Golf Hall of Fame asking state for legal opinion on ownership issue

The soon-to-be-dissolved Georgia Golf Hall of Fame's most famous residents will remain in hibernation until a legal opinion can be obtained to determine their ownership.

 

“What we’ve decided to do is to seek a legal opinion from the Attorney General’s office,” said Brian Persons, the hall of fame’s chairman, in a telephone interview this morning. “We all felt that was the best and fairest way to go.”

The popular bronze statues of golf greats Jack Nicklaus, Bobby Jones, Byron Nelson, Arnold Palmer, Ben Hogan and Ray Floyd were the signature features of the Golf Hall of Fame’s botanical gardens on Reynolds Street.

The statues were evacuated to storage areas in September 2007, about three months after the gardens closed after the organization ran out of funding on June 30, 2007.

Mr. Persons said the statues are carefully packed and fully insured and will remain stored at the hall of fame’s maintenance building until a final disposition can be found.

The attorney general’s office, he said, is the best resource to consult to determine their fate.

“They represent all state agencies and can answer the questions,” he said. “Once I receive that opinion, we’ll be happy top share it with everyone.”

The Hall of Fame announced Wednesday it was petitioning the Georgia General Assembly, which created it in 1986, to formally dissolve the organization. Mr. Persons said an effort will be made to reconstitute the hall of fame later as a private, non-profit group.

City of Augusta officials are seeking title to the Hall of Fame’s 17 acres on Reynolds Street. One possible use for the site would be a baseball stadium.

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