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Atlanta Area Course Review and Conditions


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#1 darius1213

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 10:01 AM

Thought this might be useful for those of us who live in the Atlanta area. I've found it difficult to find dependable and current info/reviews on golf courses. Seems like a lot of the resources will have posts from 2008 and little to no reviews. Anyway, here are a couple that I've played in the last few weeks:

Crystal Lake - South down I-75 in Hampton, GA. 45 minute drive from midtown Atlanta. Solid design and challenging layout with a couple brutally long par 4s and 3s. We played the gold tees (one up from tips) and had plenty of golf course to deal with. I think the tips are 7200ish. This course is tough and one of the guys I was playing with (mid-90s golfer) had a pretty tough time. The course usually plays pretty firm and fast, so you'll see some pretty long drives, which is nice on a 490 yard par 4.

Four weeks ago the greens were in great shape and rolling pretty fast. They punched them two weeks ago (probable mid-June) or so and I played again last weekend and they were still a bit bumpy and slow, but should be coming along well by now. Overall a really nice course and usually pretty cheap on GolfNow (we played for $32 each on a Saturday with cart). No real low spots out here, I pretty much like all the holes. Also, they seem to have events out on the range a lot. After my round a month ago there was a butt tournament going on with Hooters girls serving beer and hot dogs, so that's pretty cool.

Wolf Creek - Southwest of the city, 30 minutes from midtown. I really like this course. The design is fun and manageable for most skill levels. I played on Saturday (June 30) and the greens were in solid shape, a little slower than I've seen them before, but they roll well. I actually putted great, so I loved them.
There are a couple shorter par 4s on the back that are maybe drivable, I've never gotten there, but been pretty close a few times. One straight downhill, 100 yard par 3 that is kind of annoying, but other than that it's a really solid layout. I usually play the blue tees (one up from tips) which are in the 6500 range I think. Also relatively affordable, usually around $45-50 on GolfNow.

So, I guess if you guys could add to the list that would be great. I'd really like to hear what people think of Cherokee Run, Eagles Brooke, or Durham Lakes if any of you guys have played these courses lately.

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#2 Yepyukon

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 10:49 AM

I live outside of the ATL area (closer to Cartersville/Hiram) so I will try to do a few reviews on those courses when I play them.  Have only played one time in the last month though.

Woodland Hills - Formerly Plantation (Carter Groove) in Cartersville.  Northwest from the city, ~1 hour drive.  Located on the southern part of Cartersville off exit 285 Red Top Mountain Road (I75 N).  This can be a really fun golf course when you just want to have a good time.  Par 71, 6420 from the tips, 70/124 rating.  The course has 3 par 5's and 3 par 3's on the back.  While the course is shorter, it puts an emphasis on shot making.  There are some par 4's that are reachable with a good drive, but not very accessible.  The par 3's can make you cry if you do not hit the green ranging from ~140-220 yards.  The course was shut down for a year while it was under the process of finding new ownership, yet the grounds crew still maintained the course making it immaculate at the moment.  It has a good sized putting green, small chipping area (no bunker) and decent range.  The greens tend to roll on about a 8-10 and the price is pretty affordable (~30 week/$50 weekend with cart).
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#3 scs1070

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 09:58 AM

Its official.   Bent greens are all dead.

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#4 darius1213

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 03:42 PM

View Postscs1070, on 04 July 2012 - 09:58 AM, said:

Its official.   Bent greens are all dead.

where did you play?

i was at st. marlo on thursday and they were in really good shape.
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#5 scs1070

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 06:11 PM

Played at chestatee on Thursday and they were bad, so much water on them to keep them alive.  Then played up at Coosa on Saturday and they were in good shape.  I guess it depends on how good your sup is.


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#6 thejuice

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 10:35 PM

Darius, I'm glad you started this thread.  I hope they make it a sticky.  

Durham Lakes
Played this course in late June and was disappointed in its conditions compared to when I've played it in the past but, with that said, it is still a very good value with an interesting layout.  This course has some shot-makers' holes as well as some pretty straight-forward opportunities.  There is even a very tempting risk-reward driveable par 4 that has a "C" shape around a lake.  The Mickleson type golfer (me) will go for the green which can play to a 275 yard carry (do-able for some when there is no wind).  Otherwise, a mid iron to the fairway and then short iron to the green for an easy birdie or par.  Overall, a good course for the money but I hope they bring back some of the grounds maintenance they had when they first opened a few years back.

