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Private clubs in North Atlanta area - Help needed


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#1 sonda

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 03:39 PM

All
Myself and a couple of friends have been playing public golf in the North Atlanta area for the better part of 15 years. Well after growing up in South Africa and then taking a once in a lifetime trip to Scotland recently, we came to the conclusion that we are doing it all wrong here in Atlanta. My pet peeves have been the following:

5 hour rounds
Carts required everywhere (Not walker friendly)

So that said, we are using the winter this year to research clubs in the North Atlanta area that meet the following criteria

Private
Reasonable or no initiation
Reasonable monthly’s
Walker Friendly

I think this should get us where we need to be. Since I live in Sandy Springs, and my buddies live in Roswell and Crabapple respectively, I am trying to get advice on the following clubs and your thoughts on them, as well as any membership deals I may be missing :

Horeshoe Bend
Brookfield West
Alpharetta Athletic Club
Country Club of Roswell

On the higher end of the scale, depending on if they have deals or not:

Atlanta National
White Columns
GC of Georgia
CC of the South

Any input or deal suggestions are much appreciated. Certainly let me know if I am missing a course I should be looking at. Please no Canongate!

Thanks


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#2 OB ReT Hit 3

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 07:18 PM

Look at Rivermont.  Off 400 and holcomb bridge.  Not far from horseshoe bend.  It is sort of walkable and usually in good shape.  Single owner, Chris Cupit, so he makes all the deicisions. Clubhouse is nothing speical but I think they might be redoing it.  LOTS of good players there.

Dues are not crazy  -$350ish I think.

#3 muxi87

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 07:37 PM

You can cross GCOG off the list if you aren't willing to pony up a nice initiation.  Easily the nicest course on the list by a wiiiiiiiiiiide margin.  You pay for what you get when it comes to GCOG vs the others.  The others on your list aren't even remotely in the same league in any way: course condition, clubhouse, membership, etc.  GCOG is prestigious and is ran that way...

CC of South is next condition wise.  Not sure where they are financially this second...but know they were obtained by a new mgmt company a year or so ago.

Atlanta National is next.  I know nothing about their memberships.

White Columns may have some deals...I know they can use the $.  Course is getting better.  Struggled condition wise for a while.  Still not spectacular, but probably best it's been in years.

Know some people at Alpharetta Athletic.  They don't seem thrilled about it, but it seems very affordable.

Don't know much about other three.



#4 Llortamaisey

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 08:45 PM

View Postsonda, on 29 October 2012 - 03:39 PM, said:

Brookfield West

Please no Canongate!

Hint, hint...

#5 sonda

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 11:51 AM

Thanks All. I had forgotten about Rivermont.

I REALLY like GCOG and had heard that they have a deferred initiation deal of some sort. I will do some additional research on all of the above.

Lastly, Thanks for Hint!


#6 dannytmc

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 03:43 PM

Was there any further information about this other than 'hint, hint' meaning, Canongate is not a great option?

#7 mshills

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 03:59 PM

Canongate "clubs" don't meet the OP's needs.  They're not walker friendly, and slam-packed tee sheets mean slow rounds.

Canongate is a decent budget option I suppose, but it's not in any way a private club experience.  Members and staff don't really know each other, too many members so it's hard to meet other members, course conditioning is marginal, restrictions on when & where you can walk, and slow play.  No thanks.
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#8 TM_HOYER

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 01:09 PM

View Postmshills, on 05 November 2012 - 03:59 PM, said:

Canongate "clubs" don't meet the OP's needs.  They're not walker friendly, and slam-packed tee sheets mean slow rounds.

Canongate is a decent budget option I suppose, but it's not in any way a private club experience.  Members and staff don't really know each other, too many members so it's hard to meet other members, course conditioning is marginal, restrictions on when & where you can walk, and slow play.  No thanks.

i agree about Canongate. You have some courses that are of muni quality and some that are very good tracks. They bought a lot of distressed courses cheap. That is why they have a large number of courses. All of the courses on the Northside of Atlanta are overcrowded and will take 5+ hours to play on a weekend.

Two other courses to consider are The Manor and Crystal Falls. The Manor is private that allows some public play but I heard that could end shortly. They are a full Country Club with all of the facilities above golf. Crystal Falls is a little drive but an outstanding course in great shape. If you are looking for golf only, they have an outstanding deal until the end of the year.

#9 sonda

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 06:26 AM

Thanks all. I went and tried Rivermont last weekend and was quite impressed. Dont think it is too walker friendly but it is a good layout with some really interesting greens. Good deal too. Will be trying a couple others here shortly. MSHILLS, you are exactly right on canongate. I can play good public courses if I want a five hour round.

