Atlanta Athletic Club Plans Improvements to Highlands Course

By | January 6th, 2016

In spring 2016, the Johns Creek, Ga., property will add forward tees and reposition select member tees, regrass the fairways and green surfaces, evaluate bunkers, create new fairway chipping areas to protect the green surfaces, and rebuild hole No. 14 green to increase the number of hole locations.

Atlanta Athletic Club in Johns Creek, Ga., will undergo improvements to its famed Highlands Course in spring 2016.

The scope of the work to the Highlands course includes the addition of forward tees and the repositioning of select member tees, regrassing of the fairways and green surfaces, evaluating bunkers which will include the rebuilding and removal of select bunkers and replacement of all bunker sand, creating new fairway chipping areas to protect the green surfaces and rebuilding #14 green to increase the number of hole locations.

Golf course architect Rees Jones will lead the team, which will include golf course builder Landscapes Unlimited and turfgrass supplier Pike Creek Turf, Inc., who were selected by the club to make the changes.

Home of legendary golfer Bobby Jones, Atlanta Athletic Club is steeped in history and tradition. The club has hosted both the men’s and women’s U.S. Opens and U.S. Amateurs, as well as the PGA Championships in 1981, 2001 and 2011. The club moved to its present location in the late 1960s. Rees’ father, Robert Trent Jones Sr., designed the club’s Riverside Course and nine holes of the Highlands Course, completing work in 1967. The club then hired Joe Finger to add nine holes to the Highlands Course in 1971. Both courses are located on rolling land accented by water features.

Jones, who has worked with the club since 1994 on both its Highlands and Riverside courses, is known as “The Open Doctor” for the many courses he has redesigned in preparation for major competitions. His work on the Highlands course was in advance of both the 2001 and 2011 PGA Championship.

“We asked Rees to come and meet with the club representatives to reevaluate the Highlands Course for member play and to advise us as to how we could improve on players overall course experience,” said General Manager Kevin Carroll.

“We have worked with the club to identify areas to reduce maintenance costs while still providing a quality experience for all levels of players” said Jones. “Improving the course’s playability by adding forward tees and reevaluating the balance of sand on the course will help the club reach its goals of providing an enjoyable playing experience for all levels of the membership while still having the ability to host a championship event”.

Atlanta Athletic Club was founded in 1898, and acquired property to build a golf course known as East Lake in 1908. It moved to its current location in 1967. Today the club is known for its focus on family, offering a 40,000-sq. ft. athletics center, four indoor tennis courts, six outdoor clay courts, seven hard surface courts including a stadium court, 50-meter competitive pool and diving well with one and three meter springboards, water slides and zero entry pool as well as two championship golf courses, a par-3 course, a dedicated golf teaching center and extensive practice facilities.

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