Carl F. Rose, founder of Carl's Golfland, passes away at the age of 91

Posted at 2:55 PM, Mar 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-09 15:02:06-04

(WXYZ) — Carl F. Rose, the man who created one of the most well-known golf stores in North America – Carl's Golfland – passed away Thursday at the age of 91.

Rose was born on Sept. 3, 1928 and grew up in Pontiac, according to his obituary. He worked as a caddy at Pontiac Country Club and owned several businesses before starting Carl's, including the Newberry Market and the Skipper Drive-In.

In 1958, Rose bought a small driving range at the corner of Dixie Highway and Telegraph in Pontiac, according to his obituary, and operated Carl's there until the land was sold in 1961. A year later, in 1962, he started Carl's at the same location now in Bloomfield Hills along Telegraph – with the held of the Pickering family who leased the land to him and loaned him money for projects.

The building started as 750 square feet but grew to what is now 43,000 square feet with a 15-acre practice facility. A second location opened in 2000 at the Inn at St. John's in Plymouth.

According to his obituary, Carl's Golfland didn't stay open year-round until 1966, and it's now one of the premier golf retail businesses in the country. It's been the only off-course retailer to earn Golf World Business' 100 best golf shop award every year, according to Golf Digest.

He started the First Club for Kids program in 1998 to help grow the game of golf. The program gives any child 15 or younger their first golf club free at any Carl's location, and they have given away over 50,000 clubs.

Carl is survived by three of his children, Barbara J. Rose and her wife Valerie Vernon, Paula K. Rose and husband Mark Kjolhede, and Carl E. Rose and his wife Tiffany Rose and their two children Ella and Jake. He is also survived by his grandson Eric C. Webb and his wife Heather Webb and their daughter Sydney and grandson Kevin E. Webb and his daughter Riley.

Preceded in death by his wife Donna M. Rose, daughter Christine A. Rose and great granddaughter Sandra C. Webb, and his three brothers and two sisters.

A memorial celebration will be held Friday, March 13 at 11 a.m. at Central United Methodist Church in Waterford.