Berkeley Hills Country Club (Private)
2300 Pond Rd., Duluth
STAFF: Shawn McKinnon is the PGA Director of Golf; Chris Purvis is the Superintendent.
PAR/YARDAGE: Berkeley Hills plays to a par of 72 with five sets of tees: Black (6,694 yards); Blue (6,582); White (6,118); Gold (5,581) and Red (5,281).
COURSE RATING/SLOPE: 73.2/138 (Black); 72.8/137 (Blue); 70.6/130 (White); 67.8/123 (Gold); 71.8/128 (Red).
ABOUT THE COURSE: The club is hosting a Georgia PGA tournament in July, and should prove to be a worthy test for the state’s top club pros and low handicap amateurs despite its absence of serious length. There is some mystery about who designed the course, with the late Georgia-based architect Arthur Davis believed to have been the primary party as part of Gary Player’s design firm. Whoever designed it did a first rate job, with the course among the most enjoyable of Atlanta’s private clubs, nicely meshing the frequently clashing concepts of challenge and playability. The course, which has hosted numerous qualifiers for both the Georgia PGA and GSGA, makes up for its modest yardage with some narrow corridors and one of the most demanding sets of green complexes in the metro area. Berkeley Hills’ greens are not especially large, but have more than their share of slope, and when they are rolling at typical tournament speed, will challenge those who make the mistake of leaving their approach shot or chip above the hole. With an exception or two, the tree lines bordering the fairways are not very thick, but those who venture into them may find it harder to get back into position than they would like. Those finding the fairways off the tee will be presented with plenty of scoring opportunities, as only two of the par 4s are longer than 406 from the tips and two of the par 5s are easily reachable in two for longer hitters, with the other two open and inviting, if a bit longer. The 505-yard third is among the most interesting holes on the course, with water down the left side very much in play off the tee, and extending all the way to the green. The landing area between water and trees is minimal and any pin cut close to the water will make even a short pitch potentially perilous. Although water is in play on several more holes, it will not be a major factor in the tournament, with the relatively narrow fairways and sloping greens the main defenses for the course. Most of the putting surfaces are well-protected by relatively deep bunkers, with a deft sand game necessary for those who will attempt to challenge tucked pin positions. A thoroughly entertaining, well-conditioned course for its members that should yield a variety of scores in the tournament.