The site for Langston Golf Course, named for John Mercer Langston, was selected in 1929 as a reaction to the demand for an African American golf course in the District. Construction did not begin until the mid 1930's, delayed by the Corp of Engineers work on Kingman Island.
Langston was officially opened in 1939, as a nine hole course, with the strong support of Harold Ickes, Secretary of the Interior. The management contract was awarded to the Park Amusement Company (a.k.a. S.G. Leoffler Company). The Park Amusement Company managed the property from 1939 through 1974.
When Langston opened in 1939 there were ten 9-hole golf courses in the District- West Potomac Park (1), East Potomac Park (4), Rock Creek Park (2), Anacostia Park (2), Langston (1). The Park Amusement Company operated all ten courses.
The 1960's to 1980's brought on a sharp decline in DC golf. Anacostia Golf Course had been closed during the late 1940's in favor of Ft. Dupont Park Golf Course, which closed in 1971 due to vandalism. In 1974 the Langston City Golf Corporation took over the contract for Langston Golf Course from the Park Amusement Company. In September 1975, Langston was closed due to lack of use.
Golf Course Specialists, then a grounds maintenance company, was contracted by the National Park Service to renovate Langston Golf Course. Following two years of renovation, Lee elder Enterprises was awarded the Langston management contract. Lee Elder Enterprises operated Langston for three years before the course again closed in the early 1980's.
In 1983, Golf Course Specialists was contracted to operate all aspects of Langston Golf Course. GCS soon completed construction of the back nine and driving range.
In 1988, Langston was almost taken off the map by a proposal to expand the parking lot of RFK stadium. Langston was saved by its own fiercly loyal patrons who understood its historical signifigance as one of the first homes of African American golf. Langston was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
In 1988, Golf Course Specialsts undertook an 18 month renovation of the back nine and driving range. The back nine reopened in the fall of 2000.
By AlbinoFlea @ 2005-11-17 10:09:13