Miss. Seniors teeing off at Beau Pré

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 7, 2009

NATCHEZ — The Beau Pré Country Club will play host to an out-of-town group this week.

The Mississippi Seniors Golf Association is having one of its 11 tournaments at Beau Pré, with husbands and wifes getting the royal treatment.

The association had a husband and wife tournament Tuesday and had a Wednesday practice round for those participating in events later this week. Two winners were picked in each flight.

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“(On Wednesday) we also played in what we call a merchandise tournament, and everybody was almost finished when the rain came out,” Mississippi Seniors Golf Association President Bill Bridwell said. “But we finished enough to get the scores in and award prizes.”

The Mississippi Senior ladies will have a tournament starting at 8:30 a.m. today, and seven women will be competing for prizes. The men’s tournament will also begin at 8:30 a.m. today with the first round, and the second round will be played Friday.

The men’s tournament is a two-man scramble.

“We have two dinners associated with our Mississippi Seniors event at the Country Inn,” Bridwell said. “(Wednesday) morning we had a function for the ladies with bingo, bridge, a social period and a luncheon. And Friday morning we will have a brunch just for the ladies.”

The association, based in Greenville, is in its 53rd year, and they hold 11 tournaments a year — one each month except for December. Seven of the tournaments are typically in Mississippi, and four are out of state.

And Bridwell said the key to a successful tournament is pleasing the ladies.

“We try to be family oriented, catering to husbands and wives,” he said. “As long as the ladies get satisfied with the function, then the men can come back.”

Tom Bryant, course manager at Beau Pré Country Club, said this has been an easy tournament for him to host.

“I’m not doing any of the scoring,” Bryant said. “They’re doing it all at the hotel. I’m just setting them up and getting them out there.”

Approximately 46 of the 274 members of the Mississippi Seniors Golf Association came to Natchez for the tournament, which is in its first year back in the Miss-Lou since 2000.

Bridwell said he expects the tournament to come back in the future.

“I think it’s a great place to have a tournament,” he said. “There are things for the ladies to do with the antique shops and all that, and the river’s an attraction — so are the old antebellum homes. They can participate in the tours or go on their own and sight see. We have loved our time here.”

Applicants to the association must be recommended by two current members.

“We’re basically a social group that plays a little golf,” Bridwell said.