Fall in love with Duncan Park golf

Published 5:22 pm Thursday, April 8, 2021

You can hear the soft piano theme to The Masters on CBS as you drive beneath live oak trees that reach over the roadways in Duncan Park.

Pink, purple and white azaleas provide a splash of color to the drive on the way to the Duncan Park Clubhouse.

While Thursday marked the opening round of The Masters at Augusta National Golf Club, Duncan Park will host its own Masters Friday afternoon. Bright yellow flags with Natchez in cursive lettering, like the yellow flags at Augusta, stand out against the bright emerald greens.

Duncan Park Golf Course Superintendent Greg Brookings works hard to keep the course in its majestic state, a transformation from what the course once looked like.

At one time, he said there was so little grass on the course he had to move his ball to find grass when he was a kid. The course was called the dirt patch, Duncan rock, and even the goat farm.

Today, manicured fairways, cushioned rough and green trees paint a landscape. One hole has a pond with a bridge crossing to the next tee. Blue skies and white clouds reflect off of the placid water.

There is something romantic about golf. The smell of fresh-cut grass and the feel of crushed pearl white sand beneath the feet keep the player connected to the game. Players strive for greatness. In the process, they tame themselves, and the course they play.

Brookings’ story is also a romantic one, like many of the stories told at The Masters each spring. He could have never returned to Natchez. He could have left Duncan Park dusty and rocky. He instead chose to come back and take the course to as high of a level as he can with the resources he has.

Watch the Natchez Chamber of Commerce tournament if you have time Friday. Play a round of golf there, and see why one golfer said it rivaled Augusta in its natural splendor.