New Orleans is a town that needs no introduction. “The Big Easy” attracts loads of people every year looking to live it up at Mardi Gras, jam to local musician’s vibrant jazz music, dine at one of the many world class restaurants, or simply explore the character filled streets of the French Quarter.
Amidst the seemingly endless list of activities in New Orleans, be sure to pack the clubs and look beyond the downtown area for my personal favorite: a round of golf at TPC Louisiana.
Located just minutes from the historic French Quarter, TPC Louisiana offers a first-class experience for tourists and locals alike. Large oaks, magical cypress trees, and beautiful natural wetlands provide a stunning setting for the Pete Dye design. It leaves little question as to why the PGA Tour’s Zurich Classic calls this place home for a week in April each year.
Still asking yourself if it’s worth sacrificing time away from New Orleans’ French Quarter? Here are a few reasons playing TPC Louisiana will prompt a resounding “Yes!”
Reason 1: Brilliant Par 3s
Although par 3 holes are often overlooked, Pete Dye does his best to deliver four brilliant golf holes at TPC Louisiana. Each measure over 200-yards from the back tees, and require precision accuracy with water coming into play on three of the holes. Signature Dye rail-road ties, thoughtful bunkering, and the aforementioned water hazards add to the beauty of the challenging par 3s. These holes will get your heart pumping even from the forward tees!
Reason 2: A Memorable Finish
If the first 15 holes don’t capture your attention (unlikely!), then the final 3 will. The closing stretch begins with a short, perhaps drivable par 4. Who doesn’t love a great risk/reward hole? Hit an iron or fairway metal into the heart of the fairway, or take a rip with the driver at the water-guarded green. In either case, be sure to pause for a moment and take-in the serene view of the property from the 16th green – it was one of my favorite views on the course.
The par 3 17th tee may give you a bit of anxiety with water down the left and two devilishly positioned green-side bunkers on the right. It’s another example of a scenic, yet challenging Pete Dye golf hole. Forget the flag, aim for the front right portion of the green, and do your best to escape with a par.
The final hole provides one last opportunity to take in the views and hopefully capture a birdie. This par 5 can be reached in two by longer hitters, but with trouble at every turn, three shots onto the putting surface is the prudent play. Soak it all in on the final green, with great views of the clubhouse and adjacent 9th hole.
Reason 3: An Opportunity to Experience a PGA Tour Layout
Okay, let’s be real. Most will never know what it’s like to play in a PGA Tour event. But why should that stop you from teeing-it-up on the same layout as the big boys? Part of the genius of TPC Louisiana is that it was created to challenge the world’s best players, while also doubling as a playable course for the everyday avid golfer. Pick the set of tees that fits your skill level and it’s sure to be an enjoyable round.
If you’ve never been to New Orleans, or if you’ve never ventured outside downtown, now’s the time to plan a trip to TPC Louisiana. My suggestion? Book a morning round, grab lunch on the patio of The TPC Grill, and head straight to the French Quarter to kick-off an afternoon/evening (and likely early morning) of festivities.
You’ll be sure to love New Orleans, and the ultimate golf experience at TPC Louisiana!
Shirt: Albatross Golf Wear
Trousers: Bonobos – Maide Golf
Shoes: Footjoy DNA