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Golf Louisiana


One golf course doesn’t make the entire state a golf vacation destination, but there are pages of them, from Abbeville to Zachary, most of them open to the public! Louisiana’s climate makes it a prime year-round golf destination, and the charm of the Big Easy state is hard to ignore.

One of the great things about the state is that Steve Smyers, one of the most sought after names in golf course design, has graced Tamahka Trails with his competent flair for challenging courses that still prove playable. He may have made his name in high-dollar projects, but this designer obviously gives his very best in every course he designs. Maybe it has something to do with that he’s personally involved every step along the way. Tamahka Trails offers a little extra, though. The Paragon Casino is part of the resort as well, and this is amongst the courses on Louisiana’s Audubon Trail. The 7019 yard course is amuck with deep bunkers and sand traps; there are plenty of hazards, and gratefully few of them are water. Wind is also part of the course’s natural hazard set. Put all the pieces together and you’ll soon realize that Smyers was truly masterful in designing this stimulating course in his typical minimalist flair, by working with the features of the terrain that were there when he arrived. It’s easy to see he enjoyed the subtle nuances of the landscape, and now we can do so as well. With 350 rooms, and all the restaurants and amenities that typically go along with a resort casino, this course could be a destination all by itself.

Carter Plantation isn’t the only Plantation in Louisiana. Gray Plantation in Lake Charles also gains deserved recognition. A very pleasantly scenic course, Gray will challenge you to use your mind as you play the 75th best course in the nation. Having beaten out PGA tour locations, including Arnold Palmer’s own Bay Hill, this course became a bit of a Field Of Dreams in its own right. Lake Charles is hardly a mainstream destination; the area certain has gained a lot of attention since it opened. Now there’s another world-class course to play there as well. The L'auberge du Lac Hotel & Casino now offers up a Tom Fazio design which provides a second play or another choice for a weekend getaway. Only guests of the hotel can play there, which may just be a worthy motivation to stay there. If you’d rather not, there are still stand-alone hotels with rooms available.