Southwind
Just played this course this past Sunday (July 8th) for the first time and it is definitely interesting.  A friend of mine warned me that the fairways are hard and he was right.  Your ball can potentially roll for days on some of the holes which would make any man's head swell when he thinks he hit a 350 yard drive with 120 yards of that being roll (or bounce).  The greens were in good shape although they ran fairly slow, especially compared to the fairways.  We played from the blues (which plays to about 6200 yds) but I don't see that the black tees would have been much of a difference.  There are quite a few blind shots so course knowledge would help most golfers go really low on this track.  I can see that the lack of homes and lots sold in this community have driven the prices down and I honestly don't see this course being open for more than another year.  It's a shame because the cart girls were ultra-cute.  

River Pines
This is the closest course to my house so I play it often.  I honestly don't like the golf on the North side of town because I feel it is WAY overpriced and the type of people that play these courses are either snobbish Americans or totally-unaware-of-golf-etiquette Koreans.  One of my good friends, who is Korean, said he personally hates golf north of 285 because "his people are just plain rude on a golf course!"  But I digress...the course itself is not a very memorable course but very well maintained with a really good range and nice starters.  You can work your way around this course with pretty much a 3 wood and a few irons (and of course your putter) but I try to play it differently every time I play a round to make it interesting.  Overall, I only play this course when there is a special or at the twilight rate.  

Sugar Creek
Definitely not the most well maintained course and definitely not a country club course but probably, in my opinion, the best bang for the buck 18 hole course in Atlanta.  It is TIGHT with ok fairways but surprisingly good greens and an interesting layout.  For it not to be a crazy long course (around 6300 from the blues) it can definitely wrack your brain and cause you to curse with it's tree lined fairways and doglegs.  I try to play it at least once a month.

Again, I'm glad this thread was started.  Let's keep it going!!!
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#7 Intimadator2007

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 11:40 PM

I played Eagles Brook 3 weeks ago in a tourny and I was really looking forward to playing the course I have heard  alot of good things about it . Turns out they were wrong . Maybe it was the dry wheather and lack of water but there was absolutely no grass in the fairways , bare hard pan worse I've seen anywhere. The greens were ok ,but not like you would expect. The course has some tuff holes and a great layout but i couldn't get over the condition of the fairways. Maybe with some rain they will come back but they were very,very bare . Great friendly staff in the clubhouse and they were very apologetic about the condition of the fairways . I will play the course again but will wait till next year .

One of the best bangs for the buck is at Morgan Dairy in Griffin. The course is in the best shape its ever been in . Only a few tee boxes need work and a few cart paths could use some new concrete. But for $22 It is a steal, The greens are Huge and in awesome shape , they Punched them 3 weeks ago and by the weekend they'll be rolling up there with the greens at Sun City or Cotton Fields or Heron Bay


Great thread , I live just south of the racetrack and have played about every course on the south side and most out east . To bad
Hickory Ridge in thomaston closed AGAIN . That course is one of the hidden gems in all the southeast . A PGA layout if i've ever seen one . They built a multi million dollar clubhouse last year and put tons of money in the course redoing all the greens . The course is spectacular when it comes to mountain views and scenery, and roller coaster cart paths drives that were worth the price of admission for playing . Lots of deer roamed the fairways and some of the tee boxes were elevated at over 100 feet . If you like to play mountain golf that was the place to go . With a multi million dollar clubhouse sitting there and the best course on the south side of atlanta it shouldn't sit long before someone scoops it up , probably canon gate . A Robert Trent Jones designed course sitting in the middle of no where with no golfers is a crying shame .

Edited by Intimadator2007, 10 July 2012 - 11:49 PM.


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#8 darius1213

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 01:19 PM

Got a couple to add:

Southland - Stone Mountain area. Sort of a typical "country" layout. It doesn't seem like they moved much dirt in creating the course. That being said, it's a pretty fun layout in decent enough shape. The fairways are super hard, so you can really get drives out there pretty long, but also can get some pretty unfair rollouts into trouble areas. Greens are slowish and SUPER grainy (some sort of Bermuda not Champion). Really cheap and the guy in the pro shop let me get ice from their ice machine for a cooler of beer that i brought with me. So they have that. Overall a decent experience, I may go back there if I have friends who are bad at golf in town.

