Golf Travel Guide To Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana
An Interview With Megan Hartman, Senior Marketing Manager
By Brian Weis
Looking to plan the perfect golf trip to Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana ? Planning a buddies trip or a romantic golf getaway can be a full time job not to mention pressure filled to deliver a memorable experience. Below is an interview with Megan Hartman, Senior Marketing Manager who shares some insider information about golfing and traveling to Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana , must play courses, a sample itinerary and where you can go for more planning tools.
Give our readers an overview of your destination and why they should consider it for their next golf trip?
Spot an alligator, hear the Cajun rhythm, catch a glimpse of Mardi Gras and taste spicy cuisine in Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana. The area offers casino gaming, relaxing spas, Cajun cuisine, headline music and entertainment, 75 annual festivals, pristine golf greens and outdoor adventure along the Creole Nature Trail All-American Road.
Consider Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana for your next trip because of the area's semitropical climate and lush scenery that provides a beautiful backdrop for year round golfing. Located on I-10 between Houston and New Orleans, Lake Charles is an easy getaway where you'll be able to let loose and pass a good time.
What are the must play courses in Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana ?
National Golf Club of Louisiana at Westlake
1400 National Drive
Westlake, LA 70663
Year Opened: 2009
18 hole rates with cart: $29-$55
The 18-hole, par-72 course is set in a mature growth pine forest, featuring an abundance of water hazards, preserved wetlands, and roughly 90 bunkers. This is the newest addition to Southwest Louisiana's golf offerings and is sure to become one of the region's favorites. The National is a well-maintained layout, boasting generous landing areas along rolling terrain and over-sized greens.
6150 Graywood Parkway
Lake Charles, LA 70605
337-562-1663 Year Opened: 1999
18 hole rates with cart: $45-$59
Gray Plantation is a beautifully landscaped, semi-private golf course that can challenge the scratch golfer and entertain the weekend duffer. It is also part of the prestigious Audubon Golf Trail. In 2013, AAA Southern Traveler named the Audubon Golf Trail the "Best in the South." In 2005, Golf Digest named Gray Plantation 75th out of 100 of America's greatest public courses. 60 acres of lakes coming into play on 12 holes of veteran course architect Rocky Roquemore's Calcasieu River course, which includes 94 bunkers and towering pines at most every turn. Particularly impressive are the club's four dynamic par 3s, two of which feature island greens. The Clubhouse is a raised plantation house surrounded by scenic marshland. The Academy has a Pro Launch monitor and a V1 video swing analysis program. Gray Plantation has club and putter bending machines and can provide total club repair onsite.
Contraband Bayou Golf Club at L'Auberge Casino Resort
777 Avenue L'Auberge
Lake Charles, LA 70601
Year Opened: 2005
18 hole rates with cart: $69-$109
Designed by world-renowned golf architect Tom Fazio, the course is noted for its emphasis on the marsh and lowland features of Louisiana's natural environment. The unique 7,077-yard, par-71 championship golf course is the only public Fazio course in Louisiana, and features a combination of aquatic and natural vegetation winding around eight spectacular lakes. Golfweek magazine named it one of the "Best Places to Play in Louisiana" in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 and "Best Casino Courses of 2010, 2011 and 2012." The readers of Southern Gaming Magazine named it "Best Course in 2013 for the mid-south region." L'Auberge Lake Charles revamped the greens in 2010, replacing them with Champion Ultradwarf Bermuda grass, a much heartier turf and a better putting surface. In early 2013, concrete cart paths were installed. An interactive touchscreen GPS is available in every cart.
What is the hidden gem and/or best value course?
Lake Charles, LA 70601
Year Opened: 1976
18 hole rates with cart: $31-$36.50
Mallard Cove is Lake Charles' home course and features 25 large bunkers with water hazards on 12 of the 18 holes. The championship layout is a favorite of visitors and they enjoy the easy rates. It's a must play course if you're in Lake Charles, and the price is excellent! Being located adjacent to an airbase can provide another challenge: wind. The otherwise straightforward layout offers numerous holes with unique risk/reward options. In particular, the Par five 18th hole is a big dogleg right with a generous fairway to the left and a large pond and slight strip of land straight ahead. Mallard Cove is host to all the Lake Charles City Championships and also boats the oldest and largest golf tournament in the area, which brings in over 200 golfers for two days at the end of July.
Can you provide our readers with an ideal itinerary for a long weekend?
Friday afternoon: Arrive at L'Auberge Casino Resort and enjoy margaritas pool-side on the resort's lazy river. You may want to grab a casual dinner at Steamboat Bill's on the Lake, voted one of the top 10 places on I-10 by USA Today. Try your luck at some late night gaming at L'Auberge Casino Resort.
Saturday: Call a charter boat captain to take you on an early morning inland saltwater fishing trip to try and catch a Cajun Grand Slam! Grab a Darrell's Special poboy at Darrell's for lunch. That afternoon, play at the National Golf Club of Louisiana at Westlake. Get your fill on fresh fish and seafood in a laid-back atmosphere at Seafood Palace, a favorite local Cajun restaurant. Check out Jack After Dark at L'Auberge for your late night entertainment.
