Atlanta International Golf and Country Club
by John Kim
Introduction: More than one person had told me that my visit to Atlanta International would be among my most disappointing in Atlanta. Certainly the club's reputation is among the poorest amongst the many clubs I know. However, for the visitors to our humble website, I'd play a parking lot with a flag drilled into it, so I took my clubs and visited the course.
There was a time when the course wasn't held in such low regard. Your drive up through the majestic gates that front the course harkens back to when the club was among the elite class of Atlanta layouts. Even with an additional nine holes added (the course is a 27 hole facility, divided into three nines - Spring, Summer, and Autumn). Only Spring and Summer (the original 18 hole layout) were played for the purposes of this review.
Setting up your round: I played there on a Sunday, and was able to get a time on the day I called. Still, weekend play is quite busy. During the week, same day tee times, even walk ups - with three different starting holes - should hardly ever be a problem. Call the pro shop at (770) 981-1400 for further details.
When you arrive: There is a snack bar, range, and practice green available to you. None of the amenities are particularly exquisite, but they are certainly adequate. The pro shop has a small stock of supplies, and some pretty good deals on the little merchandise they have, so take a few minutes to browse.
Favorite Hole: Spring nine, #1. This opening par 5 gives you an opportunity to jump start your day or at least, this nine, with a good score. Despite a fairway bunker about 230 yards out on the right (from the blue tees), the hole gives you a large landing area. A well hit drive may give you a chance to reach in two. Be careful not to top your shot, there is a wide creek that crosses this fairway, about 200 yards from the green. Starting around 100 yards from the green, bunkers line the entire right side.
Least Favorite: Summer nine, Hole #5: The toughest hole on the course, your drive has to go through a tight chute of trees, and avoid trouble on the left and right of the fairway. It is also a long hole with bunkers guarding the front left and right and trouble behind the green. There will be several doubles or worse on this hole.
Overview: The course itself was in decent condition - meaning it was lots better than I expected. The fairways had grass (better than some other courses I've been to) and the greens rolled smooth, if not a little slow. The layout was not terribly creative, almost every hole was straight with a slightly elevated and flat green protected by bunkers (though there are a few notable exceptions with big doglegs). A friend of mine recently played here and had to fight off wild dogs, huge sink holes (one with a shopping cart inside!), and grass growing in bunkers. Obviously, this is not a course to impress corporate clients or wow your friends, but it might be a good place to find a tee time if you can't find a time at your local favorite course, or just need a change of pace for a good price. Then again, maybe not.