BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. - "Mr. Rose, we love you and we miss you."
General Manager Peter Line, employees, friends and anyone else who knew Carl Rose spent Friday mourning the loss of a visionary.
Rose, the founder of Carl's Golfland, died in his sleep at the age of 91.
"He was a golfer, I caddied for him when I was 13 and he asked me to come work for him when I turn 14," Line said. "I lost a mentor, I lost my work father and most importantly, I think all of the associates would agree we lost a great friend as well."
His loss leaves behind a legacy built on a love of the sport and appreciation for customer service.
"He loved golf and started a driving range originally on Dixie highway in 1958 and then in 1961 he moved here," said Line.
And it was here at this location on Telegraph in Bloomfield Hills that Rose took a business concept centered around golfing and retail and turned it into more.
"You take care of the customer, you treat them how you want to be treated, you offer fair prices, you offer good products," said Line.
Of the many customers graced by Carl's love of the sport and commitment to service was Jack Lighthall, a regular at the institution.
"Stopped by on the way home one day and that was 52 years ago. Been coming back ever since mostly due to his personality the way he treated people," he said.
From its humble beginnings to the modern infrastructure, Carl's Golfland evolved with the times. It features a full-practice facility, PGA professionals, state-of-the-art custom fitting centers and a website that delivers all over the country.
A second location is also open in Plymouth Township.
The only thing Rose loved more than golf was his family. His son will continue to run the business keeping his father's vision alive.
"We continue to offer all of our customers a great experience every time they come into our stores. Again, founded on the same basic principles of when Carl originally founded Carl's Golfland," said Line.