by Doug Ireland

You’re invited when a Louisiana sports spring highlight event comes to Alexandria May 13-14

Spring has sprung and it’s glorious, for those who enjoy getting outside. For those who enjoy golf, and/or good food and good times, here’s something to plan to do in May.

The Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Spring Celebrity Golf Classic is Tuesday, May 14 at Oakwing Golf Club in Alexandria, right next to our airport. There’s a Pairings Party at Oakwing on Monday evening, May 13. To participate, visit LaSportsHall.com and have your credit card ready. This thing sells out.

It’s been since 2018 that Oakwing has been the host for the LSHOF golf event. The tournament has changed A LOT since then – six years ago it was held as part of the June induction weekend. The brutal June heat that day confirmed the need to play golf earlier in the calendar (and later, too). So since then, the LSHOF Foundation, led by Menard High graduate Ronnie Rantz, has staged separate Golf Classic events in the fall and spring. Much less heat, much more fun.

During the summer Induction Celebration June 20-22, Cenla is still included. Now we go inside Four Seasons, enjoy the air conditioning, and have a blast at the BOM Bowling Bash. It’s set for Friday, June 21. You can get details and get lined up to have great food, festivities and kegling with the Class of 2024 and more by going to yes, you guessed it, LaSportsHall.com.

You are also able to use the Multimedia button on that website to see videos and photos of past Bowling Bash and Golf Classic events, so if you haven’t been part of the fun, you can see what to expect.

As for the Golf Classic, for the players, an insider tip– Oakwing is in tip-top shape, the best it’s been in many years. And in mid-May, it will be in peak condition.

Here’s the rundown for an event that has been staged at the University Club in Baton Rouge, at the Golden Nugget in Lake Charles, and at Squire Creek outside of Ruston. It’s first-class fun for everyone.

The Monday evening Pairings Party runs from 6-9 inside, and outside, at the Oakwing clubhouse.

It’s a blast. Enjoy an amazing array of experiences and sports and music memorabilia available in a silent auction, while you’ll experience a festive vibe with a DJ, food stations, an open bar for beer, wine and soft drinks, with a cash bar for call drinks.

Oakwing’s 128-yard No. 10 par-3, cozied up to the back patio, will host Closest to the Hole and Hole in One contests for $10,000. A $25,000 Putting Contest will be staged on the No. 9 green a few steps from the 10th tee.

The next morning it’s tee time! May 14th , golfers go off in a shotgun start at 10 a.m., with registration opening at 8 when breakfast is available and the range opens. Also, the golf contests ramp back up.

The golf scramble format: Three-man teams paired with a celebrity or four golfers with no celebrity. This is a fundraiser for the LSHOF Foundation’s efforts hosting the annual induction festivities as well as improving the amazing museum at 800 Front Street in Natchitoches, so there is a cost: $1,200 per team, or individuals can get in the game at $350 per player. Each foursome gets eight tickets to the Pairings Party; individual entries receive two Pairings Party tickets.

What’s for dinner Monday night?

Says Rantz, who knows good food when he sees it: “We’ll have typical Cajun Monday night dishes – red beans, rice and sausage; fried catfish; chicken drumettes, Natchitoches meat pies.

“On Tuesday, out on the course will be eight food stations, four on each side, along with complimentary beer, water, sports drinks and soft drinks. The food vendors will be some of Cenla’s best and others traveling from Baton Rouge and Natchitoches and Cajun country,” he says.

As for the golf contests, coming back to Oakwing raises the expectations, says Rantz.

“Last time we were there at Oakwing, we did have a hole-in-one by a teenager. It was not on the big money hole, so he won I think about $500 in clothes and gear after making an ace from about 120 yards out,” says the LSHOF Foundation CEO/president.

It’s like the lottery. You can’t win if you don’t play. And if you don’t play well, it only takes one shot. As for everything else, you don’t have to play great to have a great time.

It’s right here in your back yard. Hope you’ll join the party on May 13-14.


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