MIKE RODRIGUE NAMED AS LOUISIANA GOLF ASSOCIATION DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD RECIPIENT

Lafayette, LA    July 28, 2017
 
New Orleans’ Mike Rodrigue has been named recipient of the Louisiana Golf Association’s Distinguished Service Award for 2017.  The award was initiated in 1984 by the LGA to honor individuals who have contributed to the betterment of the game in Louisiana.
 
Rodrigue, whose name most people associate with the restaurant business, is the owner of Acme Oyster House restaurants across the southern U.S.  While his career in the restaurant business has been tremendously successful, his love for the game of golf and all it embodies is where his real passion lies. 
 
Mike was introduced to the game by his Dad in 1960, spending hours upon hours at New Orleans’ City Park driving range on Marconi Drive.  His first round was played on the #3 course at City Park in 1963, and many other rounds were played at the original four courses at City Park throughout the decade of the ‘60s.  His experience as a four year letterman in golf (team captain his senior year) at Jesuit High School led to a spot on the golf team at Tulane University, where he was coached by Jim Hart, Director of Golf at Lakewood Country Club. The Tulane linksters were regulars at Lakewood, the then-site of the PGA Tour’s New Orleans Classic, where Mike volunteered his time during the annual tournament. During his college days, he worked at Audubon Golf Course in the golf shop for 2000 DSA recipient Frank Mackel on weekends.
 
In 1980, Rodrigue was nominated for membership to the Classic Foundation (forerunner to the Fore!Kids Foundation) by Coach Hart and Mackel, where he has worked tirelessly for over 35 years on behalf of that organizations’ mission…..to raise funds for children’s charities through golf-related events.  He served as Chairman of the Board of the Fore!Kids Foundation from 1998 to 2006.
 
In 2006 he joined with two other individuals to found the Bayou District Foundation (BDF), an organization modeled after the East Lake Community in Atlanta.  With seed money provided from the Fore!Kids Foundation, BDF has become a $300 million, mixed income, holistic model community in New Orleans borne out of the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina.  Just as East Lake Golf Club is a centerpiece of the East Lake Community in Atlanta, the Bayou Oaks Golf Complex is the sustainable piece of the BDF community in New Orleans. 
 
Rodrigue continues to serve on the Board of the Bayou District Foundation and actively serves the Fore!Kids Foundation.  In addition, he is immediate past Chairman of the Board of the First Tee of Greater New Orleans, having served on that Board since 2006, and has also served on the Board of Directors of ‘Boys Hope Girls Hope,’ since 1983.  He has served as organizing chairman and committeeman for charity golf tournaments and events too numerous to mention.
 
The LGA’s Distinguished Service Award is just the latest in a long list of accolades Rodrigue has received from the New Orleans community and the golf community at large, including: the
1993 and 2014 Barbato/Thomas Lifetime Achievement Award, given by the Gulf States Section of the PGA of America; the 2007 F. Edward Hebert Award, given by the Jesuit High School to honor their Outstanding Alumnus of the Year; the 2009 Restauranteur of the Year of Greater New Orleans, in recognition of contributions to the advancement of the restaurant industry through the years; the 2012 Homines Pro Aliis Award, “People for Others” by the Jesuits of the New Orleans Province; induction into the Junior Achievement Hall of Fame in 2013; and the 2014 Association of Fundraising Professional Award for Leadership in Corporate Philanthropy. 
 
It is particularly fitting that Mike will be honored with this award as the LGA conducts its 26th annual Mid-Amateur Championship at the recently-opened Bayou Oaks at City Park’s South Course, a venue that owes its very existence to his dogged vision of what could rise from the unspeakable tragedy of Hurricane Katrina.  The award presentation will take place at the Pre-Championship Banquet at Bayou Oaks at City Park on the eve of the Louisiana Golf Association Mid-Amateur Championship, Thursday night, August 3, 2017.
 

List of previous LGA Distinguished Service Award recipients:
 
1984  W.E. “Winnie” Cole             1985  Mike Barbato                    1986  Henry Thomas
 
1987  Bill Bass                              1988  Freddie Haas, Jr.             1989  Frank Leach
 
1990  Tommy Wulff                       1991  Albert Hand                      1992  Emile Zachariah
 
1993  Jim McGonagill                    1993  Walter Fowler                   1994  John Fister
 
1995  Bob DeMoss                        1996  Luca Barbato                    1997  Oree Marsalis
 
1998 Johnny Myers                       1999  Frank Gumpert                 2000  Frank Mackel
 
2001  John Pruitt                           2002  Charles Dugas                 2003  Jay Pierson
 
2003  Jim Pierson                         2004  Lionel Hebert                    2005  Mary Capouch
 
2006  Ronnie Melancon               2007  Joseph Bartholomew         2008  J. Michael Veron
 
2009  Stuart Braud                       2011  Jimmy Headrick                2012  Debbie Rivers
 
2012  Jim Rivers                         2014  John Luffey                        2015  Kelly Gibson