DENVER -- One of Denver's best-known golf courses, with more than 100 years of history, will never be the same.
The City and County of Denver will close City Park Golf Course at the end of October. The shutdown is necessary to construct a floodwater mitigation system, officials said.
City leaders on Thursday hosted a community meeting at the course's clubhouse where residents were told the closure could extend well into 2019.
Once complete, the 18-hole course will have a new design with a driving range and a new clubhouse.
"It's just going to lose that intangible something," golfer Marty Meinberg said.
Golfers such as Meinberg are worried the new design will come at the cost of the course's current historic charm.
The project's design team insists the new course layout will respect the historic look and feel of the existing park.
The City and County of Denver said it needs to upgrade the area's stormwater system.
The new water runoff system will be built to help control flooding, according to officials. A new golf course will be part of the overall project.
"It's going to be this great golf course that's much more interesting than it is now because of the integration of the stormwater and a wetlands channel," Denver golf director Scott Rethlake said.
Golfers and neighbors were surprised to see yellow ribbons marking trees to be cut down -- totaling more than 260.
The City and County of Denver said the project requires tree removal, but more trees will be planted as replacements. Critics studying the project said the new, younger trees won't benefit the park the same way.
"The tree canopy, which is what cools the city, is only going to be replaced by 40 percent," a woman protesting the project said.
The last day to golf before the project starts is Oct. 31. The course is estimated to reopen by May 2019.
A second community meeting is scheduled for Saturday at 9 a.m. at the City Park clubhouse at 2500 York St.AlertMe