Review: Squirrel Run Golf Club

Course Name: Squirrel Run Golf Club

Designer: Joseph L. Lee (1986)

Location: New Iberia, Louisiana

History: Opened in 1986, Squirrel Run is semi-private and is the only 27 hole course in the region.

Conditions: 6/10, the greens were in decent shape and were speedy, but the rest of the course was rather underwhelming. Despite it being October, some of the course was burnt out.

Value: 7/10, For a cart and 18, this course will set you back $35 on weekdays and $45 on the weekends. Junior and twilight rates are even more impressive.

Scorecard:

Course                         Tee           Par     Yardage    Rating      Slope

Plantation/Steeple     Gold        72        6704          72.1          134

Plantation/Steeple     Blue        72         6380          70.6          131

Plantation/Steeple     White     72         6026          69.1          127

Plantation/Steeple     Green     72         5463          66.6          116

Plantation/Steeple     Red         72         5181          70.2          125

Plantation/Woods      Gold        72        6742           72.1         134

Plantation/Woods      Blue        72        6409           70.7          130

Plantation/Woods      White     72        6071           69.5          125

Plantation/Woods      Green     72        5591           67.0          119

Plantation/Woods      Red         72         5382          71.3          131

Steeple/Woods            Gold        72         6782         72.2          136

Steeple/Woods            Blue        72         6451          70.7          132

Steeple/Woods            White     72         6069          69.3          124

Steeple/Woods            Green     72         5560           67.0         118

Steeple/Woods            Red         72         5323           70.2         125

Best Score: 87 (Gold Tees, Plantation/Steeple), 10/11/2014 with William S. and 2 LSU kids

Steeple Best: 45 (Gold Tees), 10/11/2014 with William S. and 2 LSU kids

Plantation Best: 42 (Gold Tees), 10/11/2014 with William S. and 2 LSU kids

Woods Best: 43 (Gold Tees), 10/12/2014 with William S. and 2 LSU kids

Hole Descriptions: I will begin with the Plantation course, in my opinion the easiest of the three nines. This nine is a bit shorter, but these holes are also much easier on the eye and more straightforward. The opening hole eases you into your round as a medium length 361 yard par 4. A cluster of trees 70 yards from the green on the left may block out the left side but the major danger here is by the green, as bunkers guard both sides and behind. The 2nd hole immediately grabs your attention as a short 351 yard par 4. Accuracy is of the utmost importance here, as water lines the entire righthand side. A long, skinny green juts out into the water and requires a carry to hit. The third consecutive par four, the 376 yard 3rd hole is straightforward and generous off the tee. Like the 1st hole, this elevated green is heavily guarded by four bunkers on all four corners. The 4th and 5th holes are decent on their own right but are essentially the same hole – long, narrow straightaway par fives playing 546 yards and 548 yards, respectively. Both greens are well-protected by bunkering. The latter is the number 1 handicap hole on this nine due to heavy fescue just right of this fairway.

The 6th hole is the first par 3 playing at only 153 yards. A small pond guards short right of this green, but shouldn’t really be in play. Playing 403 yards, the 7th hole is the longest par 4 on this nine but is also one of the most open, particularly on the lefthand side. Two small ponds guard the right side, but these really don’t come into play unless you’re laying up or you shank it. At 192 yards, the long par 3 8th is fairly straightforward. The major hazard here is a large bunker guarding short right of this back-to-front sloped green. The finishing hole is a strong 402 yard par 4 playing as a slight dogleg left with water all along the left side. Longer hitters can cut off some of the dogleg by going over the water but the further left you go, the smaller the margin of error.

Approaches over water are common

Next, I will review the Woods nine. The longest of the three, this side is characterized by doglegs snaking their way through a forest. The opening hole is a good example of this as a 409 yard downhill dogleg left. This hole is very generous off the tee but narrows considerably near this green. A small pond guards short left of this green. Officially playing 531 yards, the goofy 2nd hole is a sharp dogleg left par 5 that features its dogleg 290 yards from the tee. Since most players can’t reach the dogleg, going for the green in two is almost impossible. A creek runs through this fairway about 70 yards short of this well-protected green, making the lay-up a bit more challenging. Playing 173 yards, the par 3 3rd requires a carry the entire way over left side water. Bunkers long right must be a popular bailout spot.

