Atlanta Country Club: Welling Completes Renovation

by | Mar 22, 2024 | News

Atlanta Country Club, the historic club and longtime host of the PGA Tour’s Atlanta Classic and the inaugural Players Championship, has completed a comprehensive renovation project led by golf course designer Beau Welling and his firm, Beau Welling Design (BWD).

The multi-faceted renovation includes significant infrastructure updates and design alterations to the golf course as well as new and improved practice facilities and additional off-course amenities to enhance the experience for current members and future generations. As part of the renovation, Welling and Senior Designer Scott Benson revitalized the Willard Byrd-designed championship layout to increase playability and foster a communal golfing experience while modernizing the golf course to ensure Atlanta Country Club remains a premier venue for the highest levels of competition.

atlanta country club

Atlanta Country Club is located in the Chattahoochee Plantation on picturesque rolling hills and Sope Creek.

“Our team is very proud of the work we’ve done to reinvigorate both the golf course and the larger campus while preserving the long-standing ideals of which Atlanta Country Club is rightfully proud,” Welling said. “For many years, Byrd’s design challenged the game’s greats as a prominent venue for championship golf. With this renovation, Atlanta Country Club will no doubt continue to be a true test for the elite player, but I’m even more excited about what this will do for the membership and their guests who will enjoy the elevated playability and sense of community that we hope to inspire with all of our designs.”

One of the primary changes to the golf course is the installation of the Hydronics temperature control system underneath each green. The sub-surface water pumps and piping allow the new 007XL Bentgrass putting surfaces to continue to thrive year-round, including during the heat of Georgia summers. Other agronomic improvements include a change from Bermuda grass in the fairways to Zorro Zoysia as well as a complete overhaul of the drainage and irrigation systems across the entire property.

Based on feedback from the membership during the project master planning and initial surveys of the property, BWD added 13 forward tees throughout the course including multiple elongated and winding ‘ribbon’ tee complexes to offer more optionality for tee placements and an increased variety of shot selections off the tee. While many holes feature design enhancements that sought to honor the beloved original Byrd design, the par-3 fifth and par-5 11th holes were substantially redesigned in the renovation.

“As a membership, we are excited that the exceptional golf and overall experience at Atlanta Country Club is getting even better,” says World Golf Hall of Famer, three-time major champion and Atlanta Country Club member Larry Nelson. “We recognized now is the right time to look toward the future and how this renovation can help us achieve our goals as a club, and we could not be happier with the work Beau and his team have done to cement our legacy as stewards of the game for generations to come.”

Rounding out the golf course renovations, numerous fairway and greenside bunkers were adjusted to recalibrate the bunkering strategy and now feature Bunker Solutions technology designed to enhance drainage and create a more visually compelling appearance.  Several existing cart paths were also rerouted to promote proper drainage and increase course aesthetics.

Around the clubhouse, the BWD team totally redesigned the practice area, including a 40% larger driving range and the addition of a multi-green short game area, as well as a new practice putting green. All of these changes foster a more communal atmosphere for the membership which is highlighted by a new patio overlooking the 18th green which creates an excellent vantage point for spectators and/or members to watch golfers finish their rounds.

Founded in 1968, Atlanta Country Club has consistently ranked among America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses and has served as a prominent venue for championship golf. The 18-hole Willard Byrd design hosted the Atlanta Classic on the PGA TOUR for 30 years from its inception in 1967 to 1996 as well as the USGA Men’s Senior Amateur Championship in 1968 and the USGA Women’s Amateur Championship in 1971. Atlanta Country Club was also the site of Jack Nicklaus’ 1974 victory in the first-ever PLAYERS Championship which is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2024.

Photo Courtesy of Atlanta Country Club