Located a few miles south of Baton Rouge, The Island Golf Course is one of the 16 courses on the Audubon Golf Trail. Mike Young carved The Island golf course out of a sugar plantation that is surrounded by Bayou Jacob and Bayou Plaquemine. Mike leveraged the Bayous and nine lakes to create a layout where water comes into play on 17 of the 18 holes which forces you to hit the ball straight and on some holes forces you to deploy some good course management and shot making skills.
The water, 56 bunkers, and some tight fairways make The Island challenging but it's very fair if you pick the right set of tee boxes and play smart. The front nine is a little longer and seems a little easier while the back, from our perspective, is prettier, a little more difficult, requires some shot making, and has some great holes. Both nines are peaceful and quiet.
Some of the holes that we really liked included:
#2 is the #1 handicap and it's a fun 551 yard par 5 with OB on the right side, a bayou running from the tee box to 140 out which then crosses the fairway and guards the left side of the elevated green on the left and rear – your second shot requires you to gamble to carry the bayou or take the safer shot and layup
#6 is the longest par 4 at 459 yards plus it's got some water off the right side of the tee box, two long skinny bunkers on the left and right side of the landing zone, and a dog right to a large green surrounded by 4 bunkers
#12 is the shortest par 5 (520 yards) but still challenging with a carry over the bayou that runs from the left side of the tee box to the right side of the green plus 3 large bunkers around 80 yards out and two pot bunkers guarding a small green
18 is a great finishing hole – a 542 yard par 5 with a waste area running along the entire right side, a sharp dog leg right around a 140 yard long skinny bunker, and a challenging approach to the deepest green on the course with a bunker left front and water on the right side
The fairways range from a little tight to ample but miss them the rough can be challenging and after that you're most likely wet or lost in the trees and brush. We played just after a heavy rainstorm but the course was still in very good condition and very well maintained. The rain prevented mowing so the rough was much thicker than normal. The fairways range from flat to gently rolling. A couple of the fairways have some homes set way back and you'll really need to spray it to land in a yard.
The greens are a good mixture of sizes and shapes and they were in very good condition – a joy to putt on. They rolled true, had manageable slope and contour, and held the ball well. Around the fringe small mounding creates a roller coaster affect. Some are raised and all but two are guarded by one to four bunkers or the lakes or bayous – which puts a premium on the approach shot.
Unfortunately the bunkers at The Island were not playable because of the heavy rain. They looked like they were well maintained and in great condition and from what we could tell the sand was soft and thick. Lips are manageable but you'll not going to roll in and roll out.