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

Yesterday was a good day to get out and play golf so I decided it was time to do a review and video (end of post) at Bayou Oaks South Course. It had been a long time since I had played the South course or reviewed it so it was definitely past time.

One of the main reasons I haven't been to Bayou Oaks in a while was I never really felt welcomed when checking in. Many of the staff I knew that treated you great had left and since then I always had a feeling the staff hated their job and were never happy to see anyone. This time was different. I was actually greeted walking in the door and the guy that checked me in was friendly enough. Definitly an improvement but not the feeling you get at many other area courses where they great you like a friend that hasn't seen you in a while.

Another positive I noticed today is there was a code for range balls on my receipt. Range balls used to cost extra. However, it isn't much to jump for joy at. With the range being all mats I will never use it. One I have injured my wrist before and hitting balls on mats can potentially damage your clubs. Not a risk I am willing to take for my health and my new Mizuno 221 irons. That doesn't bother me as I can just use my GolfFOREVER training aid to warm up and stretch.

What does bother me is when you get to the putting green and find out the course is still recovering from aerification. I figured maybe they did the practice green last but the course has recovered already. This was not the case as I found out on the first hole. Not a single person in the pro shop or the starter mentioned the conditions of the golf course. Even Golf Now, how I booked my round, had no idea. They normally have a notification warning golfers of teh conditions. That is no fault of Golf Now either. That means the golf course did not notify them or did not put that into the booking system.

I normally am fine playing under aerified conditions as long as I am aware of it prior to starting my round. In some cases I'm ok with when I don't know until the first hole. However you usually have an idea based on teh daily rate. That was not the case for this round. I found a Golf Now time for $76 but the remainder of the times for the day the rate was $90 for local golfers and I think $140 for out of state golfers. That is high for an aerified golf course with sandy greens. That is actually high on any day for Bayou Oaks South course. More on that later.

Aerification was not the only disappointment. I did not notice until my approach shot on the first hole but let's face it, who check the sand bottles before starting. When I went to fill my divot on I noticed there was only one bottle on the cart. I grabbed it only to realize there was no sand in the bottle either. Unfortuanltely I would be without sand until the 6th tee where there were more sand bottles. However when I got to that point ever bottle, about 12, was empty. Now I had to wait until the 10th tee to get a full bottle. Not there either. All of those bottles were also empty. Due to this I was unable to fill in any divots all day. Which I know does not help the golf course.

From tee to green the golf course was pretty decent. You can see the aerification process healing and due to the lack of rain the grass was a bit thin but it was very playable. All in all, however, the fairway lies were actually pretty good for the most part. There were only a few spots where the ball was in a depression or aerification hole. The tee boxes were more of a challenge than the fairways. Because of the aerifcation holes there were some minor depressions in the ground. Not a real problem just an annoyance. You may stick a tee in the ground and it sort of just falls into a hole. You just move to a new spot and you're good to go.

The greens were the main disappointment and biggest challenge. The challenge of speed and break were one thing. On chips shots though, you may get one ball that stops almost immediately then the next may roll out several feet. Some greens rolled better than others but for the most part they were all consistently bumpy and slow. I have definitely played on worse but from a mental perspective it took a few holes to forget about trying to make a putt and just make a good stroke and guess the speed as best as possible.

I was paired up with another single, a very nice guy, and he was just as disappointed. We still managed to have a great time and made the best of the day. He also reminded me why I love this game so much. Something I didn't mention to him yesterday but I should have. Only playing for about a year he told me and has some athletic ability to hit the ball well. What got me was when he hit a solid shot the look of pure enjoyment on his face and the love of the game all shined through. One of the best things about the sport that we can all realte to regardless of our level of golf.

I bring him up in this review for another reason. Something that shocked us both. First let me say Bayou Oaks does actually do one thing good. They have one beverage cart on both the front and back nine holes of the golf course. The girl we came across on teh back nine we unfortunately didn't need anything and waved her off. She smiled waved back and continued on. Waht was the shocking part was the beverage cart on the front nine. We were on the green of hole 5 when we noticed she just passed us by. We even looked at each other asking did either of us wave her off? Nope she just drove past us without even asking if we needed anything. Next we saw her was on hole 9. This time I tried to wave her down to get her to stop. She just kept on driving. I was slightly ahead at this point so I drove back and asked dmy partner and apparently she just passed him up without so much as a notice. Not a smart way to make tips.

The bartender in the grill was super nice and greeted me with a smile and conversation both when I went in before my round and when making the turn. In the morning it was a "good morning how are you?" and in the afternoon it was "how are you playing?". We even had a brief pleasant conversation. Although that was pleasant the cost of a 20oz coke wasn't. $3.84 was the cost. I am ok with charging more at a golf course but why the $0.84? Either make it an even $3.50 or an even $4. Golfers do not want all sorts of change to carry around with them. This is not just bad but really bad for the bartenders that rely on tips. I have been on that side before and many golfers if paying with cash will only leave a $0.16 cent tip when prices are like that.

I am not sure when or why but it is almost like Bayou Oaks is trying to compete or be like TPC Louisiana. Even TPC doesn't charge over $3.50 for a coke. I do not know if this is from a management change, something from City Park itself, or if they have a new management company for daily operations but things are not what they think they are. Bayou Oaks does not host a PGA Tour event to justify the high cost they charge. The golf course is nothing special, it is just long, with wide open fairways, and big greens like most resort courses. Alomst every hole is straight and there is only character on maybe three holes (11, 13, & 16) in total. However, Bayou Oaks is not a resort either. They are a daily public fee golf course that is worth no more than $60 weekdays and $70 weekend rates. Especailly without a grass driving range. The amenities and service have to match to be considered a high-end public course. They do have a bag drop area but I have never, not a single time I have been there, seen anyone attending it.

I will go back in a few months and see if things change but mostly to keep all of y'all up to date. After all the reason for these reviews is so you the golfer can make an informed decision on where to play golf and know what current conditons are like.

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Tony Twillie
Tony Twillie
Jul 08, 2023

I used to play the City Park courses regularly. I've played this layout 3 times in all the years it's been open. Once was for free, as a volunteer at the Zurich and they were doing renovations on the TPC... The other two were brokered rates. I cannot logically justify paying the rates they want to charge for that golf course. I would rather drive to Mississippi and play any number of fantastic courses for less. And the North course if basically unplayable most of the time, so that whole facility gets no money from me, not most of my friends. My club plays the North course occasionally and I skip that round. Bayou Oaks doesn't seem to care if…

Kyle Hrubes
Kyle Hrubes
Jul 11, 2023
Replying to

I agree with you Tony. I definitely caught things on a bad day, but I have recently learned a few things since this review. Apparently they do about 46,000 rounds a year on the South course, so they do get the play. As for the character there is supposed to be long heather grass around the property that would give it more character. It is what the course was designed for with that grass in mind. Think left of 1 & 3, right of 4, & between 5 & 6 having long heater type grass like you'd see in Scotland. That would add some character to it if fixed. However there are still things missing like the bag drop or…

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