Golfers in many large metropolitan areas have trouble locating a place to play. But there are many good public golf courses within the borders of Atlanta. They feature a good layout and good to above-average conditions. You probably won’t get the frills that come with playing at a private club, but you do have some decent options.
Here are the top municipal – or purely public courses – within the city of Atlanta.
Wolf Creek Golf Course: This course is close enough to the airport that people who have a lengthy stopover at Hartsfield-Jackson can slip away for nine holes. The layout features some topographical changes and a number of blind approach shots. But conditions are normally good and it’s a fun place to play.
North Fulton Golf Course: This one is a classic. The course was designed in 1937 by Chandler Egan, with some input from Bobby Jones, the greatest amateur of all time, and Walter Hagen, the greatest professional from the first part of the 20th century. The course, which is next to Chastain Park, is a strong layout. The 18th hole, which requires two long shots to an uphill green which is quite undulating, has broken more than a few hearts. This place stays busy, so don’t expect to zip around in less than five hours.
Browns Mill Golf Course: This course got new championship bermudagrass greens a couple years ago, which makes it a bargain for its price and layout. The course, originally designed by George Cobb, is pretty straightforward; there’s not a lot of trickery involved. The third hole is a long par 4 that is one of the most difficult in the city. Like most city courses, expect heavy play and long rounds on the weekend.
Bobby Jones Golf Course: The great Bobby Jones had a hand in designing this one with architect John Van Kleek. The holes run up and down the hills that surround Battle Creek. The result is an interesting mix of holes that can sometimes lead to confusion. The last hole is particularly fun; it’s a par 4 dogleg left that requires a blind tee shot from the top of a hill to a fairway that turns left toward the clubhouse. This course also got new Bermuda greens and stays pretty busy, but probably less so that North Fulton and Browns Mill.
Tup Holmes Golf Course: Named in honor of Alfred “Tup” Holmes, a pioneer for black golfers in the city, the courses is a lot of fun to play. The course was originally known as Adams Park, but was changed to honor Holmes, a professional who took the city to court so that blacks could play on the city’s golf courses. Holmes was inducted into the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame in 2011. Designed by Garrett Williams, the course opened in 1926.
Charlie Yates Golf Course: The home of the First Tee at Eastlake. The course is normally in good playing condition and is a challenge for an executive course. An interesting layout that is very walkable, although carts are available and readily used.
Chastain Park Golf Course: There are only nine holes and you have to walk, but the atmosphere is definitely low key and inviting. This is home of the famous “dog-butt left,” known as the site where Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist Steve Hummer unintentionally smacked a dog in the hind quarter while it was relieving itself. The last hole plays straight uphill and is not for those who are cardiac challenged.
John A. White: The home of the First Tee program, this is a good nine hole layout that features some good conditions. The range and practice area is large and spacious.