HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The Beau Rivage has upped its game in trying to bring golf lovers to the Gulf Coast. The Beau's Fallen Oak golf course reopened on Friday after being closed for renovations. Officials said the transformation makes Fallen Oak, located on Highway 15 in Harrison County, better than before.
"It's extremely important for the Mississippi Gulf Coast for Fallen Oak to be considered as one of the premier golf courses in the Southeast," said General Manager David Stinson. "I think it lends credence to what we do down here on the Gulf Coast. We do it big. We do it bold. We do it beautiful."
Golfers should have a lot more fun playing at Fallen Oak now that they'll spend a lot less time trying to knock their balls out of the sand. Officials said they've taken out more than 20 bunkers and made the remaining 64 bunkers much shallower.
"Sand traps, or bunkers, are hazards, so it's never easy but we softened them up, raised up the floors of them," said Matt Hughes, Grounds Director. "Every green side bunker here at Fallen Oak, and including the fairway bunkers, you should be able to advance the ball onto the green or onto the fairway for your next shot."
A more player friendly Fallen Oak is part of an effort to appeal to both the pro golfer and the person who plays only a few times a year. Officials hope once word gets out about the renovations, they'll see a boost to their golf package bookings.
"I think if they've played here with us before and they haven't been down in awhile, they'll see it in the news, such as WLOX, and they'll want to come back and play Fallen Oak and stay at Beau Rivage," said Stinson. "For those who haven't been here and they see it for the first time, it might pique their interest to want to come and stay at Beau Rivage and play at Fallen Oak."
The staff said the bunker changes also make it easier to keep the course in top condition for golfers.
"When we had rain before of anywhere from an inch to two inches, the bunkers would wash out, which means all the sand would migrate to the bottom of the bunker," Hughes said. "We'd have to get out there and spend a day or two shoveling them back out. Now, we get one or two inches or rain and it looks like it's never been rained on before. It makes a big difference on maintenance and playability for the golfers here at Fallen Oak to enjoy."
Fallen Oak also repositioned 15 live oak trees as to create a more strategic type of experience for golfers.