The big venture


They are two experienced business people. He is a partner in a financial planning business and she is an attorney. They did their research, felt like they knew what they were getting into and decided this was the way to go. Jim and Faye Cox purchased a golf course, Buck Ridge on Robinson Road. Oh yes, they both play golf.
At first they did it because they live right next to the golf course and the future of Buck Ridge was uncertain. Now it has become a sense of satisfaction. They have turned the place around and renamed it – The Ridge Golf and Gardens. Whether you are a golfer or not, you’ll see there’s something here for you.
Purchasing the course wasn’t simple or quick. First, they bought the debt from the investor, but then the property had to go to a sheriff’s sale. Since no one else bid on it, they were the owners. The transaction was completed in October of 2017. Now, the task is to put the property back into an operating golf course, which they knew had good bones and was pretty interesting to play.
When Rick Rausch started Buck Ridge on his own property, it was professionally designed with USGA certified greens. “The course has now come back well,” operations manager Dan Whittington reported. “In the last two weeks it has made great strides and the tees and fairways are in good shape,” he said. “The greens have been slower to respond and will take a little while, but will soon be back to match the rest of the course.”
Greens keeper Nick McAdow is experienced and has turned other courses around. Now his sights are on this one.
There’s often a surprise in a renovation, something you couldn’t possibly expect. The Coxes knew that they would have to replace the pump house. There had been no water on the course for the last three years which had caused the grassy areas to deteriorate, but that replacement extended to wells, circuitry and the cooling system. The expense jumped to about three times the original estimate.
Last winter the interior of the clubhouse was remodeled. Soon the restaurant will be opening serving pub food, including burgers.
Part of that renovation includes a year-round party facility. I was impressed with how light and welcoming the large room is. It can hold up to 85 people and an extension will soon be in place to handle twice as many, with ample parking. So, if you are planning an event and looking for a place to have it, I think you should check this out.
Jim and Faye also said they realized the community could use an outdoor entertainment area and they have the spot. There are five concerts planned for this summer called “Rock the Ridge” which will be held once a month in the outdoor pavilion.
Now for some really good news – the price is right. It’s only $20 for 18 holes and a cart during the week and $30 on the weekend for what they believe will eventually be one of the most beautiful golf course experiences in central Ohio. The pro shop number is 937-642-6516.
Jim summed it all up saying, “All in all, this has been a much larger undertaking than expected, but we have a staff we can trust and with the right people you can do anything.”
(Melanie Behrens –

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