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Municipal Golf Course opens to fanfare

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    Liberty County Commissioners Bruce Karbowski and Greg Arthur take a big swing at the golf course opening. The Vindicator | Jennifer Gray Richardson
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    Liberty Mayor Carl Pickett speaks to those in attendance at the official opening of the Liberty Municipal Golf Course. The Vindicator | Jennifer Gray Richardson
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    A round of golfers heading across a new bridge along the cart path. The Vindicator | Russell Payne
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    Golf enthusiasts from near and far are hitting the links at the newly renovated Liberty Municipal Golf Course. The Vindicator | Russell Payne

LIBERTY - After a two-year wait, there is a buzz around town with the official opening of the Liberty Municipal Golf Course.

Local officials and area Golf enthusiasts embarked on the newly renovated facilities for last week’s official grand opening.

Even before the official opening, the course was getting the attention of golfers from all over the area scurrying for tee times.

“The word is out; people are already talking about it all over the golfing community in East Texas,” said course manager Scott Neal.

The course has long been a fixture in Liberty, originally known as Magnolia Ridge Country Club. The city purchased the course in 2018, developing a plan to improve the facility and create a recreational destination.

“I think golf is a bigger deal than people think and in this part of Texas, within 30 or 40 minutes, there is not much, and certainly there is not a golf course with this condition, with this kind of renovation between here and Louisiana,” said Neal.

Those renovations have truly enhanced a course already known as one of the best nine-hole courses in the state.

From improved drainage to introducing some 30 bunkers, the entire facility plays like never before; coupled with majestic scenery encompassing the area’s beauty, the city has an amenity second to none.

“There were no bunkers on the course. When they came in, they took everything down to grade or below and rebuilt all the structure of the golf holes completely,” said Neal.

All of the greens and bunkers are built to the specifications of the United States Golf Association.

Another added feature is multiple tee boxes at several holes, allowing the course to be changed and adding to the challenge.

Mark Beausoleil, an avid golfer and owner of SmashGolf Academy, raved about the course.

“ The greens are in beautiful shape. The fairways are like carpet. It’s the best it’s ever been and it’s probably going to be the number one nine- hole course in Texas,” said Beausoleil.

SmashGolf offers training at the course for golfers, and Beausoleil is working with Neal on the Junior Golf League program for golfers 13 and under to learn the game of golf. There is also a possibility of a league for 14-18-year-olds.

“ It is one of the best training facilities for young golfers,” said Neal.

Leading up to the May 5 opening, the city hosted a pair of soft opening weekends, and staff stayed busy scheduling rounds for golf lovers, young and old.

Tuesday night city council met and heard an update on the course opening. The news was positive as the course had seen over 600 rounds in only nine days of play, along with an estimated $34,000 in revenue on green fees and memberships.

“Hopefully, we will really see the tide turn that’s good for the golf course,” said Assistant City Manager Chris Jarmon.

City Manager Tom Warner was very pleased with the work put into the renovations, especially that of Jarmon, a sentiment echoed by council.

“Chris played an integral part in getting the golf course set up and improvements made,” said Mayor Carl Pickett.

Warner concluded, “ It’s been two years in the making,” while joking, “actually watching the grass grow.”

The course is open to the public Tuesday – Sunday, with tee times available until dark. The community can also stop by the Oaks at Magnolia Ridge to enjoy lunch throughout the week and dinner on Thursdays.

For more information on tee times, memberships, or the Junior Golf League, call 936-336-3551 or visit