147-acre site could be home to new recreation area in Gastonia

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GASTONIA, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – City leaders in Gastonia are planning to finally clean up and develop a former golf course that has been deserted for years. It’s located on Linwood Road in west Gastonia. The city-owned property is more than 140 acres of lush nature.

“The course itself was pretty challenging. It had lots of lakes and creeks and rivers there. And it was in a beautiful area,” said Holt Harris.

Holt Harris is the daughter of Ed Anthony, the former Gastonia City Councilman who built and owned what used to be the Gastonia National Golf Course. Harris grew up right across the street from the course.

“He used dynamite to make the lakes,” Harris chuckled.

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The 18 hole facility was a hustling and bustling place when it first opened in the early 1960s. But now those days are just a distant memory for Harris, and many older residents in Gastonia.

In 2011, the North Carolina Department of Transportation bought the golf course, and it has sat empty ever since. The trees and thick vegetation have taken over and it’s hardly recognizable as a golf course for those passing by.

“It’s full of deer Turkey. We see quite a few every day. It’s just a bird sanctuary out here. There’s many types of species of bird that you can imagine,” said Jake Hoffman.

Hoffman lives in the former golf course club house. He bought part of the land in 2016 and fixed up the club house to make it livable.  

“The building actually had homeless people living in it when we first got it, all the windows were made out of it. Just had a lot of damage to it. So we kind of had to retake over from Mother Nature,” Hoffman explained.

Now Hoffman wants to sell his property to the city, but so far they haven’t made him an offer he is willing to accept.


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Hoffman said if the city does plan on building something on this site, they’re going to have a lot of issues with flooding because all the rain water goes down a hill and into the land. But city officials said they’re ready to take on the challenge.

The City of Gastonia is seeking community feedback on what they would like to be developed on the former golf course. City staff will be on the property from 9 to 12 p.m. Saturday to discuss future possibilities with any community members who want to join.

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