It is for one year only, but the Ironwood golf course and clubhouse are going public beginning Thursday.

The former country club at 12605 Pacific St. sold at auction in January for nearly $10 million. The new owners, who include Omaha developer Chip James, signed one-year leases with Knolls Management to run the 18-hole golf course and practice facility and with Cutchall Management to operate the clubhouse.

Ironwood’s golf rates, including use of a riding cart, are $36 for play Monday to Thursday and $46 on the three weekend days, said Dave Johnson, who owns Knolls Management.

“I’m excited for this unique opportunity for the people of Omaha, who never before had the opportunity to play a high-end country club golf course at a reasonable rate throughout the year,” Johnson said. “The rates are very competitive to others in town because we’re not looking for the one-time customer. We want to make them feel it’s their home course for a year and have access to amenities that have been private for many years.”

Besides the golf course, the clubhouse will be open to the public for lunch, dinner and banquets. Also open are the practice facility and the tennis courts. The swimming pool complex remains closed.

Ironwood will be a World-Herald Publinks course, and one round of the tournament’s championship-flight qualifying in early June will be played there.

Tim Whalen, who has been at Ironwood for 16 years as an assistant pro, will be the new head pro. Troy Lorenz, also at the course for 16 years, has been promoted to course superintendent. Other former club employees who are staying are tennis pro Mike Henrich and clubhouse manager Nick Korth. Longtime golf pro Don Germer said he’s seeking other opportunities.

Greg Cutchall of Cutchall Management, in a statement, said bookings for weddings and parties will be accepted through 2010 to accommodate holiday parties in December. Former Ironwood members will receive priority booking.

“It’s taken a lot of time, but we’re ready to go for Thursday,” Johnson said. “I compliment the owners for allowing us the opportunity to be part of Ironwood until they move forward with their plans, and for them to allow the city to enjoy this piece of property this year.”

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