When someone mentions golf and Georgia in the same sentence minds tend to wander down Magnolia Lane and out onto the verdant green fairways of Amen Corner.
There is no escaping the elephant in the room: Augusta National which stands as a symbol of golfing excellence the world over. However, the world of golf in Georgia extends far beyond the home of The Masters. Picture this: emerald-green fauna, a gentle ocean breeze ruffling your clothing and the endless blue of the Atlantic Ocean. All are possible in this beautiful state.
But beyond Augusta National which is the best golf course Georgia has to offer? Let’s go on a journey through the 10 best golf courses in Georgia. It’s a journey that will take us through breathtaking scenery, impeccable design, and true Southern hospitality. Let’s go.
When it comes to the best golf courses in Georgia, it’s impossible not to start with the home of The Masters. Augusta National is a mythical destination – both familiar and unreachable – for golfers across the world. Most will only ever see it through a TV screen. Some will watch from the comfort of their Masters folding chair having secured a ticket and only a handful will ever walk the fairways here.
Augusta National is, of course, one of the most private and difficult-to-access golf clubs on the planet but that’s not to say it’s absolutely impossible to play. Our very own Jamie Gavin was able to play it and wrote about his experience in a brilliantly vivid way – it will give you the closest thing to playing. Holes famously weave through the enchanting Georgia pines with the pinestraw acting as rough and when the azaleas and dogwoods are in full bloom they provide the perfect canvas for Dr Alister Mackenzie’s masterpiece. Whether you get there or not, no one can argue Augusta is the best golf course in Georgia.
Nestled in Atlanta, not far from the hustle and bustle of the city, lies Peachtree Golf Club – an incredibly private golfing oasis. While not as widely known as some of its counterparts, it unquestionably deserves a spot among Georgia’s best golf courses. Why? Well not only is it visually stunning – with comparisons to Augusta National and her tall pines and beautiful azaleas – but it also boasts and rich history dating back to 1947 when the great Bobby Jones teamed up with his namesake but not relation, architect Robert Trent Jones to design a 9-hole course that stands as a legacy to their shared passion for the game.
It’s a design that makes the most of the natural contours of the land, with vast, sprawling greens, such as the one on the par-5 10th, that are often guarded by water or sand. Walking is encouraged at Peachtree and caddies are a common sight. The clubhouse exudes a timeless elegance. There is sadness here too, though. Shortly after completing the course Bobby was diagnosed with a spinal condition that meant he was never able to play the course he so carefully designed.
Located in the charming town of Cobbtown, Georgia, lies a sanctuary that embraces the spirit of the game in its purest form: the Ohoopee Match Club. This unconventional masterpiece, often referred to as a ‘golfer’s playground,’ has quickly earned its place among Georgia’s top golf courses.
It owes much to the vision of renowned golf architect Gil Hanse, who laid out a course which celebrates timeless traditions while also pushing the boundaries of conventional design. The result pays homage to the classic links courses of Scotland and Ireland but with a modern twist. The Ohoopee Match Club is made up of 22 holes, each of which can be played in any combination to create one unique round after another. And as the name suggests, match play is to the fore at Ohoopee Match Club, with golfers pitted against another in head-to-head competition. The layout facilitates that with a number of risk-reward holes.
In the heart of Johns Creek, just a short drive from downtown Atlanta, lies a golf club which embodies the essence of Southern hospitality and golf excellence: the Atlanta Athletic Club (AAC). The club has a storied history dating back to 1898, and its Highlands course stands as a testament to its commitment to excellence, having welcomed many of the world’s best players down the years. The Highlands course has witnessed historic moments, including the 1981 and 2011 PGA Championships. Designed by famed architect Robert Trent Jones, the course’s layout seamlessly blends strategic shot-making with the natural contours of the land.
In many other states, East Lake would be at the top of the list because of its quality and significance but in our list of the best golf courses in George, it will have to settle for 5th place. East Lake does, of course, have championship pedigree and hosts the Tour Championship, the final event of the PGA season each year. But it also has genuine prestige, history, and tradition.
East Lake Golf Club is the oldest course in Atlanta, but it’s also where Bobby Jones began to play golf. The club dates back to 1904 when architect Tom Bendelow laid out the course. However, it was in 1913 when the great Donald Ross was asked to rework the original design that East Lake truly came to the fore. The Ryder Cup came to East Lake in 1963, but what followed was a period where the course fell out of favor and was, to some extent, neglected. The glory days returned following a restoration by Rees Jones, and it certainly has to be part of the conversation when discussing the best golf courses Georgia has to offer.
On the enchanting shores of St. Simons Island, you’ll find a real masterpiece that encapsulates the essence of coastal beauty and championship challenge. With its breathtaking views and a blend of Southern charm and luxury, the Seaside Course has rightfully earned its place as one of the crown jewels of Georgia’s golfing landscape. The course lives up to its name, treating golfers to stunning panoramic views of the sparkling Atlantic Ocean. As you tee off against the backdrop of rolling waves and endless horizons, you’re reminded that this isn’t just a game; it’s an immersive journey into the heart of nature’s splendor.
Designed by Tom Fazio, the Seaside Course seamlessly integrates the coastal terrain, creating holes that cut through forests, meanders alongside tranquil lagoons, and embraces dynamic coastal breezes.
Established in 1964, Atlanta Country Club has contributed significantly to Georgia’s golfing landscape, having hosted prestigious tournaments, witnessed remarkable victories, and welcomed golf legends through its gates. The centrepiece of Atlanta Country Club is its championship golf course, a layout that offers both challenge and adventure. The club’s commitment to tradition and excellence extends beyond the fairways. The stately clubhouse exudes Southern charm.
On the picturesque St. Simons Island, Frederica Golf Club is a place where towering pines, sprawling marshes, and serene lakes create a breathtaking setting for this Tom Fazio golf course. Every hole presents a unique test, requiring strategic thinking and precision. Elevation changes, well-placed bunkers, and contoured greens contribute to a golfing experience that rewards both skill and strategy.
Augusta National is not the only golf course in the Garden City, and Augusta Country Club is actually one of the oldest golf clubs in the United States. For obvious reasons, there are shades of Augusta National here, with the tall pines giving the golf course a familiar look. So much so, that a BBC reporter, who did not have the correct accreditation to get into The Masters, broadcast from Augusta Country Club without ever making it clear that he wasn’t actually reporting from The Masters itself. Augusta Country Club has plenty to distinguish it from its near neighbour, it’s a club with a rich heritage, a commitment to tradition, a sense of Southern hospitality and a more relaxed feel.
Perched atop a majestic mountain, Lookout Mountain Club offers a golfing experience that is as breathtaking as it is invigorating. With its awe-inspiring vistas, meticulously designed course, and a deep connection to nature, Lookout Mountain Club is a place with a symbiotic relationship between golf and the great outdoors. As golfers step onto the course, they are treated to panoramic views that extend as far as the eye can see. The rolling fairways and strategically placed hazards are not only a challenge to conquer but a canvas that celebrates the beauty of the surrounding landscape.