Brooking still gets job done at Duncan

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 7, 2000

Greg Brooking will not be able to compete for the 2000 Bill McKenney City Championship this summer. Or any other tournament championship for that matter. Brooking, who won two of the last four city championship tournaments, tore tendons in his right wrist catching himself from a fall and will have it operated on this week.

But that won’t stop him from helping to continue making Duncan Park Golf Course look the best it’s been in a long time. Even though his opinion is not the one that counts.

&uot;We listen to what the people who play out here say,&uot; said Brooking, who is co-manager of the course along with golf pro Marvin Gray. We’ve got 172 golfers out here this weekend (Joe Fortunato Celebrity Golf Classic) and they are talking about how good the course looks. That’s what we go by.&uot;

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The golf course is in for a fertilizing project at the end of this month. Brooking knows the old nine holes are the mercy of the weather. But that doesn’t stop him and his cohorts from improving the new nine.

&uot;The key is getting the right fertilizer program,&uot;&160;Brooking said. &uot;If the weather is right, this could be the best summer we’ve ever had.&uot;

Brooking said there will be four fertilizer projects this summer. Each time samples will be taken of the soil to derive how it needs to be treated.

Brooking and Gray took over management of the Duncan Park course three years ago. And the improvement has been impressive indeed.

&uot;I think a lot of it has to do with good management,&uot; he said. &uot;We have good employees who take pride in what they do. Marvin and I can’t do all of this by ourselves. You have to have good employees. And they do a great job out here.&uot;

And people have noticed.

The golf course is taken in more numbers and generating more money.

Three years ago, Duncan Park had 17,000 rounds of golf played in a year. Last year is as 24,000.

&uot;And I believe we can get 30,000,&uot; Brooking said.

&uot;The city has given us a lot of leeway when we increase our revenue. We’re able to purchase better equipment and set up fertilizer programs. We also help support the ball parks in Duncan Park. The main thing is we get a lot of help from the mayor and board of aldermen.&uot;

Brooking said he was disappointed — but not surprised — that the state Legislature failed last week to pass authorization for $3.5 million in bonds to help renovate the Duncan Park Golf Course.

Natchez officials had said the legislation would save the state from having to build a new golf course at the Natchez State Park.

State park master plans call for golf courses at all of the flagship parks.

Under the legislation, the Duncan Park course would have become a satellite of the Natchez State Park.

&uot;I was disappointed because it was an excellent proposition which would have really helped the city of Natchez,&uot; Brooking said. &uot;But when I found out about the deficit the state is in, I wasn’t surprised to see it not go through. But we’ve got people like (Sen.) Robert Johnson, (Rep.) Phillip West, (Rep.) Andrew Ketchings and (Sen.) Bob Dearing pushing it for us.&160;They are the ones who can make things happen.&uot;

Brooking hopes to be making things happen on the golf course again soon. He was really looking forward to the Bill McKenney City Championship.

&uot;I really wanted to see my name next to the 2000 (winner),&uot; he said. &uot;But I will have to wait and try next year.&uot;

Joey Martin is sports editor of The Democrat. He can be reached by calling 446-5172 ext. 232 or at