Stewart completes negotiations to purchase JSJ Inc. from McCrate family

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By Ken MacLeod

Josh Stewart, director of golf at LaFortune Park and South Lakes golf courses, has completed negotiations with the family of Pat McCrate to purchase JSJ Inc., the golf operations company McCrate owned when he operated both courses prior to his untimely passing on Dec. 27, 2023.

Stewart, who signed a five-year contract with Tulsa County in February (actually a series of five one-year contracts per Tulsa County rules), said the agreement with the McCrate family, including daughters Maddie and Molly and Pat’s brother Tim, called for payments to be made over those five years, with the purchase completed either at the end or prior to the end of those five years.

“We came to a mutual agreement on the purchase price and payment and I think all parties are happy with it,” Stewart said. “For me, this is a bittersweet moment because I would still love to see my buddy Pat walk back through that door. But I’m thankful for this opportunity and lucky to be here to keep the train on the track and rolling.”

Stewart was McCrate’s head professional at LaFortune Park and the two had extensive discussions about the details of McCrate’s business and philosophies. Under the agreement with Tulsa County, which owns both properties, JSJ Inc. is responsible for golf shop operations, tee times, equipment and apparel, lessons, fittings, driving range operations, purchase and operations of the golf car fleet and more. The county hires and supervises the maintenance crew and a third party is used by the county to run the restaurant operation.

Stewart might have more 70 employees at the two courses during peak times and the LaFortune Park pro shop has regularly been recognized as one of the best in the state.

Certainly service has not waned in the months since he took over operations and play has been tremendous, despite some on-course issues with bunkers and a few greens at LaFortune Park that the county is making plans to address. The championship course and par-3 at LaFortune Park combined for 470 rounds on the final day of June while another 250 were played at South Lakes.

“It’s two of the top three in the state when it comes to rounds so there has been no let up,” Stewart said. “But I feel like we’ve done a good job keeping the ball rolling. I’ve been in the industry for 20 years and had management experience in the past. We hire off of a service level. Whether it’s how you are greeted when you walk in or how the shirts are folded, that’s where you win over the customers and keep them coming back.”

Maddie McCrate said the family was happy with the outcome and happy for Stewart. JSJ Inc. was originally formed by long-time director of golf Jerry Jones. McCrate was his understudy and purchased the company from him when Jones retired in 2001.

 

 

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Ken MacLeod

Publisher Golf Oklahoma | Oklahoma's No. 1 Golf Source

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