So you're in Atlanta with a few hours to spare. Maybe your business meeting ended early or your flight got delayed for a day. Perhaps you're fleeing from a family reunion. Where can you go to play a quick nine? Most of the best public-access golf courses in Atlanta are in the suburbs. But there are courses in the city that are available to help you scratch that golfing itch. Stan Awtrey offers six suggestions.
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Most of the people who visit Reunion Country Club come from less than 30 minutes away. The rest of the golfers in the Atlanta area don't know what they're missing. It's certainly on par with the highly acclaimed Chateau Elan golf courses that are a couple of miles away. The Reunion golf course is properly maintained -- the fairways are very good, the traps have good sand and the greens are quality. Stan Awtrey has more from Hoschton, Ga.
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Georgia Golf Destinations
Thousands of people pour into Augusta each year to attend the Masters, but there's more to the city than the first major championship of the golfing season. Augusta is the second-largest city in Georgia and has a rich tradition in the fields of medicine and the military. There are several golf courses in Augusta accessible to visitors, including Forest Hills Golf Club, established in 1926, Goshen Plantation and Jones Creek in nearby Evans.
The North Georgia Mountains are one of the state's great treasures. There are fewer simple pleasures than a leisurely drive through northeast Georgia on a cool fall day, the leaves displaying a tapestry of colors and the pace of life still slow by comparison to most places. The region's golf highlights include Brasstown Valley Resort in Young Harris, Old Union Golf Course in Blairsville, Sky Valley Golf Club, and Innsbruck G.C. in Helen.
Atlanta has established itself as the capital of the South and has taken the lead in the region when it comes to a diverse variety of topics from civil rights to finance to construction to entertainment -- and golf. At one time there were few venues available for public golfers. These days, however, the city's public tracks stay busy, with Alfred "Tup" Holmes Golf Club, North Fulton Golf Course, and Stone Mountain G.C at the top of the list.
Savannah, the oldest city in Georgia, has a diverse array of activities and attractions, which makes it a popular destination for all. From the sparkling beaches at Tybee Island to the 22 park-like squares scattered throughout the downtown area, Savannah has a little something for everyone. Naturally, golfers have plenty of options to choose here, including The Club at Savannah Harbor, Wilmington Island, Bacon Park, and the nine-hole Mary Calder Golf Club, which opened in 1937.
With its cutting-edge music scene, emphasis on the arts and a love for sports, Athens offers a variety of options for area visitors. Naturally, there are many golf options, starting with the University of Georgia Golf Course, a lengthy Robert Trent Jones layout that was renovated by Davis Love III in 2006. Other outstanding courses in the area include Jennings Mill, Lane Creek and The Georgia Club.
Although located far from most of the state's major cities, coastal Georgia is worth the time it takes to get there. The region is an ideal solution for those seeking a laid back, leisurely golf destination, whether for vacation for just a weekend getaway. The area features a price level that makes it affordable for all. Jekyll Island is the moderately priced alternative that many families choose. St. Simons Island is a step up in style and Sea Island sets the standard for opulence and luxury.
Macon has a well earned reputation for barbecue and blues, as well as a strong assortment of golf opportunities. The city, located almost in the heart of Georgia, is about an hour south of Atlanta and within an easy drive of all areas of the state. There are some fine public options in the area, including Bowden Golf Course, Houston Lake C.C. and Southern Hills G.C.