GolfLink's Guide to Atlanta

By Ryan Watson

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Atlanta is a city steeped in history, rebuilt from the ashes of the Civil War into one of the country’s most vibrant and thriving urban centers. Visitors will find many attractions in the city, though perhaps a good start would be a trip to Centennial Park and the SkyView Ferris Wheel. Once there, folks can gaze at the Atlanta skyline from inside a climate controlled gondola, and view the giant sprawl that is the city. To get in touch with some of Atlanta’s most important history, a visit to the Center for Civil and Human Rights tells the story of Atlanta's role in the Civil Rights Movement. This is best followed up by a visit to the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Park to see the leader’s boyhood home and the church he ministered. Other family-friendly attractions include the Georgia Aquarium, one of the world’s largest, and Six Flags over Georgia. If you're lucky enough that your trip coincides with one of the many productions held at The Fox Theatre, a night at Atlanta’s oldest theater never disappoints.


In addition to world class attractions, Atlanta is home to some of the world’s best restaurants, from elegant fine dining to comfortable Southern fare. In fact, a trip to Atlanta wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the unassuming Colonnade, a cash-only diner home to what many Atlantans consider the best fried chicken in town. Other Southern favorites can be found at the highly rated Revival, which features recipes passed down through the chef’s family for authentic home cooked meals. Visitors can also make reservations at Marcel, an upscale steakhouse run by Atlanta chef Ford Fry for one of the city’s best meals. If you need a quick lunch, plan a visit to the Ponce City Market, a historic 16 acre building that holds numerous restaurants and shops. For dessert, head to Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream or try some “bean to bar” chocolate at Cacao Inman Park. For drinks, cocktails get no better than at the trendy Little Trouble, while Argosy features one of Atlanta’s largest beer selections with numerous local and regional brews on tap.


Atlanta is also home to some of the South’s best golf, notably Tour Championship host East Lake Golf Club. However, while East Lake is an exclusive private club, there are numerous public courses to satisfy your playing urges. The following are four must-play courses during your stay in Atlanta.

Stone Mountain Golf Club

1145 Stonewall Jackson Dr.
Stone Mountain, GA 30083

Stone Mountain Golf Club is located a short drive from Atlanta and features two quality courses. The easier of the two is the Lakemont, designed by John LaFoy. This scenic course offers views of Stone Mountain as you play around Stone Mountain Lake. However, the Robert Trent Jones, Sr. designed Stonemont Course is the centerpiece of the facilities. The layout is a classic shotmakers' course with narrow fairways, numerous bunkers and trees coming into play. Both courses offer a good day’s golf, but if you only have time to play one book your tee time for the Stonemont.

The Frog Golf Club

2699 Georgian Pkwy.
Villa Rica, GA 30180

Located 40 miles away via Interstate 20, the Frog provides a championship caliber course to golfers looking for a quick jaunt outside of Atlanta. The course was designed by legendary architect Tom Fazio and is considered one of Georgia’s best. It features numerous high risk/reward shots and offers a beautiful natural layout that has the coveted Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary classification. The course also has an excellent restaurant so dinner or lunch after a round makes the experience more than worth the drive.

Bear’s Best Atlanta

5342 Aldeburgh Dr.
Suwanee, GA 30024

Bear’s Best takes a novel approach to designing a course. Instead of choosing a brand new layout, Bear’s Best takes a look at some of Jack Nicklaus’ best loved and most famous holes and drops them into Atlanta. The course features replica holes from Castle Pines, Shoal Creek, Gleneagles, Muirfield Village and the PGA National's Championship course. This is the perfect course for golfers looking to take on some of the world’s greatest holes all in one location.

Echelon Golf Club

501 Founders Dr. E
Alpharetta, GA 30004

Located 45 minutes North of downtown, the Echelon Golf Club is one of Georgia’s premier courses. The course was designed by Rees Jones and provides a unique challenge. The rolling hills provides endless challenge and features much more dramatic elevation changes than many of the other area courses. The course is kept in immaculate conditions and offers sweeping views of the lush Georgia countryside. Be sure and book tee times in advance as this remains one of the most popular Atlanta-area courses.

About the Author

Ryan Watson is a freelance sportswriter and history professor. He has been an avid fan of golf since his father signed him up for golf camp as a young child. Ryan enjoys following the professional game and learning about new equipment and gadgets.