Believing the economy in Lehigh is starting to improve, owners of the Majestic Golf Club and Course are ready to invest money to improve the 115 acres of the golf course located at 325 Homestead Road.
Jere Carrick, managing partner of the Ohio-based group, admitted that business has been slow over the past few years and at one time, he and his partners of Majestic Golf Clubs LLC were considering a plan to sell and leave Lehigh.
But with what Carrick and other owners see as a change in the economy which is pointing upward and the plans by Lee County to change the look of Lehigh, including the area where Majestic Golf Course is located, Carrick, who has been here for 12 years, says they want to be an important part of the master plan set up for Lehigh and approved by the Lee County Commission.
Barbara Hetler is shown putting at the Majestic Golf Club Golf Course on Homestead Road.
The planning department of the county and local residents have been working for more than a year discussing how Lehigh should change to become a different type of town, with pedestrian friendly walkways, landscaping added to Homestead Rd.
Kathy Ebaugh, a member of the planning department with Lee County and the Lehigh Acres Community Planning Corp. (LACPP), along with members of the Community Council, the Greater Lehigh Acres Chamber of Commerce, and residents interested in improving Lehigh met two weeks ago at the East County Library too finalize plans for community centers in Lehigh and other improvements.
The first includes the downtown area on Homestead Rd., and according to Jere Carrick, actually extends out Homestead Rd. to the Majestic Golf Course. Across from Majestic is hundreds of acres of undeveloped land, which lends itself to smart planning and development in the future.
Carrick said the Ohio based firm has invested some $25 million in Lehigh and Lee County which not only includes the Majestic Golf Club, but other real estate holdings throughout the county.
"With finding business more active over the last year with a mood of moving forward and upward, we want to be a part of that so we are planning a better golf experience level.
Included in the Majestic Golf Club community are 205 living units including homes, condos and duplexes.
"Most of the homes are retirees who have moved to Lehigh. Some stay year-round and other return during Season, which is the best time for golfing and that is when our business does well. There are still housing units available at the golf club community. For visitors the homes, condos and duplexes are building around beautiful landscaping with lush green shrubs and trees and different types of beautiful palm trees.
Carrick is announcing the start of Phase 2 of the revamping and great improvements to the golf club courses and facilities, including the clubhouse and lounge.
The large party room provides room for meetings and other activities within the community. It has been retired for weddings, large parties, community events and more, Carrick said.
"Now we are in the planning and working stages for a renovation of the 18-hole courses with a new type of Bermuda grass.
"It is the latest golf course type of grass and it's called Sunday, just like the day of the week. We're planning that for the greens. And for the rest of the course, we're using Celebration grass. When completed, it will be one of the best golf courses anywhere," Carrick said.
But there's more on Carrick's mind.
"We are looking at also revamping the grounds with new landscaping. We are planning either to rebuild and revamp and main club house or maybe even to rebuild it. There are plans to add a nice restaurant in the club house facility. Already, there is a bar and lounge called Divots and it serves some foods, but Carrick envisions a nice restaurant that will attract larger crowds, in addition to those that live and play golf on the grounds.
Doug Patterson of Lehigh agrees with Carrick and is excited about future plans.
"The golf course here has never been better, Patterson said. "It makes it enjoyable to play and that is what is good about Majestic," Patterson said.
The new upgrade to Majestic actually began this past spring. Carrick said it is a slower season and it was wet and that meant it was a better time then to plant, because it is a slow time for golf courses.
Majestic has been better off than most golf courses, It has seen 32,000 rounds of play over the past year at the 18-hole public golf course.
"Our real season of course is at the end of the very hot days, the six months of the season. You can look out there now on the course and see several players putting and having a great time. Many of the men and their wives love to play here."
When will Carrick and his partners have most of the work done?
Probably sooner than the community center concept set up by the county. Carrick says is will take three years to see their plans accomplished.
"You can call it a New Deal we're looking at an inside flea market. The large cart house is ideal for a flea market that will draw large crowds of visitors and especially the snowbirds who come down this time of the year," he said.
"We've listened to what the golfers have had to say and we think now with plans for a greater Lehigh community with a different concept, it is time to make the facility a number one attraction for the community.
"When we make improvements, the golfers like it. When we made changes with the grasses, the golfers loved it and playing golf became even more enjoyable.
"It's improving the golf experience for our members and players," Carrick said.
There is a website at: www.MajesticGoldClub.net.
On the site, golfers can book tee times. Fees are not expensive and those who play attest to the fact that the course is indeed better than before.
"That's what we want to hear. We're just really excited about the future and we believe in the future of Lehigh. There are others who are looking to develop in Lehigh; others who want to improve their business sites and others who have plans for retail and businesses development," Carrick said.
"We all can work together to make Lehigh an outstanding community that will draw business and development and bring residents to call the community home."