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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

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Tidelands Golf & Country Club … celebrating 60 years in South Lafourche

Tidelands Golf & Country Club … celebrating 60 years in South Lafourche

Tidelands Golf & Country Club is nestled roughly two miles behind South Lafourche High School (SLHS), on the old Bayou Raphael couteau (or ridge).

As you enter Tidelands, you’ll be treated to your first iconic view of the golf course, with the #7 green and its cypress trees on your left and the #8 fairway straight ahead looking across the pond with a beautiful row of live oak trees.

Tidelands is a beautiful, although modest semi-private 9-hole golf course. With its two tee boxes per hole, each at offsetting positions creating the 18-hole par 72 course, along with its clubhouse restaurant and pro shop, Tidelands has always been open to the public.

After all these years its club membership still thrives today. Golfing on the bayou has remained a relaxing alternative activity, and with friends, even a competitive challenge … all that just two miles behind SLHS.

Tidelands Golf & Country Club is truly a unique story, established in 1959 by a visionary group of local business leaders led by Dr. George Perry, designated as the club founder. Back then, the Allain family had just recently donated the large front portion of the bayouside property for what eventually became the new South Lafourche High School in the fall of 1966.

Dr. Perry saw the property in the back to be a good fit for creating this golf course in conjunction with the community activity the school would bring. One of Allain’s main stipulation was it always be open to the public, which it has.

As these developers looked for a location to create Tidelands, it seemed a local wooded area comfortably away from the community was a good fit. The beautiful higher ground, laden with palmettos, cypress and oaks trees on each side of the Bayou Raphael, and then mainly accessible by boat via the Breton Canal was a daring starting point.

The rest of the development plan would follow once the long-term lease (and still ongoing) from the Allain family was secured.

Within a year, the first area of land cleared allowed for 3-holes of golf to be played, although probably crudely fashioned, playable nonetheless. After years of continuous development, with the help and funding of many local community leaders/members of the day, Tidelands eventually yielded a cool, little 9-hole golf course by 1962.

The original plan was to create a true 18-hole course, but for various unknown reasons unfortunately did not happen.

Its first full time grounds keeper, Cliff Mosley, along with Andy Griffin, spent their time maintaining the grounds for the members to enjoy golfing. And now continuing to maintain the course is Andy’s grandson, Johnny Moran as grounds superintendent who’s been here full time for the past 36 years after learning the ropes with his grandfather.

Early on with the help of Jimmy Barrios and others, who also helped improve the property, the additional other 9-tee boxes was established and was finally in use in the early 1970’s. Tidelands is fortunate to continue having its many dedicated members helping this club in many ways over the years. It’s amazing how this concept has worked over the years, when the older generation steps back the next generation steps up to help.

Developmental stages progressed once the clubhouse was built around 1964 and utilities were extended to the property. Tidelands Golf and Country Club was now for real! The birth of the club’s marquee Shrimp-Oil Tournament began in 1962 and will be celebrating its 57th annual tournament in early June.

Tidelands had its first full time PGA professional, John Lund working the pro shop. Several more followed suit over the coming years until it went without a PGA pro in the early 2,000’s. Bill Mulligan, the club’s last PGA professional is still part of Tidelands’ staff in a consultant role, helping out with lessons and his course management knowledge.

The country club’s leisure lifestyle prospered well. Membership numbers totaled over 200 for many years. Those who enjoyed tennis, swimming, socials and of course golfing, made this a wonderful place to be.

Many of us who grew up in the late 60’s and 70’s with our parents’ membership perks can recall those good times. How times have changed from those good old days with our newer generation of young adults and the advent of the technology age. The bayou culture has changed a lot from what we baby boomers remembered growing up then. However, the physical pleasure and serenity of golfing outdoors with friends and the country club leisure lifestyle is still available and affordable at Tidelands (although with the absence of tennis and swimming).

Tidelands still thrives as a golfing community and is open to the public. It’s comprised these days with dedicated members, non-member green fee players/guest and of course our hidden gem of a lunchtime restaurant/club house managed by Anna Galjour for the past 34 years.

Get ready to enjoy the several golf tournaments we sponsor and the socials in the clubhouse every couple months or upon request often used for family celebrations, card parties and special occasions, sometimes featuring the bayou’s local musical talent. Follow us on Facebook too for updates from Anna.

Now that you know what you’ve been missing, it’s not too late to come by and see how convenient it is to visit Tidelands Golf & Country Club …now 60 years in the making!