St. Marlo - North-east of Atlanta, about 45 minutes from Midtown. I like this course, mostly solid holes with some elevation change, but nothing extreme. The greens were in really good shape and the fairways were solid as well. Plays 6600 from the blues and close to 7000 from the tips. We played the blues and it was a fun round, I probably could have moved back, but the guy I was playing with was a little shorter. Best drive of the day was flying the bunkers on 10, left with 165 into the par 5. Crappiest hole is 9 a par 5 with a ridiculous up hill, over a boulder second shot. I found the majority of the other holes to be well designed and interesting. I've played the course twice and will definitely return.
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#9 darius1213

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 01:27 PM

Also, I can echo thejuice's comments on both River Pines and Sugar Creek. The atmosphere at Sugar Creek is great. I've had some great pair ups there and the greens are always in better than expected condition.
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#10 Body_Visions

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 01:39 PM

A bit outside of Atlanta, but I played Scales Country Club (formerly Hammer's Glen) in Homer last week.  The greens had been recently punched but are coming back nicely and the rest of the course is great.  It is a nice layout and fairly priced as well.


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#11 thejuice

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 10:36 PM

**Echelon**
Played this course last Sunday for the second time in a couple of months.  This course is TOUGH but with the right bounces, it can be fair.  There are a lot of forced carries and not-so-flat fairways, but the greens are very receptive and the design is pretty good.  Some of the most memorable holes are 8 (nice looking par 3), 9 (long, uphill par 4), 11 (crazy long, and winding par 5), 13 (gorgeous downhill par 4), and 18 (90 degree dogleg right).  Almost all of the holes are really good, these are the just the ones that come to mind as memorable.  I would definitely play it again (even though I've shot my highest scores of the summer there).  There can be really good deals found specifically during the week so if you can find one of those deals, jump on it.

Edited by thejuice, 30 July 2012 - 01:11 AM.

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#12 thejuice

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 01:10 AM

Cobblestone

Played here Sunday, July 29th and it was a very enjoyable round due to very good course conditions, a friendly, welcoming staff, and a very picturesque view of the lake that borders seemingly half the holes on the course.  The tee boxes were in great shape, the fairways in even better condition and the greens rolled well, even though they were sandy (but not punched) and felt a little hard.  I hit quite a few high approach shots into these greens and there were absolutely no pitch marks to repair.  I don't think I've seen this before but, as stated, the course was in good shape which includes the greens and their look.
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#13 peterk430

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 02:56 PM

Played Wolf Creek two weeks ago and the course was in incredible shape.  You tell fairway from ruff.  Clear cut fairways.  Nice lay out.  Greens where in excellent shape and supper fast.  Golf now Friday rate was only $29.  For that you will not find a better place to play.

Love Crystal Lake.  Course is in decent shape and always a great price on golf now.  The staff there is also great.  Same guy designed this as St. Marlo and you can play this for way less and the course is almost as well maintained as St. Marlow at a fraction of the cost.

Heritage is another course I like.  Mainly it's close to work and home.  I live by Piedmont Park.  Decent layout and decent price.  Played a few weeks back and a few of the greens were sanded and aerated.  Hope they grew in and back over the sand.

Bear's Best is nice.  Great hole layout but was not in the shape I expected for the price.  Have to say Wolf Creek looked better.  

Echelon.  What can I say.  Overpriced.  No way was it worth the price to play.   Service sucked as they have no beer girl or real club house but want prices like they do.  Range had no balls.  Will not be back for even a $30 price.

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#14 Llortamaisey

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 03:00 PM

I heard a rumor that Crystal Lake went into foreclosure. That's unfortunate. Hopefully receivership will keep the staff and maintain the course properly.

Edited by Llortamaisey, 14 August 2012 - 03:01 PM.


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#15 Yepyukon

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 06:46 PM

Played Cartersville Country Club today.  It is a private golf course, but if you ever get the priveledge, it is well worth it.  They have some of the best greens in GA year round.  The layout of the course is fairly demanding from the tips (73.2/137) while still allowing a good ball striking round to go low.  It has pretty large fairways but very penal rough and if you play the "Jason Bohn" tees, be prepared to hit long iron/hybrid in to several par 3s and into par 4s.

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#16 peterk430

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 11:28 AM

View PostLlortamaisey, on 14 August 2012 - 03:00 PM, said:

I heard a rumor that Crystal Lake went into foreclosure. That's unfortunate. Hopefully receivership will keep the staff and maintain the course properly.

