The 18-hole layout at Contraband bayou Golf Club is the main sporting amenity at the L’Auberge Casino Resort in Lake Charles, where those who like to golf and gamble can indulge in both pursuits at the one location.
Tom Fazio designed a fairly forgiving layout with wide fairways, not much by the way of forced carries, and just a moderate number of bunkers – in short, this is resort golf as it’s meant to be played, with fun the main objective.
Holes are laid out along the waterways that link Lake Charles and Prien Lake, immediately next door to The Country Club at Golden Nugget course which opened in 2015, creating a very attractive 36-hole proposition on adjacent properties.
course was only available to guests of L’Auberge when the
casino-resort debuted in 2005 but it’s now open to the public. A
renovation in 2010 resulted in the upgrading of all the sand hazards
and the replacement of TifDwarf grass with Champion Bermuda on the
Contraband Bayou is allegedly the only public access Fazio course in Louisiana. It is very flat and I would categorize it as a typical resort course.
The first hole is a welcoming, albeit long, par 5. Fairway bunkers on both sides to avoid and two greenside left. The 2nd is a very straight long par 4. Right is NG some trouble left, fairway bunker and greenside bunker front left. The 3rd is the longest par 4 and the number 2 handicap hole. It leans left, so a draw off the tee is preferred. The trouble is left of the green, couple of bunkers and if you hit a really crazy hook, water. The next three holes are birdie oppties. The 4th is a gimme par 3. The fifth is the easiest hole on the course and the shortest par four on the front. A decent drive will leave you with a wedge, yes there are several bunkers, but this should be green light. The 6th is another pretty straight hole. There is a water hazard down most of the left side, so favor the right off the tee. The 7th is a bit tougher, a fairway bunker right, a couple of more left along with a water hazard. The 8th is a good par 3. Carry over water with a bunker protecting the front of the green and one right. Left is a wet death. The 9th is a reachable par five. The tee shot is over water with the water hazard extending on the right side most of the way to the green. There are a couple of fairway bunkers right and one left, ideal drive is between. The green is protected with bunker front left and one right.
The back opens with a good birdie oppty. Slight dogleg left, decent drive will leave a short iron in, the fairway bunkers do not really come into play. The 11th is mi to long par 3 with a bunker greenside left. The 12th is a tough hole. Long dogleg right, be left of the right fairway bunkers. The 13th is a finesse par 3. Slight water carry and left, two tiered, long narrow green with two pot bunkers right. The 14th is a fun hole. Of course, any hole that is driveable tends to be fun. The only thing keeping you honest is a water hazard that starts at about 100 yards out on the right side. There is also a bunker front right. The 15th is a par five that tilts left and has trees running down that side. Off the tee the line is just inside the right fairway bunker. There are two fairway bunkers on the right about 100 yards out. From there you can attack the pin. The last three holes are challenging. The 16th is a long par 4 and the number one handicap hole. Fairway bunker right, but don’t try to lean on it and overcook it into the street left. The 17th is also a long par four, listing slightly left. Fairway bunkers right and a water hazard all the way down the left side. The 18th is another long par four. Favor the right off the tee as there is a long fairway bunker left and water hazard.
About what you would expect at a resort course. Expensive and relatively boring, albeit, perhaps cheaper than losing money in the casino.
Contraband Bayou Golf Club is located adjacent to the opulent L’Auberge du lac Casino Resort. Famed architect Tom Fazio was hired to design a resort style, links-feeling layout that he stretched out to over 7,077 yards. Given a relatively flat lowland marsh property to work with, he reportedly moved 400,000 cubic yards of earth to build a course that now encompasses eight lakes. GolfWeek Magazine has recommended it as one of the ‘Best Places to Play in Louisiana’ and in 2017 Golf Digest ranked it as the #9 ‘Best Golf Course in Louisiana’. I found it tame in comparison to most Fazio layouts but he has strategically placed the bunkers and water for maximum intimidation off the tee and on your approach shots.
18 holes with a GPS equipped cart ranges from $49 to $99USD depending on the time and day of the week.
To read more about golf in Louisiana visit Dave Finn's website at: