Atlanta Country Club Hole 13

Best Golf Courses in Georgia: Everything You Need to Know

For the average person, Georgia is one of the most famous states in golf for one very obvious reason: The Masters.

The Masters is played at Augusta National Golf Club every April, and so for one week a year, the entire country focuses on the tournament.

And while ANGC is one of the very best (and most exclusive) courses in the world, there’s a lot more to golf in Georgia than that.

We’ve now taken 3 golf trips to Georgia, and played close to a dozen courses there – and it’s easily among the best golf states we’ve seen.

The best golf is a little bit skewed to the private side of things, but there are some very good public options as well.

In this post, we’ll look at all of the best courses in Georgia to help you decide where you should play in the state.

The Best Georgia Golf Courses in 2022

Creek Club Reynolds Hole 11

The par 3 11th at the Creek Club at Reynolds Lake Oconee

These rankings are averages of the Best in State Rankings from Golf Digest, Top 100 Golf, and Golf Magazine. We listed the nearest major city to make planning easier.

To be included there needed to be a minimum of two inclusions in one of the publications listed above. Make sure you read the whole post, as there are some very good courses that didn’t get included by this methodology. I’ll discuss some of them below

  1. Augusta National Golf Club (Augusta)
  2. Ohoopee Match Club (Cobbtown)
  3. Peachtree G.C. (Atlanta)
  4. East Lake G.C. (Atlanta)
  5. Atlanta Athletic Club (Highlands) (Atlanta)
  6. Sea Island G.C. (Seaside) (St. Simons Island)
  7. Ocean Forest G.C. (Sea Island)
  8. Atlanta C.C. (Atlanta)
  9. G.C. at Cuscowilla (Eatonton)
  10. Hawks Ridge G.C. (Atlanta)
  11. Augusta C.C. (Atlanta)
  12. Atlanta Athletic Club (Riverside)
  13. Lookout Mountain G.C  (Lookout Mountain)
  14. Ansley G.C. (Settindown Creek) (Atlanta)
  15. Capital City Club (Crabapple) (Atlanta)
  16. The Farm G.C., (Dalton)
  17. Frederica G.C., (St. Simons Island)
  18. Great Waters at Reynolds Lake Oconee (Eatonton)
  19. Champions Retreat G.C. (Bluff/Island), (Augusta)
  20. The Ford Field & River Club, (Savannah)
  21. Currahee Club (Toccoa)
  22. Sea Island G.C. (Plantation), (St. Simons Island)
  23. Cherokee Town & C.C. (North) (Atlanta)
  24. G.C. of Georgia (Creekside), (Atlanta)
  25. Druid Hills G.C.  (Atlanta)
  26. The Creek Club at Reynolds Lake Oconee (Greensboro)
  27. The McLemore Club, (Rising Fawn)
  28. The River Club (Atlanta)

*Not included as they didn’t have enough rankings to list: Rivermont, Cobblestone, GC of Georgia (Lakeside), Old Toccoa Farm, Capital City Club (Brookhaven), Landing Club, Harbor Club, Reynolds (Oconee)

Atlanta Country Club Hole 18

Hole 18 at Atlanta Country Club at Sunset with a couple eagle putts.

HOW OTHER PUBLICATIONS RANKED THE TOP GOLF COURSES IN OREGON

If you’re like us, you do a lot of due diligence when planning trips to figure out what are the “must play” courses at your destination.

Well here’s what some of the other major golf publications think are the best golf courses in Georgia:

Golf Digest Best in State for Georgia

  1. Augusta National Golf Club (Augusta)
  2. Ohoopee Match Club (Cobbtown)
  3. Peachtree G.C. (Atlanta)
  4. East Lake G.C. (Atlanta)
  5. Atlanta Athletic Club (Highlands) (Atlanta)
  6. Ocean Forest G.C. (Sea Island)
  7. Sea Island G.C. (Seaside) (St. Simons Island)
  8. Atlanta C.C. (Atlanta)
  9. Frederica G.C., (St. Simons Island)
  10. Hawks Ridge G.C., (Atlanta)
  11. Ansley G.C. (Settindown Creek), (Atlanta)
  12. Champions Retreat G.C. (Bluff/Island) (Augusta)
  13. Atlanta Athletic Club (Riverside) (Atlanta)
  14. G.C. at Cuscowilla (Eatonton)
  15. Augusta C.C. (Augusta)
  16. Great Waters at Reynolds Lake Oconee (Eatonton)
  17. The Farm G.C., (Dalton)
  18. Capital City Club (Crabapple) (Atlanta)
  19. Lookout Mountain G.C. (Lookout Mountain)
  20. The McLemore Club, Rising Fawn
  21. Cherokee Town & C.C. (North), Atlanta
  22. Currahee Club, (Toccoa)
  23. The Ford Field & River Club (Savannah)
  24. G.C. of Georgia (Lakeside), Alpharetta
  25. Sea Island G.C. (Plantation) (St. Simons Island)
  26. G.C. of Georgia (Creekside) (Atlanta)
  27. Druid Hills G.C., Atlanta
  28. The River Club, Suwanee
  29. Capital City Club (Brookhaven), Atlanta
  30. The Creek Club at Reynolds Lake Oconee, Greensboro

