Scenic Cobblestone Golf Course in Acworth remains one of the best pure public facilities in metro Atlanta
ACWORTH, Ga. -- When the population of Atlanta began an exodus to the suburbs in the 1980s, the lack of public golf courses became a glaring problem. It was especially problematic in the northwestern suburbs when Cobb County began its prosperous boom.
The county decided to fix the problems by building its own golf course. They chose a piece of property on scenic Lake Acworth and hired architect Ken Dye to build an 18-hole facility that could be a magnet for public golfers.
Dye ended up constructing a masterpiece. From the day it opened in 1993, golfers have been singing the praises of the Cobblestone Golf Course.
The course is challenging, scenic but very welcoming. It didn't take many months for positive comments about the course to get around, and before long, the tee sheet was being filled by players from throughout the area.
Today the course remains one of the best pure public facilities in metro Atlanta. It remains a busy place but has not lost its homey feel. From the starters on the first tee to the rangers who monitor pace of play to the workers in the pro shop, there's a friendly vibe that makes Cobblestone feel like it's a step above other public courses.
The course isn't bad, either. Cobblestone has been cited by the nation's top magazines as one of the best in Georgia. It was renovated in 2010 with new Champion Bermuda greens and upgraded bunkers and given a general overall facelift. Cobblestone is once again near the top of any list.
Cobblestone Golf Course: Good route
Cobblestone Golf Course plays to par 71 and is 6,759 from the back tees (beware: the slope back there is 137), 6,272 from the middle and 5,843 from the white tees. If you aren't sure which set of tees to play, there are signs on No. 1 that offer guidelines according to your handicap and ability. Choosing the right tees can make the round more enjoyable.
There are eight holes that play along Lake Acworth, although the lake doesn't come into play on each one. The front nine is rare because it features three par 5s and three par 3s. The back nine has only one par 5.
"This is the kind of course that could host a tournament," said Jeremy Edmondson, a first-time visitor from Buford. "I don't think there's a bad hole out there."
Dye did a nice job routing the course, cutting through the woods and around the lakes and streams. The fairways are rolling throughout the 18 holes, with many of them offering a side that is elevated more than the other.
"I don't think I got a flat lie the whole day," Edmondson said.
One of the toughest holes is No. 2, a long par 4 (472 from the back tees) that has a slight dogleg to the left. A well-positioned drive is most important; those who find the right side have a clear shot into the green, while those who favor the left side will have to clear a rock outcropping and have less room to bail. A par here will feel like a birdie.
The finishing hole is memorable, too. The tee box on the 441-yard par 4 is elevated, allowing a player to see the entire hole before them. There's water on the left (including a natural area prior to reaching the water) that must be dealt with, and the fairway bunkers that guard the right make this a difficult driving hole. The green is well protected, too, with bunkers on both sides.
Cobblestone has an excellent variety of par-3 holes. Rather than throwing five long par 3s on the course, Dye used his imagination and came up with five holes of different length (133 to 240 yards) and difficulty.
Three of the par 3s are equipped with an alternate set of tees. No. 3, No. 13 and No. 16 can each be a beauty or a beast depending on the tees being used. The alternate tees make water more of a factor and cut down on the forgiveness of the greens.
Cobblestone Golf Course: The verdict
Forget your opinions about public golf courses before you come to Cobblestone. This is one of the best courses you'll find. The people are friendly, and the course conditions are excellent, comparable to a lot of private facilities.
The course can be pretty busy, especially on the weekends. But late in the day, the crowds thin out a bit and offer a more leisurely pace. Still, the marshals manage to keep the pace relatively quick, even on busy days.