It had been a few years since I had a chance to play golf at The Island Golf Course. One of the original members of the Audubon Golf Trail, The Island closed for a while. The course was always a good design and layout. Now that the course has been reopened for a while it was time to get back out there and check it out.
The Island is located in Plaquemine about 20 minutes across the Mississippi River from Baton Rouge, just off of HWY LA-1. The drive is about 1hr from Lafayette and 1hr and 40min from the New Orleans area. As you get closer to the golf course you are treated to a close-up look at Louisiana sugar cane fields the golf course sits across the street from.
There is a beautiful clubhouse welcoming you as you pull in. The Island has full amenities including tennis and a pool. However there was no beverage cart on the golf course and we heard the grill closes early after lunch. Just make sure you grab enough drinks before you tee off. The golf shop staff are some of the nicest you will come across in all of Louisiana as well. They really care about The Island and want to provide a great experience for locals and tourists.
There are really good practice facilities at The Island. A full driving range, chipping green with bunker, and putting green are sitting just behind the clubhouse. One of the best things they have on the driving range, and something that many golf courses do not have, is a practice fairway bunker. These practice facilities make for a great place to fine-tune your game before your play.
The overall design of the golf course is well done. There is a good mix of short and long holes, wide and narrow fairways, and plenty of risk-reward opportunities. One of my favorite things about the design is the smaller undulating greens. It put an emphasis on your short game if you miss the green. However, even if you do hit the green you may have a difficult time putting. You could end up with a 20ft pretty straight putt or a 5ft putt that breaks a good 2ft. The pace of green was great yesterday. They were rolling true and quick and made any downhill putt a testy one.
There are plenty of hazards on the golf course. There are bunkers on all but two holes with plenty of water hazards on 13 of the holes. You really have to know where to miss when playing at The Island. Shot selection off the tees is just as important as shot selection into a green. If you don't pick the right club off the tee and you manage to miss all the bunkers and water hazards there are still plenty of trees to contend with.
The golf course overall was in very good condition. The only minor thing on the back tee boxes was that many of them were not level. Some areas you could get the ball above your feet while your right foot is higher than your left foot. Most of the tee boxes you could find a decent enough spot to tee off from but a tee box is supposed to be the closest thing to a perfect flat lie you will get on a golf course. Given that they are still doing some improvements I would expect that this is on their to-do list.