COURSE TO GREATNESS
ABOUT THE COURSE
Named for the body of water resulting from the merging of the headwaters of the Ocmulgee and Altamaha rivers, East Lake Golf Club opened its doors in 1904. Originally designed by Tom Bendelow, the course was completely reconfigured in 1913 by famed architect Donald Ross. It hosted the 1950 U.S. Women's Amateur Championship, marking the first time a USGA national championship was held in Atlanta, and it was the site of the 1963 Ryder Cup.
In 1994, as part of the broader revitalization efforts in the community, the club enlisted Rees Jones to breathe new life into the layout. Since reopening in 1995, East Lake has been ranked as one of the Top 100 courses in the world, boasts an award-winning Golf Shop and is a destination for golfers eager to experience golf at the place where champions learned to swing the club. The revamped design has hosted countless championships, including the 2001 U.S. Amateur and its ongoing relationship with the TOUR Championship. In 2016, East Lake Golf Club decided to reverse the two nines, shifting the course back to its original layout.
The centerpiece of the historic course is the clubhouse, which boasts its own enduring legacy. Destroyed twice by fire during its first 20 years, the clubhouse was fashioned in its current form by Atlanta architect Philip Shutze.
Throughout the building are trophies, photographs and other historic artifacts, documenting the rich heritage of East Lake. Among the items on display are:
The Grand SlamA display in the Great Hall features Bobby Jones’s four major trophies from his Grand Slam season in 1930.
Calamity JaneA replica of the Calamity Jane, Bobby Jones’s custom-made putter that he used throughout his competitive career.
British Amateur TrophyThe British Amateur trophy, commemorating Charlie Yates’s victory in 1938, is on display.
Ryder Cup TrophyThe 1963 Ryder Cup trophy, awarded to the victorious U.S. team captained by Arnold Palmer.
The Main StaircaseThe Main Staircase, which is flanked by a cabinet containing memorabilia in tribute to East Lake’s Charlie Harrison, is a central feature of the historic clubhouse.
Havermayer TrophyA replica of the 1925 Havermayer Trophy, awarded to Bobby Jones for his victory in the U.S. Amateur Championship.
TOUR Championship TrophyThe TOUR Championship trophy, given to the winner of PGA TOUR’s season-ending event at East Lake.
CLUB OF CHAMPIONS
From the record-setting career of Bobby Jones, the game's greatest amateur golfer, to the trophies of today hoisted by Stewart Cink, East Lake is undoubtedly the "club of champions." In all, members of the club have collected 16 major championships.
East Lake Golf Club is steeped in history, stemming from its founding as Atlanta's first golf club to its status as the home club of the legendary Bobby Jones. Here are some interesting facts about the rich tradition that exists at the course:
Hole 1Par 4 • 469 yards
After crossing the lake on this par five, you can look through a small park as you set up a hill and see a red brick house. This was Mary Bell Meadow's boarding house, where Colonel Bob Jones originally brought five-year-old Bobby and family.
Hole 2Par 3 • 197 yards
From the back tees in the 1960s, the 192-yard hole seemed to curve around a tree on the right. When U.S. Team Captain Arnold Palmer first saw the hole in a practice round prior to the 1963 Ryder Cup, he remarked, "I've never seen a dog-leg par three before."
Hole 3Par 4 • 391 yards
The 3rd green was nearly the site of tragedy in 1930. Bobby Jones was putting on the green when lightning struck just 40 yards away, while another bolt blasted the third tee. As Jones ran toward the clubhouse, yet another bolt slammed the double chimney, throwing bricks and debris some 100 yards. A piece of debris made a six-inch cut on Jones' shoulder, but he otherwise escaped.
Hole 4Par 4 • 476 yards
When Jack Nicklaus made a visit to East Lake in the early 1960s, he dazzled member Ed Garner after driving his tee shot more than 250 yards into a fairway bunker. From there, he hit an 8-iron to the green and sank a rare birdie putt on this unforgiving hole.
Hole 5Par 4 • 442 yards
There wasn't much that didn't go Henrik Stenson's way at the TOUR Championship in 2013, but the challenging fifth hole gave him fits the final two rounds. He bogeyed the hole in the third and fourth rounds, though those blemishes didn't slow him down too much as he ultimately won the tournament by three strokes, clinching his first FedEx Cup in the process.
Hole 6Par 5 • 525 yards
A 525-yard, uphill par five, the sixth hole is known for its unforgiving fairway bunkers that gobble up errant tee shots. You'll need some luck to save par if you find one, and luck is what aided a pair of visitors from Virginia in 1995. In the span of 30 seconds, Cameron Stone and J.D. Ostrow both holed out for an eagle from roughly 50 yards off the green, making for the only "double eagle" in No. 6's history.
Hole 7Par 4 • 481 yards
The tee box of the seventh hole is one of the highest points in Atlanta, offering a magnificent vista of the city's downtown skyline. This part of the property was not utilized in Bendelow's original design, which focused more on the low-lying land near the lake. The seventh green sits near the 18th green in the original design, meaning the golfer was on the opposite side of the lake from the clubhouse when completing nine holes.
Hole 8Par 4 • 455 yards
The TOUR Championship has seen many great moments, but none as dramatic as the finish in 2011 when Bill Haas splashed his way to victory. Playing the second hole of a sudden death playoff, Haas blasted a partially submerged ball out of East Lake to within two feet of the cup to save par, which set up his eventual victory a hole later.
Hole 9Par 3 • 235 yards
For most of its time, the ninth hole played as the 18th hole, offering a spectacular closing hole challenge. Colonel Jones, Bobby's father, once remarked, "… when a player stands on that tee at East Lake, with the match square or dormie – that drive calls for all there is, in the delicatessen department."
Hole 10Par 4 • 424 yards
With a championship on the line, risk doesn't always mean reward at the challenging par four opening hole. At the start of the third round of the 1927 Southern Open, Bobby Jones pulled his tee shot into some trees on the hole's left edge. In a previous round, Jones had hammered a shot out from a similar spot and made par. However, not wanting to get his round off to a poor start that could hurt his chances in the tournament, Jones safely punched out to the fairway and made bogey.
Hole 11Par 3 • 214 yards
The 11th hole is a deceptive par three featuring a green nestled across from a small pond. This was originally part of the 13th hole of Tom Bendelow's course. Where the current green resides used to sit the mule house, where the mules that pulled the mowers spent their nights. The green was closer to the lake below the house. Bobby Jones's family lived near the hole, and it was here that he perfected his short game, firing chips and pitches onto the narrow green until the sun went down.
Hole 12Par 4 • 390 yards
The 12th hole is one of the few at East Lake where a slight fade is preferred. On the other side of the out of bounds fence, an old-fashioned house with a wrap-around porch sits cockeyed from Alston Drive. That's because the home was built in 1856 to fit Fayetteville Road, which crossed where the 12th fairway now sits. The man who built the house, Robert Alston, rose to the rank of colonel in the Second Kentucky Calvary during the Civil War and later founded the Atlanta Herald.
Hole 13Par 4 • 440 yards
The tee of the 13th hole is a daunting one for any golfer, and the long par four is one of the toughest holes on the course. The hole used to play in reverse and was the 12th on the Bendelow course. It was here in 1913 where Ted Ray, playing in an exhibition match with Harry Vardon, launched a 170-yard "mashie-niblick" over a tree, landing it softly just a few feet from the pin. In the crowd that day was a young Bobby Jones who, later in life, proclaimed it "the greatest shot I ever saw ..."
Hole 14Par 4 • 520 yards
In 1994, Rees Jones restored the fourteenth hole from a long par four, as it was set up for the Ryder Cup, into the par five setup from the days of Bobby Jones. No matter the distance or the time of year, the walk down the fourteenth fairway along the lake is one of the most spectacular sites on the course.
Hole 15Par 3 • 209 yards
The 15th hole is a postcard-perfect par three, and it also was the first island green in America. Originally the green for the 16th hole in the Bendelow design, which began near the current 13th green and weaved its way down to the lake.
Hole 16Par 4 • 434 yards
In Harvey Penick's Little Red Book, the legendary teacher described Bobby Jones hitting a truly remarkable shot in adverse conditions: On the 16th hole there is a big canyon on the right of the green with a grassy hollow at the bottom. The weather had been nasty, and suddenly hailstones as big as marbles began falling. … Jones had been down in the grassy hollow, but he had pitched the ball just to the crown of the hill where he could hardly tell a golf ball from a hailstone. From there, he chipped the ball among the hailstones and it rolled right into the cup – for a par.
Hole 17Par 4 • 405 yards
You may notice a grassy depression in the fairway about 100 yards away from the green. Some of East Lake's first members say this was a trench in the Civil War, dug to protect soldiers from attack along the Fayetteville Road.
Hole 18Par 5 • 600 yards
Before 1994, a good drive on this par five would run down close to the lake and reward golfers with a chance to go after the green on their second shots. Today, a par is well-earned and trouble abounds. During one round, legend has it that Colonel Bob Jones – Bobby Jones' father – hit a massive slice that crossed the fairway and chased into the right-side trees. "That's it!" He yelled. "Go in there, you sightseeing sonofab***h."
ALL PARKING IS AT TURNER FIELD.* THERE IS NO ON-COURSE PARKING. A free shuttle will take you to the golf course.
DIRECTIONS TO TURNER FIELD
Take I-75 and I-85 to I-75/85, or GA 400 to I-75/85. Exit at Fulton Street and follow the signs to Turner Field parking.
Take I-75 and I-85 to I-75/85 and exit at Fulton Street. Follow the signs to Turner Field parking.
Take I-20 west to Capitol Avenue or Highway 78 to I-285 South to I-20 west to Capitol Avenue. Proceed south to Turner Field, following signs for Turner Field parking.
Take I-20 to exit No. 22 (Windsor Street) and proceed south to Fulton Street, following the signs for Turner Field parking.
ABOUT THE FOUNDATION
Established in 1995, the East Lake Foundation turned one of the nation's most violent public housing projects into a national model for community redevelopment.
The Foundation believes in turning poverty into possibility, providing support for East Lake residents to build a better life for themselves and future generations through cradle-to-college education, the establishment of mixed-income housing and the fostering of community wellness.
Proceeds from The TOUR Championship support the work of the Foundation, as well as the First Tee™ of East Lake, a golf and life-skills program for area children ages 5 through 17. Each year, The First Tee™ of East Lake serves more than 800 children from the East Lake community and Drew Charter School.
Last year the TOUR Championship raised more than $1.9 million for the East Lake Foundation.
For more information on the East Lake Foundation, please contact:
Director of Communications404-550-7271 firstname.lastname@example.org
Jackson Spalding (for the East Lake Foundation)706-816-6022 email@example.com
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