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Golf Course Review: LaTour Golf Club

It had been a few months since I last visited LaTour Golf Club and even longer since the last Golf Nola review. One of my favorite courses within an hour's drive of downtown New Orleans, LaTour is a fun, yet challenging golf course, designed by Louisiana Native and former LSU Tiger, David Toms.


The golf course normally plays very firm and fast but just like at Carter Plantation last week, the maintenance staff is taking precautions to not stress out or burn out the grass. As a result, the tees, and fairways were a tad on the longer side and the greens were playing a little slower. Still, the greens rolled smoothly and the golf course was very playable. The rough however was thick in many spots making missing the fairway a challenge in club selection. LaTour also has some of the coolest tee markers of any golf course (pictured below).



The bunkers were the only bad thing about the golf course. Almost every one of them I would consider ground under repair. You can see in the video below that many are just filled in with grass and not really a bunker anymore. I also mention in the video if that is the plan how it can change the slop rating and affect your handicap. However, after I played and did the video, I learned this is an ongoing project that has hit some delays. In the coming weeks, additional sand will be added to many of the bunkers and they will be working on the appearance as well.



LaTour has one of the better practice facilities also. A full driving range, a large practice putting green, a small putting and chipping green, as well as a short game green with a bunker giving golfers everything they need. It is also perfectly situated between the first and tenth tees making it an ideal location whether you start your round on one or ten.


The staff is extremely nice. They are very welcoming to all guests and make you feel like a member. Unfortunately, there was no beverage cart for the day but I was made aware of this immediately to grab some extra beverages for the cooler on the cart.



The main downsides are the rate and lack of amenities. The rate was $85 plus a $12.50 cart fee. The golf course could be worth that based on conditions, layout, and design, but there are some things missing. For one there is no dining area to get a bite to eat. No a big deal for the most part but when you have a 45min plus drive sometimes you want to eat before you head back or eat before an afternoon round. With no dining, that also means no clubhouse restrooms. They do have some decent restrooms by the cart barn but it is not like being able to wash your face and then sit down inside an air-conditioned building. Instead, you walk right back outside. This leads me to the on-course facilities, there basically are none. Yes, there are port-o-let's out on the golf course and that is better than nothing, but when it's near 100 degrees outside a port-o-let is like an oven. Lastly, even though they have a bag drop area it is not attended, nor is there anyone to come get your bag out of your car when you park. These are all things many other golf courses have that charge $50-$60 to play. When you pay $100 to play golf there are some things you expect to justify that rate.



As I mention in the video, I will always use TPC Louisiana as the benchmark. They are the course that should cost the most because they host a PGA Tour event. When their rate is only $5 more the same day and they have all the amenities I mentioned above it makes it really hard to understand how some golf courses can ask such a rate and not have the necessities that justify that rate. If LaTour had a full clubhouse, dining, bag attendant, and actual restroom on the golf course along with the consistently good conditions they normally have then yes it is a $100 golf course every day of the week. Had the rate been $85 including the cart I may have been ok with that.


Tee Boxes: 4 out of 5

Although the tee boxes were a little longer than normal they were not so long you could tee up and iron on a par-3 hole without issues. Really you could have placed a ball and not needed a tee. However, they were just long enough that the ball would sit down in the grass just a bit that you had to consider some grass between the clubface and ball when making contact. Only a few of the tee boxes on par-4 holes were long enough that teeing up a driver would be just above the grass.



Fairways: 4 out of 5

The fairways were similar to the tee boxes. The ball still sat up on the grass for the most part but not everywhere. You may notice a shot or two I have in the video from a fairway lie that the ball is not sitting up on top of the grass fully. This also reduced the roll on the fairways leaving longer shots into the greens. You still got firm bounces in the fairways which did help but once the ball stopped bouncing it pretty much stopped. Even though the fairways were a bit longer they were still much shorter than the rough which was thick, but it left for good definition of the fairways.


Greens: 4.5 out of 5

The greens were very good, just on the slow side. To me, this is a sign of a good superintendent. It always amazes me how you can let the grass grow longer and still have it smooth. Putts would stay online and roll end over end, you just had to give them a little extra in your putt. It is one of the reasons I had two 3-putts early in the round. Even with how smooth the greens were the extra length of the grass made the grain play a bigger part in how the putts broke. A downhill putt with the grain going to the left would be slightly faster and break more than it looks. Same with an uphill into the grain putt. You had to play a 5 feet putt almost 2 feet long to get it there.



In conclusion, LaTour Golf Club is worth playing. The golf course and conditions make it worth the drive down there. For now, just play most of the bunkers as ground under repair. As for the rate that would be up to each golfer as to what they are willing to pay and what it is worth to them. Will I pay that rate again? Probably, because I like the golf course. Will I go play there often? No. Check out the video below and make your own conclusions.



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