Geneva Farm golf course staying open, official says

Geneva Farm Golf Course in Street is not closing, despite talk to the contrary that has been going around the northern Harford County community, a course official says.

The 18-hole course, open since 1990 and the only golf course in Harford County north of Bel Air, recently posted a sign in the pro shop that assures visitors there are no plans to close.

Les Turner, head golf professional at Geneva Farm, said the tales only came about because the course's PGA member professional was let go earlier for financial reasons.

"It was no hard feelings; he moved on," Turner said last week, adding that it would not make sense for the course to close.

"It can either be farmland or a golf course. It just makes sense to keep it as a golf course," he said of the 179-acre property on Davis Road.

According to state tax records, the property is owned by Geneva Farm Inc.

The public course has 10 full-time employees and about 60 seasonal workers, Turner said. It also has a well-regarded restaurant.

When it opened, Geneva Farm ushered in a small golf course building boom in Harford County that saw four other public courses built over the next 10 years: Wetlands and Beechtree in Aberdeen, Bulle Rock in Havre de Grace and Mountain Branch in Joppa. Prior to Geneva Farm's opening, the county had just seven courses, three on the Aberdeen Proving Ground military installation, three private clubs and one public course, the nine-hole Bren Mar Park in Creswell.

Among that group, Beechtree has closed and been redeveloped with houses. The owners of Wetlands have been trying, thus far unsuccessfully, to redevelop their course with housing. The original owner of Bulle Rock had planned to develop one to two additional courses but eventually sold the highly-regarded course and surrounding property that has been developed for houses.

The Country Club at Swan Creek near Havre de Grace, a private club that opened in 1954, closed in early 2008, after the membership decided to disband when the owner of the property, from whom they were leasing, decided to sell it to a neighbor. Bren Mar Park has also closed, and several development proposals have been under consideration for that property.

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