LOUISIANA GOLF ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCES 2017 CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE

November 2, 2016 — Lafayette, Louisiana  

The Louisiana Golf Association announced its 2017 Championship Schedule on Wednesday.  The LGA will conduct 12 Championship and 20 qualifying events during 2017, beginning April 17 with the U.S. Men’s Four-Ball Qualifier at Contraband Bayou Golf Club at the L’Auberge Casino Resort in Lake Charles.  This is the last qualifier to be conducted in the country, and 69 teams will compete for three spots in the Championship proper at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club, May 27-31.  Five days after the U.S. Four-Ball Qualifier, the LGA will kick off its own Championship Season at Contraband Bayou with the popular Louisiana Club Team Championship.  The impressive 2017 Schedule is highlighted by the 98th LGA Amateur Championship (June 8-11) at the Country Club of Louisiana (CCLA) in Baton Rouge and the LGA Mid-Amateur Championship (August 4-6) at the new Bayou Oaks at City Park Golf Course in New Orleans.  This will be the first time since 2006 that the State Amateur will be conducted at CCLA, and the State Mid-Amateur will be the first major Amateur Championship to be featured at the Rees Jones designed City Park course.  The season concludes with the Junior River Cup Matches at the phenomenal Squire Creek Country Club in Choudrant, September 23-24.

“We are excited about our 2017 LGA Championship schedule and the quality venues we can provide our members an opportunity to play,” said LGA Assistant Executive Director Logan Ray.  “The 2017 schedule showcases facilities across the state of Louisiana that make a conscientious effort to give back to the game by hosting our Championships.  We sincerely appreciate their support and are looking forward to a fun and competitive 2017 Season at these excellent golf courses.”

As previously mentioned, the LGA’s 98th Amateur Championship, an event that crowned its first champion in 1920, will be conducted June 8-11 at The Country Club of Louisiana in Baton Rouge. With beautiful lakes and giant oaks, this Jack Nicklaus designed track is “quintessentially Louisiana” and is representative of its moniker as The State’s Country Club.  CCLA’s location in the state capital is ideal, and the LGA is thrilled to be able to bring its marquee Championship back to this wonderful facility.  In 2012, CCLA’s newly redesigned golf course was opened to our members after several months of construction and renovation.  As part of the project, CCLA replaced its Champion greens with MiniVerde Bermuda grass, and its putting surfaces are supreme.  Greenside bunkers were overhauled with a new bunker fabric, and the sand was replaced with crushed quartz.  The original 7,000 square-foot practice green was upgraded and expanded by 3,000 square feet.  These vast improvements helped CCLA to be ranked #1 in Louisiana by Golf Digest in 2014 and 2015.  CCLA will provide a stern test for the best Amateur golfers in the state.  Its Bear tees have a course and slope rating of 74.5/139.

The Bayou Oaks at City Park course in New Orleans will welcome the 2017 LGA Mid-Amateur Championship August 4-6.  This will be an outstanding layout with a golf course that is sure to be in superb condition, having just opened several months prior to the event.  The LGA is expecting strong entry numbers for this, the 26th edition of its Mid-Amateur Championship.   The tradition of golf at City Park dates back to 1902 and the 9-hole New Orleans Golf Club, one of only 80 courses in the nation at the time.  For years the park was home to four unique courses but the floods and subsequent damage from Hurricane Katrina in 2005 fell far down the priority list with all the other issues the city faced during that time. 

Course designer Rees Jones has incorporated many of the historic live oak trees and lagoons from the former East and West courses that are so characteristic of the Park.  Grassing began in late May and construction of the clubhouse commenced around July 1 with completion scheduled for February 2017.  While no concrete date has yet been set for the course’s opening, the assumption is that it will be ready for play in Spring of 2017.  The par 72 layout will play between 5,100 and 7,250 yards and has been designed to accommodate players of all skill levels.  The LGA is excited to bring its 2017 Mid-Amateur Championship to ‘Bayou Oaks at City Park’ in August of 2017.  We are proud to be among the first organizations to bring Championship golf back to City Park and anticipate the event being a symbol of the ongoing re-birth of the game in the city.  The Mid-Amateur Championship is for competitors who are 25 years of age and older, and qualifying dates are set for early July at eight sites around the state.

The 2017 LGA Championship schedule kicks off in late April with the Club Team Championship at Contraband Bayou Golf Club at the L’Auberge Casino Resort in Lake Charles. This event matches teams from LGA Member Clubs in an exciting Ryder Cup type format consisting of 4-Ball stroke play on Saturday and individual stroke play on Sunday.  Reigning Champions Lake Charles Country Club will look to defend the title in their home city.  This will be the first LGA event to be conducted at the Tom Fazio designed Contraband Bayou.  The USGA Men’s Amateur Four-Ball Qualifier, conducted by the LGA, will be held here on April 17, 2017. 

