Dickens excited about hosting tourney

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 17, 2000

As president of Beau Pre’ Country Club Women’s Association, Pat Dickens is excited about hosting the 2000 Mississippi Women’s State Golf Association championship next week.

And not just because of the significance of the event coming to Natchez. For the first time in five years, Dickens will not have to travel out of town to play in the tournament.

&uot;It’s a tremendous difference being in your own environment,&uot; Dickens said. &uot;You’re not staying in a hotel and it’s much more relaxing.&uot;

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But there is one drawback.

&uot;There’s a little more pressure because everybody watching knows you,&uot; Dickens said. &uot;But the advantage is course knowledge. You know what to try and avoid.&160;The better players can play one or two rounds and know it, but most players it will take several rounds.&uot;

The tournament begins Monday with the qualifying round.

&uot;It’s going to be a very strong field,&uot;&160;Dickens said. &uot;The top 15 players have a 6 or under handicap.&uot;

But Beau Pre’ will offer a challenge to most golfers, Dickens said.

&uot;We’re going to have some real good numbers, and we’re also going to have some big numbers in the higher flights,&uot; she said.

Beau Pre’ opened last July after Belwood Country Club was sold to the county.

&uot;This course is so different from Belwood,&uot; Dickens said. &uot;You have to play position ball here. There are no long rolls. Whereever you hit it is where you’ve got it. You want to miss a shot long, not short. The course is in excellent shape and the greens are just perfect.&uot;

Dickens competed in her first state tournament five years ago in Tupelo.

&uot;I was so nervous,&uot; she said. &uot;I&160;had not played for a few years. Carrie Coco talked me into going. And I had never played match play. Then they called out my name, ‘Now from Belwood Country Club, Pat Dickens.’ My only thought was to please not whiff the ball.&uot;

Dickens has won her flight twice and been a runner-up twice. Her best finish was in the third flight.

Dickens said one of her goals is for Beau Pre’ to win the team trophy, where scores are added up from the qualifying round. There are 15 women from Beau Pre’ competing.

&uot;I would love to see the team trophy stay here,&uot; Dickens said.

Personally, Dickens wants to play good golf.

&uot;I just want to play my own game, compete as hard as I can and just play the golf course,&uot; she said. &uot;I just have to be ready mentally and physically.&uot;