Big hits Five must-play golf courses in Atlanta

By September 21, 2010, 7:13 pm


Chateau Elan
The Woodlands Course is one of three excellent 18-hole golf courses at Chateau Elan Winery and Resort.

With THE TOUR Championship making its seventh consecutive stop at East Lake Golf Club, the golf spotlight shines on Atlanta's long list of noteworthy courses. With a rich tradition of golf in the area, it's not easy to come up with a short list of recommendations.

Some of the finer golf courses in Atlanta (East Lake Golf Club, Peachtree Golf Club) are exclusive and require the largesse of a friend who happens to be a member. And many courses that formerly operated on a daily fee or semi-private basis have been gobbled up by Canongate Golf, which now controls access to 25 courses.

But because of the city's depth when it comes to golf, there's always a place to play, regardless of the area of town in which you live or happen to be visiting. The weather in Atlanta offers playable conditions at least 10 months out of the year, 11 months for the hardier souls and year-round for the transplants from the frozen tundra.

For more Georgia travel tips, course reviews and golf packages visit
Cobblestone Golf Course, Acworth
Some people consider Cobblestone Golf Course, a Ken Dye design, to be the best public-access golf course in Georgia. It's certainly in the top 10.

Cobblestone Golf Course is set along Lake Allatoona in the Northwest quadrant of the city. Dye's challenging layout is punctuated by interesting mounding and use of long grass. The ability to hit it straight off the tee is important; length isn't a bad thing, either.

Crystal Lakes Golf & Country Club, Hampton
This Denis Griffiths design would be near the top of most lists if it were on the north side of Atlanta. Griffiths used many of Scottish design techniques to make Crystal Lakes Golf & Country Club one of the playable, yet challenging, courses in the city.

Mystery Valley Golf Club, Lithonia
The course at Mystery Valley Golf Club was built in 1966 by Dick Wilson and remains one of the staples in the market. It's like an old pair of shoes that bring comfort when you slip them on.

More than 41,000 rounds are played here each year, so while Mystery Valley doesn't always come to the top of mind because of all the new, fancy places to play in Atlanta, it remains a solid selection. The course has plenty of hills, and the greens, which are in good condition despite the heavy play, are loaded with tricky little breaks.

Chateau Elan, Braselton
In the old days, you might have seen Kim Basinger picking up some produce at the grocery story in nearby Brasleton or 'The Squire,' Gene Sarazen, taking a break in an easy chair. They're gone, but the two resort courses remain and continue to set high standards.

The original Chateau Elan Course and the Woodlands Course at Chateau Elan were both designed by Denis Griffiths, whose office is on the property. The Legends at Chateau Elan is private but worth pulling a few strings to gain access.

There's also a fun nine-hole course at Chateau Elan and an outstanding practice facility. Non-golfing spouses will enjoy touring the wineries.

Cherokee Run Golf Club, Conyers
The Cherokee Run Golf Club course was built by Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay in 1995 and is set within the Georgia International Horse Park, which hosted the equestrian events for the 1996 Olympics.

Like most courses, you'll enjoy it more if you pick the right set of tees from which to play. The ninth hole, which includes a little bit of everything, is one of the best risk-reward par 5s in the city.

Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.

Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’

Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

Lexi Thompson:

Baking time!!

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

David Feherty:

Jack Nicklaus:

GC Tiger Tracker:

Steve Stricker:

Golf Channel:

Frank Nobilo:

Ian Poulter:

Tyrone Van Aswegen:

Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.