By Deborah Burst
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Black Bear Golf Club
The sweeping topography of the Black Bear Golf Club features 200 acres of preserved wetlands.

Swing your way through 12 courses throughout the state on the Audubon Golf Trail, which is named for naturalist John James Audubon.  Each course is a member of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary for Golf Courses, a strict program dedicated to protecting the environment and preserving the natural heritage of the game of golf.

In historic uptown New Orleans, the Golf Club at Audubon Park rests on an 81-acre spread shrouded by sprawling centuries-old oaks.  It was the first property in the state to achieve certification through the Audubon International Signature Program, which helps landowners and managers follow sustainable resource management principles. The short course features four lagoons and exquisite landscaping on a 4,220-yard layout.  Enjoy a refreshing break, or lunch, on the clubhouse veranda overlooking the course, which is surrounded by a popular jogging trail. 

Located 15 minutes from the French Quarter, TPC Louisiana is home to the state’s only PGA event, the Zurich Classic. Carved inside 250 acres of preserved oak and cypress forests, the course weaves through a sophisticated web of challenging fairways. Hole 18 features hungry bunkers and a captivating lake. 

Built around the Carter House, an 1817 plantation, Carter Plantation rests on 700 acres along the Blood River near historic Springfield.  David Toms, PGA champion and Louisiana native, and Glenn Hickey crafted the course with great care to preserve the plantation’s storied natural habitat including ponds and lagoons that teem with turtles and wading birds.

Golf enthusiasts will marvel at Marksville’s Tamahka Trails Golf Club, which is framed by towering trees and designed in the same style as Scotland’s legendary courses. Enjoy a challenging round with hidden holes and strategic bunkers so deep they evoke a lunar landscape. The club provides GPS-equipped carts.  After 18 holes, golfers often head to Tamahka Grill to toast an exciting round. 

If your idea of entertainment includes golf clubs and fishing poles, you will be right at home at Cypress Bend Resort, located near Toledo Bend Lake which is home to a famous bass habitat and some of the best fishing in Louisiana. Enjoy 18 holes of beautiful fairways and six shots across hidden coves. Ten holes ride Toledo Bend Lake and scenic vistas are a just reward for this true test of will and stamina. The view of the sunset from hole 17 rivals any in the state—glowing bluffs and a putting green that seemingly falls into the mirrored lake below.

Olde Oaks Golf Club, a Hal Sutton signature course near Shreveport, offers 27 challenging holes set inside 340 acres of pristine rolling hills. Enjoy five sets of tees and generous fairways rimmed with sparkling waters. Along the course, spot wildlife native to the region—cottontail rabbits, deer and a multitude of birds.  After your round, catch the sunset from the two-tiered patio at the clubhouse. 

In the northwest Louisiana woodlands of Delhi, the Black Bear Golf Club offers a sweeping topography of canopied holes and freshwater creeks.  Of the course’s 320 acres, 200 are wetlands, which maintain a natural environment for black bears.  The course’s signature bunkers resemble bear paw prints.  Designed as a Teddy Roosevelt-themed hunting lodge, the Black Bear Lodge boasts exposed timbers with views of the course from each room. 

Play the Audubon Golf Trail and discover these courses along with the rest of the 12-course trail boasting challenging holes, beautiful scenes and indigenous wildlife. Do not be surprised if a bald eagle takes a second look at your ball or if you find an alligator lurking mysteriously in a water hazard.