Palmetto Country Club in north Bossier Parish closes for good at the end of the year.

The 60-year-old Palmetto Country Club in Benton is permanently closing.

In a statement on the club's website, current owner, John Ward, says he's poured more than a quarter of a million dollars over the last year and a half to keep Palmetto open.

The problem has been higher operating expenses and declining membership.

Here's part of  the statement from Ward:

Other strategies include restructuring the membership plan, food & beverage operation, and course maintenance procedures.  Unfortunately, there has not been an increase in member numbers that would enable the continued operation of the Club.   Palmetto is not alone in this struggle and two dominating factors are in play: memberships are decreasing nationwide, especially in the under-40 bracket; and the industry has been over built making growth within golf clubs very difficult.

Due to the above financial factors and recent personal difficulties, over the past 6 months I have been working to find other investors interested in purchasing the facility who would be able to carry the debt needed to sustain it as a golf club. As you can imagine, there was little interest. For this reason the facility and land will be sold as development to a private investor.

"Please understand this has been a difficult and painful decision for me, as my family and I have been part of Palmetto since its beginning.  I sincerely thank you for your past business and loyalty. I also wish to deeply express my gratitude to the personnel of Palmetto Country Club for their cooperation and professionalism, and to the membership for the enduring relationships we have formed."