LaFortune Park Opens New Clubhouse, Celebrates History

Tulsa County Public Information Officer

COUNTY GEM: Lafortune Golf Course was voted as one of Tulsa’s best golf courses in the 2010 GTR Best of Greater Tulsa readers choice awards. From left Fred Perry, Tulsa County District 3 commissioner; Richard Bales, Tulsa County Parks director; and Bill LaFortune, former Tulsa Mayor.

On Wednesday, June 23 Tulsa County celebrated the opening of the new clubhouse at the LaFortune Park Golf Course. The clubhouse is a project from the 4-to-Fix-the-County II capital improvements program. It offers all new amenities including an expanded pro shop and a full-service restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating. It is open to golfers, park users and the general public. The 13,000 square-foot facility cost $3 million to construct.

On hand at the ribbon cutting were County Commissioner Fred Perry, former County Commissioner Bob Dick, Parks Director Richard Bales, former Tulsa Mayor Bill LaFortune and members of the Tulsa County Parks Board.

Speaking at the ceremony, Commissioner Fred Perry thanked Tulsa County voters for approving the plan to build the clubhouse. “This facility will be used by many. You don’t have to be a golfer to use it though. The restaurant is great and many non-golfers frequent it,” said Perry. “It’s really just a great asset for our park and the surrounding community.”

LaFortune, whose family has a long history with the park and golf course, recounted the story of his family’s involvement. “My grandfather, Joseph LaFortune, came to Tulsa in 1919. He worked hard and made a name for himself in the oil business. He loved golf and his vision for this park was to have a public golf course where anyone could play,” LaFortune said. “Before it opened 50 years ago, Tulsans had no real option for public golf. They had to be members of a country club.”

Joseph LaFortune spent much time in the park that he helped build. “My grandfather put a tremendous amount of work into establishing the park and golf course, but he also spent a lot of time here,” Bill LaFortune said. “Our family is honored to be involved with the park. My dad, Buddy LaFortune, spent 30 years on the Tulsa County Park Board, and now I serve on the board,” LaFortune added.

LaFortune Park has undergone many improvements in recent years. The championship golf course was renovated through the original 4-to-Fix-the-County program. The Buddy LaFortune Community Center was completed in 2008 and is connected to the Tulsa City-County Library’s new Herman & Kate Kaiser Library. Additionally, the LaFortune Park Tennis Center is expanding to a championship-level facility that will eventually house 24 courts.

Tulsa County Parks is celebrating 50 years of golf this year, and with that there are specials going on all year to reward patrons and attract new golfers to LaFortune’s championship and par three courses as well as the Southlakes Golf Course.

Updated 08-18-2010

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