Sorry to hear that.  Not surprised if true.  Hard to make money when I've never paid over $25 and the course has always been empty.

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#17 Body_Visions

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 02:52 PM

I played The Orchard in Clarkesville last week  It is a great course, in the best shaped I have ever seen it, and you can get a good rate as well.

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#18 Llortamaisey

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 02:59 PM

View Postpeterk430, on 15 August 2012 - 11:28 AM, said:

View PostLlortamaisey, on 14 August 2012 - 03:00 PM, said:

I heard a rumor that Crystal Lake went into foreclosure. That's unfortunate. Hopefully receivership will keep the staff and maintain the course properly.

Sorry to hear that.  Not surprised if true.  Hard to make money when I've never paid over $25 and the course has always been empty.

Actually, the course makes money. Rumor has it that the absent owner doesn't pay mortgage bills. Again, this is all just hearsay. I don't know anyone close enough to the situation that knows the truth first hand.

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#19 thejuice

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 11:08 PM

View PostLlortamaisey, on 16 August 2012 - 02:59 PM, said:

View Postpeterk430, on 15 August 2012 - 11:28 AM, said:

View PostLlortamaisey, on 14 August 2012 - 03:00 PM, said:

I heard a rumor that Crystal Lake went into foreclosure. That's unfortunate. Hopefully receivership will keep the staff and maintain the course properly.

Sorry to hear that.  Not surprised if true.  Hard to make money when I've never paid over $25 and the course has always been empty.

Actually, the course makes money. Rumor has it that the absent owner doesn't pay mortgage bills. Again, this is all just hearsay. I don't know anyone close enough to the situation that knows the truth first hand.

I hope Afiniti or another group saves it.  I have only played once in a scramble years ago but I remember it being in super nice condition and I was hoping to play it at least once before year's end.
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#20 Intimadator2007

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 04:46 PM

<p>River Forest in Forsyth ....Incredible place to be . The course is absolutley incredible , Pure championship condition golf course , Impecible . If you get a chance River Forest is a must play .And take plenty of pictures you will be in Awe !</p>
rf.jpg river.jpg riverforest.jpg

Edited by Intimadator2007, 18 August 2012 - 04:51 PM.


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#21 dannytmc

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 03:49 PM

If you are a Canongate member, then River Forest is indeed a treat.  For the guest rate of $55 on weekends, it is still a tremendous bargain and a fee that I would shell out with no problem.  Just a long-a$$ trip to get there.  :-)

On that note, the newly installed champion bermudas at Olde Atlanta and Smoke Rise are quite impressive given that both courses only re-opened in the past 2 weeks.  Seems that there are plans to redo all of the bent greens to bermudas at many, if not all, of the Canongate courses.  While I am not a fan of bermuda greens, these greens are fast and smooth.

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#22 RookieBlue7

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 04:35 PM

View PostYepyukon, on 02 July 2012 - 10:49 AM, said:

I live outside of the ATL area (closer to Cartersville/Hiram) so I will try to do a few reviews on those courses when I play them.  Have only played one time in the last month though.

Woodland Hills - Formerly Plantation (Carter Groove) in Cartersville.  Northwest from the city, ~1 hour drive.  Located on the southern part of Cartersville off exit 285 Red Top Mountain Road (I75 N).  This can be a really fun golf course when you just want to have a good time.  Par 71, 6420 from the tips, 70/124 rating.  The course has 3 par 5's and 3 par 3's on the back.  While the course is shorter, it puts an emphasis on shot making.  There are some par 4's that are reachable with a good drive, but not very accessible.  The par 3's can make you cry if you do not hit the green ranging from ~140-220 yards.  The course was shut down for a year while it was under the process of finding new ownership, yet the grounds crew still maintained the course making it immaculate at the moment.  It has a good sized putting green, small chipping area (no bunker) and decent range.  The greens tend to roll on about a 8-10 and the price is pretty affordable (~30 week/$50 weekend with cart).

