Golfers have many nice places to play

Published 5:00 am Thursday, June 17, 2004

You’ve heard Brookhaven called the Homeseekers Paradise onnumerous occasions. For lovers of the links, you could call it aGolfers Paradise.

Pause for a moment and consider the high-quality, 18-hole golfcourses we have in this area. Start with the Brookhaven CountryClub and extend a circle about 50 miles in circumference. Severaloutstanding locations are available, all within one hour or lessdrive from Brookhaven.

An unusual amount of rainfall has benefited the area coursesthis spring and summer. The men who man the mowers are complainingbut the golfers should appreciate the lush fairways and softgreens.

In the past, before fairway irrigation, greens became as hard astable tops in the summertime. Most of the old BCC greens wereelevated and often favored asphalt in softness during dryspells.

Since the BCC grew to 18 holes a few years ago, the course hascontinued to mature and improve. In nearby Wesson, the Wolf HollowGolf Club on the Copiah-Lincoln Community College campus has becomea beauty to behold.

The fairways are thick with grass and the greens are in the bestshape we have ever seen since the new course was created. New homesabound along the fairways, adding some beautiful architecture tothe scene.

South of Crystal Springs, Rolling Hills Country Club maintains apicturesque layout.

Moving southward, golfers report the greens at the Quail HollowGolf Club in Percy Quinn State Park are rolling smoothly andcovered with grass. Nearby Fernwood Country Club maintains itscourse with pride.

In Summit, Lakeview is a compact layout offering some difficultholes. To the west, Middlefork Golf Club outside of Meadvilleprovides a hilly landscape to cope with. Farther to the west, BeauPre’ in Natchez offers a beautiful layout. Don’t forget DuncanPark, an 18-hole public course in the River City.

To the east, Swan Lake Golf Club near Monticello offers severaltricky holes surrounding a lake with genuine black swans cruisingthe fairways.

Certainly, golf is a popular sport and the Brookhaven area isblessed with several outstanding layouts to explore. Play solo orin a group, opportunity knocks for duffers and semipros.

Speaking of opportunity, we had an invitation to play inTuesday’s 11th Annual Co-Lin Foundation Golf Classic at the WolfHollow Golf Club. The annual fund-raiser is a popular event.

The scramble format makes it more fun, despite the heat andhumidity. Our team consisted of retired Co-Lin English teacherSharon Alexander and Brookhaven furniture store owner Don Perkins.We kept our grammar proper and maintained patience most of thetime. No clubs were left behind as tree decorations althoughseveral balls found new residences in the thick rough. Don has ahealthy respect for snakes and I left my leg protectors athome.

Alexander is recovering from December back surgery so she waslimited to chipping and putting. Perkins launched some humongousdrives and I nailed a few accurate irons from the fairways.Overall, we scrambled to a 7-under 65. Several birdie putts lippedout.

It was a “woulda, coulda, shoulda” kind of day but we still hadfun.

Earlier, I had the pleasure of playing seven holes of golf withCorey Welch at the BCC. Welch, a standout baseball player duringhis years at Bogue Chitto, was selected The DAILY LEADER’s Playerof the Year on the 1995 All-Lincoln County Team.

Welch is an x-ray technician at KDMC when he’s not playing golf.He has an excellent touch around the greens and on the puttingsurface. In the future, he could become a State Amateur titlecontender.

Tennis update: The Brookhaven Country Club’s3.0 women’s team made a good showing in the USA Adult LeagueTrustmark/State Tennis Tournament in Jackson. They defeated aJackson team 3-2 in the opening round and had visions of advancingto the USTA sectional in Columbia, S.C. A 3-2 loss to anotherJackson team brought them back to reality and a 3-2 loss to Belzonibrought them home. Tie-breakers decided all three matches.

Brookhaven team captain Doris Panzica said the team should bestronger next season. BCC pro Kory Kenny coaches the team.

All-Star action: The Mississippi Association ofCoaches will host its annual all-star soccer games this Saturday atHinds Community College in Raymond. Girls and boys dream teams willsee action at 5 and 7 p.m. respectively.

Write to sports editor Tom Goetz c/o The DAILY LEADER, P.O.Box 551, Brookhaven, MS 39602 or e-mailsports@dailyleader.com