouge, in place of what they’re calling a ‘mediocre 9-hole golf course.’

People like Jenni Peters, the owner of Varsity Sports, is one of many people who are pushing for some sort of change.

“Really as we move forward into the next 10 years, what do we really want to do with this? Do we want to re-imagine it into a park that’s going to serve more people, or do we want to keep it as a golf course,” said Peters.

She believes with the University Lakes being dredged right now, it’s the perfect time for BREC officials to begin deciding on what to do with the entire piece of land the golf course sits on.

“It’s a nice little golf course, it just happens to be on the most prime piece of real estate in Baton Rouge. And if you look around me, there’s not a whole lot of golfers out here right now. And I think if it was a park, maybe that would be a little different,” said Peters.

But others disagree and want the course preserved.

“Golfers just want to co-exist with that and have a place to play again at a reasonable price. And we don’t want to see golfers left out of this process,” said Boehringer.

Boehringer and the ‘Friends of City Park organization are pushing for the golf course to stay intact.

He says the course is still extremely popular and a great place for beginners to learn the game, rather than starting off at other more challenging BREC courses throughout the city-parish.

“If you remove the golfers and just the course into an open public play area, BREC’s maintenance fees are going to take a hit, and we see no need for that,” said Boehringer.

BREC Superintendent Corey Wilson gave WAFB a statement on the future of the golf course:

BREC officials are still seeking more input on their master plan, which should be completed by early Summer of 2024, so there will be plenty of public meetings for people to give their opinions on all of this.

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