Destination Guide

Destination: Louisiana

If you love great music, tasty food, festivals and nightlife with your golf, then Louisiana might be the perfect destination for you. This is the land of bayous, Bengal Tigers, beignets and big fun. Whether you're in the Big Easy (New Orleans) or the capital city of Baton Rouge, for example, you can enjoy golf, great casual and formal dining, jazz, blues, Zydeco music and parties year-round at this laid-back destination. And since much of this occurs along the Mississippi River, you'll even find some pretty swanky casino/hotels, not only in New Orleans, but also in Baton Rouge, Lake Charles and Shreveport. And most of them, if they don't have their own golf courses, offer golf packages with area layouts.

Best of all, perhaps, this sportsman's paradise -- where you'll also find some of the best fresh- and saltwater angling in the world -- is not terribly expensive (Mardi Gras might be the exception). In fact, public golf is quite reasonable. In the New Orleans area, home of Bourbon Street in the famous French Quarter as well as the Garden District, the most expensive public course is the Pete Dye-designed TPC Louisiana, where they play the PGA Tour's Zurich Classic, but it's not unattainable for most golfers. Or for quality public golf that doesn't take all day or drain your bank account, head over to Audubon Golf Club, a par-63 located near Tulane University. It might be the best executive golf course in the country for the money. You'll also find courses by Louisiana's favorite sons, David Toms and Hal Sutton. Toms designed the much-heralded Carter Plantation, an hour outside of New Orleans, and Sutton laid out the 27-hole Olde Oaks Golf Club just outside of Shreveport. And if you're in Baton Rouge, check out Santa Maria Golf Club or maybe Louisiana State Golf Club. It wouldn't hurt to wear blue and gold for the latter.

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