Fairways Turned Into Farmland

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RUSH TOWNSHIP -- It is a sad week for a family that ran a golf course for four decades in Northumberland County. They had to close the Cherokee Golf Course near Danville last fall for economic reasons.  Now the place is being plowed over to turn it into farmland.

One by one they fall, dozens and dozens of trees that lined the fairways at Cherokee Golf Course near Danville are coming down.

"There's a whole lot of good memories here that are being knocked down."

Kevin Brouse and his family planted all those trees over the past four decades.  They nurtured and cared for this course that their dad and mom started for all those years. Now work is being done to turn it into farmland.  The family is leasing it to Furmano Foods from Northumberland.

With the trees down, even Brouse gets a little mixed up on this course he knew so well. The family had to close it last fall because they just weren't making enough money.  It became a labor of love only.

"The last payroll we had to anyone was three years ago and the last two years has been with no compensation at all, just putting the time in and trying and hoping the economy would change and sadly it hasn't," Brouse said.

The trees will all be gone soon and the family says in only a couple weeks there will be rows and rows of corn, over 60 acres here.  The family says pretty soon there will be no sign a course was ever here.

"I was kind of feeling sorry for myself and I posted on Facebook that this was a significant portion of my life and my daughter put it into perspective and said, 'Yeah Dad, but it was all of ours.'"

Some family members were too emotional to even talk to us watching all this. Brouse gets especially sad walking into the empty clubhouse, seeing his dad's photo on the wall.

"You look up and you just, it's one of those times when you wish you could talk to him, get his opinion and see what he has to say," Brouse said. "I've accepted what's going to occur. It's coming back to farming. We have no say on that at this point.  What the future holds, who knows?"

The Brouse family signed a five-year lease with Furmano Foods to farm the land. That company specializes in tomatoes, but for at least the first year, the farm will be corn.