PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Bob West

November 12, 2013

West golf notepad: New strategy in place to deal with hogs at The Palms

PORT ARTHUR —  Port Arthur's Renaissance Group has gone high tech in its efforts to thwart wild hogs who are posing a major roadblock to the restoration of The Palms at Pleasure Island.     With attempts to kill the packs of hogs who dig up chunks of the golf course having mimimal success, the Renaissance Group invested in a huge corral/trap that's tied into a remote control device at the Port Arthur police station. Police can monitor activity in the corral and when they see enough hogs inside, push a bottom that drops the door on the corral.     

Once the hogs are trapped, they will be shot and fed to alligators.     

"It should really help eliminate the problem we're having," said Palms superintendent Bryan Jackson. "The corral is about 40 to 50 feet in diameter. What they do is put corn in there and let the hogs go in there and eat. They want to get them used to feeding in the corral.     

"When there are hogs in the corral, it sends a signal to the police station. They can look at a camera and see how many hogs are in there. At some point, they press a button and drop the gate. That has not been done yet. They want to get the hogs comfortable with going in there.”     

Ironically, about the time the trap was up and running, hog attacks slowed down. Jackson said there hasn't been hog damage in the past 10 days. But he knows they will be back at some point.     

"We've killed 20 or more in the past couple of weeks, but that's just a drop in the bucket," he said. "We just can't afford to let them keep coming over and tearing things up. It's imperative that we eliminate them. That's why the investment was made in the corral."     

In the meantime, Jackson's crews continue to do everything they can to have The Palms in pristine condition when it re-opens next spring. The latest step is getting the irrigation system up and running.     

"It's working fine," said Jackson. "We fired it up Monday and it worked the way it's supposed to. We had full pressure. It's encouraging and it's exciting. This place is really going to be something when we get it reopened."

  CHIP SHOTS: Jesse Domingue of Lumberton scored his first hole in one Monday on the 165-yard, 3rd hole on the Links Course at Bayou Din. Domingue used a 5-iron for the shot witnessed by Jon Clark, David Hearnsberger and Brian Dodge . . . Winning the Legend Junior Tour’s Texas Cup a week ago led to a significant jump in the national golf rankings for PN-G’s Braden Bailey. Bailey soared from No. 155 to No. 111 on the list of all schoolboy golfers, regardless of class. He also advanced from No. 4 to No. 3 in rankings for the Texas Class of 2015 . . . Harold Lawson, Cap Hollier, Jimbo Huebel and Walter Colvin combined for a 60 to win the Groves First Baptist Church Scramble at Belle Oaks. Second with a 61 was the team of Seth Corkran, Jordan Havard, Asa Cardenez and Brennan Doty. Closest to the pin winners were Charles Miller (No. 8) and Terry Keyes (No. 15). Doug LeBlanc won the regular long drive on No. 14, while Cliff Daigle claimed the senior long drive prize . . . The team of Jim Jordan, Butch Landry, Bill Fears and Bob Moore won the Babe Zaharias DogFight with 19 points. Second with 17 points was  the foursome of Mark Petry, Charlie Huckaby, Brad Royer and Larry Rogers. Closest to the pin winners were Cody Metts (No. 2), Royer (No. 7), Petry (No. 12) and Landry (No. 15) . . . The Senior Game at The Babe was played in a 4-person scramble format, with the team of Rick Pritchett, Bob Byerly, Marino Nassar and Paul Bourgeois winning at 9 under. Second at seven under was the team of Harry Green, Bob Barnes, Larry Rogers and  David Sturgall. Closest to the pin winners were Ron Overstreet (No. 2), Charlie Huckaby (No. 7), Gerald Huebel (No. 12) and Cap Hollier (No. 15) . . . The Super Saturday Game at The Babe was played in a 2-ball format. On the front 9, the team of Larry Thompson, Thad Borne, Charlie Leard and Mark Petry won with minus 5. The back 9 was won in minus 4 by the foursome of Larry Stansbury, Rick Pritchett, Ryan Stansbury and Gene Noble . . . The Senior 50 Plus Game at The Babe was played in a 2-ball format. On the front, the team of Joe Gongora, Alex Espinosa, Raymond Voight and Gene Noble with minus 3. The back finished in a 3-way tie at minus 3 between the Gongora team, the foursome of Jim Jordan, Keith Rochau, Jim Cooper and Marc Petry and the team of Larry Johnson, Ed Hetzel, E.T. Robicheaux and Pete Reobroi . . . Norm Shannon finished plus 6 to win the Monday Seniors at Belle Oaks Points Game. Bill Taylor was second at plus 4 and Twyman Ash placed third at plus 3. Jim Brown won closest to the pin on No. 15. In the Friday Seniors at Belle Oaks, Barry Jackson won with plus 1. Ed Boone was second at zero and Shannon third at minus 1. Taylor won closest to the pin on No. 8 . . .

    Golf news should be faxed to 724-6854 or e-mailed to rdwest@usa.net

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Bob West