Course Name: The North Course at City Park
Designer: Joseph Bartholomew Sr./William Wiedorn (1968), (Rebuilt 2009)
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
History: City Park has been home to golf in New Orleans since 1902. In 1968, the North Course opened giving the Park a total of 4 courses. In the 1990s, the courses were renamed Bayou Oaks Golf Complex. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina destroyed all four courses, and after a rebuilding in 2009, only the North Course remained. An upscale championship course opened across the street in 2017.
Conditions: 3/10, the course built on the lowest land of the four courses, it shocks me that this is the course they rebuilt. In addition to burnt out grass and slow, bumpy greens, this course gets devastated by rain on a regular basis. Casual water is found all over the course, making it constantly muddy.
Value: 6/10, while taking a cart gets more expensive, this course is pretty affordable, especially after twilight.
Tee Par Yardage Rating Slope
Black 68 5737 67.3 114
Blue 67 5402 65.9 110
White 67 4838 63.7 104
Gold 67 4280 64.6 104
Best Score: 82 (Black Tees), 10/9/2014 with William S., Michael B., and Stevens H.
Front 9 Best: 37 (Black Tees), 4/24/2016 with George W.
Back 9 Best: 36 (Black Tees), 10/9/2014 with William S., Michael B., and Stevens H., 10/24/2014 with Michael B., and 3/28/2016 with George W.
Hole Descriptions: It’s no secret that the front side of the golf course is a much better design than the back. In fact, the first two holes are perhaps the best two on the course. The opener is a 396 yard par 4 with a large pond on the right and dense trees lining the left side. The only par 3 on the front, the 2nd is a strong hole at about 180 yards. Bunkers surround the right side of this elevated green while water lines the left and back of the hole. The 3rd is the only par 5 on the course, and is straight and narrow with trees lining both sides. The 4th is one of the worst holes on the course as a 262 yard straight par 4. This hole is drivable and pretty much offers no defenses. It is, however, a long par 3 from the other tee boxes, and it probably should stay a long par 3. At 420 yards, the long dogleg left 6th hole is one of the rare holes I’ve played where a tree in the fairway is actually a good design. On the right side about 100 yards from the green, this tall tree frames the dogleg and shouldn’t come into play on the drive or approach. Holes 7 and 8 are very similar holes – medium length par 4’s with a shared canal on the left side. I am also not a fan of the 9th hole, the hardest hole on the course in my opinion. A 413 yard dogleg par 4, it’s not clear where the landing area is due to overgrowth of trees on the left side. These trees block the second shot of short players and often come into play with longer drives. Water begins on the right side of this hole at about 240 yards, further complicating the drive.
The back side seems to be just an afterthought as a par 32. The short 331 yard par 4 10th is followed by two unremarkable medium length par 3’s and then two flat, open medium length par 4’s. Two more par 3’s are next, but there are a bit more challenging due to water on 14 and length on 15. The best two holes on the back are 17 and 18, both long par 4’s. The 17th plays the number 2 handicap at 400 yards, but is flat and straight and is much easier than the number 4 handicap 18th. A 410 yard par 4, this finishing hole features water to the left and a canal crossing the fairway at 250 yards. In addition to these hazards, there is a giant tree in the middle of the fairway about 150 yards out. A layup short of the canal leaves a long approach shot in for most players, with difficulty compounded by trees that block out the left side of the green.
Best Par 3: 2nd Hole, 177 yards, 17th handicap. The best of the five par 3’s, this difficult hole features water on the left side and two bunkers on the right of this elevated green.
Best Par 4: 1st Hole, 396 yards, 5th handicap. The opener at City Park is often the best maintained and one of the more challenging holes. Water lines the right side of this fairway for most of the driving area while multiple layers of trees line the left. This green is slightly elevated and guarded by a short left bunker.
Best Par 5: 3rd Hole, 490 yards, 1st handicap. The only par 5 on the entire course, this hole is rather simplistic and straightforward. Trees line both sides of this straight hole for it’s entire length and left is better than right, as there is OB right.
General Comments: This is the most popular driving range in the city. With over 74 mats, it’s a massive complex. Pace of play is often slow on the course, and there are no rangers in sight to ameliorate this. The course design is funky, with very few good holes.
Verdict: I recommend the range here, but cannot recommend the course. Even when the course isn’t underwater, the design isn’t good enough to warrant playing. It’s a good course to learn how to play golf, but I recommend Bartholomew for more experienced players.