Sculpted through the water-kissed terrain of the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area, The Island Country Club challenges golfers with a lengthy course that measures 7,010 yards from the farthest tees. Water hazards await on nearly every hole throughout the course, giving advantage to golfers with confident swings and disciplined refusal to give golf-ball treats to the aviary creatures that occupy The Island’s wooden duck houses. The course’s most difficult hole, the 441-yard, par 4 11th offers a PGA Tour-worthy test from the tee, as drives must steer clear of a water hazard that hugs the entire right side of the hole while also shaping the shot to compensate for the fairway’s right-ward bend. In respect of the wildlife that shares the course grounds, The Island uses solar panels to power its clubhouse, golf carts, and herds of robotic caddies hired to graze in the native long grasses.
To prepare for upcoming rounds, golfers can enlist the services of PGA master professional Dave Baron, the club’s head golf pro. After a long day of launching drives and managing 9-irons' tender egos, golfers can unwind at The Island Grill, where executive chef Mark Maggio artfully blends elements of Italian and Louisiana cuisine.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Length of 7,010 yards from the farthest tees * Course rating of 75.1 from the farthest tees * Slope rating of 143 from the farthest tees * Four tee options
Strangely enough, it was Maria Prochaska Boudreaux's baby daughter who first spread the word about her art. When her daughter was born, Maria painted a mural in her room. Friends who stopped by to see the newborn became entranced by the piece, and soon they were requesting murals in their homes, too. Maria did them one better: she opened up her own art business, where she sells her work and hosts art classes for all ages.
During these classes, she teaches students how to make textured paintings with layers of color that create 3-D ridges on the canvas. One of her more popular classes is the Women, Wine, & Whatever series, a three-hour session complete with a BYOB policy. Guests paint whatever they desire on an 11"x14" canvas while Maria provides basic instruction on brushstroke techniques and how to keep hungry raccoons away from your still-life portraits. She also hosts children's birthday parties and painting classes with set subjects, which range from stylized fleurs-de-lis to flowers, butterflies, and even crawfish.
Look Studios & Gallery’s team tutors all levels of students in realistic brush strokes and drawing techniques during classes focused on accurately depicting the human form. By discouraging participants from copying each other or hiring an art student intern to paint for them, the staff nurtures creativity and allows it to bloom during intimate BYOB classes. Here, they guide students through the basics to interpret a preselected image using provided materials. In addition to teaching portrait and human figure classes, owner Juliet Lockwood holds summer retreats for artists who paint seascape-inspired pieces during a one- to two-week stay in a Gloucester cottage.
Beneath the purple-and-white-striped walls, ladies of all ages and fitness levels twirl around poles and sink seductively into chairs during The Perfect Poleforma?s alternative fitness classes. Instructors lead groups of up to 10 women through beginning, intermediate, and advanced classes. The classes start with basic pole spins and leg-strength exercises and graduate to swinging upside down, hanging onto the pole with just the inner thighs, and climbing flagpoles to add stars as new states are discovered. They also conduct parties for bachelorettes and birthday girls, allowing groups of friends free rein of the ceiling-mounted poles.
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The certified teachers at TC Dance Club International recognize that people dance for all kinds of reasons; accordingly, they structure different programs to meet the needs of everyone from casual dancers hoping to light up the dance floor at an upcoming party to perfectionists in the pursuit of lifelong grace. Their lessons incorporate a multitude of styles, including tango, merengue, foxtrot, and rain dances. On Friday nights, students can practice what they've learned in dance parties, which are set to premade mixes in a room with dimmed lights and an open bar.
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.