Even though it is a gray, foggy, cool day in March, Ron Overton is looking out the window at The Links of Heartland Crossing surveying the 200-acre golf course and smiling. He’s in the lounge, appropriately called the Sand Trap, relaxed and ready to talk about his newest venture, the one that is making him smile.
The longtime resident of Mooresville worked hard for forty years alongside his brothers at Overton Industries to build an international operation. He is now semi-retired and felt the need for a new opportunity, a new challenge. That challenge came in December 2018 when he and partner, Shawn Stewart, made the decision to purchase The Links at Heartland Crossing. Stewart currently owns and operates a successful construction business. Although neither had ever owned a golf course before, both were owners of successful businesses and they had done their homework.
The one difference between starting this business and the business with his brothers is one of significance. Heartland Crossing is a purchase he studied and made a decision. Jumping into the family business was an unexpected need when his father, the owner, suddenly died. The brothers banded together, and it was sink or swim. They swam, but it was not easy. Instead of being green and thrown into deep water, Overton is now an experienced businessman with knowledge and skills to guide his business decisions.
Overton Industries is a tool and die, machining business and Heartland Crossing is a golf course. Wildly different industries, but all businesses run on the same basic principles – and Overton and Stewart are well versed in those principles and how to tweak them to specific needs and situations. “We knew nothing about running a golf course and zero about maintaining one,” he said, “but we knew business and to turn to others and seek resources that would help.”
They knew that the business of golf courses in general has declined over the years. To learn more, part of their due diligence was talking to many different golf course owners and managers “We discovered that the decline has leveled off and were told that if you are the third or fourth owner, you have a chance to make it,” Overton said. “We are hopeful.” They are even learning to cope with the huge effect weather has on a golf course business.Read the Full April 2020 Edition Here