Ellsworth businessman buys Rocky Knoll golf course in Orrington

Three years ago, after playing a round of golf at the Rocky Knoll Golf Course in Orrington, Ellsworth businessman Mike Wight told his wife, Daisy, that he would like to buy the golf course one day.

Fast forward three years and Daisy Wight, who is a real estate agent, told her husband Rocky Knoll was for sale.

Now the Wights own the 18-hole golf course.

Rocky Knoll Golf Course is the latest business venture for Mike Wight, who also owns Broughman Builders Inc. and Downeast Maine Property Management with his wife, both based in Ellsworth. The golf industry has boomed in Maine during the COVID-19 pandemic as it is an ideal sport for social distancing as people have sought a safe outdoor activity to get them out of their homes.

Stella Morgan marketed the course in September for $875,000, and Mike Wight said he paid for it when the purchase was finalized earlier this month.

“There were several interested buyers, but the Wights were the first,” Morgan said. “They’re really nice people.”

Morgan bought the 156.53-acre property for $350,001 at a foreclosure auction in 2016. She placed the sole offer.

“I’m not a golfer and I sold it to a golfer,” Morgan said.

“I have a four-year plan for it that will cost a significant amount,” Mike Wight said. “I want to make it a top location. It will never be Sugarloaf or Belgrade Lakes, but it will be a fun local course.”

His list of improvements includes the clubhouse, pro shop, website, Rocky Knoll board and greens.

“The greens are very large and beautiful. But they need a little help. We need to put some time into it. They are pretty slow. We need to make them faster,” Wight said.

Wight, 51, bought Broughman Builders Inc. 16 years ago. in Ellsworth and transformed the modular home business from a $1.5 million a year business to a $22 million a year venture. He has two more Broughman Builders Inc. added in Belfast and Holden.

Updated cutline for inline image: Daisy and Mike Wight in 2012. Credit: Brian Swartz / BDN

“I’ve been in business for a long time. I see things that a lot of people don’t, things that could make it so much better,” said Wight, a native of Ellsworth.

Rocky Knoll opened in 2000 as a nine-hole course and a back-nine was added in 2009. It is a 6,062 meter par-72 course.

Morgan said she made a profit every year and said the number of rounds played has increased every season.

“I’ve always felt it was a hidden gem. Now more people know about it and love it,” Morgan said. “It is a challenging company. I learned a lot. I have met a lot of great people.”

Wight plans to put a new deck on the clubhouse and will eventually purchase some new golf carts in addition to all the other improvements.

“The front nine is pretty easy,” Wight said. “It’s wide open. There are some challenges on the back nine that will help you improve your game. It’s almost like playing on two different golf courses.”

Wight looks forward to his new venture.

“I would like to retire to a warm place for the winter. And then return to Maine in the summer and have a place to play golf.”

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