Rogell Golf Course will likely be sold, converted to cemetery

Detroit's Rogell Golf Course will likely be sold, converted to cemetery

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Detroit's Rogell Golf Course is said to be closing at the end of May. Detroit's Rogell Golf Course is said to be closing at the end of May.
DETROIT (WJBK) -

The Rogell Golf Course on Seven Mile in Detroit is said to be closing at the end of May and will probably become a cemetery.

The course is owned by Greater Grace Temple just a couple blocks away.  However, new ownership is in the works.

"It's very much a golfer's paradise.  We love it here," said John Collier.  "I can't believe they're going to make it into a cemetery of all things."

"It's the toughest course in the city, so I kind of hate to see the way it might be going, but we don't have any control over that," said Horace Mitchell.

"We're begging you to keep it open.  Forget the cemetery.  That's my feeling on it.  We're at a desperation point right now.  We want someone to come in and rescue this place," said Buck Goodreau.

However, Bishop Charles Ellis III said a deal is in the works to sell the property to Detroit Memorial Park.

The church bought the 120 acre course from the city in 2007 for $2.1 million.  The sale price now has not yet been determined.

Ellis said it is just not profitable to be in the golf business.  The church is spending up to $100,000 a year to keep it going.

"I think it's a win-win for the community, for the church, for Memorial Park.  It gives them now a footprint in the City of Detroit," Ellis said.

But for some, the very idea of trading in golf carts for caskets just doesn't make sense.

"This is a flood zone, so I can't see how they're going to have a cemetery in a flood zone," said John Tatum, who lives next to the golf course.

He is concerned about property values and isn't thrilled with the idea of a cemetery next door.

"It seems like a loss in so many ways, especially for the citizens of Detroit," Collier said.  "This is really a spectacular and beautiful golf course.  Everybody loves to play this.  We all enjoy ourselves out here, and it's just too bad."

The deal isn't done, but it is in the process.  The golf pro, Lindsey Manson III, told Fox 2 the last day for Rogell is May 31.

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