Golf course work nears

The effort to build a new golf course is a public-private partnership between the city, the Chennault International Airport Authority and MorganField Development Corp.

Construction on the yet unnamed golf course that will replace Mallard Cove is expected to start by the end of August and be done by the fall of 2019, Lake Charles City Administrator John Cardone said Friday.

Of the five proposed bidders, Plainfield, Ill.-based Wadsworth Golf Construction Co. had the lowest bid. But Cardone said it came in “a little above” the project’s $6.6 million budget.

Cardone said Jeffrey Blume — the golf course’s architect and American Society of Golf Course Architects member — met recently with Wadsworth officials to discuss ways to get the project within budget. He said Blume is confident they can make enough changes to lower costs “without cutting the quality of the golf course.”

“This new course — even with working through some of these changes — is going to be as good, if not better, than the quality of Mallard,” Cardone said.

The effort to build a new golf course is a public-private partnership between the city, the Chennault International Airport Authority and MorganField Development Corp. MorganField President Chad Thielen said the company plans to donate 130 acres of property to the city to accommodate the course.

Chennault will pay $6.6 million to fund the design and building of the course. It will also pay $15,000 per month for 20 years, or $3.6 million, to cover the costs of utility extensions and construction of a club house and maintenance barn. 

Once the city accepts the bid and signs the construction contract for the golf course, Cardone said, it will begin the design phase for the club house. That could start by the end of August, he said. The club house will include a pro shop and office space for golf course staff.

Thielen said MorganField plans to build and operate a bar and grill next door to the club house.

Once the course is complete, Chennault will turn it over to the city. The city will then turn over the land where Mallard Cove sits to Chennault, allowing for future economic development at the airport.

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