Updated: Mar 19, 2021
I went out and played Grand Ridge Golf Club for a Review on Thursday, March 18th, 2021. After the rain the day before it was cart path only, however, that was to be expected. Many would ask why a course review would be done under those conditions? The answer is simple, to not always catch a golf course when everything is perfect. Just like this time of year while many golf courses are transitioning from winter overseeding.
Grand Ridge was chosen this week as I have been hearing good things about how they are upgrading and making improvements. The most noticeable improvement right away is a new parking lot being put in. It really looks nice. Additionally, since the last time I was there the pro shop has moved to the main clubhouse featuring more space and the restaurant area has been improved which includes an outdoor seating area. The staff was super friendly in explaining everything they have done and what is planned.
The practice putting green also appeared to have been redone and enlarged but I did not get a confirmation on that. It may just not be how I remember. More upgrades and changes are coming or taking place. Like a new lake being added between 16 tee box and 17 green (in review video at bottom).
As I started the round I was not expecting much due to cart path only but as I proceeded I was please with how little standing water was actually in play on the fairways. Yes, there were plenty of holes that had casual water but for the most part, if you kept the ball in the fairway it was not much of an issue. That said there were very few holes where I actually had mud on my ball as well. The only spots I ran into trouble with water were the drainage ditches that cross the fairways. I did not know they were there so a few times I hit the ball into them. This is actually something I know they are working to improve by getting stakes to mark all water hazards, drainage ditches, and out of bounds. Those stakes will most likely be there within the next few weeks.
Grand Ridge is an older golf course, established in 1968. That means it is a short course compared to today's standards but don't let the length of 6,436 yards fool you. The golf course can very challenging. Every hole is tree-lined and the greens are relatively small. This puts an emphasis on accuracy. Many trees were strategically placed so even somewhat straight holes play like doglegs. There are even trees in play on some of the par 3's that could potentially make you work the ball around them depending on pin placement. The tee shots are all about placement and avoiding trouble. So much so I only hit my driver twice the entire day.
Being on this property gives you a true sense of playing golf in southern Louisiana. To me more so than any other golf course in the area. You are surrounded by Cypress trees and Oak trees everywhere and if it wasn't for the homes along most of the golf course you would feel you are secluded in a swamp. Even the 150 stakes are Cypress Knees (roots) and that is unique.
As for the overall conditions of the course I was very pleased. The fairways were in really good shape considering the spell of cold weather we've had this winter. I was expecting there to be more "dead" grass or bare spots. There really were not many at all and the areas that were bare were mostly at the base of trees where the grass is difficult to grow any time of the year. Even the grass around the greens was about a 1/2 inch thick. The only downside of the areas around the greens was the grass was not a consistent height with some areas looking like they are recovering from a disease. That did not take away from the playability, just the aesthetics.
The greens were in good shape. They actually looked worse than they are. Some areas had some discoloration and looked as they may not roll good but with the exception of being somewhat slow, they had a near-perfect roll. The greens were also at a consistent speed and roll from hole to hole. There were some greens experiencing patches of grab grass growing in and if you were in those areas the putt may be a bit bumpy. The staff seems to be aware of this and not a single pin placement was near those areas. Again this looks worse than the actual playability.
All in all the course was worth the $40 green fee. The layout alone is one of the best and most fun in the area. I'm looking forward to the improvements to come and a chance for another review in a few months. Check out our Grand Ridge Page for more information or how to contact the course.