Best golf courses in New Orleans

By Mike BaileyApril 25, 2011, 11:35 pm

This week the PGA Tour is in New Orleans with the Zurich Classic at TPC Louisiana. And while New Orleans isn't exactly known for its golf, the Crescent City is a pretty good choice for a golf vacation when you consider the whole package.

When the tour is not in town, Pete Dye's TPC Louisiana is one of the most accessible courses in the TPC network. Much like his Players Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass, there's water and sand everywhere with plenty of doglegs and risk-reward opportunities. But it costs a fraction of what Sawgrass costs to play.

And speaking of Sawgrass, New Orleans' climate is almost identical, which means year-round golf on courses such as Stonebridge Golf Club of New Orleans, Belle Terre Country Club and Audubon Park.

The latter is one of my favorites. Virtually untouched by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Audubon Park is one of the best settings in the city. Located near the zoo as well as Tulane and Loyola universities in the Garden District, Audubon Park is as peaceful as the name implies. Better yet, it's the perfect play at the beginning or end of a golf trip. A par 62, the course has 12 par 3s, so it doesn't take long to play. And it's always in excellent shape and has a terrific bar and grill.

Stonebridge Golf Club is a cool 27-hole layout located in nearby Gretna. Each nine is named after a jazz great – Louis Armstrong, Pete Fountain and Al Hirt. Although the nines have 28 ponds and lakes, there are only two forced carries and the water only comes into play if you start to spray it.

Belle Terre Country Club, which translates from French into 'beautiful land,' is an enjoyable Dye design cut through the swamps, meaning there's water on the majority of the holes.

Other Big Easy options include Colonial Golf and Country Club, Cypress Lakes, LaTour Golf Club, Riverland Golf and Country Club and the North Course at City Park.

City Park, one of the best values in town, holds particular significance. Once home of the New Orleans Open, the North Course is one of two City Park layouts wiped out by the floods of Katrina. It laid dormant for several years before the city decided to revive it, and there are plans to bring the East Course back to life as well. It's not the nicest course in town, but it's worth the price tag of around $25. If that's not enough, its central location means it's not far from the crawfish pie, gumbo and live music that make New Orleans famous.

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Sharma closes on Monday, wins Joburg Open

By Associated PressDecember 11, 2017, 12:43 pm

JOHANNESBURG – Shubhankar Sharma won his first European Tour title by a shooting 3-under 69 Monday in the final round of the weather-delayed Joburg Open.

The 21-year-old Indian resumed his round on the eighth green after play was halted early Sunday afternoon because of storms. He parred that hole, birdied No. 9 and made par on every hole on the back nine.

Full-field scores from the Joburg Open

Sharma finished at 23-under 264, three strokes ahead of the pack, and qualified for next year's British Open, too.

''I actually wasn't going to come here about a week ago ... so I'm really happy that I came,'' said Sharma, who shot 61 in the second round. ''I don't think I'm ever going forget my first time in South Africa.''

Erik van Rooyen (66) was second, three strokes ahead of Shaun Norris (65) and Tapio Pulkkanen (68).

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 pm
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Sharma among three Open qualifiers at Joburg Open

By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:16 pm

Shubhankar Sharma earned his first career European Tour win at the rain-delayed Joburg Open and punched his ticket to The Open in the process.

Sharma returned to Randpark Golf Club Monday morning after storms washed out much of the scheduled final day of play. Beginning the re-start with a four-shot lead, he hung on to win by three over South Africa's Erik Van Rooyen.

Both men can make travel plans for Carnoustie next summer, as this was the second event in the Open Qualifying Series with three spots available for players not otherwise exempt who finished inside the top 10. The final spot went to Shaun Norris, who tied for third with Finland's Tapio Pulkkanen but had a higher world ranking (No. 192) than Pulkkanen (No. 197) entering the week.

The Joburg Open was the final official European Tour event of the year. The next tournament in the Open Qualifying Series will be the SMBC Singapore Open in January, where four spots at Carnoustie will be up for grabs.

Rules changes include no more viewer call-ins

By Rex HoggardDecember 11, 2017, 12:00 pm

Although the Rules of Golf modernization is still a year away, officials continue to refine parts of the rulebook including an overhaul of the video review protocols.

A “working group” led by the USGA and R&A announced on Monday the new protocols, which include assigning a rule official to a tournament broadcast to resolve rules issues.

The group – which includes the PGA Tour, European Tour, LPGA tour and PGA of America – also voted to stop considering viewer call-ins when processing potential rule violations.

In addition, a new local rule was announced that will discontinue the penalty for signing an incorrect scorecard when the player was unaware of the violation.

In April, Lexi Thompson was penalized four strokes during the final round when officials at the ANA Inspiration learned via e-mail from a viewer of an infraction that occurred during the third round. Thompson was penalized two strokes for incorrectly marking her golf ball and two for signing an incorrect scorecard.

“The message is, as a fan, enjoy watching the game and the best players in the world, but also have the confidence that the committee in charge of the competition have the rules handled,” Thomas Pagel, the USGA’s senior director of the Rules of Golf, said on Golf Channel’s "Morning Drive" on Monday. “Let’s leave the rules and the administration of the event to the players and to those responsible for running the tournament.”

The working group was created in April to review the use of video in applying the rules and the role of viewer call-ins, and initially issued a decision to limit the use of video through the introduction of the “reasonable judgment” and “naked eye” standard.

According to that decision, which was not a rule, “so long as the player does what can reasonably be expected under the circumstances to make an accurate determination, the player’s reasonable judgment will be accepted, even if later shown to be inaccurate by the use of video evidence.”

The new protocols will be implemented starting on Jan. 1.

A comprehensive overhaul of the Rules of Golf is currently underway by the USGA and R&A that will begin on Jan. 1, 2019.