The Audubon Trail of Southern Louisiana is a Golf Vacation with all that you’ve ever imagined, and more.
If you have ever traveled away from your home to play golf, you may have at least wondered what late winter and early Spring weather golf is like in the great state of Louisiana. And, while you have pictured yourself in many warm climate places to enjoy the sport, Louisiana was most likely not on your list of the top five places to play. Let me reset the stage: Louisiana golf in the fall, winter, and spring of the year is an outdoor experience not duplicated anywhere else on the globe. And while other areas of the country are “special” in their unique ways, a visit to the Pelican State to play golf at this beautiful time of the year is just short of Paradise. This article is the first two-part series focusing entirely on Louisiana and the delights in and along the picturesque Louisiana Audubon Golf Trail. A piece of heaven-on-earth consisting of 18 top-tier, premier tracks designed by legendary crafters Pete Dye and David Toms to drop a couple of well-known names.
Volumes could be written about all there is to the state of Louisiana and the Audubon Golf Trail. The list is endless, be it golf, fishing, hiking, dining, music, or the local culture. Established in 2010 and named for the great bird naturalist John James Audubon, the Louisiana Audubon Golf Trail. The Trail begins in Northern Louisiana near Monroe; heads south near the Texas-Louisiana border; moves further south near Marksville and Alexandria; advances to the southwest and Lake Charles; goes east along I-10 to Kinder and Lafayette; then meanders south between Baton Rouge and New Orleans and runs along the Bayou. Each of the magnificent golf courses along the Trail offers a unique challenge and memorable experience for golfers of all skill levels, promising players a golfing experience unmatched anywhere in the country. The courses I recently played have all and more for the high, medium, or low- handicapper. My grand time there was to play on six great Trail courses over five days, touring and sampling at several fine breweries and wineries, and delightfully taste some of the best food prepared on either side of the Mississippi River! Magnificent! I will describe the entire experience in greater detail in the next installment.
Every state is the sum of its history, culture, and people. Texas on the west and Mississippi on the east are happenstance as one considers the unique aspects of what constitutes the state of Louisiana. As a true Southerner born in Alabama and who has traveled extensively throughout the South over decades, I admit that my perspective is not unique. Nonetheless, mine is an honest view of Louisiana’s beauty and its special contributions to America.
Here we explore all that this Sportsman’s Paradise offers for both the golfer and non-golfer along the Audubon Golf Trail, beginning with some historical facts leading up to and including how Louisiana became a U.S. state. Here we also explore its natural reserves, cultural diversity, music, museums, agriculture, and food.
Louisiana is a southeastern U.S. state on the northwest side of the Gulf of Mexico. Its history as a melting pot of French, African, American, and French-Canadian cultures is reflected in its Creole and Cajun cultures. New Orleans is known for its colonial-era French Quarter, raucous Mardi Gras festival, jazz music, Renaissance-style St. Louis Cathedral, and wartime exhibits at the National WWII Museum. ? Google
Initially, Louisiana was occupied by indigenous people thousands of years ago. Over time various peoples and their cultures appeared and merged, and social organizations of varying types appeared and disappeared throughout nearly a dozen centuries. The 1500s saw the emergence of European influence in the 1700s, beginning with France—and then 18th-century Spain. In 1803 Thomas Jefferson completed the U.S. ‘s purchase of Louisiana from France, Organized in parts as the Territory of Orleans and (per the Louisiana Purchase) as Louisiana. At that time acquirement of this land more than doubled the entire land circumference of the U.S. Louisiana was admitted to the U.S. as its 18th state on April 30, 1812.
Following the Audubon Trail west and South from New Orleans along LA90 toward Morgan City, LA 14, and onto Lake Charles, one grasps the hand of
history and topical eco splendor—both combined to enhance any anticipated rounds of golfing pleasure. The coastal regions of Louisiana are rich in diverse scenery, plant, and wildlife. Plants native to Louisiana are the Iris, phlox, hibiscus, and its State Flower, the Magnolia. Spicebush, Swamp Azalea (Rhododendron), and other shrubberies such as the Virginia Willow. Louisiana is also said to have the most wetlands area of any U.S. state, which makes for a perfect environment for thriving plants, birds, and animals. Among the thousands of different and fascinating species of birds are the Green and Little Blue Heron; the Reddish Egret; Rails; Warblers; Sparrows; the Mottled Duck; and the Eastern Brown Pelican, known for its large bill. Other wildlife in Louisiana is plentiful as well. It includes wolves, foxes, swamp rabbits, beavers, and opossums, along with exotic animals like black bears, bobcats, poisonous snakes, and alligators. So, they need to be treated with distance and respect. One must always know where and when to walk or search out an errant golf shot. A rule of thumb: if you can’t see your ball from the “short—grass,” take a drop and hit another one.
Agriculture-wise, Sugar cane is the leading farm product in Louisiana. Other important crops are rice, soybeans, cotton, and corn for grain. Sweet potatoes and tomatoes are the most important vegetables, and peaches, strawberries, and melons lead the fruit crops. Louisiana’s most valuable and profitable crop? Soybeans. Louisiana is among the top ten states producing sugar cane, sweet potatoes, rice, cotton, and pecans. As for “specialty” commodities, the state ranks number one in the nation for the production of crawfish, shrimp, alligators, and oysters.
Consider; a casual round of golf takes about six hours of the day; drive to the course from your hotel, sign in, and half an hour to forty-five minutes for putting and driving range practice before the first T-Time. Four- and half-hour rounds, a change of shoes, a couple of cocktails to re-cap the round, and six hours have passed. My point? Wait for it! You still have many waking hours before the next round so allow me to suggest many reasons to visit Louisiana. Each of these are designed to enhance your golf experience, and if you’re there with a few buddies or your wife on a winter break, your trip to Louisiana is one you won’t forget. Trust me.
Our second installment focuses explicitly on six beautiful golf courses and their offerings along the Audubon Golf Trail, the many unique breweries, and distilleries, but of course, the ultimate in taste quality dining.…and very friendly people – anxious to attend to your every vacation need.
But you’ve heard the stories, and who doesn’t have friends in Louisiana who’ve been on you to come on down in the spring when the weather is beautiful, the mornings are spectacular, and the sunsets are breathtaking. The beautiful courses are designed to reward all skill levels and provide a unique golf experience. All await your arrival. And to help with questions and planning, we encourage you to contact the Louisiana Office of Tourism with questions about your visit to Louisiana.
Address: Post Office Box 94291
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70804-9291