Course Name: TPC of Louisiana
Designer: Pete Dye (2004)
Location: Avondale, Louisiana
History: Course was built in 2004 specifically for the Zurich Classic, but due to Hurricane Katrina, it wasn’t held there until 2007. The course opened as #4 “Best Upscale Public Golf Course” and was ranked in the top 100 public courses in 2011 by Golf Digest.
Conditions: 9/10, since the course hosts the PGA Tour annually, it is kept in great shape year round. Pristine bunkers, fast Bermuda greens, and manicured fairways make this course the best conditioned course in the area.
Value: 6/10, when I played, I felt the course was overpriced at over $150 per round. It appears that the twilight rates and in-state rates are fairly reasonable now, however, at under $100.
Tee Par Yardage Rating Slope
PGA Tour 72 7399 76.3 139
Dye 72 6931 73.8 136
Tournament 72 6610 72.4 133
Players 72 6172 70.1 130
Club 72 5121 70.6 124
Best Score: 89 (Tournament Tees), 3/3/2012 with Dad
Front 9 Best: 42 (Tournament Tees), 4/11/2014 with Dad
Back 9 Best: 46 (Tournament Tees), 3/3/2012 with Dad
Hole Highlights: Hole 1 eases you into your round. A short par 4, all you need to do is avoid the large bunker on the left and you should have a wedge into this green. The third hole is where water first comes into play. A medium length par 3, this hole is pretty mundane minus the water on the right side. Hole 4 is where the course begins to first show its character. A long par 4 measuring over 450 yards, this hole is a true risk/reward. The more distance you take off the tee, the more the water on the right side comes into play. Hole 6 is another long par 4 similar to the first tee with its large left-hand bunker. Additionally, this hole features a crazy green that makes 2 putting a tall task. Hole 7 is a difficult long par 4 that turns hard to the left. Water guards the entire left-hand side of the hole, making aggressive drives particularly dangerous. While I’m usually not a fan of courses finishing their nines with par 3’s, this course’s 9th hole is perhaps the best hole on the entire side. A long par 3 where wind usually comes into play, railroad ties guard the left side of the green from a large pond. There are also several gators in this pond that love sunbathing.
The beginning of the back 9 is characterized by large bunkers. 10 has a large bunker on its right, 11 on its left, while 12 has large bunkers on both sides of the fairway. 13 is a really cool hole that is drivable if you can avoid the trees on the left. A sharp dogleg left, the green is only about 300 yards from the tee, but laying up right is the smart play. 16 is another short par 4 that starts a great finishing stretch. Trying to drive the green on this hole is perhaps easier, but incorporates much more danger, as water hugs the entire left of this tiny green. 17 is similar to hole 9 and also utilizes Pete Dye’s famous railroad ties design on the left side of this green. In my opinion, the best hole on this course is 18, a strong finishing par 5. Water lines the entire right side of this beautiful par 5 and the fairway is well-bunkered, especially near the green, making layups very difficult. Wayward drives might actually be rescued from the water by narrow bunkers that also line the right side of the fairway. Bubba Watson got out of one of these bunkers to win the Zurich Classic in 2011. If you play the course near the Zurich, huge grandstands will face you on the 18th, making for a memorable experience.
General Comments: While there are certainly better designed courses (actually I found a lot of these holes repetitive), this golf course is in great shape and has a PGA Tour feel to it. The clubhouse is majestic and full of memorabilia while the practice facilities are top notch. With unlimited balls and plenty of space, one can practice for hours here before your round.
Verdict: This is the most popular place to play for tourists to New Orleans for good reason. When I played the second time, Jhonathan Vegas played in front of me. There is not much that beats that, especially if you can get a good deal.