Graham Kilmer
MKE County

Zablocki Golf Course Reopens With Synthetic Greens

New greens should save money on water, labor and fertilizer at county-run 9-hole course.

By - May 25th, 2024 04:01 pm

Synthetic green at Zablocki Park. Photo courtesy Milwaukee County Parks.

Zablocki Park Golf Course reopened Friday with brand-new synthetic greens.

Zablocki, located on Loomis Rd. in Greenfield, is the first course in the Milwaukee County Parks system to get synthetic greens. It was closed in August last year so they could be installed.

The greens require much less water and don’t need to be manicured or zapped with pesticides. Milwaukee County Parks expects the greens will save money on water, staff time and fertilizer. Zablocki will work as a trial run for potential adoption on other courses in the system.

“After nine months of hard work and dedication from our staff, we can’t wait for golfers from all over to come and enjoy the state of Wisconsin’s only synthetic golf course,” said Milwaukee County Parks Director Guy Smith in a statement.

Built in 1968, Zablocki is a nine-hole course and the shortest in the parks system. The longest hole is 117 yards.

Golf has become a major money-maker for the parks system. After decades of declining budgets, Parks now has to generate well over 60% of its annual operating budget through amenities and fees.

There were 360,000 rounds of golf played across the county’s 13 courses in 2023, generating approximately $11 million, which is equal to approximately 20% of the entire operating budget for Milwaukee County Parks.

“Milwaukee County Golf is a great way for folks to be outside, experience our parks, and help the County generate revenue for operations,” said Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley. “I’m looking forward to the reopening of Zablocki Golf Course, as we welcome another great year on the green!”

Parks paid for the new synthetic greens using federal funding allocated to the county through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). It was part of a spending package designed to make investments that will save the county money in the long-term.

Milwaukee County Supervisor Kathleen Vincent, whose district includes Zablocki Park, thanked the parks department in a statement for investing in the park.

“Whether you’re looking to learn the sport or set your own personal record, Zablocki is the perfect place to spend a beautiful day in Milwaukee County,” she said.

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Categories: MKE County, Parks

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