9 Best Golf Experiences in GA
For some, golf is a four-letter word for a reason. But for others, it’s a passion that lasts a lifetime and a tradition that can be passed down to the next generation. And with its rich history and long list of Hall of Fame golfers, the state of Georgia is home to a well-known treasure trove of golf destinations. Whether you’re a scratch golfer or a 15-hanidcapper, these 9 golf courses are the very best the golf-rich state of Georgia has to offer:
Course: Augusta National Golf Club
Location: Augusta, GA
Architect: Bobby Jones & Alister MacKenzie
History: Masters Tournament (1934-present), PGA Seniors’ Championship (1937-1938)
How to get on: Not likely… it’s hard for its own membership to play sometimes. You’ll be lucky to set foot on the premises much less play this gem. A ticket to the Masters is your best bet here.
Course: Ocean Forest
Location: Sea Island, GA
Architect: Rees Jones
History: USGA Walker Cup Matches (2001)
How to get on: Make friends – although once a resort course, you must now play with a member. But where else can you play IN a forest ON the ocean?!
Course: Sea Island Golf Club – Seaside
Location: St. Simons Island, GA
Architect: Tom Fazio (redesign 1999)
History: PGA Tour’s McGladrey Classic, wicker baskets instead of flags on the pins
How to get on: A deep pocketbook gets you a stay at the Cloister or the Lodge on Sea Island. And a visit to the Cloister or the Lodge gets you access to this gem.
Course: Great Waters at Reynolds Plantation
Location: Greensboro, GA
Architect: Jack Nicklaus
History: Andersen Consulting World Championship of Golf (1995-1997)
How to get on: A stay at the Reynolds Plantation resort gets you access to this and her sister courses, as well. Leave room for an extra night or two, this place is a golf paradise.
Course: TPC Sugarloaf
Location: Duluth, GA
Architect: Greg Norman
History: AT&T Classic (1997-2008), Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and Ben Crane share the course record at 63
How to get on: Make friends – it’s private. You may just find yourself playing a charity tournament here if you play your cards right. Or pay for a wedding at the clubhouse, a round is included with your event.
Course: Atlanta Country Club
Location: Marietta, GA
Architect: William C. Byrd
History: BellSouth Classic (1967-1996), Players Championship (1974), US Senior Men’s Amateur (1968), US Women’s Amateur (1971)
How to get on: Make friends – it’s private. Known for an extremely friendly membership and staff, it’s one of the best golf experiences you’ll find.
Course: Ansley Golf Club – Settindown Creek
Location: Roswell, GA
Architect: Bob Cupp
History: US Women’s Amateur Championship (2005)
How to get on: Make friends – it’s private. Ansley Golf Club absorbed Settindown Creek a few years back; Settindown is widely regarded as one of the more difficult courses in the state.
Course: East Lake Golf Club
Location: Atlanta, GA
Architect: Rees Jones (1994 restored to original Donald Ross design from 1913)
History: The Tour Championship (2004-present), Ryder Cup (1963), Bobby Jones learned to play golf here
How to get on: Start asking around… East Lake is a corporate membership-only course. So you probably do (or did) business with a company who has a membership here. And the annual Tour Championship is an excellent reason to visit this renowned course, but playing a round here gets you access to the historic clubhouse and locker room.
Course: Atlanta Athletic Club – Highlands
Location: Johns Creek, GA
Architect: Rees Jones (2006 redesign)
Founded: 1904 (Highlands built 1964)
History: US Open (1976), PGA Championship (1981, 2001, 2011), US Amateur (2014)
How to get on: Make friends – it’s private. This is one of the most impressive clubhouses you’ll find anywhere and a monster course from the championship tees.