In Mid-May, Southern Trace Country Club in Shreveport will host the State Senior Amateur Championship.  The Arthur Hills designed track opened in 1988, and it has hosted numerous LGA Championships over the years, including four LGA Amateur Championships (1993, 1997, 2003, & 2013) and three LGA Mid-Amateur Championships (1999, 2010, & 2016).  Typically, the Senior Amateur has been played in late August, but the LGA has decided to swap the dates of this event with its Net Amateur.  Now the Senior players can enjoy the comfortable May weather and not have to play in the Louisiana heat in the “dog days of summer.”  In addition to the Overall Championship, a Super Senior Championship for individuals 65 years of age and older will be conducted.  Super Seniors will play from a forward set of tees and compete only in their division. Preceding the Senior Am, Southern Trace CC will host the U.S. Open Local Qualifier on May 15.

After the Amateur at CCLA, the LGA heads to Tchefuncta Country Club in Covington for the Junior Amateur Championship.  The Tchefuncta course is always well conditioned, and it boasts phenomenal putting surfaces.  This private facility will host the best junior golfers in the state, July 12-14.  Past Champions of this event include David Toms, Hal Sutton, Willie Wood, Brian Bateman, and Andrew Loupe.  Junior golf is thriving in Louisiana right now, and we’ll crown a champion who will hopefully join the above mentioned list of names as a PGA Tour player one day.  The LGA recently announced that the age limit for its Junior Amateur has increased from 17 to 18.  Players who have yet to turn 19 years of age by the end of the competition will be able to compete, which should provide an even more competitive environment for those who would be competing in the summer before they go to college.  Tchefuncta is a wonderful track for juniors but is able to be set up in a way that will also provide a good test for the U.S. Amateur Sectional Qualifier (36 holes) on July 17.

English Turn Golf & Country Club in New Orleans will be the site of the 2017 LGA 4-Ball Championship in mid-July.  English Turn, a Jack Nicklaus designed track, last hosted this event in 2015, and in 2010 it drew a record number of entries.  The Signature Course at English Turn was originally designed in 1988 for the New Orleans PGA Tour event, which was held at the facility until 2004 and in 2006 following Hurricane Katrina.  The wonderful layout, close proximity to New Orleans, and the attraction of a former PGA Tour destination should once again be a recipe for another successful LGA Championship.  The State 4-Ball is always fun and competitive.

After the Mid-Amateur in early August, the LGA will head to Koasati Pines at the Coushatta Casino Resort in Kinder for the Net Amateur and Net Amateur Club Team Championships. Koasati Pines, Louisiana’s longest course, has hosted several LGA events over the year, including the 2010 Amateur Championship, and it should be in excellent condition in August.  Players will be able to stay and play at the casino for an exciting weekend of golf.

The LGA Championship season finishes with two events in September.  The 2017 LGA Senior Four-Ball Championship will be conducted at The Atchafalaya Golf Club in Patterson, September 16-17.  Opened in 2006 and quickly regarded as a “must play” in Louisiana, The Atchafalaya offers the perfect opportunity for a golf getaway.  Course designers Von Hagge, Smelek, and Baril, recognized for Doral, LaCosta and TPC at Woodlands, crafted notable features including dramatic elevations with spectacular views of the Atchafalaya Basin.  Each of the 18 championship holes is named for a cultural feature within the Basin where over 40 species of indigenous flora thrive.  The Atchafalaya has several expansive greens, including the “common green,” shared by holes #9 and #18 overlooking the clubhouse.

Finally, the LGA will bring the Junior River Cup north to Squire Creek Country Club, September 23-24.  Squire Creek needs no introduction to golfers in Louisiana and around the country.  The Fazio designed course hosted the 2015 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship, and it was a huge success.  It has also hosted three LGA Mid-Amateur Championships.  The undulated greens are challenging and always rolling fast, and the golf course is superbly conditioned.  The Junior River Cup is an annual Ryder Cup style event between the best junior golfers in Louisiana and Mississippi, and all participants are in for a treat at Squire Creek.  Louisiana will look to retain the Cup it won in 2016 at Diamondhead Country Club in Mississippi. This will be the perfect event to cap off a stellar 2017 Season.

Qualifiers will again be conducted for both the LGA Amateur and Mid-Amateur Championships. Eight sites around the state (Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Houma, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Monroe, New Orleans, and Shreveport) will conduct sectional qualifying rounds for all entrants not exempt into Championship round play.  As in previous years, those players who attempt to qualify but are unsuccessful will receive a $100 refund from their $225 entry fee at the conclusion of the Championship proper.

The LGA will also conduct five USGA qualifiers in 2017:

  • U.S. Men’s Four-Ball Qualifier, Contraband Bayou GC, Lake Charles, LA, April 17
  • U.S. Open Qualifier, Southern Trace CC, Shreveport, LA, May 15
  • U.S. Amateur Qualifier, Tchefuncta CC, Covington, LA, July 17
  • U.S. Senior Amateur Qualifier, English Turn G & CC, New Orleans, LA, July 26
  • U.S. Mid-Amateur Qualifier, Koasati Pines, Kinder, LA, August 29

LGA Championship events are open to members of LGA Member Clubs.  For more information on LGA Championship events or how to become a LGA Member, please contact the LGA at 337-265-3938 or visit our website, www.LGAgolf.org.  Also, click here to view future LGA Championship sites beyond 2017.

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