Review: Grand Ridge Golf Club

Course Name: Grand Ridge Golf Club

Designer: Everett Alleman (1968)

Location: Luling, Louisiana

History: Formerly known as Willowdale Country Club until 2010, this Everett Alleman course was purchased by investors in 2011 who turned it into the semi-private Grand Ridge.

Conditions: 3/10, this course was virtually unplayable both times I played it. The greens are bumpy and slow and nothing like the fast practice green. Tee boxes are torn up and the course was a swamp. Hitting out of fairway (assuming you found your ball amongst the leaves and random ditches) was like hitting out of the bunker, as the ground gave as soon as your club hit the dirt.

Value: 6/10, we found a great deal online for under $20 with a cart, but going to the course will cost you more.

Scorecard:

Tee             Par         Yardage         Rating          Slope

Blue          72          6853                72.2               135

White       72           6368                71.1               133

Gold          72           5938                69.1               129

Red            72          5517                 72.6               127

Hole Descriptions: While most of these holes are straightforward, they are incredibly narrow, with houses on both sides. At 433 yards, the opening hole is a narrow par 4 that features OB on the left and a water hazard on the right about 260 yards from the teebox. This long thin green is flanked by a bunker on the right. The 2nd hole is the first of several very poor par five designs. This 518 yard par 5 is essentially straightaway, extremely narrow hole with a gigantic tree in the middle of the fairway 240 yards from the tee. This tree has no business being here and makes an already narrow hole even more occluded. I don’t know the ruling for drainage ditches, but many of the holes at Grand Ridge have them running across the fairway, like the 427 yard 3rd. After a boring par 3 and 4, the 6th hole is the best par 3 on the course as a 120 yard carry over a small pond to a back-to-front sloped green. Unfortunately, this hole is followed by an truly abominable hole: a dogleg right par 5 whose fairway bends at about a 75 degree angle 250 yards off the tee. What’s found at the center of the fairway at the dogleg? If you guessed a gigantic tree, you’d be correct. At 382 yards, the challenging 8th hole is my favorite par 4 on the course. OB left in the form of houses and two water hazards on the right make you a bit claustrophobic on the tee. About 100 yards before this narrow green, the fairway ends and you must carry a pond the rest of the way. Par is a strong score here.The finishing hole on the front is a gentle dogleg left that plays 384 yards with two water hazards lining the right fairway.

Aligned directly parallel to the 1st hole, the straightaway 408 yard 10th hole is essentially the same hole as a narrow par 4 lined with trees on both sides of the fairway. You cross the street to get to the 11th hole, another foolish par 4 with a tree directly in the middle of the fairway. From this point on, you now are on the “Grand Ridge.” This ridge lines the left side of the next 4 holes, and is incredibly deep and rugged. Looking for a ball in the Ridge is begging for a snakebite. The 12th hole is the longest par 3 on the course at 216 yards. A tree blocks out the left side of the green, but may save balls from entering the Ridge. Hole 13 is another uninspiring par 5 with a tree once again in the middle of the fairway 220 yards from the tee. The 14th is a par 3 that requires a carry over water that would be pretty good with better conditions and no backhoe in the background. You heard that right: there are construction vehicles in the back. The 538 yard 15th is their signature hole, a dogleg left par 5 requiring a drive over water. After crossing back over the road, the 16th is one of the stronger par 4’s on the course at 425 yards. This hole gently slides left and features trees on both sides of the fairway. At 389 yards, the 17th hole is another dogleg left guarded by trees on both sides. The approach shot to this back-to-front sloping green is over a small pond. The finishing hole at Grand Ridge is a forgetful 385 yard uphill par 4 lined by trees on both sides.

General Comments: The pace of play was generally good when I played. The range was poorly maintained as was the clubhouse. There was also a pool in front that had not been chlorinated in forever and looked like it could be ground zero for Zika virus. The conditions and layout were poor.

Verdict: Quite frankly, Grand Ridge is not worth the drive from New Orleans. While affordable, this course was in terrible shape when I played, and overall not a fun experience. There are plenty of other courses in the area with similar prices and better conditions.


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