I wasn’t a fan of the target golf 375 yard 4th hole. A carry over water is needed off the tee, as water lines the left hand side for about 260 yards. At 280 yards, water begins on the right hand side, and the green juts out over this water. The number 1 handicap 5th hole is difficult due to its length (430 yards) and the fact that trees line both sides. Like most greens at Squirrel Run, this green runs hard back-to-front. The short par 4 6th only plays 349 yards and doesn’t require driver off the tee. This hole is really pretty easy minus the four bunkers that surround this green. My favorite par 5 at Squirrel Run, the 544 yard C-shaped 7th hole curves right for its entire length. Water and trees line both sides of this narrow fairway and the elevated green is defended by three bunkers short. When I played holes 8 and 9, they were directly into the wind and extremely difficult. The 8th is an 179 yard par 3 with an abandoned tire lot on its right side and water lining the left. Finishing with another long hole, the 420 yard 9th is a formidable par 4 that requires a drive of at least 180 yards over water to reach this fairway. From here, the hole is straightforward, but I don’t imagine there are many pars here.

The Steeple Course is the hardest of the three nines. An intimidating uphill 394 yard par 4 with out of bounds right prepares you for the upcoming carnage. The 2nd hole is another long 397 yard par 4 dogleg left that requires a long and straight drive unless you want to be blocked out by tall trees on either side. A tiny bunker just past the trees on the right about 270 yards from the tee awaits those who run through the fairway. The 3rd hole is a long, difficult 188 yard par 3. The teebox and green both jut out into a pond, and you must carry this the entire way if you want to hit the green. Two fantastically designed bunkers are strategically placed short and left of this green for those who bail out to avoid the water. The 4th hole is another target golf dogleg left par 4 with trees on both sides and the fairway giving way to water at about 270 yards from the tee. Your approach shot to this tiny green must carry water the entire way. The 380 yard 5th is a strange hole. You must play your drive out left to a fairway that plays straight for 350 yards. Starting at only 200 yards from the tee, water lines the entire right side of the fairway. The green is to the right of this water, thus necessitating another carry over water.

The 394 yard 6th hole features a blind teeshot through a chute of trees. Approach shots left of this hole may find water, but this water is really meant for the next hole. The following 7th hole is the number 1 handicap hole on the entire course. This behemoth 562 yard dogleg right par 5 commands a long, straight drive in order to carry water directly in front of the teebox and trees on both sides. It takes about 420 yards to actually reach the dogleg, making reaching this green in two all but impossible. Four giant bunkers guard this elevated green, furthering the difficulty. The par 3 8th is the longest par 3 at Squirrel Run at 198 yards. While it’s probably the least convoluted hole on the side, a well-bunkered undulating green make par an elusive score. The easiest hole relative to par on the nine in my opinion, the closing 522 yard par 5 features a narrow fairway and pond running for about 125 yards from the fairway to the green. It’s not imperative to carry this pond, as you can hit your layup left of the water to the fairway that snakes around the pond.

Playing from the bunker the 3rd hole of Steeple.

Best Par 3: 3rd Hole (Steeple Course), 188 yards, 17th handicap. Arguably the signature hole at all of Squirrel Run, this intimidating par 3 features water down the entire right side all the way to a green that juts out. Bunkers short and left of this green are perfectly placed to catch players afraid of going in the water.

Best Par 4: 2nd Hole (Plantation Course), 351 yards, 11th/12th handicap. Water lines the entire right side of this fairway, and you must carry it to hit this green that also juts out right. I remember putting on this thin, sloped green was a very difficult task.

Best Par 5: 7th Hole (Woods Course), 523 yards, 8th handicap. This long, slender fairway curves right for the entire length of the hole, and multiple hazards line the fairway for the entire length. This elevated green is guarded by three bunkers short, and I’d be lying if I said these didn’t mess with your depth perception.

General Comments: The clubhouse was pretty unimpressive, but the range allows you to hit driver which is always a plus. The course itself is a very challenging design that punishes poor shots severely. Accuracy and length are required if you want to score well on some of these tricked out holes.

Verdict: In case you are in the Lafayette area, this course is a worthwhile play for the price and challenge. Conditioning isn’t top-notch, but it’s playable.

Out of anger or an honest mistake?
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