St. Augustine’s Most Threatened Historic Places: 2004

Ponce de Leon Golf Course

Threatened Structures

St. Benedict the Moor School

Villa Rosa

Echo House

Clark -Worley House

Knights of Columbus Hall

Threatened Features

La Punta Community
Mission Archeological Site 

The City’s Brick Streets

The City’s Civil Rights

Ponce de Leon Golf Course

Threatened Districts

Lincolnville National
Register District

The Block Bounded by Genoply and Alfred Streets

This course was designed in 1916 by Donald Ross, the most popular golf course architect of all time. The St. Augustine Chamber of Commerce raised $100,000 in local capital to fund its construction price tag of $250,000. It picked its location for the first impression it gave to tourists arriving by auto from the north of golfers playing on a well appointed and attractive course. Closely associated with the development of the Henry Flagler hotels, it was a social center of St. Augustine for nearly a century, drawing famous golfers Bobby Jones, Tommy Armour, Sam Snead, Byron Nelson, Babe Zaharias, Patty Berg and Jackie Gleason. Other athletes like Babe Ruth and Walter Hagen tested the course and even President Warren G. Harding and members of his Cabinet played it. The Ponce de Leon golf course is a fine example of the Golden Era of golf course architecture and represents the largest single historic site in the city.

A developer purchased the course in 2002, announced plans to demolish it to make a new gated residential community and has been given the go ahead from City officials to proceed. A new local preservation and conservation group has formed and dedicated itself to preserve the course and its environs. Hopes are that it will have success in convincing the developer that saving the historic course will be a more sound financial investment than destroying it.