How one beloved municipal golf course came back from the dead (

Blue Cypress Golf Course, in Jacksonville, Fla., is such a place. Born as an 18-hole private club in the 1960s, Blue Cypress morphed into a muni in 2003, when the city took it over and transformed it into a nine-hole track, surrounded by a park of the same name.

The park was also home to soccer fields, tennis courts, hiking trails, and more, and as a spoke in this wheel of outdoor recreation, Blue Cypress thrived.

Until it didn’t. The cause of its demise was hard to pinpoint. Some people in the area started playing elsewhere. Others stopped playing golf altogether. Whatever the case, as revenues declined, so did course conditions, and the other way around, the familiar downward spiral that dooms so many munis. It happened gradually, then suddenly.

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