Prizes will also be awarded for closest to the hole on two par-threes and a long-drive on the 18th hole, and a putting contest will also include a Cajun-themed prize. Drinks and snacks will be available on the course, and each player will receive a full packet of tournament gifts including a windbreaker, a Homecoming T-shirt, balls, tees and a souvenir poker-chip ball marker.
The Cajun team is also heavily involved. All of the squad members will be on hand and will be hitting shots with each team either on par-threes or par-fives, giving each team that extra advantage on those holes.
The tournament honors the late Bill Bass, whose contributions to Acadiana-area golf and to the university are well documented. Bass left the insurance business in 1965 to serve as the school’s first full-time alumni director, and the former letterman in football and boxing also served two different stints in two different decades as Cajun golf coach.
Bass also helped supervise the construction of the Oakbourne Country Club course in the mid-1950s and helped develop that into one of the state’s top layouts — one that hosted a PGA Tour event for nearly a decade and where the newly -constructed UL golf facility is located. Bass also designed and was one of the driving forces behind Acadian Hills Golf Club.
He remained involved in university activities and the local golf scene up until his passing in 1987. Shortly after that, the Alumni Association began a scholarship in his honor and teamed with his son Bob Bass — himself UL’s golf coach for nearly two decades and honored as the top coach in the Sun Belt Conference’s first 30 years — to found the Homecoming tournament that still bears his name.
“We always talk to our players about how important family and tradition are,” said Sliman. “This is a perfect example of that.”
Entries for the tournament remain open, with an entry fee of $150 per player or $600 per four-player team. RCAF members get a $25 discount from those entry fees. An online entry form is available at ragincajuns.com/BillBassOpen, or entries may be emailed to email@example.com or phoned in to (337) 857-8754. Handicaps and shirt sizes should be included with all entries.
Speaking of the Cajuns, the rescheduled second annual Jimmy “Chicken” Thomas Classic is set for this Sunday-Monday at Oakbourne. The tournament and surrounding events were washed out by Hurricane Harvey in August.
The event raises funds for the UL golf team and is one of the major events staged by the Vermilion Links Club, the official support group for Cajun golf. The tournament includes a “meet and greet” with the team at 6 p.m. Sunday at Oakbourne, and the two-man scramble has a 1 p.m. shotgun start Monday.
The tournament and accompanying events are open to any golfer who wants to get involved with the UL program and/or the Vermilion Links. Entry for the tournament is complimentary for Links founding members, and spots are also available with a $200 per-player or a $400 per-team entry fee.
More information is available from David Church at 280-2961 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or from UL coach Theo Sliman at 962-3348 or email@example.com. Players who had previously entered before the rainout are asked to contact Church to reconfirm their entries for the new date.
Teeing for the Troops
And speaking of Oakbourne, that club will provide an opportunity for players to “Tee It Up for the Troops” Saturday when the club has a member-guest event beginning at 8 a.m.
Oakbourne is the only course in Louisiana taking part in the national “Tee It Up for the Troops” program, held each year on the Veteran’s Day weekend. The program honors military men and women who have served and sacrificed for their country and combines golf events with inspirational ceremonies, one which will be held just prior to Saturday’s 8 a.m. shotgun start with a flag-raising at the club.
Since the organization’s founding in 2005, more than 360 such events have been held in more than 40 states. All proceeds go to local and national charities that help wounded veterans and their families. Fisher House Foundation and Disabled Sports USA are primary recipients, and have joined with “Tee It Up” to assist more than 27,000 military families and help save more than $44 million in living costs, and provided more than 10,000 wounded service members with year-round programs in more than 30 different sports, all free of charge.
Oakbourne general manager Greg Klemp has been the driving force behind the local event, and individuals and businesses looking to take part or provide support may contact him at (985) 373-2302 or call the club at (337) 235-6426, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Direct donations to the program may be made online at TeeItUpfortheTroops.org.
Liberty Mutual Golf
The Metairie-based team of Marc Eagan, Mike Guarisco, Brian LeBon and Larry LeBon posted an 11-under-par 61 to take top honors last Monday at the 22nd annual Lafayette Liberty Mutual Insurance Invitational benefiting the National Kidney Foundation of Louisiana.
The tournament was held at Oakbourne and was part of a series of 75 charity tournaments around the country hosted by Liberty Mutual and local charity organizations. Those tournaments raised more than $8.3 million for charity last year and $45 million over the past seven years. The Louisiana events benefit the National Kidney Foundation of Louisiana and help raise over $250,000 annually. The local event raised over $50,000.
The winning team qualified to take part in the national finals, scheduled for Kiawah Island Golf Resort next March.
USSSA Junior Tour
The USSSA Junior Tour will stage its next event Nov. 25-26, with the annual Gobbler Tournament at Southern Trace in Shreveport.
The event features boys’ and girls’ play in three age groups, with boys and girls age 12-14 and 15-18 divisions playing 18 holes daily and boys and girls 9-11 playing nine holes per day. Deadline to enter is Nov. 22, and more information is available from Robert Boudreaux at (337) 278-8431 or at email@example.com.
Vieux Chenes Seniors
The heavy rains that struck Acadiana last Wednesday forced postponement of the Vieux Chenes Senior Men’s Golf Association’s monthly event set for last Thursday. That tournament will now be held this Thursday at Les Vieux Chenes.
The group will also hold events on Nov. 16 and Dec. 7, so as not to conflict with the Thanksgiving holidays. Registration each week is from 7-7:30 a.m. with play beginning at 8 a.m. The group is open to all senior players, and information on the group is available at Les Vieux Chenes or by calling 837-1159.
Kyle Broussard of Carencro used a pitching wedge and a Callaway “SuperSoft” ball to hole out on the 130-yard second hole at Hebert Municipal on Saturday. The 35-year-old Broussard, a zero-handicapper, had his first career ace while in a group with Thomas Brown, Damon Lacombe, Carroll Robicheaux and Ryan Hornsby.
Friend of the “Making the Turn” column Chuck Wood also had a successful Saturday, holing out for the sixth time in his golfing career on the 167-yard 16th hole at Le Triomphe. It was the second time that Wood had aced that hole, and four of his six lifetime holes-in-one have come on the LT course.
“Making the Turn” appears each Wednesday from February-November in the Daily Advertiser. Clubs, courses and individuals with information about local golf events may email Dan McDonald, editorial director at Golfballs.com, at firstname.lastname@example.org, FAX to (337) 857-8763 or call (337) 857-8754 and leave a message with phone number.