The municipal golf course at Audubon Park sits on the site of the 1884 World’s Fair in New Orleans and it opened for play fourteen years after the fair took place. Just over a hundred years later, the course closed for a $6 million renovation, reopening in November 2002.
There are only eighty-one acres to play with on this inner city site so architect Denis Griffiths decided to lay out a 4,220-yard par 62 track, featuring a dozen par threes (in four batches of back-to-back short holes) and a par five to round off both nines.
Tom Doak was mightily impressed with the course when he saw it; so much so it’s featured as one of eighteen “Gourmet Choice” courses in Volume 2 of his Confidential Guide book, published in 2015.
Tom wrote: “I was stunned to turn into Audubon Park to find a beautifully-maintained golf course teeming with community life, not only on the fairways but all around the edges of the course… whatever your score, you’re likely to leave Audubon Park with a better feel for the landscape and people of New Orleans, and a smile on your face.”
This is my home course, so I'm extremely familiar with it, but I can still say with certainty that this is, by far, the best municipal course in the New Orleans area. Some will complain that it's too short, but if you want to work on your short game while enjoying a gorgeous setting, this is the place. What's more, it's short length means you can play eighteen in less than 2.5 hours.
Fun, short track to really work on your game. In the heart of NOLA, sandwiched between the famed Audubon Zoo and Tulane University, lays the executive course where I became a good golfer. This course is pure enjoyment, but lacks holes that are independently spectacular. Greens typically roll true, and all the par 4s and 5s are big time scoring opportunities. An enjoyable round if you find yourself in the area, with excellent pace of play during the week!
When I think of Louisiana, the first place that springs to mind is New Orleans. I think of Bourbon Street, balconies, and beads. I can taste the gumbo and beignets served with chicory coffee. I can hear the jazz notes floating in the air, and the beat of feet tapping away to a Zydeco tune, but when it comes to golf, there is one course that is located right in the historic district.
The Golf Course at Audubon Park is only minutes from downtown New Orleans and the only golf course in America accessible by streetcar. This executive 18-hole layout opened in 1898 and has been ranked by Golfweek in the Top 50 Municipal Courses. The layout meanders through 81 acres of centuries-old oak trees with five lakes surrounded by a bustling pedestrian-friendly park. The course is in excellent shape, with plenty of bunkering and a true test for your short game.
To read more about golf in Louisiana visit Dave Finn's website