Tour New Orleans' Audubon Park Golf Course, one of the great short course jewels in the country



Audubon Park Golf Course is located in the shadow of Loyola University in New Orleans. (Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor)
Audubon Park Golf Course has a charming clubhouse with a restaurant set beneath oaks. (Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor)
A large double green is shared by the 1st and 16th greens. (Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor)
The 9th hole is a par 5 that hugs a pond from tee to green. (Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor)
Despite being a short course, greens are kept in good shape. (Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor)
Towering oak trees can be found throughout this picturesque park near the heart of downtown New Orleans. (Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor)
The view from the 9th fairway at Audubon Park. (Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor)
The par-62 course features two par 5s, four par 4s and the rest are par 3s. (Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor)
The golf course is just small part of the 350-acre park that also includes walking trails, equestrian and a zoo. (Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor)
The 10th hole is a par 4 that plays over water at Audubon Park. (Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor)
It's a serene setting on the patio at Audubon Park Golf Course clubhouse. (Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor)
Audubon Park is filled with large lagoons that are in play on many holes. (Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor)
One of the shorter but more treacherous par 3s at Audubon Park is the 4th hole. (Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor)

NEW ORLEANS -- New Orleans is the kind of vibrant town that makes it tough to leave for too long for 18 holes of golf. Fortunately, short-and-sweet Audubon Park Golf Course is just minutes from the French Quarter and central business district.

Audubon Park is a special place that dates back to the 19th century in New Orleans, and golf has been part of the attractions since 1898. The 350-acre park plan was laid out by the Olmsted Brothers landscape architecture firm (their father, Frederick Law Olmsted, designed New York City's Central Park as well as the Village of Pinehurst) and is named after distinguished artist and naturalist John James Audubon. Among other amenities at this oasis near Tulane University and Loyola University is the Audubon Zoo, general-use park space, a dog park and bicycle and walking trails. In fact, horseback riders can even be spotted riding along the perimeter.

The golf course, which sports an 1898 founding year, is now a sublime 18-hole, 4220-yard par 62 after being totally rebuilt in 2002 by architect Dennis Griffiths. There are three sets of tees, with the forward set playing 3,341 yards. It may be a "short course" but it's well-conditioned and there are a handful of opportunities to hit driver. On each nine, the first and fifth holes are par 4s and the final hole is a par 5 (the rest are par 3s). So you'll certainly have the chance to hit every club in your bag. Better players can walk along with juniors and newcomers and have a great time either walking or riding. There is something really special about this property, dotted with lagoons and mossy oaks, that even top architects have taken notice. Tom Doak included it among his 18 "Gourmet's Choice" courses to check out in the southern U.S. in his Confidential Guide to Golf Courses series.

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There is no driving range here but a wonderful clubhouse that serves lunch both indoors and on a patio overlooking a lawn guarded by towering oaks. It's a picturesque wedding venue in addition to serving golfers. The course is one of 19 on the Audubon Golf Trail, which showcases top courses throughout the state of Louisiana, and is a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. Green fees for non-city residents are dynamic but peak out at about $48 with a cart.

Apr 26, 2017

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Brandon Tucker

Managing Editor

Brandon Tucker is the Managing Editor for Golf Advisor. To date, his golf travels have taken him to over two dozen countries and over 500 golf courses worldwide. While he's played some of the most prestigious courses in the world, Tucker's favorite way to play the game is on a great muni in under three hours. Follow Brandon on Twitter at @BrandonTucker and on Instagram at BrandonTuckerGC.


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