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'Game-changer': What Jack Nicklaus' involvement tees up for the effort to renovate Normandie Golf Club

As part of his participation with the project, Nicklaus’ golf course design firm, Nicklaus Design, will oversee renovation of the course

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — The Golden Bear has created a golden opportunity for those seeking to revitalize the historic Normandie Golf Club.

The groups leading the effort last week said golf icon Jack Nicklaus has joined their initiative to renovate the historic public course, located in Bel-Nor in north St. Louis County. That's a move the groups behind the project say is a "game-changer" that will accelerate their ability to bring the project to fruition.

As part of his participation with the project, Nicklaus’ golf course design firm, Nicklaus Design, will oversee renovation of the course. Nicklaus will also aid in raising funds to purchase the golf course from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and complete construction. Nicklaus became familiar with the Normandie renovation efforts through Tom O’Toole Jr., founding partner of local law firm Mickes O'Toole LLC and former president of the United States Golf Association.

RELATED: Jack Nicklaus to help redesign historic St. Louis County golf course

Nicklaus’ involvement in a major coup for community developer Beyond Housing and the Metropolitan Golf Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Metropolitan Amateur Golf Association, which have been leading the Normandie project. Those two groups took over the club’s lease after it was closed by its prior operator in January 2020. Their lease includes an option to purchase the facility.

Normandie Golf Club opened in 1901 and is considered to be one of oldest public golf courses west of the Mississippi River. Beyond Housing and the Metropolitan Golf Foundation have said they envision a renovation project at Normandie that will both restore the golf course and make it a platform for community events and programming.

Beyond Housing’s 24:1 initiative targets community development in the 24 municipalities, including Pine Lawn, that are located within the Normandy School District. 

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