If you love golf, live in Georgia, or you’re planning a visit, there’s a wide variety of great courses and golf resorts to choose from that fit every budget. We want you to have the best golfing experience possible, so here’s a list of our top five venues.
The Best Public Golf Courses in Georgia
You may be pleasantly surprised to find that there’s a great track right around the corner, or close enough for a weekend getaway. Check the GolfDay Rating for a quick and easy way to be sure you are getting the most value for your money.
1. Reynolds Lake Oconee
Less than 2 hours southeast of Atlanta and nestled into the rolling lake country of Lake Oconee, Ritz-Carlton guests have five great courses to choose from. Number one among them is Great Waters, consistently ranked among the Golf Digest top 100 public courses in the US from the time Jack Nicklaus designed it in 1992. The course is a demanding test of golf while offering magnificent views of the Georgia landscape and Lake Oconee.
The Preserve was designed by master architect Bob Cupp with input from Fuzzy Zoeller and Hubert Green—a pair of U.S. Open champions.
The National offers 27 holes, beautifully laid out by Tom Fazio while the eighteen-hole Oconee course was designed by nonother than Rees Jones, the “Open Doctor” himself.
The Landing is the original course at Reynolds Lake Oconee, another Bob Cupp masterpiece sculpted among the pines along the lake.
2. Sea Island Resort
With three great courses to choose from as well as a world class performance center, Sea Island is among the finest golf resort destinations in the world. The Seaside course, a classic Colt & Alison design that was masterfully enhanced and updated by Tom Fazio, is ranked in the top 100 public courses by Golf Digest and also the site of the PGA tour’s RSM Classic each year in March.
The Plantation Course was originally designed by Walter Travis as a 9-hole layout, with an additional nine added by Davis Love and Mark Love to create a wonderful eighteen-hole track. Travis trademark features such as the Principal’s Nose and chocolate drops can still be found, as the Love brothers have created a timeless treasure with gorgeous ocean views.
The Retreat is the third eighteen-hole course at Sea Island, but no less enjoyable to play. Davis and Mark endeavored to expand and revitalize this Dick Wilson original, and succeeded with resounding success. Challenging yet playable, the Retreat course rounds out a trio of wonderful courses to perfection.
3. University of Georgia Course
About an hour east of Atlanta, the University of Georgia Golf Course is home to the Bulldog golf team, a perennial powerhouse that produced two-time Masters champ Bubba Watson. Designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr., we rate the UGA course among the top 10 University courses in the country.
In addition to students and alumni, the course is open to the public for everyone to enjoy. A first-rate practice facility and PGA professional staff will help polish your game, and you can pick up some UGA gear while you’re there.
4. Cherokee Run
We rate Cherokee Run among the top 25 Municipal courses in the country. Located less than hour east of Atlanta, the city of Conyers has provided a great place to play for residents and visitors alike. In addition to a wonderful layout designed by Arnold Palmer, Cherokee run includes a grass driving range and short game practice facility as well as a golf academy with a variety of junior golf programs.
5. Echelon Golf Club
A fabulous layout in Alpharetta designed by Rees Jones, Echelon Golf Club is less than hour north of Atlanta. Like just about every Rees Jones course, Echelon is a stiff test of golf with a USGA course rating of 77.2 and a slope of 149 from the tips. Scratch golfers will get all the challenge they can ask for, but with four sets of tees, everyday golfers can enjoy the course and test their skills as well without needing to bomb it 330 or stick a six iron from 200 yards.
The course is kept in beautiful condition and the greens are perfect, so get ready for a great day on the links—and the greens fees are more than reasonable (particularly in the afternoon on a weekday).
When it comes to public golf, the state of Georgia is second to none and perfect weather just about all year long. To find the best course nearby or if you are planning a visit, check out GolfDay for everything you need to know.