Sunday: Play the championship 18 hole Mallard Cove with rich greens and a great value that consistently beats customer expectations. Then head to Gray Plantation on the Louisiana Audubon Golf Trail for an additional round and enjoy the scenic marshland along the Calcasieu River. That evening, enjoy a juicy steak dinner at Ember Grille and Wine Bar at L'Auberge Casino Resort.
Monday: Get an early tee time at Contraband Bayou at L'Auberge Casino Resort and end the perfect golf getaway with a massage at Spa du Lac. You will say farewell but you'll be back again....
After golf, what are the "must do" things or attractions to see?
Creole Nature Trail All-American Road The Creole Nature Trail All-American Road is 180 miles of flora, fauna, and alligators! Tour the trail and visit four national wildlife refuges for fun and interactive educational experiences on the ecosystem, history and nature. Not to mention, everyone will be able to enjoy the Gulf beaches, where the Gulf of Mexico meets the Louisiana coastline. Download our free Smartphone app by searching "Creole" or check out free GPS Ranger rental units in multiple languages to explore the Trail. It's like having a tour guide in your car! The GPS Rangers can be rented from the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau seven days a week, 1205 N. Lakeshore Dr., Lake Charles, LA.
Bayou Rum, in Southwest Louisiana, uses fresh, Louisiana ingredients following their authentic "sugar house" recipe using raw unrefined cane sugar and molasses from M.A. Patout & Sons Enterprise Factory in Patoutville, LA harvested from Louisiana sugarcane fields. Bayou Rum is handcrafted on-site the Louisiana way; in a traditional copper pot using 100% natural unrefined Louisiana cane sugar and molasses. Louisiana Spirits is the largest private rum distillery in the USA. The facility offers distillery tours, a rum tasting bar and gift shop. They vow to make a world class rum from Louisiana sugarcane.
Schedule a tour online at http://bayourum.com/schedule-a-tour/.
BETTIN' ON THE BAYOU
Casino gaming draws millions of visitors to Calcasieu Parish, where the resorts are known for their luxurious accommodations, fine dining selections, top-notch entertainment and incredible gaming experiences. Catch live horseracing at Delta Downs Casino & Hotel along with casino action. Melt into island time at the Isle of Capri Casino Hotel, right on Lake Charles. L'Auberge Casino Resort provides a unique addition to the gaming market with golf, spa treatments, retail outlets, a lazy river and more. Coming in the winter of 2014, Golden Nugget will open a brand new casino resort adjacent to L'Auberge in Lake Charles that will feature an 18-hole championship golf course.
What is the best time to travel?
Year round, although for outdoor activities the summer months are pretty hot and humid.
Anything else you would like to share about the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana ?
Experience the cuisine of Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana. From exquisite wine dinners prepared by classically trained French chefs to down home, elbows on the table, Cajun fare, we promise you won't go home hungry. You can also visit a few of the 25+ stops along the Southwest Louisiana Boudin Trail and taste the favorite Cajun finger food of South Louisiana. There's even one location in Sulphur, LA where you can see demonstrations from boudin masters making the pork, rice and seasoning mixture. Additionally, Southwest Louisiana has over 75 annual fairs and festivals including the Cajun Food & Music Festival in July. To find out more on the food scene in Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana, please email me for more information or check out www.visitlakecharles.org.
Where can golfers go for more information to research and plan their trip?
Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana
Revised: 02/12/2014 - Article Viewed 21,632 Times
Written By: Brian Weis
Brian Weis is the Publisher of GolfTrips.com, a network of golf travel and directory sites including GolfWisconsin.com, GolfMichigan.com, ArizonaGolfer.com, GolfAlabama.com, etc. Professionally, Brian is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA), International Network of Golf (ING), Golf Travel Writers of America (GTWA), International Golf Travel Writers Association (IGTWA) and The Society of Hickory Golfers (SoHG). In 2016, Brian won The Shaheen Cup, an award given to a golf travel writer by his peers.
All of his life, Brian has been around the game of golf. As a youngster, Brian competed at all levels in junior and high school golf. Brian had a zero chance for a college golf scholarship, so he worked on the grounds crew at West Bend Country Club to pay for his University of Wisconsin education. In his adult years, his passion for the game collided with his entrepreneurial spirit and in 2004 launched GolfWisconsin.com. In 2007, the idea for a network of local golf directory sites formed and GolfTrips.com was born. Today, the network consists of a site in all 50 states supported by national sites like GolfTrips.com, GolfGuide.com and GolfPackages.com. It is an understatement to say, Brian is passionate about promoting golf and golf travel on a local, regional, national and international level.
On the golf course, Brian is known as a fierce weekend warrior that fluctuates between a 5-9 handicap. With a soft fade, known as "The Weis Slice", and booming 300+ drives, he can blast it out of bounds with the best of them.
Contact Brian Weis:
GolfTrips.com - Publisher and Golf Traveler