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Ellis Golf Course prepares to open for first time since derecho

Published: Mar. 18, 2021 at 6:53 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Ellis Golf Course in Cedar Rapids is preparing to reopen for the first time since the derecho, although it will be a little later than the other city courses.

The City announced today that Twin Pines will open for the season on Friday and Gardner Golf Course plans to open on Monday.

Both Twin Pines and Gardner were dealt with considerable damage from the derecho but were able to reopen last season after the storm.

But Ellis was a different story. The clubhouse was totaled and the course lost around 850 of its trees.

Joseph Geier has been playing Ellis Golf Course for decades.

“Oh probably since when I retired in ’97,” he told TV-9.

He knows the course well and even leads a senior men’s league every Thursday morning during the season. Geier notices the landscape will never look the same.

”The forest over between it’s (hole) 6 and 7 only has 2 trees and that used to be a forest and now there’s two little trees sticking up there,” he explained.

Ellis Golf Course is one of the oldest in the state dating back to 1919.

David Roe, the Interim Golf Operations Manager for the City of Cedar Rapids, says all three city courses lost a lot of trees.

“Ellis Golf Course lost approximately 850 trees, Gardner about 500 and Twin Pines about 200 so the courses are going to take on a totally different look this next year,” Roe acknowledged.

A welcome sight arrived on Thursday morning as the trailer that will temporarily replace the clubhouse at Ellis was put in place.

“It will be mostly just for checking people in there won’t be tables in there, we’ll have a little bit of merchandise, we’ll have the concessions,” Roe explained.

City leaders are hoping to open Ellis Golf Course next month. Geier is excited to finally get back out there and is finding the positive to the change in the landscape.

“Well, hopefully, it will improve my score, which isn’t very good lately,” he told TV-9.

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