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Golf Course Review: Bayou Oaks at City Park - North Course

After setting our schedule of where and when to do Golf Nola's golf course reviews this year I realized I have not done a Golf Nola review of the Bayou Oaks at City Park North Course. I made sure to get that done yesterday (1/4/24).

This was also a different kind of review for the video. I decided to walk the golf course. Something I may not try again when doing an official Golf Nola review. Even though I think the video came out fine, I do not feel I was able to show as much of the golf course as opposed to when I use a golf cart.

Outside of playing in scramble events, I have not played a regular stroke play round at Bayou Oaks North Course in several years. I played the golf course plenty as a junior and have fond memories on the golf course. It is actually the first course I ever shot under par on. Although that was back when it was a par 70 and the routing of the back 9-holes was different. It is still the same front 9-holes and it still brings back good memories.

The North course at one point in time had the lowest green fee in the entire country at a rate of $8 to walk. Times have changed but the rate is still considered low. At only around $22+ tax to walk you can't go out and expect "tour" like conditions. However, the golf course is perfect for beginners, golfers who only play a few times a year, and those who either can't afford or don't want to pay more than $50 to play golf. It is also a short enough golf course to enjoy a round while walking at just under 5800 yards.

As for the conditions, they were not bad based on the rate of the green fee. Actually, the conditions were pretty decent in some aspects. They were not consistent throughout the golf course but at the same time, there was some consistency. Only one green, hole number 9, had more grass on the green than any other. It still had a similar speed like the rest of the golf course but it was greener and had thicker grass on it. Perhaps because it is not as exposed to the colder north winds as much as the rest of the golf course. It also just looked healthier.

Overall Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Tee Boxes: 2 out of 5

Don't let the 2 fool you into thinking the teeboxes were horrible. For the most part, they were decent with good amounts of grass on them for this time of year. Finding a decent area of grass was only difficult on one par 3. The main reason I give the tee boxes a 2 is that none of them are level. Some are worse than others and it is not just between the markers. The most level tee box was on hole number one. Just about every hole you had to consider a draw or a fade based on the ball being above or below your feet.

Fairways: 2.5 out of 5

The fairways had a good amount of grass on them. They had some puddles on a few holes and many of the fairways were soft but the ball was not plugging. You didn't get much roll, if any, due to the recent rain but that was not much of an issue as far as playability. It was only an issue if you tried a bump and run shot. If you landed a ball short of the green on a few holes it would dig into the soft turf and not go much further. The biggest issue I had with the fairways was that I felt I was playing some sort of dodge golf. The fairways have a lot of dips in them that are borderline like potholes. If you play the ball down at all times like I do you could find yourself in the center of the fairway and your ball in a 4-inch depression. You can probably tell in the video the humps and bumps I was walking on trying to hold the camera steady. The grass was cut to a good height, even the crabgrass, and if you missed a depression you would have a decent lie.

Greens: 2.5 out of 5

The speed of the greens was very good. The dormant grass gave them a speed that was quick but not overly quick. They were bumpy but had a good speed. There was a good amount of spike marks and unfixed pitch marks that could add to the bumpiness but sometimes if you caught those you could get a smooth roll. I found even when I fixed everything in my line the greens were just not smooth. Just like the fairways with depressions, it seemed many of the greens also had areas like that. On a much smaller scale but enough to make a difference when putting. Perhaps all the greens need is a day for maintenance to get out there and roll them and smooth them out. Putting was difficult when trying to judge a quick putt that may slow due to imperfections and not being smooth. However, I have played on worse greens and paid a higher green fee before.

The bunkers were inconsistent. I played out of three total for the round and had three different experiences. One was near perfect, one was like playing out of clay and another was like hitting off of concrete. I know the recent rain could be a reason for the inconsistency. Maybe one didn't dry as fast, or maybe maintenance didn't get to prep them that morning, Plus a few did not have rake around them.

I look forward to going back in the spring when the grass is fully grown back in and seeing what the conditions are like. Also, it is rumored that Bayou Oaks will be putting lights up on the North Course for night golf this year. Perhaps they will make some improvements to the course as well. Like leveling the tee boxes or getting the bunkers consistent.

Again, for the rate it was worth it. The Bayou Oaks at City Park -North Course is great for introducing new golfers to the game. The North course can also be a good place for scratch golfers to challenge their game with the smaller greens and a few tight tree-lined holes, it requires some accuracy.

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