Cleaved into a verdant expanse populated with 20-year-old cypress trees and 17 tranquil ponds, Cypress Lakes Country Club’s 18-hole course tumbles across 6,556 yards of challenging tee-to-green terrain. Waterways and wetlands complicate play on virtually every hole throughout the pristine par 72, giving advantage to players who can confidently select the right club to clear a forced carry or bribe gullible waterfowl to extract their sunken balls. Well-manicured bermuda grass supplies eminent playability to both the fairways and the greens, which at times appear as narrow landing strips in a course populated by so much water. By the end of the round, linksmen become callous to water’s intimidating ripples, allowing them to trace a towering drive over the aquatic forced carry that stands in front of the 18th tee, setting up a second shot that could allow players to tap in for a stunning birdie or three-putt for a breathtaking double bogey to conclude the round with dramatic flair.
In the world of golf, few acronyms are held in the same regard as TPC. Comprising 32 PGA-level venues, the Tournament Players Club network stretches from coast to coast, hosting high-profile pro and senior tour events throughout the year with TPC Sawgrass even serving as the headquarters for the PGA itself. As the Big Easy's contribution to the lineup and a member of the faction that happen to be open to the public, TPC Louisiana does not disappoint. Pete Dye's 2004 design choreographs cypress and oak trees, five ponds, and more than 100 bunkers over 250 acres of the Mississippi River delta. As the permanent home of the PGA Tour’s annual Zurich Classic, the course is, of course, exceptionally long from the back tees––7,400 yards––but furnishes four additional sets of tees to make things easier on amateurs who refuse to cork their drivers.
As with all TPC venues, golf is but a part of the experience. Inside the 24,000 square-foot clubhouse, The TPC Grill couples southern hospitality with an ambiance of relaxed elegance, while luxury lockers provide a place for players to stash their Bourbon Street beads before teeing up on the course.
An 18-hole golf course and full-service driving range, City Park New Orleans bestows ample municipal space where the slacks-clad can drive and putt to one's birdie’s content. Club-wielding novices can fill out foursomes with trophy-holding champs thanks to four different sets of tees, stretching from 5,740 yards at its longest to just under 4,300 yards for beginners. Eight of the holes fill its water hazards with fish specially bred to digest golf balls, and the other 10 rely heavily on fire hazards and quicksand traps. Warm up pre-tee with a bucket of balls on the driving range, then zip from hole to hole in a cart so as to avoid the course's feral herds of LARPers.
In 1959, Robert Trent Jones Sr. completed work on Timberlane's 7100-yard, par-72 golf course near the west bank of the Mississippi, and it still stands as a friendly, challenging round in a pleasant, private setting. Mature oaks line the sides of each Bermuda-grass fairway, and in 2007, Timberlane re-surfaced its expansive greens with Tif Eagle turf, giving putts a new zip and helicopter pilots a new view. Before hitting the links, sharpen up your chipping, putting, pitching, pitch-shifting, and Super Bowl Shuffling on the all-grass practice range and putting green, or try the driving range nearby. When you're ready, hop in your provided golf cart to match wits with the labyrinthine course, which features four sets of tee areas per hole, 17 water hazards, 80 sand bunkers, and 13 mechanical yetis. If he's around, see if you can snag a tip from resident PGA pro Tim Brown, who was named by Golf Digest as the #1 Best Teacher in Louisiana in 2009.
LaTour is a new 18 hole championship golf course co-designed by PGA Tour Champion David Toms. The golf course boasts a 7232 layout featuring Mini-Verde ultradwarf greens with abundant water, pure white sand traps, and 75 acres of native grass areas.
Bayou Barriere Golf Club is a 27-hole complex sculpted into the landscape along the Intracoastal Canal, just one of the many water features prominently displayed. As golfers journey through the bermuda grass fairways and greens, they'll encounter water hazards that come into play on 20 of 27 holes. With the exception of a couple of slight dog legs, the three 9-hole courses showcase mostly straightway hole layouts featuring fairways sparsely lined with mature trees and greens protected by shallow bunkers. The well-groomed golf club also boasts practice facilities and a new clubhouse with pro shop and on-site grill and bar.