Deeds and WeedsAugust 16, 2009

America's First Course Goes on Sale

Oakhurst Links, a nine-hole course in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., billed as the "birthplace of American golf," is for sale. Asking price: $4.5 million.Â

"I think I've been custodian long enough," Lewis Keller, Oakhurst's 86-year-old owner, told The Associated Press. "I think a new [owner] would ... be very nice."

As this story explains, historians credit Oakhurst with opening for 1884, and remaining a functioning course until about 1910, when the family that owned the estate where it was built let it go fallow. Keller bought the property in 1959, but didn't decide to restore the course until 1991.

Oakhurst is a throwback to the way golf was played in the era in which it was built. The layout measures 2,235 yards. Golfers play it using hickory-shafted clubs, gutta percha balls and mounds of sand instead of wooden tees. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

-- G.R.