Interview with Muni Head Golf Pro, Chris Arceneaux
During a time when so much came against us in 2020 to divide, Lafayette regained one of its own, who is focused on uniting the community and impacting future generations. Lafayette-native Chris Arceneaux made his way back to Lafayette, and on November 1, 2020 accepted the role as Head Golf Pro at Jay & Lionel Hebert Memorial Golf Course—the same course where he had his very first golf-related job decades earlier as a cart boy.
A neighbor gave Chris his first golf club and golf balls at the age of 12, and his Uncle Albert Damond helped him to hone his skills, resulting in 39 years playing golf to-date, with 15 of those years as a professional golfer. Chris made history as the first African-American Head Golf Professional, not only in Lafayette, but in the entire state of Louisiana and the state of Mississippi. As the father of two children, Khairen and Cryslan, Chris is taking his love of young people, the game of golf and his hometown community and swinging away at paying it forward.
CSpotlight: While golf is a hobby for most, it was life-changing for you—how?
Chris: Golf was life-changing for me because it provided a safe haven while the drug epidemic was taking over the community. It also helped to teach me life skills.
CSpotlight: What do you hope to share with those you impact through the course and your events?
Chris: Find your passion and go do it. I’m grateful that I’ve been able to use my platform over the years to impact the next generation.
CSpotlight: Jumping back into the community with a passion to see change, what events have you coordinated and what was your purpose for each?
– “Embrace This Space” Community Clean-Up – We’ve done 3 clean-up’s so far, the purpose is to bring awareness and unite the community while keeping the community clean.
– Free Junior Golf Camp – This was a 4-day camp hosted to not only impact the lives of young people, but also teach life skills and allow the kids to make new friends.
– Grand Opening of Generations Sports Bar & Grill and Generations Sports Golf Pro Shop – We had a grand opening for the Grill and Pro Shop and it was covered on the news.
– Hall of Fame Cocktail Night – Honor local legends from the golf course as well as my good friend, PGA Champions Tour Winner, Jim Thorpe.
– Various Golf Tournaments – We’ve hosted several golf tournaments since November 2020 for a variety of organizations and groups. Brings lots of people together on the golf course.
– Parish Proud Commercials – A commercial I was in for Parish Proud is currently airing. I’m glad to be a part of Parish Proud.
CSpotlight: For children and adults alike—what’s in store for the future at Hebert Municipal Golf Course?
Chris: Golf lessons for non-golfers and golfers, scholarship opportunities for youth interested in pursuing golf as a career, Friday Night Scrambles where all are welcome to join, golf tournaments throughout the year, and more. Golf provides a great opportunity to not only network and meet new friends but can also help you stay physically fit.