Soak in the scenery at player-favorite Crystal Falls Golf Club north of Atlanta

By Kevin Dunleavy, Contributor

Before players strike a shot at Crystal Falls Golf Club they are treated to idyllic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, as they approach the clubhouse and as they contemplate the tee shot on the panoramic first hole.

Crystal Falls Golf Club
Crystal Falls Golf Club sits on rolling, wooded terrain. The course stretches 7,050 yards from the back tees.
Crystal Falls Golf ClubCrystal Falls Golf Club - clubhouse
If you go

Crystal Falls Golf Club

4.5 stars out of 5 (based on 2 reviews)
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3756 Cowart Rd
Dawsonville, Georgia 30534
Dawson County
Phone(s): (770) 894-4972
18 Holes | Private golf course | Par: 72 | 7055 yards | ... details »

Despite its remote mountain location in Dawsonville, Ga., 65 miles north of Atlanta, players are finding their way to the private course, which recently made tee times available through Gasngo, of Woodstock, Ga., is one of the 22 of 29 reviewers who have rated Crystal Falls five stars.

"I've played here a few times, and the course just gets better," he wrote. "Staff is awesome, course is fair for all levels, maintained very well, and I'm going back as much as I can. It's a hike to get to, but I don't mind."

Crystal Falls Golf Club: The course

On rolling, wooded terrain, bisected by Yellow Creek, Crystal Falls stretches 7,050 yards from the back tees. With wide Bermuda fairways and bent-grass greens, the course is playable -- reflected in its mild course rating (72.2) -- but also has pitfalls, evident by its daunting slope (140).

Course architect Denis Griffiths, known for his restraint and designing courses consistent with their surroundings, has guided projects in four different continents, but his work is best known around Atlanta where his name graces several of the region's most highly regarded courses, including mountain classic Brasstown Valley Resort (4.6 player rating on, the elegant 27 holes at the Georgia Club (4.6) in Statham, and two courses at Chateau Elam -- the Woodlands (4.1) and Chateau (4.1).

The Griffiths creation that rates the highest however is Crystal Falls (4.8), which was opened in 2006.

"Denis Griffiths is a master and this is one of his better designs," wrote bulldog89. "I would highly recommend this course to the player with a 10 or less handicap index. Strong test (and) in great condition."

Even in the area north of Atlanta that is rich with competition, Crystal Falls rates favorably on to other favorites such as Achasta Golf Club (4.4), Woodmont Golf & Country Club (4.3), River Pines Golf Course (4.2), BridgeMill Athletic Club (4.2), Cobblestone Golf Course (4.2) and Bradshaw Farm (4.2), and other privates that have opened to public play such as Bent Tree Country Club (4.5) and The Manor (4.3).

One player went so far as to compare particular elements of Crystal Falls to nearby Augusta National.

"Greens in great condition, course is pretty wide open, and rough was not that bad," wrote u000004526166. "Several holes had Augusta-like rough, pine trees and pine needles."

Crystal Falls Golf Club: The verdict

Much of the enthusiasm for Crystal Falls comes from public course players who appreciate the serenity and private club amenities and atmosphere at a reasonable price. Weekend rates at the course top out at $65.

"Absolutely one of the most challenging, best conditioned, fun courses I have played," wrote wnmills850, of Fayetteville, Ark. "It is sad to realize that the terrible real estate market in this area basically negated this club's plans, as it would be a premier, exclusive destination. But what a great opportunity for a three-times-a-week golfer like myself."

Kevin DunleavyKevin Dunleavy, Contributor

Kevin Dunleavy is a longtime resident of northern Virginia, a graduate of George Mason University, an award-winning reporter covering golf, colleges, and other sports for the Washington Examiner, and a single-digit handicap still seeking his elusive first hole-in-one. Follow Kevin on Twitter at @KDunleavy.

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