The Bridges Golf Club at Hollywood Casino is just a 1 1/2 hour drive from New Orleans in Bay St. Louis, MS. It had been a while since I had made the trip over and played the golf course. Yesterday seemed like a great day to do so.
The Bridges Golf Club is an Arnold Plamer design that people either love or hate. It is not a long golf course but it can be very challenging. Narrow fairways between woods or hazards on almost every hole make accuracy off the tee important. The greens are relatively small but not tiny. The greens that are the largest are long or narrow leaving some pin locations very tough. The golf course winds through some marsh and surprisingly has some elevation changes. Nothing more than a few feet but not something you'd expect right along the Jordan River.
As you drive in you are welcomed by a long, tree-lined, road that leads to both the casino and the golf course. It is a very inviting feel and well landscaped. The clubhouse is nice with a circular driveway, perfect for dropping off your clubs before you park. There is a full pro shop and a full bar and grill. The bar is table height with the bartender area lowered so you can see out the windows overlooking the first fairway. There is also outdoor seating overlooking the 18th green.
The Bridges also has very good practice facilities. A full driving range and a large circle practice green for chipping and putting. There used to be a large bunker in the middle of the green but they have filled it in. It leaves a great spot to work on chip and pitch shots with 360° of shot selection. The practice green and the driving range were a good indication we were in store for great conditions all day.
Tee Boxes -
The tee boxes were well-manicured. Most of them were level allowing you an easy time finding a good spot. The tee markers for the most part were lined up pointing you toward the fairway or the greens on par 3 holes. With the exception of one par 3 every tee box was as good as the fairways. You practically did not need to use a tee on these holes. Even the one par 3 tee that wasn't ideal at least had good grass between the markers.
The fairways were the best I have seen in a while other than TPC Louisiana right after the Zurich Classic. They were tight, allowing the ball to be perched up on the grass. Even though they were dry for the first half of the round they were not that firm. Probably from some of the recent rain days before. However, they were not soft by any means. The grass is so full the ball never picked up any mud or dirt. Even after the little bit of rain we experienced the fairways still rolled out some.
The greens were fast. Not super fast but they had a really good pace to them. All but one green looked amazing. One had some vandalism done to it. The superintendent and his team did a great job repairing the damage too. Although you could see it it did not affect play or how the ball rolled. The greens were firm but would still hold shots or allow them to spin backward. If you hit a shot that came in low it would take a big hope first but if you came in with a high shot it would take a small bounce forward before stopping or spinning.
The bunkers looked good and played well. There was not a bunch of sand in them but plenty to play a proper blast shot. The sand on the entire golf course is a mid-grade sand. It is neither firm nor soft. It is soft enough to hit a few inches behind the ball and let the club dig under but if you hit too close to the ball your wedge may not dig deep enough fast enough to get under the golf ball.
The golf course is well-marked everywhere. Every sprinkler head has yardage to the center of the green, even by the tee boxes. There are also the usual 100, 150, and 200-yard plate markers in the center of each fairway. The pin locations are on the scorecards that have mini images of each green with the green depth on it. Each green has a simple 3 locations that basically equates to a front, back, and middle location rotation.
The staff is also one of the friendliest you will meet at any golf course. Courteous, professional, and helpful.
Our only minor complaint about the entire day is that the golf carts do not have club covers for when it rains. When it started raining, by the time we got our umbrellas out and rain gear on the bags, the rain had already got everything wet. This made the grips on every club slippery and hard to dry for a few holes. If there was a rain cover we could have pulled that down much faster and avoided things getting wet. It's a minor issue and something that would not have come up had we not got rain for a few holes. Even with that, we had a wonderful day and highly recommend a visit to The Bridges Golf Club.