Morgan Golf Design, Inc.,
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Club at LaTour to provide golfing community
MATHEWS – Ever wanted to play a round of golf on the infamous Old Course at Royal Troon in Scotland?
Well instead of hopping on a plane to cross the Atlantic Ocean, Larose businessman and developer John Brady Jr. is bringing a bit of the Old Course to Mathews.
In a few months, golfers are going to have an opportunity to test their skills on what could become one of the top golf courses in the nation, let alone in Louisiana.
The Club at LaTour is set to open in September and is located along La. 308 near the Gheens community.
Nearing completion, Brady said he wasn’t sure if he ever would find the right property to make what he called “his dream of building a golf course” come true.
“For the last 10 years, I was trying to buy land and build a course in this area. I’ve been through about eight different pieces of property, but I finally found this one that had the least amount of environmental impact,” Brady said. “I’ve been at this for 10 years and it is hard to believe that it is here.”
Brady said that the golf course will have a “soft opening” on the first weekend of September, then have a “hard opening” on the first weekend of October.
It is during the official opening in October when PGA Tour professional and course designer David Toms, who played at LSU, will play the course for the first time.
Brady said after a difference of opinion with his first designer, he contacted Ken Morgan of Morgan Golf Design, who is affiliated with Toms.
“It is really a no brainer to get Toms involved. If you study the area, Grand Isle, Leeville, Golden Meadow and Larose, the out-of-towners that come to hunt and fish, 75 percent are from Baton Rouge,” Brady said. “Toms is as popular as the football team in Baton Rouge. He got such a great fan base and he’s been great. He is very unassuming and has paid attention to the building of the course.”
The course sits on 597 acres and will be surrounded by residential lots including condominiums and townhouses. Also, Brady said he is developing 47 acres commercially for hotels and shopping centers to give Lafourche Parish its first golfing community.
“The reason I was trying to build a course, I think the community, south Lafourche and central Lafourche, needed a course that is upper scale and has all the living amenities,” Brady said. “We have some great courses in our area, but only Ellendale has the community be apart of the golf course.”
One goal Brady has for the course is to become part of the Audubon Golf Trail.
Currently, there are 12 golf courses that make up the Audubon Golf Trail with the Atchafalaya at Idlewild and the TPC Louisiana being the closest to the area.
Toms is the spokesman for the Audubon Trail, and with a little extra work, Brady said The Club at LaTour should qualify.
“We will have the opportunity and I want to be good enough to qualify. You have to have an upscale designer course and you have to do certain things with the lakes, flowers and wildlife,” Brady said.
A strong contender to be the course’s signature hole is the par-3 17th.
Brady said that he borrowed from the Old Course with the 138-yard hole that is designed after the par-3 eighth hole at Royal Troon called “Postage Stamp.”
Another unique hole is the 18th, which is a 563-yard par-5 that plays entirely uphill.
Brady said they have moved 1 1/2 million cubic yards of dirt for the course and to allow the residential lots to meet FEMA requirements.
Brady also said that throughout the course the only level ground golfers will find is on the tee boxes and at the bottom of the cup after putting out.
“It is a unique layout in that when you take off from No. 1 you play six holes and come back to the clubhouse. You play three more then are back at the clubhouse and play six holes and comeback and the final three and are back to the clubhouse,” Brady said. “You get back tothe clubhouse four times during your round.”
On the second weekend of September, Brady said the course is hosting a junior tournament and he is open to hosting all types of tournaments.
Brady also said that they are working on hosting a PGA sectional tournament.
“I haven’t spoken to any (area) schools, but I’m planning to. It is up to them, but we are available to have tournaments,” Brady said.
One thing that has yet to start is a membership drive and the pre-selling of the residential lots, but that is to begin very soon.
“We are going to have a special push for our first 100 members. We are going to call them ‘Tiger Members’ and give them special gifts to help get us started,” Brady said. “We are taking names for people interested in buying lots, but we are trying to get all of our ducks in a row. We want to start pre-selling the lots beginning Aug. 1.”
Brady said that once the course is open, golfers are going to enjoy playing on one of the top golf courses in the country.
“We are looking to be just below a top-end golf course. I always pictured this course being the best course west of New Orleans, east of Lafayette and south of Baton Rouge,” Brady said. “I want it to be the dominant course in the area and I think we have a chance to be named best new course in Louisiana and a Top 10 new course in the nation.”
Published: Saturday, July 5, 2008 at 9:00 a.m.
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