St. Johns County seeks public input on vacated World Golf Hall of Fame site
World Golf Village in St. Johns County up for public tours this week.

St. Johns County approved a $5.5M public purchase of the site in April.

The World Golf Village was once considered a jewel in the crown of attractions for the tourism-rich economy of St. Johns County as it played host to hall-of-fame exhibits and events. But county officials now have different plans for the former hub for players on the links.

It’s been just two years since the World Golf Hall of Fame and Museum announced it was pulling up stakes from World Golf Village outside of St. Augustine and relocated to Pinehurst, North Carolina. There have been a series of developments that leave county officials deciding what to do with the empty Hall of Fame spaces since they were vacated in 2023.

In addition, PGA Tour media productions moved from the spot and relocated to the tour’s headquarters in Ponte Vedra Beach, only a few miles away in St. Johns County. This Summer will determine how that evolution will proceed for the World Golf Village site.

The St. Johns County Commission in April approved the $5.5 million purchase of the World Golf Foundation Inc. assets at World Golf Village just off Interstate 95, which just about splits the difference between St. Augustine and Jacksonville to the north. That price tag now augments county ownership of a production building, IMAX theater, Hall of Fame space and additional spaces along with multiple parking lots.

No doubt, the Hall of Fame has been a draw for tourists for many years since it was initially opened about a quarter century ago in St. Johns County. But the county is trying to determine what will replace such a draw.

That process begins this week as the county is offering public tours of the vacant facilities in order to get feedback before proceeding with replacement developments.

“While some may criticize the use of public funds to acquire the World Golf Foundation assets, it’s crucial to recognize the broader context,” said St. Johns County Administrator Joy Andrews in April.

“By seizing control through this acquisition, the community as a whole, gains the power to shape its future. This move allows us to invite the best private-public partnerships to enhance our residents’ quality of life and unlock revenue opportunities.”

The first element of public tours begins Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at the World Golf Village facilities. Anyone who wants to participate in the tours can kick the tires of the facilities, see what it offers and open discussion for imaginative alternatives for the space and potential new use.

“Our goal is not just to meet expectations but to exceed them, creating a vibrant destination that our residents will be proud of,” Andrews said. “This investment represents a strategic opportunity to leverage public resources to positively shape the future of our community, ensuring that the World Golf Village evolves in alignment with our community’s vision and values.”

The public tours, feedback from residents and proposals for the reuse of the site will all be added to help formulate a strategic plan for use of the facilities as part of the county’s Comprehensive Plan through 2050. The county will conduct additional online surveys and public engagement meetings.

Drew Dixon

Drew Dixon is a journalist of 40 years who has reported in print and broadcast throughout Florida, starting in Ohio in the 1980s. He is also an adjunct professor of philosophy and ethics at three colleges, Jacksonville University, University of North Florida and Florida State College at Jacksonville. You can reach him at [email protected].

One comment

  • Dont Say FLA

    May 28, 2024 at 11:02 am

    St John’s County can’t work out a deal with MBS in Saudi Arabia to have LIV golf bring the PGA back to Golf World’s Hall of Museum and Fame?

    Gawd WTF kind of name is that, no wonder it went SOL. First, golf. Golf is so boring. And then that name! Egad, how bad.

    Rename the golf theme tourist trap to something that can be remembered and then ring up MBS for the Saudi Arabian kiss of life

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704