The 13 Best Public Golf Courses in and around Atlanta

Atlanta offers plenty public golf courses. Time to get out on the green.
  • Bobby Jones Golf Course is named for the Georgia native.
    Bobby Jones Golf Course is named for the Georgia native.
  • Charlie Yates Golf Course, designed by Rees Jones, is located at East Lake.
    Charlie Yates Golf Course, designed by Rees Jones, is located at East Lake.
  • Stone Mountain, about a half hour outside Atlanta, offers two championship courses.
    Stone Mountain, about a half hour outside Atlanta, offers two championship courses.
  • Ashton Woods Golf Course, about 35 miles outside of Atlanta, is a challenging course.
    Ashton Woods Golf Course, about 35 miles outside of Atlanta, is a challenging course.
  • Candler Park Golf Course is a 9-hole course that features a hilly terrain and wildlife.
    Candler Park Golf Course is a 9-hole course that features a hilly terrain and wildlife.

Atlanta is perfect for outdoor activities and perfect for golf. The weather makes it easily a 9-month sport, and, let’s face it, year-round for golf fanatics. Atlanta offers a number of public access courses that allow visitors to hit the tees and keep their game sharp. Here are a number of local public courses – and a few that are a bit outside Atlanta.

  1. Alfred "Tup" Holmes Golf Course is a city-owned, 18-hole course designed by Garrett Gill and George B. Williams. This Southwest Atlanta course is one of the least expensive courses in the area.

  2. Bobby Jone Golf Course, the city’s first 18-hole public course, was built in 1932 as a tribute to the game’s most famous golfer (and Atlanta native), Robert Tyre “Bobby” Jones Jr. Located near Buckhead and Midtown, the course features a signature 18th hole, which is a 361-yard dogleg right par 4. This par 70 course was designed by John Van Kleek; prices start at $19.50 for a super twilight game.

  3. Brown’s Mill Golf Course is run by the city of Atlanta and is located on the south side of the city. The course has a 70.9 rating and 123 slope, meaning that it’s more for the weekend golfer but it’s still challenging. Green fees start at $20.

  4. Candler Park Golf Course is one of the city’s oldest public golf courses. Perfect for those who live or are staying in-town, this is a 9-hole executive golf course that features a hilly terrain and a thriving wildlife habitat. It is a walking-only course and reservations are not accepted.

  5. Charlie Yates Golf Course is located just 4 miles from Downtown Atlanta and is a 9-hole, par 30, mid-length course with Bermuda fairways and Bentgrass greens. Located at East Lake and designed by famed golf course architect Rees Jones, the course offers a mix of challenging par 3s and par 4s and also includes a driving range, chipping and putting areas, and a fully stocked golf shop. Green fees start at $14, and rental clubs are $15.

  6. North Fulton Golf Course is another city-run course located near Chastain Park. The 18-hole course is full of par 4s with some 5s and 3s. Cost is $40. Also known as the Chastain Golf Course, it was designed by Chandler Egan in collaboration with Walter Hagen and Bobby Jones. The par 4, 446-yard 18th hole is one of the most difficult holes in the city. It is a par 71 with Bermuda grass.

Outside Atlanta:

  1. Ashton Hills Golf Club is located 35 miles east of Atlanta and was previously known as the semi-private Indian Creek Golf Club. Designed by Desmond Moorhead, the course offers a practice range and putting green. The green and cart fees are included in the green fees that start at $32.

  2. Chateau Elan Winery & Resort offers 63 holes of championship golf. The Chateau Course is a 7,030-yard, par 71 course with contoured fairways, three lakes and two meandering streams. Designed by Denis Griffiths, this is one of the top courses in the state, and water comes into play on 10 of the 18 holes. The Woodlands Course, also designed by Griffiths, features rolling hills on a 6,735 yard, par 72 course. There is also a 9-Hole Executive Par 3 Course whose holes vary in length from less than 100 yards to more than 160 yards.

  3. Cobblestone Golf Course is located on the banks of Lake Acworth, about 30 miles from downtown Atlanta. Featuring Bermuda greens, white sand bunkers and a lakefront Ken Dye design, Cobblestone is awarded a 4-star rating by Golf Digest, and, while owned by Cobb County, is operated by the Mosaic Clubs & Resorts.

  4. College Park Golf Course is 15 minutes south of Atlanta -- and one mile from Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport -- and is a 9-hole course with no tee times required. Rates start at $6.96.

  5. Echelon Golf Course, 45 minutes north of downtown in Alpharetta, has been named as the best public access golf course in Atlanta by Golf Magazine. Designed by Rees Jones, this 18-hole course offers 5 sets of tees on each hole to keep the playing field level and fun. Green fees start at $69.

  6. Although the Frog is a bit outside Atlanta (about 40 miles west on Interstate 20) it is recognized as one of the top public courses in the state. The Frog features Bentgrass, expansive bunking and was rated 4 1/2 stars by Golf Digest. In 2015 it unveiled a new clubhouse where a golfer can dine and relax after a round of golf. Designed by legendary golf course architect Tom Fazio, the charge is $45 for one to four players.

  7. Stone Mountain Golf Course actually is two championship golf courses and offers views of historic Stone Mountain and Stone Mountain Lake. The Stonemont Course, designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr., places emphasis on accuracy and strategic course management. Its par 70 layout stretches 6,863 yards and is challenging with narrow fairways, strategically placed bunkers and numerous stands of Georgia pines. The Lakemont Course, designed by John LaFoy, has a front 9 holes that wend around Stone Mountain Lake. The course is less demanding than Stonemont.

Journalist Mary Welch writes business and lifestyle stories for local and national publications.

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