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NGA vice president tours Beau Pré course

NATCHEZ — After taking a tour of the Beau Pré Country Club golf course, Ryan Waters said he can’t wait to return.

The vice president of the National Golf Association Pro Golf Tour was in town Tuesday getting a feel for the golf course in anticipation of bringing the tour to Natchez the week of July 8. And Water said he left highly impressed with the course on which the tour will be hosted.

“It looks great over there,” Waters said. “I was really impressed, especially since, with the weather we’ve had, some courses have struggled with course conditions. Beau Pré is ready to go.”

Specifically, Waters said he likes the fact that Beau Pré has a length of 7,000-plus yards, a good driving range, small greens and tight fairways.

“All these guys nowadays are hitting it 300 yards, and at some places, that’s the max (at the driving range),” Waters said. “It’s nice to see a course that’s accommodating to our golfers.

“Having tight fairways and small greens combined with the length of the course will be a good challenge for our guys.”

Waters also said he left with a good taste in his mouth about Natchez, and the city has lived up to its recommendation by Lee Moore. Moore, the director of public relations for the Celebrity Players Golf Tour, who has helped organize the event in Natchez, has been recommending Natchez for years, Water said.

“He’s bragged on Natchez way before we even discussed having an event come to Natchez,” Waters said. “The downtown area has such a historical feel, almost like walking into a movie set. There’s also so much to do with the cafes, nightclubs and bars. Mondays and Tuesdays are sort of our weekend days, and I can see our guys spending their time there on those days.”

The NGA Tour is a pro developmental tour, and Waters said many of its golfers would go on to compete in the PGA tour. With the event coming to Natchez for a week, Waters said it would be a great chance for the public to access the golfers before they hit it big.

“We’re a tour without ropes,” Waters said, referring to dividers that keep the public from getting too close to golfers. “Forty percent of players on the PGA tour have played in our tour before. It’s a great chance to socialize and meet with them.”

Among the golfers will be former Ole Miss standout Jonathan Randolph, former LSU standout Ken Looper and Lucas Black, who starred in the movie “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift,” and, more recently, in the Jackie Robinson film “42,” which hit theatres in April.