The Country Club at the Golden Nugget Review

Texas Outside Rating: 9.5

Golf - Resort Public Course · 18 Holes · Par 72
Lake Charles, LA
· Stay & Play

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The Country Club at the Golden Nugget Review


Review and Rating of the Country Club at the Golden Nugget in Lake Charles, Louisiana

Playing The Country Club at Golden Nugget in Lake Charles is a full sensory unique and fun experience.  You know you’re in for a treat when you arrive at the fantastic upscale clubhouse with a fully stocked pro shop, plush locker rooms, and a fantastic seafood restaurant – all with a view of the lush green fairways, the Calcasieu River and Bayou, and unbelievable sunsets.  The course is on the bayou and home to open plush fairways in near perfect conditions, immaculately-kept Bermuda greens, beautiful scenery, and some fun and challenging golf holes – it just doesn’t get much better!  We weren’t surprised to find out that The Country Club at Golden Nugget was named the #2 course in Louisiana in Golfweek’s Best of 2018 list!

The Country Club at Golden Nugget was designed by the award-winning Todd Eckenrode and Origins Golf Design and opened for play in 2015 and was voted the “Top Golf Course in 2015.”  Landry’s Inc. (the dining, hospitality, entertainment, and gaming corporation owns and operates both the golf course and the Golden Nugget Casino and Hotel which has 740 rooms, a huge casino, a private beachfront and marina, several restaurants and bars, a spa, huge pool complex with a lazy river, and lots more.  The pro shop is across the street from the Resort which makes the Golden Nugget a great place for a golf stay and play outing. 

The Country Club at the Golden Nugget is a real treasure with 4 sets of tee boxes with yardages ranging from 5316 to 7007, water that can come into play on 14 holes, 38 white sand bunkers, and  41 huge waste sand bunkers, covering 15 acres, loaded with golf ball eating native plants. 

Pick the right set of tee boxes and play smart and you’ll have an enjoyable round that you won’t forget.  Don’t be so focused on your score that you miss the stunning scenery – the Contraband Bayou and the Calcasieu River, the colorful and well manicured native marsh landscaping, towering pines bordered by red pine needles, ponds with beautiful tall spraying fountains, lush fairways and white sand bunkers, the Golden Nugget Casino as a backdrop, and the outer grass planted with numerous ornamentals giving it a natural and native look.  The contrast of the bayou, bunkers, and greens contribute to making the course very scenic.

But you need to remain focused enough to manage forced carries over water and huge waste bunkers and position your ball for the dog legs both left and right.  For a good score try some of the risk reward opportunities and carefully plan your approach shots. 

Each hole is unique and has its own personality and characteristics, for example:

  • #2 is a challenging 443-yard dog leg left par 5 with a carry over a large waste bunker followed by a risky shot over another huge waste bunker to the green or you can play safer to the right side for a longer approach shot to the green
  • # 15 is a fun 357-yard par 4 that takes a left turn around the lake which runs from the tee boxes to the green – three bunkers on the right and water on the left pinch the fairway at 100 yards out from the green

The fairways and roughs at The Country Club at the Golden Nugget are surrounded by Spartina Patens and Muhly grass and they were in near perfect condition when we played in late 2018.  Spray the ball and you’re lost in the native bayou grass, under some clusters of pines, in a huge waste bunker with brush that will eat your golf ball, or you're lost in the water.  The fairways are ample off the tee box and relatively flat which means you’ll need to plan for some extra roll.

The manicured miniverde greens are surrounded with native marsh landscaping and they were a real pleasure to play - true, a little firm, and running at a good speed.  They have a mix of minor slope and contour and most are flat which means a bump and run works great.  The Country Club greens range from 28 to 45 yards deep and they are a variety of shapes.

The 41 waste bunkers are aesthetically pleasing but can cause you some extra strokes and lost balls – don’t expect to hit in the bunker and roll out, the three-inch lips will most likely prevent that.  The sand bunkers are well maintained and filled with soft white sand and they range in size from small to huge with steep faces.

A must play course if you're in the Lake Charles area.

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Blue 6,459 71.6 126
White 6,105 70.8 123
Gold 7,007 73.4 130
Red 5,316 70.6 120

Course Information

Course Architect:
Todd Eckenrode
Greens Condition
Greens Difficulty
Fairway Condition
Bunker Condition
Course Map
Beware of water on 15 holes and the 79 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
9.5 out of 10
Fun to Play:
Front Nine Rating:
Back Nine Rating:


Approximate Weekend
$79.00 to $159.00

The clubhouse is spectacular. After your round sit by the fire pit with a cold drink, enjoy the spectacular view, and reminisce about how much fun you just had. The pro shop is very well stocked with everything you need to look good and play well. The restaurant is excellent. The practice facilities are excellent. Service is very good. The carts have plush soft leather seats (I felt like I was in a Mercedes) and a GPS with 3D flyovers, live scoring, and more.



Here's How Texas Outside Determines the Scorecard Rating

The Texas Outside rating scale ranges from 1 to 10 – a perfect 10 course would be something like this:  links along a cliff overlooking the Pacific ocean and bordered by tall trees; lush fairways on rolling hills with lots of natural hazards; water (which is crystal clear) on most of the holes; immaculate greens (but they are undulating and tough); lots of variety and character (each hole is completely different and includes blind shots, elevation changes, doglegs, and significant challenges); perfectly manicured traps with the whitest and prettiest sand you’ve ever seen; a nice club house with great food and a 19th hole; a GPS; plenty of beverage carts or your own cooler and ice; and it only costs $40 bucks! What this means is that you probably won’t find any 10s in Texas – try Cabo San Lucas, Pebble Beach, or some of the Hawaii courses! 
Texas Outside rates courses on the following:

  • Beauty – tall trees, rolling hills, beautiful houses, waterfalls, and similar stuff would score high; a 1 would be flat, bushes or cactus instead of trees, and some grass but mostly weeds
  • Difficulty – a straight, 300 yard par 4 with no traps or hazards, no out of bounds or water would probably get a 1; if it is a 460 yard par 4 over two ravines, with water along one side, natural hazards on the other, strategically placed traps or that dreaded tree right in the middle of the fairway, we are talking a 10. 
  • Variety – what would you give a course where all the holes looked and played exactly the same (“I thought we just played that hole!”); were side-by-side, which is good for finding or dodging other people’s balls, but not much fun; and you can see the flag from every tee box?  That’s right, it gets a 1.
  • Fun Scale – a 10 is where you walk off the course and say “now that was fun” and you can’t wait to get back, or you immediately turn around and play another 18 holes
  • Value – a 5 is $50 to $60, a 10 is $20 to $30, and 1 is $200 or so – of course all of this is dependent upon how you liked the course.  For example, if a run down, boring municipal course, with six players on each hole was only $10; it would still get a value rating of 1.
  • Condition – this one’s pretty easy – what condition are the fairways. A 10 commands very lush perfectly manicured fairways, compared to a 1, which has fire ants, weeds, and more dirt than grass!
  • Condition of Greens and Difficulty – very hard to read greens with lots of undulation and tough pin placement, rate very high on the difficulty scale.  Condition is self-explanatory.  

All of the above determines the overall score for the golf course.  In other words, we like courses that are pretty, fun, very challenging with a lot of variety, and fairways and greens in excellent condition – all for $40.  We also tend to play the courses that are affordable for the masses, which means in the $30 to $80 range. We rate hard and we haven’t found a 10 in Texas yet – don’t worry we haven’t given up and we’re still looking.