Wisconsin’s oldest public golf course has new owners.

Rusty Grimm and Eric Buchholz closed on the purchase of Tuscumbia Golf Course Monday morning, purchasing the property from John Geils and the Tuscumbia Land Corp., who owned it for 14 years.

Emmer Real Estate Group owner and broker Jim Emmer noted the property, which was established in 1896, was on the market for sale for numerous years and with various agencies.

Since Emmer listed it in July 2022, Jim Emmer said there have been “numerous buyers that made offers with various interests in continuing as a golf course or total redevelopment” and that “we are so happy that the end result is the continuing of Tuscumbia as a golf course.”

Grimm and Buchholz are no strangers to owning and operating golf courses as they own three other properties: Two Oaks North in Wautoma, White Lake Golf Club in Montello and Saddle Ridge Golf Course in Portage.

“A little over a year ago, myself and Eric Buchholz decided to jump out and extend our way of managing golf to other properties,” Grimm said. “Between the two of us we have around 60 years of experience in the golf course industry. While I handle the back end of the business along with most of the golf and food and beverage, Eric oversees all activities on the grounds along with assisting in overall decisions for the properties.”

Grimm noted that Tuscumbia’s proximity to their other golf courses, the Green Lake area and the history of Tuscumbia really grabbed their attention and were some of the reasons they decided to pull the trigger.

“Rumors had also been circling of the possibility that the course might go away completely,” Grimm said. “That is when we decided to really take a closer look and try to make a deal. A course with this much history is so important for the whole of Wisconsin golf. We look forward to the challenge of bringing Tuscumbia back to its former glory.”

With the acquisition happening so close to the golf season, Grimm said that he and Buchholz “are challenged with a whole winter’s worth of work in two or three weeks” and that their “goal for this season is to establish a relationship with the course’s players and begin to move toward better course conditions and customer satisfaction.”

While usually courses open up as soon as the snow clears and the frost is out of the ground, Grimm noted “for this season with Tuscumbia, we may be a little later to the game due to having so many things to get in place in such a short time.”

In addition to getting the course ready to go, Grimm and Buchholz also will have to work on building their staff.

“Communication with previous staff has begun along with interviews with possible new employees,” Grimm said. “With the amount of individuals it takes to staff a course I’m sure there will be a good mix of both new and past employees.”

Grimm is just happy to have acquired Tuscumbia Golf Course and is excited to continue its history.

“Tuscumbia is not only historic in Wisconsin’s golf history, but also a landmark of Green Lake,” he said. “We look forward to putting our mark on the course while also honoring the longtime traditions of this beautiful old course and the community in which it resides.”

He and Buchholz were in the process Tuesday of finalizing what he described as “some exciting membership opportunities” that will be available to people right away.

While Grimm works to take control of Tuscumbia’s phones and website, people may reach him by calling 920-240-6073 or emailing info@golftuscumbia.com.

Written By: Commonwealth Ripon Press