As the home of Bobby Jones and now the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club, Atlanta has a longstanding, high reputation for golf. It's interesting that the golf season essentially starts in greater Atlanta - The Masters in Augusta in April - and ends there, too.
While Atlanta isn't exactly known as a golf destination, few major cities in America can claim so many really good golf resorts within striking distance of downtown. We're featuring the 'Top Five Golf Resorts near Atlanta' in this first version of "The List," a new series from Golf Advisor. If you have been to any of these destination resorts and want to share your impressions, click on the course page and leave a course review.
Reynolds Lake Oconee, Greensboro
Reynolds Lake Oconee, one of the largest golf resorts in America, delivers the best of all worlds for golfers 80 miles east of Atlanta: The elegant Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee, six courses (including the private Creek Club), a TaylorMade Kingdom for instruction and club-fitting, and a grand community built around a large reservoir ideal for water sports. Great Waters, one of America's premier lakeside courses, reopens this fall after a major modernization by Jack Nicklaus.Golf Advisor Round Trip: Reynolds Lake Oconee
Chateau Elan Winery & Resort, Braselton
Chateau Elan, 45 miles northeast of Atlanta, was one of the very first resorts I visited as a golf writer, way back in 2001. I like that you can drink beer (at Paddy's Irish Pub) at a resort known for its winery without fear of being treated as an outcast. A new owner and Troon Golf, hired to handle the 45 holes open to the public and the private Legends course, have continued to update just about everything. Griffiths, the original architect, updated the Chateau course in 2016 and a renovation of the clubhouse, including the new Sarazen's Bar & Grill, has followed. The Woodlands course, an executive course and a Dave Pelz Scoring School are also available for golfers.
Callaway Resort & Gardens, Pine Mountain
Callaway Gardens, roughly 80 miles southwest of the city, outranks Barnsley and Brasstown Valley thanks to two courses, Lake View and Mountain View, and a connection to the PGA Tour, hosting the Buick Challenge 12 times from 1991-2002. Tennis, boating, fishing and ziplining are just a few activities for the family to enjoy.
Barnsley Resort, Adairsville
Golf Advisor user reviews crowned Barnsley Resort's Jim Fazio course the No. 1 rating in Georgia and No. 22 in the country in 2018. Golf is just part of the allure of the 3,000-acre resort 70 miles northwest of Atlanta. The 55-room Inn, home to a spa and restaurant, serves as an epicenter of the resort's village of 90 cottage rooms. Horseback riding, hiking, biking, fishing, shooting, tennis and more is available to guests.
Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa, Young Harris
Brasstown Valley, located near the North Georgia mountains roughly 100 miles northeast of downtown, feels like a true escape from city life. The resort, celebrating its 25th anniversary, can keep you busy with golf on its Brasstown Valley course by Denis Griffiths and horseback riding or let you wind down with leisurely pursuits such as fishing and a day in the spa.