Golf club preps huge event in Miss-Lou

Published 12:01am Thursday, April 3, 2014

NATCHEZ — Golfers will take over Natchez Saturday and Sunday when the Harvest Club Open books Beau Pre’ and Duncan Park Golf courses to host one of Natchez’s biggest golf tournaments of the year.

Natchez Harvest Club tournament director K.G. Watkins said golfers would come from all over the nation to participate.

“We’re expecting commitments from as far away as California, to Georgia to the east coast,” Watkins said. “We’re going to cover about 12 states from Texas, Arkansas to Tennessee.”

Watkins said the golf tournament was started in 1975 by Charles Gaines an Robert Henderson to publicize the importance of golf to children.

“It started as a way to promote golf within our neighborhood to get kids interested in the game, because of what golf signifies,” Watkins said. “It promotes a certain amount of ethics.”

There will also be golf clinics at Duncan Park at noon Saturday before tee off with special guests the Alcorn State University golf team featuring head coach and Natchez native Lynette West.

Ferriday High School’s golf team will also make their debut at the tournament.

Watkins, who also coaches the Ferriday golf team, said children should come out to learn a few fundamentals of golf, and also see how far the game of golf can go.

“It’s a two way thing: it’s helping not only the college kids to give back, but it’s ood for these kids to see there are possibilities for them beyond high school,” Watkins said. “They never had a chance to understand the opportunity of golf and it’s the perfect example of how they can benefit from it.”

The Special Olympics will have children at the clinics, which are open to all children of Natchez and surrounding areas.

“We’ll stay about an hour and let them have some fun,” he said.

Watkins said the tournament would also be giving away prizes to the winners of each of its seven flights, plus raffle ticket winners.

“We will have seven flights so each golfer has an opportunity to win something depending on their ability to play golf,” Watkins said. “All of the prizes are the same and in cash. Then there is going to be some raffles awarded for weekend trips to Tunica and things like that.”

Tee off will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday at Duncan Park and 1 p.m. at Beau Pre.