End of an Era: Westpark Golf Club Closes

While news of Westpark Golf Club’s sale and plans to develop have been in the headlines, the golf course’s abrupt closing over the weekend caught even some of its faithful customers by surprise.

Westpark staff was informed last Wednesday that the more than 50-year-old course would be closing five days later. That same night, a one-sentence message was posted on its Facebook page, and the course website has been all but erased, with only a statement that it is now closed.

It was two years ago that news broke that the golf course was for sale, and elicited a strong, and largely negative, community response. Many neighbors have bemoaned the loss of the golf course vistas and the arrival of potentially more residential development and even less open space in Leesburg. While Town Council members toyed with the idea of purchasing the property and keeping it running as a golf course or recreation space, a staff report that estimated both a high purchase price and large maintenance and improvement costs, and predicted that any revenue from running it as a municipal golf course would not be enough to pay those and other debt service costs, deterred council members from pursuing the matter further.

Homebuilder Lennar is the purchaser of the property, and has proposed a rezoning that could allow the development of 96 townhomes on the property. In that proposal, 130 acres would be conveyed to the Town of Leesburg as open space.

As the project began its legislative review process earlier this year, Lennar has not been able to generate much positive reception from town staff or the town’s Planning Commission. A Town Plan amendment to convert land eyed in the town’s comprehensive plan for community office development to allow for medium-density residential on the property, and the rezoning application itself, were met with recommendations of denial from the commission. The Town Plan amendment was later withdrawn by the applicant. A Nov. 26 public hearing, and potential vote on approval, is scheduled at the Town Council.

Bart Bullock, who served as the Westpark golf course superintendent who has been the general manager for the past two years, said the staff was caught by surprise with news of its closing.

“We knew the clock was ticking,” he said. “But I was at least thinking we would get until the end of the golfing season, hopefully even Thanksgiving.”

Dittmar Company, the property manager for the golf course, did not respond to a request for comment on the closing.


krodriguez@loudounnow.com

After nearly six decades of operation, Leesburg’s Westpark Golf Club closed its doors for good the last weekend of September 2019. [Patrick Szabo/Loudoun Now]
The now-closed Westpark Golf Club in Leesburg. [Patrick Szabo/Loudoun Now]

2 thoughts on “End of an Era: Westpark Golf Club Closes

  • 2019-10-02 at 10:32 am
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    I do feel sorry for the Westpark owners. Golf courses are not doing well across the nation. So, they want to do what every other landowner does in Loudoun and sell to a developer. However, there is a cost to the town taxpayers of maintianing 130 acres. The parks and rec people have not indicated any willingness or interest in this land.. Leesburg should NOT get into the golf course business. The best move by the Council is to require the homeonwers in the new Lennar development to maintain the 130 acres in perpetuity and maybe have the town take a few acres near Country Club Drive for practice fields. This means the new HOA has to pay to water and mow the grass a few times a year. I am positive the homeowners in Southwest will not want “playing fields” which means lights, noise and traffic. However, the current mayor and Council don’t think creatively about solutions and may just approve this rezoning thus burdening the taxpayers with maintaining a golf course for no reason –other than to trumpet in future election campaigns that they “saved 130 acres from development” (which is not true as the Westpark owners cannot build homes by right on that property very easily). So, Council, use your power to require changes in who maintains the 130 acres.

  • 2019-10-19 at 11:56 pm
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    Ken Reid has lived in Virginia Beach for over two years but still want to tell his old neighbors how they should live.

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