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Normandie Golf Course To Close Its Doors But Will Look For New Operator

Mary Delach Leonard | St. Louis Public Radio
Normandie Golf Club will close Jan. 13 after 118 years.

Normandie Golf Club in Bel-Nor will close its doors Monday after 118 years.

The club’s operator, Normandie 1901 LLC, announced Tuesday that it could no longer continue its lease agreement with the University of Missouri-St. Louis, the club’s owner. 

“The efforts and energies put into maintaining the 118-year-old property and the required capital improvements have just become more significant than the business can sustain,” a company official said in a statement.

UMSL purchased the 117-acre course in 2015 for $1.4 million and signed a 10-year lease with Normandie 1901, LLC.

Normandie, which is now public, opened in 1901 as a private club. Its closing will have a big impact on local residents who use the course frequently, said Jim Healey, a St. Louis historian who focuses on the city’s golf history.

“The community raised a lot of funds back in that mid-2000s period — not only to save Normandie, but to keep it a community asset,” Healey said.

But in recent years, the nonprofit NormandieFORE!, discussed turning it into a mixed-use community facility. The university wouldn't go through with the plan, Healey said.

UMSL Interim Chancellor and Provost Kristin Sobolik could not be reached. In a letter sent to community leaders on Friday, Sobolik said the university is seeking a new management firm to operate the club. 

“I also am continuing – accelerating really – conversations with other potential public and private partners about a multi-faceted proposal that would ensure the long-term viability and improvement of Normandie as well as the enhancement of other nearby sites,” Sobolik said in the letter.

Customers who have purchased annual passes for the 2020 season are expected to receive refunds by the end of January.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the details of a lease the University of Missouri-St. Louis signed with the operator of the Normandie Golf Club in Bel-Nor. UMSL signed the 10-year lease with Normandie 1901, LLC.

Follow Chad on Twitter @iamcdavis

Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org

Chad is a general assignment reporter at St. Louis Public Radio.