Although many practice areas are limited to only using those facilities prior to playing a round of golf, the New Orleans area has a few that will allow anyone to practice. Although all have a fee to hit range balls some will let you go practice putting for free.
Here are what we consider to be the Best Places To Practice Golf In The New Orleans Area.
Lakewood Golf Club - Even though their practice areas are designed specifically for the short game there are times that they allow full clubs to be hit on their range. What makes them #1 on our list is the short game area they have. With an area called the Scoring V designed by course architect Ron Garl, you can hit shots up to 110 yards with flags at different distances in a V shape. In addition to this, there are two greens in an area designed for various shots from up to about 40 yards from different angles. You can hit various types of short game shots in this area as well as practice your bunker game. There are two chipping greens, one with a bunker that you can also putt on. To finish out this practice area is a huge putting only green where you can practice all types of putts including lag putts of 50+ feet. There is a fee to use Lakewood's practice facilities.
Bayou Oaks at City Park - Bayou Oaks at City Park has one of the only open to the public at all times Driving Ranges. Ther is one in St Rose, but we heard it closed and is now a paintball place. The one downside at Bayou Oaks is most of the hitting areas are off of mats. There are some grass areas, but the last time we were there they were the grass was basically just dirt. However, if you just want a place to go hit balls, work on a few things and keep that muscle memory you can do that here. The range is double-decker so there is always a spot open. Across the street from the driving range is Bayou Oaks' newer South Course and it has two practice putting greens and one chipping and putting green. Most days they will allow you to use any of these free of charge. Just check with the golf shop that it is ok the day you go.
Oak Harbor Golf Club - Although Oak Harbor is in Slidell it rounds out our top places as it is also a golf course that will allow you to just go there and practice. They charge a fee for use of their full driving range but may let locals use their putting only green for no charge. We are not 100% sure of that but you can always call and ask if they do. Oak Harbor does have one of the biggest driving ranges in the area accompanied by a small chipping green and another green with bunker. To be honest, though last time we were there the practice green with the bunker looked like it was out of commission so to speak, or could be in the process of renovation. Either way there is enough at Oak Harbor to get good practice in all areas of the game on real grass. Oak Harbor was our latest review and we have a picture overlooking the practice area from the clubhouse.
There are many other great practice facilities in the area, such as the one at TPC of Louisiana (pictured below) or the one at Carter Plantation, but it is our knowledge that you either have to be a member of it has to be the day you are playing a round of golf to have access to them. Sadly however many of the public courses in the New Orleans area are lacking in practice facilities. All pretty much at least have a putting green and small area to warm up before a round, but not all have what we would consider a good practice area. When we say a good practice area we mean where you can practice all aspects of the game. When we say all aspects we mean places where a putting and chipping green aren't combined into one, like at Riverlands Country Club. This is great for pre-round warm-ups and we are by no means saying do not practice at a place like Riverlands, just that when we say best places we mean places that have designated areas for putting, chipping, and full swing.