Starter: The word “historic” is right there on the sign outside, so that’s an indication that the municipal course is old and old school. The clubhouse is a tiny cabin atop a knoll overlooking some hilly terrain. It’s in the town of College Park, where passing Yale and Columbia Avenues and turning onto Harvard lead to the course. The east-west streets in College Park are named after Ivy League schools. There is no college in College Park, ironically. It was named after Cox College, which closed in 1934.
Play because …: It’s barely a mile from the sprawling Atlanta Hartsfield Airport. Just flew into ATL and muscles are stiff? Grab a rental car, hustle over and play a quick nine. The layout is rolling, hilly and short, but a delightful walk. The course is also scoreable, which is a good thing. If there is not time to play, check out the range. There are grass tees on upper and lower tiers and the range balls are modestly priced ($3.23 for 30 balls). ... The dress code is officially "relaxed” and there are no tee times — show up and go. Former tour player Billy Andrade is said to have won a few press bets here in his day.
Takeaway: The course is lovingly maintained, but doesn’t have the money for country club conditioning. Expect slow Bermudagrass putting surfaces, not Augusta National. The atmosphere is low-key and despite the volume of locals and regulars visitors are warmly welcomed.
RATINGS [1 to 10 scale, 10 being the highest]
Food | Beverage: 4
Pro shop: 4
Course difficulty: 5
Pace of play: 9
THE COURSE | Scorecard
Best par 3: No. 8 (189 yards). The toughest par on the course since it’s got a little length. Any shot that misses the green kicks left and away from the green — and maybe down a slope.
Best par 4: No. 1 (400 yards). A friendly opening hole because it’s sharply downhill from an elevated tee that’s right by the parking lot entrance. The fairway is pretty wide, too, so a breakfast ball may not be necessary. The seventh is drivable at 259 yards, but fraught with unseen danger (off the fairway right is a dropoff).
Best par 5: No. 9 (465 yards). Sure, the 445-yard uphill fourth hole is a more traditional par 5 — OK, maybe a better one, too — and has a fairway-crossing creek to navigate, but the ninth is quirky and is as crazy as a three-wheeled car. The fairway shares a plateau with the adjacent eighth, but hitting it is like trying to walk a tightrope. Too far right, the drive catches the rough. Too far left, the ball rolls down the right-to-left slope toward the 50-foot high netting that protects the adjacent practice range. A local rule allows for a free drop from a ball under the netting, but only enough to allow a swing. So if near the netting, the net may as well be Manute Bol guarding the lane when wanting to drive to the hoop. You’re blocked. To reach this green in two, hit it long or right or both. Most players will need to lay up past the netting and onto a terraced downslope, then face a daunting shot sharply uphill to the green which, by the way, creates a Cardiac Hill-kind of finishing walk if on foot. This hole is awkward and the best part is sipping a beverage by the clubhouse and watching other hackers struggling to reach this green.
Rated by: Gary Van Sickle
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