East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta has one of the more interesting stories in American golf. The 1904 course along with the surrounding neighborhood fell into disrepair over the years. In the 90s the Cousins family invested $30 million+ to restore the course and bring the neighborhood back to life with a charter school, subsidized housing and a public golf course. The experiment has been a widely lauded success story both in the world of golf, but more importantly in the urban revitalization and planning community.
The golf itself is excellent which is why it is a top 100 course. Our group found the course to be super fun, challenging and interesting. Many of the pros (who get a chance to play the course at the Fedex championship each year) say that East Lake has the finest greens in golf. While we played the course in December and the fairways and rough had gone dormant for the winter you will note in the photos the greens remain nearly perfect.
The club house has a museum quality collection of golf historical items and particularly Bobby Jones-related ones. An interesting factoid I learned is that Bobby Jones “invented” the concept of calling irons by different numbers. Before this each club had its own name like a “mashie” or a “spoon.” Today the only club name that remains is the “driver.”
Here are some photos of the course and the club house: