La Tour Golf Club (Mathews, LA on 10/29/13)

I needed to play in the morning and La Tour, another David Toms design, made my short list of courses in the New Orleans area with a reasonable morning green fee. The course is about an hour west of New Orleans and is a newer course. The course opened in 2009 and due to the trouble with the housing market the development hasn’t taken off like expected so there are empty home sites in many spots. I was hoping that even with the hour drive to and from the course that I would be able to get back to town quickly. This worked out as expected as I got back in plenty of time for the afternoon insurance classes after a 3.5 hour round. So something nice about La Tour is that because of its remote location the pace of play should be good. I played the Blue tees at 71.2/122/6672 and think I could have put up a low score without the wind because there was a lot of room to miss. I got away with some wayward shots but just never found any game so the constant two club wind ended up affecting my score.

The course plays through the wetlands and reminded me a lot of Ridge Creek in Dinuba, CA because the holes don’t have any trees in play. Because of this and some high fescue grass off the fairways and greens there were some holes that had a links feel to them. It was a peaceful and relaxing course to play without all the homes and because of the birds chirping, butterflies floating past, and other insects making noise. At this point the course seems to do a good job of not disturbing nature. Because of the open land I think the wind is going to be the biggest challenge most of the time but there were other features which added difficulty. The course has fairway bunkers on just about every hole so the tee shots have to be planned to play over or short of the bunkers. Because some holes were doglegs it didn’t make much sense for me to take a club to the corner of the dogleg and try to avoid the bunker. I found that a layup short of and as close to the bunker on the green side of the fairway would give me a similar distance into the hole if I couldn’t carry the trap. The fairway bunkers also created some odd angles off the tee for my eye. While challenging, there were a few too many for my liking. The sand was soft and fluffy which is always something I struggle to play from. The 1st and the 6th holes had water hazards hidden left of the fairway and other holes had actual fairways that were only 15 to 20 yards wide in some spots. So it ended up feeling like an odd course off of the tee. However, off the fairway it open so it still allowed a chance to recover. The course has a good mix of raised greens, chipping areas, and slopes in the fairways without overdoing any one of those design features. There were some holes that were really fun to play. The 3rd is a 495 yard par 5 that was downwind and allowed for me to make an easy birdie after a good tee shot. The 4th is a 162 yard par 3 that plays a bit downhill and required that I control the distance. The 5th is a 471 yard par 4 with a split fairway which is something that I am starting to like more and more. The 14th is a standout hole on the back. It is a 176 yard par 3 that plays to a large green surrounded by water. The pin was tucked on a little sliver of green without much way to get it close. The 17th is a 148 yard par 3 that plays to a tiny green and requires a precision short iron. It is framed nicely by mounding around half of the green.

The course was in great shape especially for the $49 that I payed. The greens were receptive and cut short. They rolled smooth and I could tell right away if a putt was dropping as it wouldn’t roll off its line. There were not any burnt out spots and the course was not over watered so it seems the maintenance crew has found a good balance. The fairways were in great shape as well and because of the conditions I have no problem overlooking some of the extra work needed off the tee. David Toms put together another good course at La Tour and I found it to have a great collection of par 3’s.

#1:

1-1

#1 green:

1-3

#2:

2-1

#2 green:

2-3

#3:

3-1

#4:

4-1

#5:

5-1

#5 approach:

5-2

#6:

6-1

#7:

7-1

#8:

8-1

#9:

9-1

#10:

10-1

#11:

11-1

#11 green looking back:

11-2

#12:

12-1

#13:

13-1

#14:

14-1

#16:

16-1

#17:

17-1

#17 green:

17-2

#18:

18-1

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