“Top 100 Golf Courses” Website (Georgia)

  1. Augusta National Golf Club (Augusta)
  2. Peachtree G.C. (Atlanta)
  3. Ohoopee Match Club (Cobbtown)
  4. East Lake G.C. (Atlanta)
  5. G.C. at Cuscowilla (Eatonton)
  6. Atlanta Athletic Club (Highlands) (Atlanta)
  7. Sea Island G.C. (Seaside) (St. Simons Island)
  8. Atlanta C.C. (Atlanta)
  9. Lookout Mountain G.C. (Lookout Mountain)
  10. Ocean Forest G.C. (Sea Island)
  11. Augusta C.C. (Augusta)
  12. The Farm G.C., (Dalton)
  13. Hawks Ridge G.C., (Atlanta)
  14. Atlanta Athletic Club (Riverside) (Atlanta)
  15. Great Waters at Reynolds Lake Oconee (Eatonton)
  16. Ansley G.C. (Settindown Creek), (Atlanta)
  17. The Ford Field & River Club (Savannah)
  18. Capital City Club (Crabapple) (Atlanta)
  19. Sea Island G.C. (Plantation) (St. Simons Island)
  20. Champions Retreat G.C. (Bluff/Island) (Augusta)
  21. Currahee Club, (Toccoa)
  22. Rivermont CC (Atlanta)
  23. Cobblestone Golf Course (Atlanta)
  24. Frederica G.C., (St. Simons Island)
  25. Old Toccoa Farm (Toccoa)
  26. G.C. of Georgia (Creekside) (Atlanta)
  27. Landings Club (Savannah)
  28. Reynolds Lake Oconee – Oconee (Eatonton)
  29. Cherokee Town & C.C. (North), Atlanta
  30. Harbor Club (Greensboro)

Golf Magazine – Best in Georgia

Atlanta Athletic Club

The Highlands Course at Atlanta Athletic Club

  1. Augusta National Golf Club (Augusta)
  2. Ohoopee Match Club (Cobbtown)
  3. Peachtree G.C. (Atlanta)
  4. East Lake G.C. (Atlanta)
  5. Capital City Club (Crabapple) (Atlanta)
  6. Ocean Forest G.C. (Sea Island)
  7. Sea Island G.C. (Seaside) (St. Simons Island)
  8. Atlanta Athletic Club (Highlands) (Atlanta)
  9. G.C. at Cuscowilla (Eatonton)
  10. Augusta C.C. (Augusta)
  11. Lookout Mountain G.C. (Lookout Mountain)
  12. Atlanta Athletic Club (Riverside) (Atlanta)
  13. Frederica G.C., (St. Simons Island)
  14. The Farm G.C., (Dalton)
  15. The Ford Field & River Club (Savannah)

Does Georgia Have any Top 100 Golf Courses?

There’s obviously one very big top 100 golf course in Georgia, that let’s be honest, none of us will probably ever play.

But what you might not know is that there are a few other top 100s in the state as well.

Golf Digest Top 100 America (Georgia Courses)

  • #2 – Augusta National Golf Club
  • #30 – Peachtree Golf Club

*Ohoopee Match Club is not yet included in Golf Digest’s list

Golf Digest Top 100 Public (Georgia Courses)

  • #78 – Great Waters at Reynolds Lake Oconee
  • #99 – The Mclemore Club

Golf Magazine Top 100 Public (Georgia Courses)

  • #88 – Great Waters at Reynolds Lake Oconee

Golf Magazine Top 100 America (Georgia Courses)

  • #6 – Augusta National Golf Club
  • #32 – Ohoopee Match Club
  • #37 – Peachtree Golf Club

Golf Magazine Top 100 World (Georgia Courses)

  • #9 – Augusta National Golf Club
  • #73 – Ohoopee Match Club
  • #90 – Peachtree Golf Club

Breaking Eighty Top 100 (Georgia Courses)

  • #18 – Peachtree Golf Club
  • #32 – Atlanta Country Club
  • #61 – Creek Club at Reynolds Lake Oconee
  • #77 – Hawks Ridge Golf Club
  • #83 – Great Waters at Reynolds Lake Oconee
  • #84 – Atlanta Athletic Club (Highlands)

Georgia Golf Trips: Dream Itineraries

The Lottery Winner: World’s Top 100

 

 
 
 
 
 
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If you’re looking to hit all of the Georgia courses that are listed in the world’s top 100 – then you better have some deep pockets and even deeper connections.

The top privates in Georgia are notoriously hard to access (trust me, I’ve tried).

But if you’ve able to make it happen, then you’ll find yourself on a road trip all over the state to hit:

  • Peachtree in Atlanta
  • Augusta National about 3 hours east in Augusta
  • Ohoopee Match Club about 4 hours south of Atlanta in….the middle of nowhere.

