Atchafalaya Update

In late August construction was continuing on Atchafalaya Golf Course, a municipal 18-hole facility in Patterson, La. At the time the project was announced in April 2002, St. Mary Parish officials anticipated opening the course in late 2003. But as with most golf developments, those projections were overly optimistic. The layout will now be unveiled in spring ’05 along with a new driving range and practice facility.

In late July, officials began advertising for bids for building a new clubhouse. The deadline for construction bids was August 18th, but it’s uncertain which firm was selected. The clubhouse was designed by Firmin/Dugas Architects Limited of Morgan City, La.

The course is being built within Kemper Williams Park, a 290-acre complex on a former plantation. The facility currently contains baseball and softball fields, tennis courts, a recreational vehicle park, driving range and civic center.

Meanwhile, work continues on the $10-million course and practice facility. Designed by Von Hagge, Smelek and Baril, a golf architecture firm based in Spring, Texas, the layout is being built by Heritage Links of Richmond, Texas. The course is being constructed in compliance with standards established by Louisiana’s Audubon Golf Trail, of which Atchafalaya will become a member when it opens. The Audubon Golf Trail now features nine of the state’s top public facilities. For a complete list, visit

At the time Atchafalaya was announced to the public, parish councilman Murphy Pontiff told the Tri-Parish Times & Business News that a study by the National Golf Foundation projected between 30,000 and 40,000 rounds would be played annually at the course. Pontiff enthused, “There’s a ton of money to be had there . . . the whole idea with this is to attract tourists.”

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