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By Dave Finn as published in the June/July Issue of Golf Oklahoma Magazine
When I think of Louisiana, the first place that springs to mind is New Orleans. I think of Bourbon Street, balconies, and beads. I can taste the gumbo and beignets served with chickory coffee. I can hear the jazz notes floating in the air, and the beat of feet tapping away to a Zydeco tune, but when it comes to golf, that’s only the beginning of the adventure.
Imagine sixteen of the state’s top golf courses stretching from New Orleans to the Arkansas, Texas and Mississippi borders. Imagine yourself following a path that will let you explore Northern Louisiana, a Sportsman’s Paradise, Cajun Country, the Plantation Region and the Big Easy. Imagine challenging yourself on courses designed by legendary golf greats like Pete Dye, Arnold Palmer, Hal Sutton, David Toms and Robert Trent Jones.
Imagine yourself following the Audubon Golf Trail as it weaves its way from The Big Easy to Baton Rouge and Monroe through bayous and wetlands, live oaks, cypress groves, and upland pine forests and rolling hills. Imagine the efforts of sixteen cooperative members to protect the abundant native wildlife and preserve the natural habitat while delivering the ultimate golf experience.
By Dave Finn as published on pages 60 and 61 in the Summer 2017 Issue of Travel Life Magazine
Croeso i Gymru (Kroy-sore ee Gum-ree) – Welcome to Wales
It’s hard to imagine that Wales was once voted the Undiscovered Golf Destination of the World, but no more – the secret is out! After hosting the Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor in 2010 and The Senior Open Championship at Royal Porthcawl in 2014, quiet Wales has asserted itself as a world-class golf destination and yet, it remains the place to go if you’re seeking an unspoiled, unpretentious, unhurried golf vacation.
Escaping from the hustle and bustle of London, it took us slightly over two hours to reach the Wye Bridge and cross over into Chepstow, home to what is considered the oldest surviving stone castle in Britain and our first stop in in Wales. Shortly after crossing the border we found ourselves driving through the 400-acre, former deer park that surrounds the St. Pierre Marriott Hotel and Golf Club, a Marriott unlike any I’ve stayed at before. Impressive was the word that sprang to mind when we first saw the 14th-century manor house and 11th century church that sits at the heart of this resort. Within minutes, we were escorted to our room overlooking the 9th green and the 10th tee box of the ‘new’ course, and I felt like we had ‘arrived’.