The AJC’s Top 18 public golf holes: North Fulton/Forsyth

Editor's note: This is the second 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 on Sunday. Part 1: Cherokee/CobbToday: North Fulton/ForsythTomorrow: East Metro

Public golf has never been better in the City of Atlanta, thanks to the completion of the innovative Bobby Jones Golf Course in 2018.

The reversable nine-hole tract, designed by the late Georgia Golf Hall of Fame architect Bob Cupp, and its practice areas have quickly become a favorite spot for Atlanta golfers. The complex also features a six-hole short course for juniors and houses the Jack Bandy Learning center for lessons and club fitting. The project will be complete later this summer with the opening of the Murray Golf House, which will be the home of the Georgia State Golf Association, the Georgia PGA and the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame.

The new Bobby Jones is much more worthy of its namesake and replaced an old layout that was worn out, often nonsensical in its routing and occasionally dangerous because of blind shots and unmarked fairways.

“We believe Mr. Jones would particularly appreciate our new facility’s focus on junior golf and adaptive golf, given his own life history as a junior prodigy, but being confined to a wheelchair in his final years. The Jones family is very pleased about and supportive of the project,” said Chuck Palmer, a former GSGA president and member of the Bobby Jones Golf Course Foundation’s Board of Directors.

The Bobby Jones Golf Course is represented by three holes on the AJC’s Best 18 Public Holes in North Fulton/Forsyth. 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. Bobby Jones Golf Course, Atlanta:  No. 4 Azalea, 329 yards, par 4 – The short risk-reward hole is flanked by Peachtree Creek on the right and a massive oak tree on the left. Stay out of the bunker left of the green or face a difficult 60-yard approach shot from the sand.

2. Bobby Jones Golf Course, Atlanta: No. 7 Azalea, 195 yards, par 3 – You get a lovely view of the Atlanta skyline from the elevated tee. Shots fly across Tanyard Creek to a punch bowl-shaped green surrounded by bunkers.



3. Bobby Jones Golf Course, Atlanta: No. 7 Magnolia, 406 yards, par 4 – This dogleg right demands a good tee shot because of the pond on the right side. An overaggressive draw might leave you hidden behind a tree with a weird angle into a narrow green.

4. Candler Park Golf Course, Atlanta: No. 1, 288 yards, par 4 – A good way to start the fun nine-hole walking course. It finishes with an approach to an elevated green that can be a challenge to hit. The historic course was built in 1927 by Coca-Cola founder Asa Candler, who later donated it to the city.

5. Chastain Park Golf Course, AtlantaNo. 9, 371 yards, par 4 – A tremendous risk-reward hole. Bombers can take a chance to take it over the creek – about 270 yards away – to set up an easy shot to the green.

6. Chastain Park Golf Course, AtlantaNo. 18, 446 yards, par 4 – Why not finish your round with the hardest hole on the back nine. Stay out of the trees on the left and take a deep breath (especially if you're walking) as the hole steadily climbs. Chastain Park is the jewel of the City of Atlanta's courses. It primarily was designed by Chandler Egan, a main contributor with Alister MacKenzie on the renovation of Pebble Beach Golf Links, with some input from Walter Hagen and Bobby Jones.

7. Country Land Golf Course, Cumming: No. 4, 460 yards, par 4 – This is a handful even from the middle tees. A blind tee shot must carry a mound and the approach shot is uphill to a small, undulating green.

8. Country Land Golf Course, Cumming: No. 12, 100 yards, par 3 – Don't be misled by the yardage. Plenty of bad things can happen on this fun hole, which plays over water to a narrow green that slopes from back to front. Too much spin on that wedge can draw the ball into the drink.

9. Steel Canyon Golf Course, Atlanta: No. 8, 200 yards, par 3 – The Canyon is best-known for its practice facilities, but the eighth hole is stout enough to belong anywhere. The tee shot must come through an intimidating chute of trees and leaves no room for error.

10. Trophy Club of Atlanta, Alpharetta: No. 2, 527 yards, par 5 – The length isn't the most difficult part of this hole. The key is the tee shot, which affords little margin for error since there are trees on the right and a creek on the left. If you can thread the needle, you are on your way.

11. Trophy Club of Atlanta, Alpharetta: No. 10, 522 yards, par 5 – A good drive here leaves you with an option to be aggressive and go for the green in two. A layup isn't a bad option, though, and offers an open shot to the green. Many players come here thinking birdie.

Credit: unknown

Credit: unknown

12. St. Marlo Country Club, Duluth: No. 12, 461 yards, par 4 – Rated as the No. 1 handicap hole thanks to its length and presence of water and some wicked bunkering.

13. St. Marlo Country Club, Duluth: No. 14, 391 yards, par 4 – Placement off the tee is more important than distance on this short, interesting par 4. It is most important to miss the pot bunker in the fairway to have a chance.

14. St. Marlo Country Club, Duluth: No. 16, 216 yards, par 3 – The tee shot must carry a pond and avoid the bunkers on the left and right. It's a real handful from the back tees. The Denis Griffiths design is visually stunning; it features more landscaping and stacked stones than many swanky private clubs.

15. RiverPines Golf, Johns CreekNo. 3, 172 yards, par 3 – It isn't often you get a chance to play a hole on the banks of the Chattahoochee River.

16. RiverPines Golf, Johns CreekNo. 7, 363 yards, par 4 – A demanding hole that gives you a chance to cut the dogleg and shorten the hole. Just make sure you stay out of the trees.

17. RiverPines Golf, Johns CreekNo. 12, 383 yards, par 4 – There is a lot of room on the right side of this hole. However, you want to go left.

18. Charlie Yates Golf Course, Atlanta: No. 8, 190 yards, par 3 – The tee box sits at the highest point of the golf course and features great views of the three surrounding holes. The tee shot is hit into a green protected by a steep bunker on the right side of the green. The hole is particularly scenic early in the morning or at dusk.

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