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Despite latest setback, new owner says long-troubled golf course is still on track to reopen

11 months 6 days 6 hours ago Thursday, June 15 2023 Jun 15, 2023 June 15, 2023 7:05 PM June 15, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

ST. FRANCISVILLE - Those who opened the local St. Francisville paper on Monday may have seen "The Bluffs" property mentioned, not on the front page, but in the delinquent tax section.

The new owners apparently owe the parish more than $36,000 in property taxes. However, Sheriff Brian Spillman says the property will not go to auction as a deal has been worked out.

Despite what seems like a setback, owner Millard Callicott says they have hired architect Brandon Johnson with Arnold Palmer Golf Design and Signet Golf, a golf course construction company from Pinehurst, NC, that will begin the golf course renovation this summer.

People once came from all over the southeast region to golf at The Bluffs in St. Francisville, but it's been over a decade since the course was operating in full swing.

Instead of rolling green hills, residents are met with five-foot weeds, overgrown paths and general discontent.

"It's disappointing to see it, knowing what it was, knowing it was a destination course for a lot of people at least in the local area. I got married out here," said Eric Phillips, who has lived there for more than a decade.

Years of mismanagement and financial challenges have brought it where it is today. The 500-acre property has changed owners about three times in the last 10 years.

That was all supposed to change in June of last year when a Baton Rouge real estate agent Callicott purchased it for $4.5 million.

"We were encouraged that someone who actually wanted to buy the golf course came along and purchased it for that reason, but we've been waiting patiently, hopefully, for something to start happening. But that remains to be seen."

A year later, residents are still without a course, and the once luxe clubhouse where residents could have a country club meal is currently being used as classrooms for the National Guard.

"An Arnold Palmer course sitting there, decaying. It's a disappointing thing."

Callicott says they aim to launch a website and send out membership offerings in the next couple of weeks, with a plan to reopen by the end of 2023.

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