#10 atlanta golfer

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 06:55 AM

CCOS is owned by ClubCorp. They bought it from the prior ownership who got into trouble with an expensive facility.   I know that because our club GM from Northwood CC just went there and we also are ClubCorp.  One benefit of ClubCorp is that you have playing priveleges at some other courses for an upgraded fee.  For example, we played Bears Best two weeks ago on Sunday for $29 incl cart fee and range balls.  I understand CCOS just got new greens last year and the people at my club speak highly of it.  If you want to be able to play a few other courses besides your own, this might be a good option for you.

Another guy I play with just raves about The Manor.  But I haven't played there.

Edited by atlanta golfer, 10 November 2012 - 06:57 AM.


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#11 p3ga

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 05:38 PM

+1 on Crystal Falls. Played it a few times this summer, joined shortly thereafter. Nice layout, very personable staff, food is pretty darn good.

If I wasn't an old fart, I would walk it; many members do. We've been averaging under 4:15 on Sundays.

I'm just west of Crabapple, it's a very easy 35 minute drive. Definitely worth considering, PM me if you need additional info.

#12 alphagolf

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 11:45 PM

Nicest courses on your list are GCOG and Atlanta National.

GCOG is running a reduced (deferred) initiation for 2500. Pretty good deal and you get 5 years to decide if you want to join. It does have 36 holes and they are nice. Pure golf no amenities dues are around 600. Lakeside is a stunning course.

Atlanta National is very nice too but you definitely want to play it first. It is a true Pete Dye course and some find it too difficult a course to become a member. You have to be "referred" in but the membership director will make introductions. Initiations vary up to 100k but you can get in at 12500 without refund option and dues of 500. They cap membership so it is never busy and they don't have tee times. Excellent condition right now. Majority walk this course.

CCOS is great course but gets crowded now that clubcorp bought them. Initiation is 6k and 360 dues. Clubcorp put almost a million dollars into the facilities and it really does look great. Not a big walking course, but they do have great amenities . They have the best clubhouse and locker room in my opinion.

White Columns is an awesome Fazio track and has a new superintendent that has the course in pristine shape. They are more of a country club and although they require tee times they aren't ever very busy. They are running a deal around 15k (down from 50) right now with dues around 450. The are also part of the TPC network which gives reciprocal access to all TPC and partner courses including Atlanta National and Sugarloaf Country Club. Cart course.

Horeshoe bend is "ok" but dated, same with CCR and Brookfield. On that tier I would look at Alpharetta Athletic to start. There is no initiation and they have 36 holes but they also are part of the National Alliance of Private Clubs which is similar to Club Corp and has a ton of reciprocal play with other private clubs in Atlanta. They do get busy on the weekends but you get what you pay for. The West Course is not as busy as the East Course so you can get around quick on a Saturday. The East course is their "championship course" so it gets more use.

I went through this same exercise and I had the benefit of playing all the private clubs, keep in mind ALL of them will negotiate including Cherokee, Capital City, etc. and getting in is not early as difficult as it used to be. Peachtree is still impossible, but that is it.

Hope this helps.

AG




#13 scs1070

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 03:30 PM

GCoG is a great golf club for pure golf.  2 great courses and great range and men's grill.  

Most of the "good " clubs are going to be pricey to get in.  Dunwoody a good old school layout and Atlanta club.  

I know the Manor as some good deals and is nice.  The Atmosphere is a little quiet there.

My favorite s capital city.  Cherokee is right by you too.

#14 muxi87

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 08:26 PM

I have heard what alphagolf said about GCOG's deferred deal is indeed true.  And ive also heard the amount they ask for after the 5 years is negotiable.  I know after the 5, they ask for a pretty nice amount...have heard of it being cut in half via negotiation and cash payment offer.

I cannot stress enough how nice GCOG is...even beyond te courses.  Their membership is great...have fun with each other...almost like a "golf fraternity" even.  The men's grill is home to some good times and hard to beat...

#15 sonda

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 08:41 AM

Wow, thanks for the additional posts everyone. Especially "alphagolf". That is exactly the info I am looking for. Played Alpharetta East course this past weekend. Not really my style as I dont like subdivision courses with OB stakes lining every single hole.


#16 G Ham

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 02:55 PM

Not sure if you pulled the trigger yet but no one has mentioned Berkeley Hills. I live in north Buckhead/Sandy Springs and it is a 20-25 drive. Easily the best greens in the city and best group of players. They have a no initiation special and dues are around $400 I think.

#17 sonda

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 03:51 PM

Have not pulled the trigger yet. I will check them out. Thanks

#18 atlanta golfer

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 05:01 PM

View PostG Ham, on 26 December 2012 - 02:55 PM, said:

Not sure if you pulled the trigger yet but no one has mentioned Berkeley Hills. I live in north Buckhead/Sandy Springs and it is a 20-25 drive. Easily the best greens in the city and best group of players. They have a no initiation special and dues are around $400 I think.

