SAN GERONIMO, Marin County (KPIX 5) — A judge has blocked Marin County from purchasing a popular golf course and turning it into open space, giving golfers at least a temporary reprieve amid a long battle over the land.

In an stroke of irony, the judge on Wednesday ruled the county did not conduct a proper analysis of the sale and transfer of San Geronimo National Golf Course as required under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

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The 18-hole course is spread across 157 acres along Sir Francis Drake Boulevard. While it’s always a nice day when you can get out on the golf course, for those who love to play San Geronimo, this was a particularly fine day.

Art Tyson – along with his granddaughter Ridley – were among the golfers thrilled to hear that a judge has – for now – blocked Marin County’s effort to purchase this land.

“Yesterday we had a favorable ruling from the judge,” said Tyson. “We’re all encouraged by that, us golfers, and the upcoming generation.”

The county said it was reviewing the decision and evaluating the next steps.

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“You know, the declining business of golf, rising property values, there was a good chance someone would buy this with plans that didn’t include golf, or public access,” said Marin County Parks Director Max Korten.

Proponents of the county purchasing the course claim the deal to turn it into open space would preserve the land and help protect waterways for wild coho salmon.

“I just think that to take it away, just to have more open space, which Marin has a lot of, is shortsighted,” said golfer Will Hudson. “And exclusive, rather than inclusive.”

“At this point, we’re at an early stage,” said Korten. “Our doors are really open, to talk to folks and listen.”

While the country takes a look at that ruling – and another look at the CEQA – to decide how it wants to proceed, the bottom line is this: a determined group of golfers is shooting a pretty good score in their fight to save this golf course.

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“We just hope it works,” said Tyson. “That’s not final. Not final anything.”