Early Years


Until Pete became involved, there was no master plan, Firethorn simply evolved over a period of 10 years. In 1971, 30 acres were purchased (now encompassing portions of holes #11 & #12); in 1976 an additional 80 acres were purchased (holes #13, #14, & #15). By 1978, a total of 270 acres had been obtained and initial consideration was given to a housing development, with a golf course as an amenity. From 1979 to early 1982, utility infrastructure was installed for residential lots on the front nine and, other than leaving what was considered “decent” open space, little thought was given to the golf course.

Although some of the original partners played golf, none were versed in golf course design, nor had they heard of any of the premier architects. All that changed in 1982, when, after viewing the property, Pete Dye agreed to become the course designer. Even though 180 acres had been dedicated to the golf course, Pete decided another 35 was needed.

After some difficulty, the additional property was purchased which now encompasses #16 green, #17 and the “lake portion” of #18. In retrospect, it is obvious that Pete’s judgment was accurate. The finishing holes at Firethorn have great character and Pete’s instincts again proved to be right. In the end, the golf course covers 205 acres with the balance of 100 acres being allocated to high-end single family residential property.

The Golf Course

As a result of discussions that lasted throughout the construction period, it was decided that Firethorn would be a “prairie-type” golf course, with emphasis on natural contours, native rough vegetation, and shot accuracy. Construction began in the fall of 1983 and concentrated on holes where natural contours were not present: #2, #3, #8 and #10, for all others, only minor modification was necessary. Approximately 250,000 cubic yards of earth was moved during the rough grading process and work was generally completed by the fall of 1985. The fairways were seeded with Penlinks bent grass while the greens have a Pencross mixture. The official opening of the golf course occurred in the spring of 1986, and the clubhouse opened the following year.

Some changes were made in Firethorn’s first ten years of operations, most notably moving #10 tee (and beginning of the fairway) in order to expand the driving range teeing area. A more recent renovation was the addition of a chipping green to the practice area and enlargement of the practice putting green. Finally, in 2009 hole 10 and the driving range were again modified to accommodate a much improved design.

 9301 Firethorn Lane, Lincoln, NE 68520 | (402) 488-6467
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