This is my home course.  Word to the wise, if you're used to greens that roll at least a 10 or better, don't go here.  I'm serious.  Their greens are like putting on shag carpet, they're that slow.  I think an 8 is generous, they roll more like a 6 to me.  I know why too, because they're afraid that the grass is going to die because it always does from early to mid July until early September (bent grass and 30+ year old greens).  They need to at least start rolling them to speed them up some, but that won't happen.  There's talk about going to Championship Bermuda next year (after the group that bought the place sees what kind of money they make, which should be enough to nearly pay the course off in year 1 since they only paid $670k for it, the last year they were open before the foreclosure, the gross was a little north of $2m, saw the books).  I hope they do something, because it's to the point that I dread going to play there and am going other places, they're so slow.  The course is short, but there's a premium on shotmaking here.  Seriously, missing the fairway or several of the greens and there's no good miss.  We played a scramble there a few weeks ago for work, the winning score?  -15, which is pathetic for a 4 man (we've consistently shot -20 or better in every scramble the team I put together has played in in the last 2 years.  It was because of the slow, bumpy greens).  We had 1 eagle and that was on #2, where I drove the par 4 green with a 13* 3 wood to 6 feet.  Anything outside of 6 feet, and it's a tough putt.  They're that slow and bumpy and don't roll true at all.

Love CCC, and I've been playing a pretty good bit of golf there. The greens are always fast and roll true.  I love fast greens, though.  Good thing is, except for a few holes, even if you miss the fairway you can still play the ball from wherever you end up.

Edited by RookieBlue7, 27 August 2012 - 04:39 PM.


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#23 peterk430

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 10:29 AM

Played Bobby Jones last Saturday evening.  Just wanted to see if it was really that bad as I live 5 min from there.  Worst course I've played.  The place was in terrible shape.  A bunch of the holes smelled of sewage.  The only half decent part were the greens.  Bumpy but rolled fairly quick.  Not going back for free even.

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#24 Mdmspop

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 12:24 PM

Played St. Marlo last week and unfortunately, they have pretty much lost their bent greens. Too bad, as they are usually very nice and I'm sure they will gett hem back now that things are cooling off.

The new bermuda greens at Olde Atlanta are looking and rolling really really well.

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#25 LBWAHOO

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 07:49 AM

Played The Frog yesterday and it's in great shape. I live in Smyrna so it's about a 30 minute drive to get out to Villa Rica for me. Fazio course so there's lots of sand but it's a fair course. There was a time you couldn't get on for less than $80 but I find weekend deals all the time for around $50. They have an iPhone app that makes booking tee times really easy. This is my favorite track in the ATL metro.

Sorry to hear about Crystal Lakes. I played it last year and it was in great shape. My group would play it more if it wasn't so far south.



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#26 mshills

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 08:05 AM

That is bad news on Crystal Lake. I know the housing in that community is struggling badly, hope the course does not go to crap too as I really like the layout and the staff is by and large very cool too.

Does anyone have a recent round at Durham Lakes? Last I played there it was in such bad shape it was almost unplayable, wanted to see if there has been any comeback.

In other news, the Coweta Club is in good shape as always, and I hear the greens and overall condition at the Bears Best are excellent, following the slight break in the heat over the last couple of weeks.
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#27 Llortamaisey

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 08:54 AM

The new rumor is that Crystal Lake and Eagle's Brooke will be managed or purchased by Affiniti Golf. Not sure why I keep calling them rumors at this point but I have to act like I don't know.

If this is allegedly true, it's a big move for Affiniti. They will be moving in on Canongate's stronghold of Atlanta.

Edited by Llortamaisey, 03 September 2012 - 08:54 AM.


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#28 Longshoe

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 08:53 PM

I played Crystal Lake about a week ago and it was in very good shape.  We drove down from Atlanta and were really happy with it and will definitely be going back.  

Real shame about Hickory Ridge.  Back when I played with my Dad a lot, he was a member with the group that owned the Pines, Cedars, Hickory Ridge, and Raintree. I loved playing Hickory Ridge.  I took a friend down from Atlanta last summer and it was in poor shape.  At least the $20 fee plus lunch was worth it, the burger was one of the best I've ever had.  Really hope that course gets bought by the right folks and brought back into good shape.  

Anyone played Bear's Best recently?  Heading there on Saturday morning for the first time...

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#29 mshills

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 12:21 PM

Bears Best is in nice shape. Greens were slow at the beginning of August (better to keep them slow versus dead!) but since the heat broke (largely), the greens are back as they should be - nice and quick.
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#30 Longshoe

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 06:55 PM

Nice, good to hear! I'm really looking forward to it.

View Postmshills, on 04 September 2012 - 12:21 PM, said:

Bears Best is in nice shape. Greens were slow at the beginning of August (better to keep them slow versus dead!) but since the heat broke (largely), the greens are back as they should be - nice and quick.


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