PineIsle Resort and Golf Club
by John Kim
One of the more celebrated courses in our area, this Gary Player/Ron Kirby design opened in 1974 to rave reviews. For years, this course was a stop on the LPGA Tour and has now undergone extensive renovations to improve their facility even more.
Getting Started: The course takes tee times up to one week in advance. Because of it's prime location, it is popular for conference and corporate outings, I would suggest calling ahead for times. Also, know there is a "park entrance" fee to enter the grounds, thus, carpooling here is a good option.
When you arrive: There is a huge pro shop with one of Atlanta's best selections here. Visitors have to get one of those "cocktail cove" tee shirts. There is a driving range, putting green, and a dining facility as well.
Hole you will love: Hole #5 is one of the best holes in Atlanta. Cut off as much as you want/can over "Cocktail Cove" and you have a chance to reach this short par 5 with a short to mid iron. Lots of birds and a few eagles fly out here...probably a ton of bogeys and worse as well. Just a really fun hole to play.
Hole you won't: Hole #15 is a long, narrow, and dangerous par 4. I was one under par coming into this hole, two over as I left the green. In addition to the forced carry off the tee and the narrow fairway (narrower if you want a good angle into the green), the green is multi-tiered and being on the wrong tier almost guarantees a three putt.
Overview: Though the course opened in 1974, PineIsle suffers a bit from an identity crisis. Long noted as one of Atlanta's best offerings, it kind of got lost in the shuffle as new courses proliferated all over the city - especially it's more heralded neighbor course that shares the park. But anyone who has played here knows that for sheer aesthetic beauty and enjoyable conditions, this course can hold its own with any of them. I really had a great time out here.