LAFAYETTE, La — This weekend’s Louisiana Amateur Championship at Oakbourne Country Club will be a culmination for many golfers across Acadiana — and for the grounds crew at the tournament’s host venue.
Back in August of 2016, the Lafayette area received more than 27 inches of rain over the course of 48 hours. The Vermilion River breached its banks parish-wide, including in and around the plot of land where Oakbourne’s 18-hole country club resides.
During that time Oakbourne Country Club’s course superintendent Jason Barras wasn’t worried about sinking puts, he was just worried about sinking, period.
"Flood waters were up to this point right here," said Barras pointing at the 12th fairway at Oakbourne which turned into an island green after the flood.
It took more than 2 weeks for flood waters to reseed. During that time 5 holes (the 5th, 6th, 12th, 13th, and 16th) were submerged under more than 40 inches of water. The Vermilion extended more than 600 yards from its banks turning more than a quarter of the holes closest to the river into water hazards of monumental proportions.
Barras says there’s really not much that can be done if a similar event were to occur in the future. But for now, two years and tens of thousands of dollars in repairs later, he’s proud to have brought championship golf back Oakbourne.
"This course really means a lot to me," Barras said.