Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), who has long sought long term-investment to maintain the three public golf courses in the District of Columbia, today celebrated the announcement that the National Park Service (NPS) will begin negotiations with National Links Trust (NLT) to operate the three historic golf courses here in the District.
NPS will negotiate a long-term lease for the East Potomac, Langston and Rock Creek golf courses to ensure an optimum recreational experience for golfers and capital improvements.
“I have long sought long-term investment to operate and maintain D.C.’s historic golf courses,” Norton said. “The public-private partnership we have finally achieved will infuse desperately needed capital into these golf courses to maintain and preserve their historic features, not to mention reverse decades of deterioration. From the time Congress created the first of the courses in the 1920s, they have been underfunded. I introduced legislation in 2014 for the public-private partnership announced today to increase use by our residents and our many tourists.”
East Potomac Golf Course was built in 1920 and was initially segregated with African Americans permitted to play only on Mondays. The course was desegregated in 1941 by the then-Secretary of the Interior, Harold Ickes, following pressure from an African American women’s golf club, the Wake Robin Golf Club. Langston Golf Course, named for John Mercer Langston, the first African American elected to Congress, opened in 1939 as a segregated course for African Americans, and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Rock Creek Golf Course opened in 1923 as a nine-hole course, and an additional nine holes were added to it in 1926.
With this partnership between NPS and NLT, the District’s three golf courses will have access to the funding necessary to preserve their historic features, while modernizing them with amenities necessary to serve the public today.