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Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016

Bootheel Golf Club greens touted for great rolls

Sunday, May 1, 2005

Jeff Ketterman, Bootheel Golf Club pro, putts on hole No. 14.
SIKESTON -- The Bootheel Golf Club's slogan, "Lambert's isn't the only place for a great roll," plays on a pair of Sikeston's best-known rolls, the famous "throwed rolls" of the well-known Sikeston eatery and the smooth rolling greens of the Sikeston golf course.

"The greens are always going to be good," said Bootheel's general manager and head professional Jeff Ketterman. "That's one thing you can always count on here. The greens are always consistent."

Ketterman credits course superintendent Kenny Bramlett for the excellent condition of the greens and the ongoing process of seeding the rough, which he said has matured and filled out.

The 6,800-yard, par 72 layout, with bent grass greens and Bermuda fairways, presents a challenge for any caliber of golfer.

"If the wind's blowing, it'll play 9,800 yards," said a smiling Ketterman. "As anyone in this area knows, the wind can be brutal."

The Bootheel Golf Club opened its doors in 1997, the brainchild of two Louisville, Ky., developers, Clark Fenimore, originally from Diehlstadt, and Neal Harding, who was associated with Hooters of America.

The semi-private 18-hole course, located just south of the Sikeston Jaycee Bootheel Rodeo grounds at 1218 N. Ingram Road, accommodates 15-17,000 rounds per year and has hosted the NGA/Hooters Tournament, a professional satellite tour, for five years.

The tournament will not return this summer.

"Unfortunately, they're not coming back," said Ketterman. "They chose to take the month of July off and we fell in that time frame, so we lost the event. "But I'd like to thank all of the previous sponsors we had, because if it wasn't for them the Hooters' event could never have taken place."

The course's signature hole is the par 4, 380-yard No. 14. From the back tee (380 yards) the approach shot requires a 100-yard carry over water to an elevated two-tier green.

"Once you reach this green, you're still not guaranteed a birdie or a par," said Ketterman. "It all depends on where the pin is located and where you're at on the green."

The club prides itself on being beginner-friendly with four sets of tee boxes to accommodate golfers of any skill level.

"We welcome beginners and families to come out and play," said Ketterman. "Our practice facility, range and green, is probably one of the best around. "There's plenty of space to hit any club, ample tee space and we have 200 dozen new range balls."

Other on-site facilities include the Sandbaggers, a lounge and lite fare grill, and a fully-stocked pro shop. Rental carts and clubs are also available. The affable Ketterman, a Class A PGA teaching professional, offers individual lessons for beginner to experienced golfers.

Ketterman, a native of West Virginia and a long-time pro in the Florida area, knows his way around a golf course, too. He has a best-ever round of 64 and three career holes-in-one on his resume.

An avid tournament participant, Ketterman admits he likes the fact that he's over 50 now and can move up a little bit to a closer tee box.

Leagues and clinics are mainstays of the club's offerings.

Bootheel is currently hosting a ladies golf clinic, which includes swing, rules and etiquette instruction, a summer range membership and playing privileges for a fee of $175.

Also, for the ladies, an open-to-the-public two-person best ball tournament, will be held on Thursday, May 19.

A PGA-sponsored junior program, an offshoot of the "Tiger Woods' effect," a phenomenon created by the charisma and success of the young PGA star which has had a burgeoning effect on the popularity of golf among youth, launches in June.

In its seventh year, the five-week program includes instruction, summer range membership, range balls and playing privileges for a fee of $100 for youth ages 7-12.

The popular Men's Association League plays every Tuesday evening at 5 p.m., then holds a Saturday afternoon skin game and Sunday afternoon weekly point game.

A Senior League tees it up for an 18-hole play on Tuesday mornings.

Bootheel also offers a variety of packages for the golf enthusiast.

The Drive & Dine package provides 18 weekend holes of golf and a lunch or dinner at Lamberts.

A weekday only Drive & Dine includes five rounds of golf and lunch each day at the Bootheel Golf Club.

A third package offers two days and two nights of unlimited golf with cart, lodging at a local motel, two breakfasts at Skinny's Diner and each player receives one lunch or dinner at Lamberts.