Greenbrier resort buys historic W.Va. course

Associated Press Modified: October 12, 2012 at 1:33 pm •  Published: October 12, 2012
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The Greenbrier resort is buying one of the nation's oldest golf courses after it failed to sell at auction over the summer, the resort's owner told The Associated Press on Friday.

Greenbrier owner Jim Justice confirmed the purchase of Oakhurst Links. The purchase price wasn't disclosed.

"To be perfectly honest, I don't know that it's going to be a great thing for the Greenbrier," Justice said. "But I know it's a great thing to do."

Oakhurst Links was built in 1884 and is a few miles north of The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs. The 30-acre course, museum and clubhouse are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The clubhouse and museum are filled with photos of visits from golfers such as Sam Snead, Lee Trevino and Tom Watson.

For years, 89-year-old Lewis Keller had struggled to find a buyer.

Last year a Richmond, Va.-based group had planned to take over the course but couldn't raise the $2.5 million to close the deal.

Financing for a $410,000 winning bid from a July 28 auction fell through and a heartbroken Keller feared a Virginia bank would foreclose on the property and its history would fall apart — until Justice came along.

Justice said he plans to keep the nine-hole course that was built in 1884 intact and even make some improvements if needed.

"Jim Justice has been absolutely wonderful to me," Keller said.

Keller said the purchase price was "less than $1 million, but a lot more than the price that was bid at auction."

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