Johnson Taking Over Operations At Rozella

The economy, leasing problems with Bogey’s Steak House and poor weather conditions over a period of at least two years ultimately drove the Lakeland Golfers Association to put Rozella Ford Golf Course up for sale last month.

On Monday, Stacey Page Online confirmed that a change of leadership is taking place at the golf course. Today, Jeff Johnson of Warsaw told us exclusively, “I’m taking over the operations of Rozella.” Johnson is retired from Johnson Nursery/Johnson Landscaping in Warsaw.

On Tuesday, Deb Wiggins said she is also currently “… in discussions to pursue a business relationship” with Johnson. Wiggins said she is serving as a business consultant at this venture, which she called “very new.”

In fact, the corporation that currently owns Rozella Ford Golf Course is in the process of dissolving. “I’m taking over operations with the intent of ownership,” said Johnson, “but that is a long process.”

Johnson explained he has been working day and night to see that Rozella Ford Golf Course is “fun again. It’s had some bad times but we’re going to turn it around and bring back the good times.”

Johnson plans to invest $300,000 this year alone in improvements to include major upgrades like improvements to the driving range, the clubhouse, the course and the pro shop. He explained that, among the biggest operations, “We’re going to re-do the driving range which had some major drainage problems.”

Other improvements will include extensive fertilization of the course and the replacement of trees. Johnson expects to cut down approximately 100 trees, which he said are not suitable for a golf course, and replace many of them. “With the improvements it will allow faster play and more fun. It will be a shopmaker’s golf course.”

Wiggins, Johnson confirmed, will also be overseeing the clubhouse and lounge which will be called the Rozella Ford Lounge. The menu will be limited, offering steaks and sandwiches in a sports bar type of environment.

Johnson has also hired golf pro Jeff Shoemaker who was previously at Stonehenge Golf Course. “The community loves him and I’m confident we’ve got the right people to run this,” Johnson added. “I have a good vision and good people with visions similar to mine.”

“I grew up on the golf course and don’t want to see it turned into a cornfield,” he explained. “I’m in this for the love of the course.”

Johnson said Rozella Ford already has 81 new members and the club will still honor lifetime memberships, pre-paid 1-year memberships and all stockholders.

LGA has held ownership of the golf course, located at 1700 Rozella Rd., Warsaw, for more than 50 years.

  • Lea Derby

    This story about Rozella Golf Course is misleading and doesnt represent the whole truth about the situation. The problems with Rozella are compicated and can’t be summerized in this short comment. I would like to go on record and say thay Bo Wright has been the golf pro for 11 years and had been fought and met with anamosity for all 11 years. He had tirelessly worked for the betterment of the course. Also the club house had been completely updated by Tanna Wright whom had taken over “Bogeys” and turned it in to a successful Deli and catering business! It hasnt been called “Bogeys” for 2 years!!! The article makes it sound as if the current owner of the clubhouse has caused part of the problem, in fact she has’t. Bogeys had actually left in bad standing and left with finacial debt, not the Rozi Deli. The Wrights are wonderful hardworking people and have actually been treated so unfairly by the “board of directors” its discusting. That is all I am going to say on the matter.

    • Indiana

      What!?!? Stacey Page using her media outlet to provide a 1 sided story and possibly even mislead readers. PREPOSTEROUS!! This just doesn’t happen.

    • STEPHEN

      Oh, brother! Where did you find your rose-colored glasses because I’d like some too!

      I think the article is indeed misleading…the golf course is owned by a corporation….and so is the clubhouse. To refer to anyone else as the “owners” is incorrect.

      The fact is the golf course has suffered challenges both within and outside of the BODs control. There’s no denying there are many similar sized courses that are doing OK financially. Rosella implemented a plan a number of years ago to heavily discount the fees. The plan got traffic onto the course and pro shop but the revenues couldn’t cover the expenses. There were warnings that went ignored…and the chickens have come to roost.

      I look forward to hearing how the course will be sold…there’s a lot of real estate and financial value and it’s owned by a corporation. I hope the BOD understands their fiduciary responsibility to their existing shareholders. The way this article sounds, I could see a closed golf course and the attorneys walking away with a pile of cash.

    • Bob

      I find this post to be incredibly discounted due to the lack of attention to detail in spelling and grammar.

  • Anavidgolfer

    Stacey Page I commend you for shedding light on this golf course. It is a beautiful course that has had a wonderful greens crew that has loved it through the good and bad times always wanting what is best for the course. I commend them on a job well done and welcome the heart of Jeff Johnson as he pursues to bring the fun back to the course. I have missed those good times there as well. I will come back and play there again and bring a group of friends with this much welcomed change! Jeff Johnson I wish nothing but the best for you and your endeavors.

  • STEPHEN

    Wow, it’s quite impressive that the corporation that owns the golf course is being dissolved when its shareholders haven’t received notification of the corporation’s sale of assets and especially notice of dissolution. If that’s the case, I hope Mr. Johnson has set aside funds for the class action.

  • http://www.staceypageonline.com Stacey Page

    I believe some readers may be reading between the lines and filling in blanks that just are not there. Johnson clearly says he has “taken over the operations” with the “intent of ownership.”

    The reasons provided for why the LGA is selling the course were made by the LGA itself in a notice that was published in local newspapers. A legal notice also served as notice to the stockholders of a pending transaction. However, Johnson also makes it clear in our article “… the club will still honor lifetime memberships, pre-paid 1-year memberships and all stockholders.”

  • Tanna Bo

    I find it interesting that the comments that challenge the article and it’s information are now hidden due to “low comment rating”.