Friday, March 16, 2012

Round #8: Louisiana - Bluffs Country Club

It was almost the same story, different state when I showed up to play golf at the Bluffs in rural Louisiana. I arrived at 9 AM for a 10 AM tee time. Julie was wondering how long the round of golf would take since I had finished so quickly at Old Waverly. She did not  wonder for long as we pulled into an empty parking lot. The pro shop informed me only one other person was on the course, with no additional players scheduled before 12:30 PM. The range was closed so I teed off early for the 2nd day in a row.

Round: #8
Location: St, Francisville, LA
Golf Digest Best-In-State Rank: #1
Date: 14 Mar, tee off at 9:30 AM
Conditions: overcast skies, 2 MPH wind, 69 degrees
Yardage: 6,426
Lost balls: 1
Score: 85 on a par 72

It was hard to believe the Bluffs was the toughest golf course in Louisiana given it’s remote location. That belief quickly disappeared as I began to play.  The difficulty of play was increased by recent rain. A wet course means the ball will not roll forward after landing, and in some cases actually rolls backward from where it lands due to its rotational spin. The lack of roll makes a course play longer than normal, which is not advantageous for my skill level.

 367-yard par 4 hole #2 (view from 2nd shot in the fairway)

 132-yard par 3 hole #4

200-yard par 3 hole #8 (downhill shot with into the wind) 

492-yard par 5 hole #9 (view from green back toward tee)

The Bluffs was not maintained to the level of other courses I have been playing this year. The lack of maintenance was more than compensated for by blooming azalea’s, which really enhanced it’s appearance. Hitting the season for azaleas worked out well since this was the first course where Julie decided to ride along while I played.

381-yard par 4 hole #12 (view of green from fairway) 

190-yard par 3 hole #13 

498-yard par 5 hole #18 (view from tee at the split fairway) 

Hole #18 green

The sun had broken through when I finished the round bringing the temperature up to 80 degrees. I was glad to jump into an air conditioned car as we drove off to a quilt shop in Lafayette. We jumped off I-10 at Grosse Tete to grab a late lunch, just prior to the long bridge crossing over the Atchafalaya basin.  If any of you are fans of the show “Swamp People” on the History Channel, than you have seen the alligators inhabiting the largest swamp in America. No sooner had we pulled off of the road when we spotted the “Swamp Shop”. We had to stop for postcards. The store’s owner told us that Junior Edwards and his son, William, live nearby. I was tempted to take a break from golf and jump in their boat to hunt alligators, but the 30-day season does not open until 29 August.

Post cards or alligator heads for anyone???

We drove a different route back to St. Francisville from Lafayette. The road took us through New Roads, which we thought was just a new highway when we first heard the name of this little town. The Yelp app on my iPhone lead us to “Ma Mamas” for dinner. How can you not drop in for a meal at a place that includes a menu item called “Who Dat Pork Chop”.  Since there is no shortage of pork in Iowa, we enjoyed a 5-star dining experience of fish, shrimp, grits and broiled tomatoes. Yelp reviews have been extremely helpful in leading us to local dining spots we would have previously driven by.

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