Ask Travelin' Joe: Pittsburgh, Georgia and New Orleans

Friday September 26th, 2008
The hilly, forested fairways of Olde Stonewall are just 40 minutes north of the Steel City.
Olde Stonewall

[ITALIC "If you want to ask Travelin' Joe a question, e-mail him at [MAILTO "askjoe@golf.com" "[BOLD "askjoe@golf.com"]"]."]

Hey Joe,
My father-in-law and I are planning a road trip in late October to Pittsburgh. We have tickets to a Steelers-Giants game and are thinking about getting in a round on Saturday afternoon and early Sunday morning. Any courses you can steer us to that won't break the bank?

Terry Duane, Cranford, N.J.

\nThe Pittsburgh area's best public course is Olde Stonewall (724-752-4653, oldestonewall.com), 35 miles north of downtown. From the tips it's tougher than Bill Cowher's jaw. Best of all, since the big game takes place after October 22, you'll pay just $100 instead of $160.

\nOn game day, try Pittsburgh National (724-265-4800, pittsburghnationalgolfclub.com), in Gibsonia, a few miles north of town. Formerly known as Deer Run, it tumbles through wooded terrain. You'll pay $36 to walk and $50 to ride. That leaves enough for a few beers at Heinz Field.

\nDear Joe,
I will be heading to the Big Easy in late October. Any suggestions?

Joshua Mullin, via e-mail

\nIf you can tear yourself away from the charms of the French Quarter, try Audubon Park ($30-$40; 504-212-5290, auduboninstitute.org). Don't let the numbers fool you: even at 4,220 yards, par-62, it's a good test. Best of all, it takes just three hours to play.

\nTop-road-trip award goes to Carter Plantation ($45-$95; 225-294-7555, carterplantation.com), a graceful David Toms design an hour from downtown.

\nDear Joe,
I am going for training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center near Brunswick, Georgia. I'm hoping to play golf on the weekends and am looking for courses within an hour and around $100 or less. What are the best options?

Ryan Maring, Hudsonville, MI

\nThis is an easy one for "CSI Joe." Start with the Hampton Club ($99; 912-634-0255, hamptonclub.com) on St. Simons Island. Holes 12 to 15 skip over marshes and are unforgettable.

\nAlso on St. Simons, Sea Palms ($79; 912-638-3351, seapalms.com) is a sporty Lowcountry layout with three nines.

\nFinally, 10 miles south of Brunswick is Jekyll Island Resort ($24-$61; 912-635-2368, jekyllisland.com), with a trio of affordable courses and a nifty old 9-holer called Great Dunes.

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