SWLA Golf: Koasati Pines 18th-ranked golf course in nation

Louis Bonnette, Special to the American Press

Congratulations to Koasati Pines for recently being named the No. 18 ranked golf course in the nation by GolfAdvisor, a nationwide on-line ranking system by golfers of public courses.

The rankings came from more than 250,000 golfers of 4,200 golf courses and were processed on value, conditions, layout, pace of play, staff friendliness and off-course amenities.

“We are extremely honored,” said head pro Tim Jaquez. “We have a new superintendent here (Jordan Harrington from Oak Wing in Alexandria) and the course is in fabulous shape. He loves fast greens and we are now gearing for the springtime.”

The course, located in Kinder, has been ranked among the top layouts in the nation and the state on a regular rotation. It was also ranked No. 1 in the state this year by GolfAdvisor.

Among those in-state courses behind Koasati are: No. 2, LaTour Golf Club (Mathews); No. 3, Carter Plantation (Springfield); No. 4, Bear Creek (Zachary); No. 5, TPC Louisiana (Avondale); No. 6, Contraband Bayou at L’Auberge (Lake Charles); No. 13, Gray Plantation (Lake Charles); and No. 15, Audubon Park (New Orleans).

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As things get a little more back in order since Hurricanes Laura and Delta, area club professionals are starting to get tournament schedules for the year into gear.

The Lake Charles Country Club, The National in Westlake and Frasch Park in Sulphur have come up with dates for some of their major events while Gray Plantation has a few in line, but nothing is moving in that direction at Lake Charles’ new Mallard Golf Club since it is at least a few more months (May or June) before opening.

In our three-city area, among the top tournaments yearly have been the city, the Lake Charles Cup and club championships.

None of the three city events were played last year, nor was the Cup. And the only club championship that was played was at the LCCC.

Gray Plantation pro Jonathan Jester has taken over the directorship of the Lake Charles Cup and said it is a wait-and-see situation for the tournament but that he hopes the Cup will be played.

He also noted that his club still has play only on the back nine but improvement is being made on repairing the bridge (at the sixth hole).

Also going on at the club, Jester said, is a green drainage renovation. Work will begin on the front nine and move toward the back nine to coordinate with the progress of the bridge repair, which is projected to be completed by the end of next month, he said.

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Frasch Park teed off one of its events last week with an hour-long clinic for juniors. This is a free on-going activity for the juniors on the second Saturday of each month by club pro George McGinnis.

He noted that next month he will begin a free clinic for adults, that will take place the third Saturday of each month, adding that it will involve a different format each time.

Players can contact the pro shop to register.

As for the Sulphur city tournament, McGinnis said it is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 9-10. The men’s golf association club championships will be played April 3-4 with the senior event later in the fall.

Other top events that have been scheduled are the Sheriff Tony Mancuso benefit tournament for the Louisiana High School Athletic Association, April 23, Mac Burns Memorial-West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital benefit on May 7 and the Spoonbill scramble on Oct. 16. An event set next month is a “sweetheart scramble” on Feb. 12.

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Dave Kaspar, head pro at The National, has scheduled the Westlake city tournaments to run Aug. 21-23 with the men’s senior and the women’s senior to be played Aug. 14-15.

He said he expects the men’s and women’s golf association to put on club championships which have not been played before. The MGA also has its first sponsored event of the year — a two-man scramble — set for April 10.

In September the Women’s All-Pro Tour is expected to play a tournament there. This tour is the official qualifier for the LPGA’s Symetra Tour. The WAPT played a tournament at The National several years ago.

Kaspar said a Mardi Gras VooDoo challenge tournament will be played Feb. 20 at the course. It’s a two-person scramble and open to all.

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The Lake Charles Country Club has its yearly schedule planned out with the club championships to be played in October. Two of the other top tournaments are the member-guest set for May 28-30 and the Prien Lake Four Ball for Aug. 6-8.

The ladies will tee off their weekly play day on Feb. 2 while the men will play a member-pal tournament Feb. 6.

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Two holes-in-one were made the past week, David Stratton at the Lake Charles Country Club and Billy Hebert at Frasch Park.

Stratton aced the 165-yard sixth hole at the LCCC with a 5-iron. It was his second.

Hebert knocked in a 9-iron on the fifth hole at Frasch Park, the second time for him to ace the hole. The 76-year-old also posted his first score below his ace, shooting a 74.

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Louis Bonnette has written about local golf for the American Press since 1971. His column appears each Sunday. Contact him at 274-5689 or lbonnette@mcneese.eduLouis Bonnette, golf

American Press