Tight finances closes beloved Mississippi golf course after 55 years

Published 6:38 am Thursday, December 3, 2020

Owners have closed a 55-year-old golf course on the Mississippi Gulf Coast as they faced decreasing revenue and an expensive annual contract to lease carts.

Workers at Hickory Hill Golf Club in Gautier pulled all the flags and and the course shut down at the end of play Monday, the Mississippi Press reported. The course will be put up for sale.

“I started in the golf business at Hickory Hill 34 years ago. I played golf there when I was 14 years old the first time. I got engaged on that property,” said Kenny Hughes, one of the course’s four owners.

“So, yes, it was a difficult decision, but it’s just not where it needs to be to be competitive in this marketplace.”

Hickory Hill opened in 1965. It is the fifth golf course in Jackson County to close since 1997, although one recently reopened as a 9-hole course under new ownership.

Hughes said casinos have developed newer golf courses on other parts of the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

“The tourists want to play the new place, the modern place,” he said. “You still have a few who will play the older courses, but not enough to sustain them.”

Hughes also said there hasn’t been enough local membership to maintain the course.