New Mallard Cove course enters final stage of prep

Published 11:18 am Monday, August 30, 2021

By Louis Bonnette

Special to the Daily News

Work is an ongoing process at the new Mallard Golf Course with opening now projected to be sometime in September.

New club pro Jonathan Jester said last week that officials from the Louisiana Golf Association had been in working on the course rating and that the final phase of the installation of the GPS system for golf carts had been approached.

“We’re getting closer,” he said of the opening, adding, “the course is playable. We haven’t cut any holes (in the greens) and some bunkers are getting worked on after receiving damage from recent storms.”

Robert Fray is the course superintendent and he and his crew have been steady hands at making the course into prime condition, Jester noted.

As of Friday, Lake Charles Country Club assistant pro Greg Sonnier was scheduled to take a shot at a fourth consecutive victory tomorrow morning when he tees off in the two-day Gulf States PGA professional championship tournament at the University Club in Baton Rouge, if Hurricane Ida allows.

Ida is predicted to hit southeast Louisiana as a Category 4.

He’s the lone player to have won three consecutive championships in the event. In the early going of the tournament, a player by the name of Phil Schmitt won three times but not consecutively.

Sonnier won last year’s title by two shots, won in 2019 by four shots and by one shot in 2018.

In late September and early October (Sept. 30-Oct. 3) he will be playing in the Sanderson Farms PGA Tour tournament at the Country Club of Jackson in Mississippi. He won a berth in the event through GSPGA tournament play.

Matt Nicholas came close in another tournament last week, he and partner Andrew Noto of Metairie tying for third place in a U.S. Amateur four ball qualifier at the Country Club of New Orleans.

In the one-day qualifier (for the 2022 national four ball) the two posted a 5-under 67 (35-32).

Medalists for the event were Aaron Pounds and Jack Usner of The Woodlands, Texas, with a 65.

Next up for Nicholas will be the 2021 USGA mid-amateur championship Sept. 25-30 in Sankaty, Massachusetts.

Gary Anderson recently produced, if not the best in the area then certainly among the top three, for low scoring only on par-3s in one round.

It came last week at The National in Westlake when he was 4 under on the course’s par-3 holes.

He aced the 138-yard second hole with a 9-iron, birdied No. 5, parred No. 12 and birdied No. 15, shooting a 1-over 73.

Anderson said two keys to his game that day were that he was hitting his irons good and putting well.

Greg Gilder, who has served as an assistant pro at the Lake Charles Country Club for the past six years, is putting in his final day at the club today. He’s headed to Hoover, Alabama, where he will become the assistant pro at the Hoover Country Club.

A tournament coming up at the LCCC is the men’s senior club championship, which is scheduled to run Sept. 24-25. Buddy Burks is the defending champion, having won the title last year with a 148 score on back to back 2-over-par 74s.

The event was played in November last year after a cleanup job from Hurricanes Laura and Delta.

Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Tony Mancuso announced his annual Louisiana High School Athletic Association four-person scramble is scheduled for Sept. 10 at Frasch Park in Sulphur.

Players can contact the pro shop or the sheriff’s office for more information.

Also coming up at the course will be the annual Mac Burns Memorial on Sept. 24 which benefits the West-Cal Cameron Hospital and the Frasch Park two-man spoonbill scramble on Sept. 25.

The Louisiana Golf Association ran off the men’s net amateur championship last week at Carter Plantation in Springfield and Carl Lemaire finished as runner-up with a 73-72—145 score.

Also in the top 10 were Ricky Norwood with a 78-68—146 for third place and Dwayne Hightower with a tie for 10th place with 76-76—152.

The final LGA tournaments come up Oct. 7-8 and 9-10 at LaTour in Matthews. The women’s senior am will be played the first date and the men’s senior four ball the second date. Two area players entered in the men’s event are Bruce Eisen and Craig Trosclair.


Saturday-Sunday — Senior men’s club championship, Gray Plantation.

Sept. 17 — Southwest Louisiana Law Center Classic, Gray Plantation.

Sept. 25-26 — Men’s senior championship, Lake Charles Country Club.

Oct. 2-3 — Louisiana Junior Tour Championship, Lake Charles Country Club.

Oct. 8 — Vic and Terry Stelly Memorial, Lake Charles Country Club.

Oct. 9-10 — Sulphur men’s city tournament, Frasch Park.

Oct. 2-3 — The National club championships (Westlake).

Oct. 29 — Chamber SWLA tournament, Gray Plantation.

Oct. 30 — The National MGA Shootout.

Louis Bonnette has written about local golf for the American Press since 1971. His column appears each Sunday. Contact him at 274-5689 or