Omaha Country Club was founded in 1899 but it relocated to its present site in 1926. It’s been suggested that Wayne Stiles and Johan Van Kleek designed the club’s new course when it moved but, in The Life and Work of Wayne Stiles by Bob Labbance and Kevin Mendik, the authors state the following:
“Stiles never listed the course on his 1927, 1929 or 1931 project lists, indicating either the original plans were not carried out to his wishes, a lack of payment or a falling out with the club for other reasons.”
Perry Maxwell did work at Omaha, as verified by author Chris Clouser in The Midwest Associate: The Life and Works of Perry Maxwell when he wrote: “The last work that was completed by Maxwell is documented to be the renovation work at Omaha Country Club. In 1951, Perry Maxwell was brought in to rework several greens on the course.
Three holes involved the rebuilding of greens on their current location. The remaining holes that he worked on were actually redesigns of the holes by moving the greens in many cases forty or fifty yards. Five holes fell into this category. The par changed on three of the holes.
The 5th hole was perhaps the most dramatic change. Originally the hole was an 80 or 90-foot climb from tee to green and was nicknamed “Cardiac Hill.” Maxwell changed the hole into a long uphill par three. This also allowed the 6th tee to be moved back and increased the yardage on that hole. The 6th hole work also involved the green being moved to the other side of the creek.”
In more recent times, David Bennett carried out some remodelling work in 1983 and Keith Foster later renovated the layout in 2006.
Kenny Perry won the U.S. Senior Open here in 2013 before the championship returned to Omaha in 2021 when Jim Furyk claimed his first senior major title.
Golf has always been strong in Nebraska, and not just since the magical hands of Coore & Crenshaw broke ground in 1994. The truth is that Omaha CC has been offering a fabulous golf course for more than a century. The hills are steep, and the challenge is there from start to finish. I considered this venue a terrific choice for a USGA event, most recently the US Senior Open – which was a huge success. The topography is difficult to navigate given the many uphill and downhill shots that are required, but that’s what makes the course unique, and clearly memorable. This part of the country can be flat as a pancake, but the closer you get to the course, the movement of the land provides insight into why the site for the course is genuinely enjoyable. Top tier ball-striking will be needed at this championship layout in order to have a hope of scoring well, and that’s the prerequisite before you step foot onto the severely contoured greens.