I looked at the Berkeley Hills website and their prior mention of initiation fees and dues levels is no longer there, at least that I can find.  It does sound like perhaps they are more aggressively seeking members.

#19 matte59

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 09:56 PM

You should also look into Echelon.  The course is fantastic and it is very walker friendly (for members).  They do open play to the public but most of the time it is very quiet.  I played 18 holes in 3 hours on a Saturday a couple of weeks ago.   They are currently waiving the initiation until they get to 100 members and the dues are low ($250-$300).  If you are looking for pure golf that's at a good price, it may be something to consider.

#20 atlanta golfer

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 07:21 AM

The thing not being talked much about here is the actual membership / atmosphere of each club.  Because most of us are looking for a good golf experience but also a good social fit.   I guess that is hard to quantify.  But questions to ask might include:   Open to public play or not, weekly dogfight or other games that are open to the membership, average age of membership, percent of membership whose primary language is english (or whatever language you speak), membership turnover ... you may not be able to get exact answers for all these questions but these are things to observe / assess.


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#21 hollabachgt

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 02:55 PM

View PostG Ham, on 26 December 2012 - 02:55 PM, said:

Not sure if you pulled the trigger yet but no one has mentioned Berkeley Hills. I live in north Buckhead/Sandy Springs and it is a 20-25 drive. Easily the best greens in the city and best group of players. They have a no initiation special and dues are around $400 I think.


While it may sound like a hollow compliment with so many high end clubs in Atlanta, Berkeley really does have the best greens in town. Granted I may be a bit biased being a member and all, but I have yet to play on better. When both East Lake and AAC decided to change their greens to Champ Bermuda they went and spoke with Chris Purvis at Berkeley Hills for advice. Pretty much everything Ken Magnum did to prep the AAC greens for the PGA Championship a couple years past was based upon Chris's council. I'd highly recommend looking into Berkeley, While it provides a significant amount of country club amenities,  It's a golfers club at heart. If you have any questions about the club please don't hesitate to ask.

#22 scs1070

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 09:00 PM

Really wish Berkeley hadn't sold off the 9 across the street.

#23 mbshaf

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 05:49 AM

View Postmatte59, on 01 January 2013 - 09:56 PM, said:

You should also look into Echelon.  The course is fantastic and it is very walker friendly (for members).  They do open play to the public but most of the time it is very quiet.  I played 18 holes in 3 hours on a Saturday a couple of weeks ago.   They are currently waiving the initiation until they get to 100 members and the dues are low ($250-$300).  If you are looking for pure golf that's at a good price, it may be something to consider.

Echelon is a great course, but is sure as heck isn't walker friendly.  It is a long, hilly beast. That being said, the course is exceptional, greens are some of the truest in Atlanta and the new ownership and management is really top rate.  If you haven't been out in a while, take a chance and give it another shot.

#24 mbshaf

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 06:59 AM

If you're looking for a challenging layout and pure golf, hands down Atlanta National.

#25 Holy Moses

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 09:46 PM

Hollabachgt, are the greens at Berkeley Lake really running 12-13 on the stimp? How does the practice facility compare to other clubs after Cink donated to improve them?

Edited by Fore(ged), 10 May 2013 - 09:49 PM.


#26 TheHumbleGolfer

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 10:02 PM

Rivermont really must be considered.  Talk about a place that just 'gets it'.

Here's a review of the course: http://onegolferstra...ohns-creek.html

Get in touch with Chris Cupit at Rivermont.  He'll help you out with any info!

#27 hollabachgt

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 07:53 AM

View PostFore(ged), on 10 May 2013 - 09:46 PM, said:

Hollabachgt, are the greens at Berkeley Lake really running 12-13 on the stimp? How does the practice facility compare to other clubs after Cink donated to improve them?

For most of the year the greens roll in the mid 11's. It is not until the heat of the summer that they get really quick. At that point you have to be very cautious of how far the ball trickles out after loosing speed. The Cink addition to our practice facilities is a series of 5, 1/3rd scale greens you can hit shots from 40-130 yards into. The greens are built to react much like the greens on the course, Cink wanted a place where he could work on his wedge game and needed the balls impact to run out as you would expect on the course. Along with the pitching greens the club has a modest driving range, chipping green, and a very large putting green. Cink has shown interest in making more improvements to the club and with course becoming the home of the GSU golf teams, discussions have begun on expanding the practice facilities even more.

#28 scs1070

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 07:41 PM

Plenty of land across the street

#29 G Ham

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 04:44 PM

That land was actually just sold and will be developed very soon. The greens ran at 14 for the Club Championship and Mid-Amateur last year. We don't mess around. lol

#30 Holy Moses

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 07:59 PM

Are there any on Tour faster than 14? Augusta doesn't even publicly say what theirs are at right?


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