Tourney finds home in the piney hills of North Louisiana
Squire Creek Country Club just sunk yet another hole in one.
The course, which is located just east of Ruston in Choudrant will host the 2015 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship, an event sanctioned by the United States Golf Association.
It’s an October golfing event that will bring in 132 players from across the world for qualifying and match play at the well-known and well-publicized Squire Creek course. In a little more than a decade of operation, the course has landed such nods as best golf course in Louisiana and one of the five best new courses in the country, all by Golf Digest magazine.
Now it will hold the first USGA event in Louisiana since 1966.
“It is a very prestigious thing to be host to such a select event,” Corre Stegall, Squire’s Mid-Am co-chair, said.
“The USGA picks only the most challenging and finest courses.”
And Stegall would know a thing or two about the way Squire Creek’s course runs. She’s been a State Senior Amateur Champ as well as the Women’s Club Champ at Squire Creek.
Stegall added the course was almost too hard.
“When the USGA first came to play, they gave us the impression that it was too challenging,” Stegall explained.
But when the call approving the Mid- Am Championship for Oct. 1-8 came down, it was “very gratifying.”
The course’s difficulty lies in its rolling hills and occasionally fast greens.
Sarah Davison, who qualified for the event in Dallas, is confident about her ability to play the course, partly because it’s her backyard. Davison lives on the course with husband, Steve Davison, whose family developed and built the course in 2002. “I’m not intimidated by the big greens,” said Davison, who golfed while at Airline High School and was an All-American while golfing at the University of Alabama.
“I’ve been practicing just to get prepared.” She added: “The key to Squire Creek is the putting. If the greens are quick, I know what areas are fast, and I know what’s slow.”
Besides looking to “play and have fun,” the accomplished golfer also wanted to avoid questions. “That would be a long month of people asking, ‘Why are you not playing?” she joked.
Those who make it to match play – the top 64 athletes – will be getting a little help from local volunteers; in fact, the whole event is sporting some strong community-volunteer muscle, Stegall said. “We were asking for 300 volunteers,” Stegall said. “Now we’re almost to 500 volunteers.”
These men and women will be working everything from caddying for the golfers to holding 18-pound score signs as well as searching the rough for stray balls.
“We’ve got all kinds of help,” said Jeff Parks, who is helping organize and coordinate the volunteers and caddies.
There’s also volunteer spots for trophy security. “It’s a funny post. But we need someone to guard the trophy. It will be in the middle of the clubhouse,” said Parks, adding that it’s a USGA requirement.
Volunteers will not be just thrown on the greens either. Parks along with others with the USGA and Squire Creek are holding training sessions to help all the volunteers make the event a success.
“This is an awesome event for this area of the state,” Parks said. “The magnitude of an event like this is hard for people to understand.”
The event’s magnitude is probably why a bank president will trade his suit in for a caddy’s outfit during the Mid- Am Championship. “This is a pretty big commitment,” said Bill Hogan, president/chief executive officer at the Bank of Ruston.
Hogan, who is also a member at Squire Creek, is signed up for some pretty tough work, considering the hilly nature and distance between the holes. All of that while carrying a bag full of clubs. But, as he explained, this is an “amazing” opportunity for Squire Creek, the city of Ruston and Northwest Louisiana.
“This is not just about golf. This is about showcasing our community and our region,” he said.