Review: Alexandria Golf & Country Club

Course Name: Alexandria Golf & Country Club

Designer: Unknown (1945)

Location: Woodworth, Louisiana

History: Alexandria Golf & Country Club was a private club that originally opened in 1945. It played host to the prestigious Deep South Four-Ball from 1948 to 2016, and several PGA players including 1967 Masters Champion Gay Brewer played in it. In February 2017, the course shut down due to financial difficulties and increasing competition.

Conditions: 6/10, I found the conditions on this course to be average, especially for a private course. Teeboxes and fairways had some barren spots, and the bunkers weren’t particularly impressive. The greens were extremely fast and possibly the firmest greens I’ve ever played.

Value: N/A. This was a private course. I was able to play in a tournament for $40 a day, which is reasonable for this course.

Scorecard:

Tee             Par         Yardage         Rating           Slope

Blue           72           6561               71.4                125

White        72           6297               70.2                120

Gold           72          5476               67.3                110

Red            72           5378               72.2                124

Best Score: 101 (Blue Tees), 4/9/2016 with Mike K. and 2 La. Tech kids, and 4/10/2016 with 2 La. Tech kids

Front 9 Best: 50 (Blue Tees), 4/9/2016 with Mike K. and 2 La. Tech kids

Back 9 Best: 49 (Blue Tees), 4/10/2016 with 2 La. Tech kids

Hole Descriptions: Despite its lack of length, this course was extremely difficult and in my opinion undersloped. The opening hole starts you out with a short 486 yard straightaway par 5. Tall trees and houses line this fairway, but this is undeniably one of the best scoring opportunities on the course.

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Waiting on the first tee, a short par 5

The 2nd hole is an extreme downhill dogleg right par 4 playing 429 yards. While this is the number 1 handicap hole, it is fairly open and free of hazards. The 3rd hole is a short 158 yard par 3 made difficult by a small, undulating green with a devilish pot bunker just in front. After the straightaway 386 yard 4th hole, the 5th is a narrow 371 yard par 4 with a tiny pond to the left of the green that is blind until you reach the green. The 6th hole is easily one of the most memorable on the course and is an example a reason why this course is so hard. This 15th handicap 317-yarder seems easy on paper, but is easily one of the most intimidating at Alexandria. A drive of about 250 yards is needed to reach the end of the fairway. Left is out of bounds and right is blocked out by trees. The approach shot is one of the steepest approaches I’ve ever seen, with the green being almost 50 feet above the fairway. It’s extremely difficult to judge the distance here, and putts above the hole are in serious danger of running all the way down the slope.

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The uphill approach on the 6th

The 183 yard 7th is one of the best designs on the course and runs straight downhill from an elevated teebox. Lined by the range on the left, this hole features a small back-to-front sloped green guarded by bunkers on both sides. Running uphill the entire way, the 511 yard 8th hole is tight on the left side but completely open for those who bomb it right. Running downhill at 397 yards, the straightaway par 4 9th hole is guarded by tall trees on both sides of a narrow fairway and a severely back-to-front sloped green.

If you’re hoping for a break on the back nine, you will not find one. The 10th hole is an intimidating 382 yard dogleg left with the range on the left and tall trees lining the fairway. The 11th follows a familiar script playing as a long 553 dogleg left. Downhill off the tee, this tight fairway runs back uphill to a large putting surface. The 12th hole is one of the weakest designs on the course and also one of the easiest so I wasn’t complaining. Playing only 139 yards to a large green, this is a hole you have to par or better for a good round. The 13th is another long, uphill 393 yard dogleg left with a devastating forest on the left side of the hole. This green runs hard back-to-front and is guarded by a large bunker on the right. The 14th hole is possibly the most intimidating par 3 I’ve ever played – 202 yards straight uphill with out of bounds left, a pond before the hole, and a chute of trees overhanging both sides off the tee. The fact that this is the 16th handicap tells you all you need to know about how difficult this course was.

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Playing the 230 yard par 3 14th.

The 15th is another dogleg, but definitely one of the most fun holes on the course. Playing downhill, this hole turns sharply right about 250 yards from the tee. Longer hitters can definitely cut the corner here. The final par 5, the 513 yard 16th is a dogleg left that features a creek running through the fairway about 200 yards off the tee. Your second shot here will be uphill and blind. The 17th is easily my least favorite hole at Alexandria and a good example of why proper course landscaping is important. Trees have overgrown so much on this tight 350 yard dogleg left that it’s not even clear where the fairway is. The finishing hole is a fitting difficult finale playing downhill and then back uphill at 409 yards. A creek bisects this fairway about 200 yards off the tee.

Best Par 3: 7th Hole, 183 yards, 9th handicap. Playing severely downhill, choosing the right club is imperative here to hit this tiny, firm green. Bunkers guard both sides of this back-to-front sloped green.

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Looking at your tee shot on the extreme downhill par 3 7th

Best Par 4: 18th Hole, 409 yards, 4th handicap. A strong finishing hole, this long par 4 plays from an elevated teebox over a valley of fairway. A creek bisects the fairway about 200 yards off the tee, and trees creep in on the left side for the final 140 yards of the hole. The approach shot here runs back uphill with the clubhouse in the background. This two-tiered green is one of the most difficult on the course – it was hard to keep putts above the pin on the green.

Best Par 5: 16th Hole, 513 yards, 6th handicap. A pretty dogleg left, this hole runs downhill off the tee to a generous fairway cut in two by a creek about 200 yards from the teebox. Once you cross this creek, the hole turns left and features a blind uphill second shot. Like most holes at Alexandria, this firm green slopes hard back-to-front.

General Comments: I played in a tournament here, so pace of play was very slow. This was exaggerated by the fact that many kids struggled and the lowest score in a field of 25 players was 82 in a two-day tournament. The range seemed cramped, and there were not many balls to hit. What made this course so difficult was not the fact that there were many water hazards or woods. Almost every hole was tree-lined, and while you would find your ball, the lie was often on roots and you were blocked out. If you don’t take your medicine like me, your ball pinballed through trees all day. Also impossible was the fact that the greens were incredibly small and firm. Holding chips was extremely difficult, as was putting. Downhill putts on these greens often were impossible to stop once they started going.

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Lies like this were common…

Verdict: The course is now closed for business, but was a decent private country club when it was open. It is certainly one of the more difficult tracks I’ve played, especially its firm greens.

 

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