Big Easy golf: Care may have forgotten New Orleans, but golfers shouldn't
NEW ORLEANS – If you've done a fair amount of traveling, you might have noticed a lot of cities look alike.
If you were plunked down blindfolded in the middle of, say, St. Louis, you probably couldn't tell the difference between it and, say, Kansas City.
And with the pervasive influence of television, people all over the U.S. are starting to sound alike, doesn't matter if they're from Two-Egg, Fla. or Spokane, Wash.
That's why I always love to visit New Orleans, which is somehow impervious to this cultural homogenization. You come to New Orleans, you get a true original. Things look different here. People sound different.
True, New Orleans is lazy, but that's part of the charm. While the Mississippi Gulf Coast was rebuilding from Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans sort of wallowed in its own misery. Hey, you'd never see a jazz man build a levee, would you?
The city still has big problems to deal with, but if you went there and confined your visit to the French Quarter, you'd never see any evidence of them.
New Orleans has never been a world-class golf destination and never will be. It's just an original American city with some of the most beautiful architecture and women in the world, and some of the best food in the universe.
But, it isn't exactly a golf vacuum. You can indulge in the wonders of the city at night and hit some good New Orleans golf courses during the day, when the partiers are still sleeping.
If the city becomes overwhelming, drive out to the The Carter Plantation. The resort has an excellent course, deserving of all the awards various golf magazines have bestowed upon it.
Hey, golfer! Slow that Mustang down. You don't have to barrel straight through Georgia on Interstate-95 South, hell-bent for all those sunny Florida golf courses. Good golf can be found just minutes from I-95, from affordable little nine-holers that let you stretch your legs, to fancy resort courses where you can get in some serious links time. So take a break, buy some peaches and fireworks, and play some golf.
When a place gets this big, it often starts thinking about becoming a golf destination, because, let's face it, golfers spend a lot of money. That's where Branson is at. They have about a dozen courses in the area now, and some of them are excellent.
Podcast: Golf in Branson, Missouri
Cascata, a $60 million playground originally designed for Las Vegas' high rollers, is considered by many to be Rees Jones' finest golf course. It's unlike any other course in the world. Creating Cascata was no easy task. Immaculate fairways, greens and water cut through rock on each hole, making for spectacular contrast.