A former member of the Oaks at Sherwood is trying to round up investors to raise $500,000 to reopen the shuttered golf course.
Hien Nguyen said the idea for reopening the golf course, which has been closed since July 2013, came about while he was doing information technology work at the Legacy at Bonne Esperance, the tennis club that opened at the Oaks. He started talking to the Dornier family, which bought the Oaks in November 2013, about reopening the course. “They were interested in reviving the course,” he said.
Nguyen said he spoke to some golf experts who told him it would take about $300,000 to get the course back into playing shape, mainly by fixing the irrigation system. Another $200,000 would be needed to cover operating expenses.
“The good news is some people were working on the greens, so the greens are all saved,” he said.
So far, Nguyen said he’s gotten commitments for $100,000 to reopen the course through a word-of-mouth campaign. The plan is to reopen the course under a new name, The Legacy.
Nguyen is hosting a public meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the old golf course club house, 1655 Sherwood Forest Blvd., to discuss his plans.
The Oaks had to shut down because of dwindling membership, which has been an issue at several local courses in the past few years. Among those are Briarwood Golf Club on Airline Highway, where Woman’s Hospital relocated; Fairwood Country Club, off Millerville Road, where a concept plan was approved for an apartment and retail/office development; Shenandoah Country Club Golf Course, where houses were built; and the Gonzales Country Club. Last month, a consultant recommended closing two BREC golf courses, and there’s been talk about shuttering the LSU Golf Course.
“I understand the reasons that the Oaks had to close down, but people have to play golf somewhere,” Nguyen said. “And there’s a lot of nostalgia for the course.”
Randy Dornier Jr., who owns the Oaks with his father, Randy Sr., and brother Ryan Dornier, said he’s excited by Nguyen’s campaign to reopen the golf course.
“This fits in with our vision of keeping the golf course as green space; that’s our first choice,” Dornier said. The family isn’t “under the gun” to do something with the golf course, so Dornier said they can sit back and wait for the campaign to take shape.
“We can take our time and put together something that mutually benefits everyone,” he said.
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