Courses target out-of-town golfers

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 14, 1999

Marketing plays a major role in Beau Pre Country Club and Duncan Park Golf Course’s ability to draw out-of-towners to play in Natchez.

But it was almost a stroke of luck that helped the two courses hit the jackpot last week, compliments of Lady Luck.

The Mississippi Golf Seniors Association usually make a stop in Hattiesburg as one of their 11 stops in a year.

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But because the Hattiesburg course is under renovation, the association – which has already played in such places as Apaculpo, Mexico and Naples, Fla. – chose Natchez for the month of September.

The group of 118 couples spent a week in Natchez, staying at the Lady Luck Hotel. The women played a round at Duncan Park, while the men played at Beau Pre.

&uot;The strange thing about it is that I spent 18 weeks working at Humble Oil Company in Natchez in 1953,&uot; said MGSA&160;vice-president Joe Hutto of Waynesboro. &uot;It was located exactly where Beau Pre is now. When we had the opportunity to come here, I told our president we needed to come, so I had some selfish reasons. I love Natchez and enjoyed coming back.&uot;

Hutto credits Natchez real estate agent Dan Bland for making the trip more than enjoyable.

&uot;When Dan found out we were needed a place, he got in touch with us,&uot; Hutto said. &uot;We got a great rate on the hotel and it has just been great. He has bent over backwards for us and the people of Natchez have been great.&uot;

Hutto was also impressed with Beau Pre.

&uot;I’ve played a lot of wonderful courses and Beau Pre is right up there with them.&uot;

Frank Smith has been with the association for four years.

&uot;It’s been great,&uot;&160;Smith said of his stay in Natchez. &uot;I’ve heard nothing negative at all. I was really impressed with the visitor’s center. It’s a model for any city. It does a good job of portraying the history and grace of the people of the past and of today. The city is so clean and not one single person did not try and make me feel welcome.&uot;

Smith was also impressed with Beau Pre.

&uot;It’s as good as any course we’ve played on, and we’ve played from coast to coast,&uot; he said.

Virginia Shackelford enjoyed playing at Duncan Park.

&uot;The front nine is especially nice,&uot; she said. &uot;Our trip couldn’t be much nicer.&uot;