, Port Arthur, Texas


January 15, 2013

West golf notepad: Hope flickers for golf at Pea Patch

PORT ARTHUR —     Perhaps the last golf shot has not been struck at The Patch after all.

    Although the venerable nine-hole layout in Groves was closed on Dec. 30, and has attracted an offer from an unnamed party interested in a housing development, no sale has been finalized. If, for some reason the deal doesn’t go down, an area golfer who wishes to remain anonymous for the time being is interested in trying to buy the golf-course portion of the property.

    “I know there is a contract out right now, and I assume due diligence is being done on the site,” said the person. “There’s nothing I can do unless, for some reason, the contract falls through. If it does, I’m strongly considering making an offer for the golf course only. That place is special to me and to a lot of my friends.

    “A lot of hearts were broken when it was shut down. I think the Pea Patch ought to stay a golf course. The community needs that more than it needs housing on that land. At this point, there’s nothing to do but sit and wait and see what happens. Even if I won the lottery tomorrow, there’s nothing that could be done because of the contract that’s already out there. If things change, I’m going to make a run at it.”

    Groves mayor Brad Bailey, who shares ownership of the land with Dwayne Romero, and who unsuccessfully tried to revive The Patch as a golf course, said nothing is final at this point. He added that he’d certainly be open to any offer from someone with a golfing interest for the land.

    “All I can say is that we have an offer on the table at this point,” Bailey said. “If it were to fall through,  I think we’d certainly entertain a bid from someone who wants to keep the golf course. We hated having to close it down, but it just wasn’t cost effective for us.

    “I certainly have a better understanding of all the battles of keeping a golf course running. Unless you have done something like that for a couple of years, you just don’t realize the amount of work involved. That’s not to say somebody else might not be able to make it work. Ultimately, I’d love to see golf played there again.”

    CHIP SHOTS: New members are being sought for the Southeast Texas Senior Pro-Am, which launched last season with an average of 30 players in its eight events over four courses. The tournaments are open to golfers 60 and over, with the cost of a membership only $10 and an entry fee of $35 per tournament. One spring and one fall Pro-Am is played over the four participating courses — Idylwild, Babe Zaharias, Bayou Din and Wildwood. Spring dates are March 19 at Idylwild, April 16 at Bayou Din, May 14 at Zaharias and June 11 at Wildwood. The format is an ABCD blind draw points tournament. Point quotas are determined by past performance in the Senior Pro-Am. First time players can cannot be more than plus or minus four points. Prizes will be awarded to at least 25 percent of the field. Each event has an 8:30 a.m. tee time. Anyone interested in joining should contact Ed Campbell at 722-8286 or Aaron Bonvillion at 753-2521 . . . Lamar ex Shawn Stefani, in his first official start on the PGA Tour, finished T59 with a five-under-par 275 in the Sony Open and collected a check for $12,096. It was actually Stefani’s second PGA Tour event. He Monday-qualified his way into the 2012 Shell Houston Open and finished T36. Both Stefani and his former Lamar teammate Chris Stroud are entered in this week’s Humana Challenge in LaQuinta, Calif . . . If you’re into the Tiger Woods-Rory McIlory rivalry, the opening round of their first head-to-head matchup of 2013 is airing live on the Golf Channel Wednesday night. Woods, McIlory and Martin Kaymer tee off at 9:20 p.m. in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. It’s going to be interesting to see how quickly McIlory adapts to his major equipment change to Nike clubs . . . Texas  courses didn’t get a lot of love from those who rate courses for Golf Digest. Only two — Texas National in Dallas (No. 60) and Whispering Pines in Trinity (No. 75) — made the magazine’s 2013 top 100 list. Three others — Colonial in Fort Worth (No. 142), the Carlton Woods Fazio in The Woodlands (No. 152) and the Carlton Woods Nicklaus (173) — were in the second 100. Pine Valley in New Jersey, Augusta National, Cypress Point in California, Shinnecock Hills in New York, and Oakmont in Pennsylvania made up the top five . . . Opening event in the Southeast Texas Junior Winter Tour, hosted by The First Tee of the Golden Triangle, is set for Saturday at Babe Zaharias. Players ages 7 to 18 can sign up at Entry fee is $20 . . . Golfers who have played for years and never made a hole in one might want to close the paper and spare yourself the torture of reading the next item. Johnny Taylor of Fayetteville, N.C., overcame odds that are said to be 67 million to one by scoring two aces within seven holes at the King’s Grant Golf Club in Fayetteville. Grant, who had made a hole-in-one eight years ago, aced the 160-yard, 7th with a 7-iron, then added another 1 to his card by sinking a pitching wedge on the 120-yard, 13th.

    Golf news should be faxed to 724-6854 or e-mailed to


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