The Lakeside Retreat

The 9th at Great Waters

The 9th at Great Waters

The quality of golf at Lake Oconee is incredibly under the radar. I’m surprised this place doesn’t get more recognition nationally. 

This is one of the rare golf destinations that works for just about anyone: a family trip with a couple rounds of golf, a romantic retreat, or a full-on buddies trip.

I’d recommend staying at the Ritz-Carlton Lake Oconee for any of those trips, or consider one of the cottages at Reynolds if it’s a buddies trip or you have a larger family.

Suggested Itinerary:

  • Great Waters at Reynolds Lake Oconee – A public top 100 course and one of the best back 9s in golf.
  • Oconee Course at Reynolds – Some fantastic holes on the water, and one of the best publicly accessible courses in the state
  • The National at Reynolds – There are 27 Tom Fazio holes at The National at Lake Oconee and it’s the steepest challenge at Reynolds. If you’re looking for something friendlier, play the Preserve.
  • Have connections? Throw in a round at Creek Club or Cuscowilla.

Under-the-radar Atlanta Privates

Hawks Ridge Golf Club

When it comes to private golf in Atlanta, Peachtree and East Lake get all the love. Both can be tough to access, and if you talk to many locals, the latter may not be worth the effort.

While Peachtree may be the only Atlanta course that is truly among the best in the world, Atlanta has a bunch of very good golf courses that are a tier below and don’t get as much credit as they should. 

If your pro can hook you up with some tee times, these are the courses I’d try and work into your itinerary.

Suggested Itinerary:

  • Atlanta Country Club – One of the biggest surprises I’ve had in golf. This course is so much fun. And with an upcoming renovation? It’s only going to get better.
  • Hawks Ridge – Speaking of fun. Hawks Ridge takes you up, down, and back again. After a second play recently, I was reminded of just how good it is.
  • Ansley Golf Club (Settindown Creek) – Unfortunately scheduling issues got in the way on my last trip and I was unable to play Settindown. But a number of locals have told me that behind Peachtree, it’s their favorite course in the city.
Best golf courses in georgia - Atlanta Country Club Hole 13

The par 3 13th at Atlanta Country Club

Luxury Retreat: Sea Island

With the exception of ANGC and Ohoopee, the next place on our list to visit in Georgia would be Sea Island.

I’ve continued to hear fantastic things about the courses at the resort, and if you’re looking for a luxury experience? 

The Sea Island Resort has been considered one of the best hotels in the world.

Sign me up.

Suggested Itinerary:

  • Sea Island Plantation Course
  • Sea Island Seaside Course

And in keeping with true Georgia fashion, Ocean Forest is a very hard-to-access private club, but if you can swing it on a Sea Island trip – you’ll be rewarded with one of the best courses in the State. The same goes for Frederica Golf Club.

Our Thoughts on the Best Georgia Golf Courses

Great Waters Reynolds Lake Oconee

The par 4, 11th hole at Great Waters.

While we wouldn’t call ourselves experts on Georgia golf, we have played a good handful of some of the better courses in the region and have some thoughts from our experience.

  • Reynolds Lake Oconee is Worth the Visit – I was blown away by the experience at Reynolds. The golf is very good and diverse, but it’s all of the other outdoor amenities you get access to when staying at the Ritz Carlton that make the experience truly over the top.
  • Try Bobby Jones 9 for a Unique Public Experience – I didn’t make it on my most recent trip, but the Bobby Jones 9 in central Atlanta is a reversible course that has been getting a ton of praise lately.
  • Is East Lake Worth It? While I haven’t played East Lake, I have yet to hear a single person rave about it. Obviously, there is some great PGA Tour history there, and those courses are always fun to play. But if you’re not concerned about that, and have access to other Atlanta privates, you may be just fine playing somewhere else.
  • Looking for the best place to stay in Atlanta? The St. Regis Atlanta ain’t cheap, but it certainly was a nice place to relax for a couple days.

Other Notable Courses Within a Close Drive

Often times we forget in our planning that there can be some very good courses outside of the state you’re thinking of going to, and that’s certainly the case here. If you’re on a top 100 quest or looking to experience some of the best courses out there, you’ll be rewarded if you can work a little road trip into your itinerary.

  • Sage Valley and Palmetto – These are the two most notable spots to play right over the border in South Carolina. If you’re in Augusta you’ll be rewarded with one of the best golden age restorations in Palmetto, and one of the closest golf experiences you’ll get to ANGC outside of the real deal. 
  • Wade Hampton and Mountaintop – Cashiers is about a 2.5 hour drive from Atlanta. So it’s not nothing, but if you’re able to access either of these courses in North Carolina, it’s worth it. Wade Hampton is on our short list of places we’d like to experience most.
  • The Honors – Only about two hours north of Atlanta in Tennessee, this Pete Dye classic is routinely listed among the top 100 courses in the country. 

Other Best In State Roundups

Member of a private club and love to travel and meet other golf nuts? Check out our Eighty Club Golf Society.




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