OMAHA (KPTM) — It’s the beginning of the end for one of Omaha’s oldest country clubs.  The 18–hole golf course at Ironwood Country Club reopened to the public Thursday after the property was sold at auction in January.

The sign out front still says private, but for the first time in its 86–year–history, everyone is invited to golf at 126th and Pacific.  “Now that they will let anybody in, we decided just to come out and bang the ball around a bit,” said golfer Bruce Moseman.

Added Golfer Larry Halldorson: “We’ve played every course in town about a million times and this one I’ve only played a couple of times, so it looked like a really good opportunity to kind of mix it up a little bit.”

The club closed in December after it failed to repay a bank loan and all 153 acres were sold at public auction.

Now it’s the last hurrah for golfers before the course likely closes for good in a year or two.  “People have been calling nonstop for the last week looking for tee times, setting up tee times,” said Clubhouse Manager Nick Korth.

The golf course originally opened in 1924 as Highland Country Club.  “You’ve got all these trees that are hundreds of years old.  It’s just a beautiful course,” Korth said.  “You don’t see very often courses with all these trees and it’s real closed in.  You don’t have all sorts of busy roads all over the place.”

A historic course whose days are numbered.  “It’s a little sad to see it go, because you know 20–30 years from now, you know this would still be a good venue out here for people to play,” Moseman said.

Declining membership and competition from other golf courses contributed to the club’s demise, even after the loan paid for a new clubhouse and other improvements.

Plans to redevelop the area meanwhile are still in the works.  One of the new owners tells KPTM they’re exploring a variety of options for the area, including combinations of residential and retail space.

If you’d like to hit the links at Ironwood before it’s too late, call 333–3606 for tee times.  It’s $35 to play 18 holes during the week with a cart or $46 over the weekend.

Banquet space for weddings and other parties is also available.

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