Whether you are 7 or 70, the Leesville Municipal Golf Course offers an opportunity to play the game.
Manager Jim Doulin, on the scene since February, welcomes one and all to the 10-acre, nine-hole course tucked in the hills north of town.
“It a great place to squeeze in a weekday afternoon round or plan a weekend foursome,” he said.
The long-time PGA member says work since he came on the scene is beginning to pay off. Already, more rounds have been played this year as compared to last.
“Friendly, fun and affordable” is the formal mission statement, and Doulin’s efforts to change the perception of the course are producing results.
For instance, it’s not uncommon to have to wait at peak times on weekends for a cart to become available as more and more area golfers play the course.
Moulin’s improvement plan is a two-season program. Work by course maintenance supervisor Robin Bassett, the assistance of inmate labor provided by the Sheriff’s Office and volunteer assistance has the program on track.
Very visible among the volunteers is James Armes, a professional landscaper who has put in countless hours this year in the course improvement category. That’s the same James Armes who is a state representative and lives near the course.
Taking the Leesville post was a homecoming of sorts for Doulin. At one point years ago he managed Warrior Hills, the Fort Polk course, before being assigned to other courses during his Department of Defense career.
While here, he met and married Karen Bartlett of Pickering. The draw of home eventually brought them back.
The seven months since they returned have been busy ones at the course, which is closed on Thursdays, but open from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. the rest of the week.
Among changes effected — a practice range has been created for those who want to work on their swing with shorter-distance clubs. On the planning board is turning the old swimming pool area into a practice putting green as well as a sod farm, providing a place for workers to go when a patch is needed at some place on the course.
As popular as anything among the activities at the course is the Tuesday afternoon scramble for anyone who wants to enter. All ages and skills, men and women, play from Par 3 tees placed on every hole. The 5 p.m. scrambles will end on Oct. 14, with a 3 p.m. start time scheduled once November gets here.
Drainage is an issue at the course, as it seems to be almost everywhere in this part of the world. That is aggravated in a wet year such as this one.
Moulin said drainage is being addressed in stages — first on the greens, then on the tee boxes and then on the fairways themselves.
Doulin is a teaching professional as well as a facility manager. Lessons can be scheduled for kids and adults, male and female.
Green fees can be paid for 18 holes, or nine, and traditional discount rates (seniors, veterans, etc.) are applied.
In October, the course will offer the five-lesson Get Golf Ready program created by the PGA to introduce people to the sport. Details are available by calling the clubhouse.
The golf course is just part of the recreation complex.
Four tennis courts are available, at no charge. Two of them are lighted. Doulin said a ball machine is available for those wanting to work on their fore and backhands.
There is a park-playground, which includes pavilion and picnic space which can be reserved and rented, or used without charge if available.
The banquet hall-meeting room accommodates 200 persons and comes with a full kitchen, all available for reunions, parties, receptions, dances and the like.