The AJC’s Top 18 public golf holes: Cherokee/Cobb

Aerial view of the 15th green at Cobblestone Golf Course in Acworth. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

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Aerial view of the 15th green at Cobblestone Golf Course in Acworth. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Editor's note: This is the first in a six-part series feature the 18 best public golf holes in metro Atlanta. The series is divided into regions and will culminate with a Grand 18 next Sunday. Today: Cherokee/Cobb | Tomorrow: North Fulton/Forsyth

When it comes to identifying the best public golf facilities in Georgia, Cobblestone Golf Course in Acworth is at the top of most lists. The course, owned by Cobb County, sits on Lake Acworth and features an assortment of 18 holes that range from challenging to interesting.

“It’s got very interesting terrain, and you get to play six or seven holes right on the lake,” course designer Ken Dye said. “The tall pines remind me of the ones you see in Augusta. Put it all together, and you’ve got something pretty special.”

The course features numerous terraced fairways, sculpted by Dye to prevent a ball from rolling into the woods, and several elevated tees. And while the course plays only 6,759 yards (par 71) from the tips, it has plenty of muscle.

“Every hole has its challenge,” said Jeff Colter, a member of the board of directors for the Cobblestone’s Men’s Golf Association. “I never thought I could play one golf course this much and never get tired of it, but I don’t.”

When it came to selecting The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Top 18 public golf holes in Cobb/Cherokee, three holes from Cobblestone were included. The list includes public, municipal, resort and semiprivate facilities that are open to outside play. Yardages listed are from the back tees. The list is in no particular order.

1. Cobblestone Golf Course, Acworth: No. 2, 472 yards, par 4 – The most difficult hole on the course is lined by trees and plays to a well-guarded two-tier green loaded with undulation. Being in the correct position off the tee is crucial on this long dogleg left.

2. Cobblestone Golf Course, Acworth: No. 15, 542 yards, par 5 – The double dogleg plays downhill and finishes with a green that sits majestically on the lake. Dye said, "It's probably the best par 5 on the golf course."

3. Cobblestone Golf Course, Acworth: No. 18, 441 yards, par 4 – The view from the elevated tee allows the player to see the trouble that lurks, starting with the lake on the left side. There is a fairway bunker to avoid on the right, then it's gradually uphill to the hole.

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Aerial view of the second hole from the green at Cobblestone Golf Course in Acworth. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Aerial view of the second hole from the green at Cobblestone Golf Course in Acworth. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Combined ShapeCaption
Aerial view of the second hole from the green at Cobblestone Golf Course in Acworth. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

4. Bradshaw Farm Golf Club, Woodstock: Red No. 8, 154 yards, par 3 – A scenic hole that requires a carry over water to a peninsula green. A flowing fountain adds to the beauty.

5. BridgeMill Athletic Club, Canton: No. 16, 199 yards, par 3 – One of the most famous and photographed holes in metro Atlanta. The Island green is encircled by a pair of semicircular, narrow sand traps. Better to miss and need a sandy rather than missing short and needing a new golf ball.

6. BridgeMill Athletic Club, Canton: No. 17, 415 yards, par 4 – A dogwood left plays tougher when you hit the wrong side of the fairway. The tiered green is narrow and well protected.

7. Callahan Golf Links, Waleska: No. 10, 517 yards, par 4 – A challenging hole with a lake that comes into play along the right as you finish. An undulating, elevated green awaits your approach.

8. City Club of Marietta: No. 2, 252 yards, par 4 – The dogleg right hole plays slightly uphill, but don't get cocky – there are trees on both sides and the demanding green complex awaits.

9. City Club of Marietta: No. 14, 491 yards, par 5: – A makeover by architect Mike Young turned this into a par 5. The hole plays downhill with a pond on the left. The venerable City Club (former site of the Marietta Country Club) has benefited greatly from its transformation to TifEagle Bermuda greens in 2019.

10. Dogwood Golf Club, Austell: No. 7, 375 yards, par 4 – An approach to the shallow, angled and elevated green requires pinpoint accuracy, but first you must avoid the creek on the right with your tee shot. Broadcaster Brian Katrek, a frequent guest at Dogwood, said, "This green requires as much precision from the approach shot as any green in the state. All that without any greenside bunkers."

11. Echelon Golf Club, Alpharetta: No. 13, 508 yards, par 4 – The elevated tee shot must carry a broad native area to a green that runs downhill and doglegs to the right. The 20-mile view from the tee box is one of the best you'll find.

12. Fairways of Canton: No. 18, 486 yards, par 5 – Architect D.J. DeVictor reversed the nines to make this panoramic hole, complete with mountain vistas, a memorable way to end the day. "We widened it substantially, allowing the golfer the courage to let it rip on this downhill slider," Devictor said. The green area is shared by the ninth green complex.

13. Highlands Golf Course at Lake Arrowhead, Waleska: No. 10, 514 yards, par 5 – This is one of the few valley holes on the course, with a stream running along the right side and crossing in front of the green. The green complex is large and allows for shots through the green and to the right. A fun hole that offers a birdie opportunity.

14. Highlands Golf Course at Lake Arrowhead, Waleska: No. 17, 165 yards, par 3 – A dramatic downhill hole framed by mountains in the background. Breezes may hold the shot up and possibly push it right, which leaves a pitch or putt from off the green. DeVictor said, "This allows the golfer to be aggressive at the tee and potentially pad their score before facing the (challenging) 18th."

15. Legacy Golf Links, Smyrna: No. 3, 106 yards, par 3 – It's only a wedge from the back tee, but the setting with water in the front and the rock outcroppings is quite memorable.

16. Towne Lake Hills Golf Club, Woodstock: No. 2, 534 yards, par 5 – The hole on this Arthur Hills design runs downhill, so expect some help with the distance. But it requires a third shot to carry a water hazard in order to reach an elevated green.

17. Woodmont Golf and Country Club, Canton: No 16, 573 yards, par 5 – A true three-shot par-5 – one of three on the back nine on this Robert Trent Jones Jr. design – that requires all three shots to carry the water. An S-shaped creek crosses the fairway and runs in front of the green.

18. Woodmont Golf and Country Club, Canton: No. 17, 365 yards, par 4 – Scenic, but troublesome. A tee shot must be accurate and the second shot must carry the lake, which borders the green in front and on the right and leaves little room for safety.

Best of series

• AJC's Top 18: Cherokee/Cobb
• AJC's Top 18: North Fulton/Forsyth
• AJC's Top 18: East Metro
• AJC's Top 18: Gwinnett
• AJC's Top 18: Southside
• The Grand 18