For anyone who is keen on golf, Georgia has to be Utopia, for who has not heard of Augusta National, and watched Jack or Tiger, or more recently, Rory tackle that jewel in the crown of golf. Perhaps you are visiting Atlanta and hoping to get in a round, or two, and are a bit concerned about the standard of public courses? Well, worry not, because although Georgia and Atlanta are very well known for their exclusive private golf courses, there are also a number of excellent, and challenging, courses open to the public. Atlanta hotels will help with bookings and help you make a choice, but these are my top five choices.
Bear’s Best Golf Course is one of a collection of Jack Nicklaus courses, a sister to the course of the same name in Las Vegas and a compilation of his 18 favourite holes. It is sited in an upmarket, residential, gated development on the outskirts of the city. The course is 7037 yards, with a par of 72 from the back tees, and can prove quite a test of your golf, especially if you stray off the fairway. Like most Nicklaus courses, a good shot is rewarded with a good lie for the next one.
Crystal Lake Golf and Country Club is only ten miles from the middle of Atlanta, going south. It is a fairly long course at 7200 yards maximum, and with a par 72, it is a challenge for most golfers. There are a number of water hazards waiting to catch the errant shot, and quite a few deep bunkers. Having said that, the course is fair and if your golf is good you will be rewarded, (and if not, the practise facilities are fantastic).
Little Mountain Golf Course has two courses available to the public, 18 holes over 5759 yards, par 72, and a smaller 9 hole course. The 18 hole course has some spectacular scenery, and parts run alongside Little Mountain. It includes lakes, which you may find you see quite close up because one loose shot and a lake could play a part in your round!
Cottonfields Golf Course is an average length course – 6501 yards with a par of 71. In set up it is very traditional, and the setting quite glorious – the course is lined with the Georgia pines familiar to those who have seen Augusta National on television. The water, which appears on ten of the eighteen holes, adds to the challenge of this beautiful course.
Mystery Valley Golf Course is some eighteen miles from the centre of Atlanta, another longish course of 6705 yards and a par 72. More native Georgia pines line the course, which winds round two hundred and sixty five acres and several lakes. It is a testing course, but still player friendly, in that good shots are not punished.
Georgia is blessed with scenery and a climate so well suited to the game of golf, and Atlanta is no exception. Because this state may well be America’s home of golf, there are innumerable courses, some better than others, but all very playable. This also applies to Atlanta in that there are many clubs where you can play a round, and all have their own particular merits, but I think those mentioned here are the pick of the bunch. So if you bring your clubs on your next visit, I bet it won’t be long until you return for your next Atlanta round.
Guest post by author Richard Orban, writing on behalf of Marriot Hotels. Check out their offers for Atlanta Hotels!