Members Work to Purchase Briarwood GC by June 15

The current owners of the Ankeny, Iowa club set a purchase price of $1.2 million, and members are seeking support from other members and residents to raise the funds. As of May 15, $950,000 has been collected and members are able to purchase up to 10 shares for $5,000 a share.

Members of Briarwood Golf Club in Ankeny, Iowa are hoping to purchase the golf course by June 15, and they’re looking for support from other members and residents to do it, the Des Moines (Iowa) Register reported. 

Having a member-owned golf club will ensure that the 150 acres are not developed as the city continues to expand to the north and southwest, members said. They are holding an open house on May 20, said Matt McIntee, CEO of Green Golf Partners, which manages and operates the facility. 

Justin Bauer, who belongs to Briarwood Golf Club, said efforts to purchase the course began in November, when a group of members met with the Minnesota-based board which currently owns the property. The space had been for sale, and members wanted to jump on the opportunity before another developer did, the Register reported. 

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“It’s a real fear of ours that that could happen if we don’t get together and buy this,” Bauer said.

A group of Briarwood golfers began asking other members if they would be interested in purchasing the space as a group, but it wasn’t until April 1 that the current owners gave Briarwood members a price: $1.2 million, the Register reported.

Bauer, a developer himself, said he understands the value of that deal—about $8,000 per acre—for land on the northeast side of Ankeny where housing and retail developments continue to sprout, the Register reported. 

“That ground where it is in Ankeny is probably worth $50,000 an acre,” Bauer said. “For the last 23 years, someone has owned Briarwood and tried to make a profit on it. We don’t need to as members. We just need to pay for upkeep of the course and do capital improvements.”

As of May 15, Bauer said the group had raised about $950,000. Members are able to purchase up to 10 shares for $5,000 a share, but Bauer said they’re still in the process of getting current club members to commit for the future. The group leading the purchase has met with all 303 club members and is going door-to-door to the hundreds of residents who live near the golf course to ask for support, if only to keep a new development from moving in, the Register reported. 

“It’s a matter of retaining memberships and growing the memberships,” Bauer said. “This is kind of the homestretch. We really have to have a decision made by June 1 to know what members we’re retaining.”

And though Ankeny has other courses, such as the city-owned Otter Creek Golf Course, Bauer said members believe there is still a need for the private golf club that offers competition leagues between other golf clubs in the metro, the Register reported. 

“Ankeny is a community that needs a private golf club like this,” he said. “Country clubs, it’s more of a privilege to become a member there. There’s a huge social aspect. My 8-year-old boy loves nothing more than to go out and play five holes at night. That’s what I want for my kids, to go up and enjoy it.”

Those interested in becoming members can purchase a $5,000 share, join with a two-year commitment or pay $1,000 to join for six months, the Register reported.