TPC Louisiana, Avondale, Louisiana - A Pete Dye PGA Tour Course in the Wetlands of Louisiana

The TPC Louisiana Golf Course can be found on 250 acres of reclaimed wetlands across the Mississippi River from New Orleans. As a TPC course, it is owned and operated by the PGA Tour and hosts the Zurich Classic each year, while operating according to the highest standards within the golf industry.

The 18-hole course plays to par-72 and 7,010 yards from the "Dye'' tees, with a USGA rating of 73.9 and a slope rating of 135. It has another set of "PGA Tour'' tees that once upon a time bumped the yardage up to 7,520, but it was shortened in 2007 to 7,341 yards. Even so, golfers must get staff approval in order to play from the PGA Tour tees.

Situated on former wetlands, the course features gently rolling hills, five ponds, and stately cypress and oak tree stands, making for a picturesque setting. There are also 103 sand bunkers, and 69 of those are pot bunkers that add to the challenge. The course also features the usual Pete Dye design elements, including sprawling waste areas and water hazards.

The course plays on Bermuda grass fairways that are annually over-seeded with Rye. The greens feature Miniverde Bermuda grass which plays exceptionally true and fast, with an average green speed of 10 on the stimpmeter. To put that in context, think U.S. Open green speeds.

The course features a number of especially noteworthy holes, including three holes on the front nine known as the "triangle of doom.'' The third hole in the triangle is a long par-4, and the most difficult on the course, that calls for a long, straight drive to avoid the hazard on the left. The second shot then dramatically doglegs 90 degrees to the left, and players must also contend with conditions that dictate club selection.

The finishing hole is also one of the most challenging and dramatic on the course, even after being reworked by Dye. The hole was shortened and the massive "skyscraper'' bunker that guards the left side of the fairway has been reshaped. Dye also added some mounding around the green and expanded the bunkers to make laying up even more challenging. And, of course, there's the huge water hazard on the right that runs the length of the hole, making for some tough decisions and great drama at the end of the course.

The course has received a number of accolades since opening in 2004, including being named the "No. 4 Best Upscale Public Golf Course'' by Golf Digest when the course made its debut. The course is a Pete Dye design, and PGA Tour players Steve Elkington and Kelly Gibson also served as player consultants.

Practice facilities at TPC Louisiana include 15 acres that allow for full swing and short game practice. Golf lessons are also available, including the PGA Tour Golf Academy which comes to the course for one week of personalized golf instruction every year.

The course also features a 24,000-square-foot antebellum-style clubhouse that includes a golf shop with a selection of equipment, clothing and accessories that is said to be unparalleled by any other golf shop in the state. Merchandise includes PGA Tour, Zurich Classic, and TPC Louisiana products, as well as collegiate apparel.

For dining and drinks, the TPC Grille features a full bar, expansive patio and New Orleans-style cuisine.

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