665 Hightower Trail, Sandy Springs; 770-993-4407
STAFF: Mark Mongell is the PGA Director of Golf; Matt Klejka is the PGA Golf Professional.
ABOUT THE COURSE: Cherokee Country Club’s North Course is a par 72 with five sets of tees: Black (6,931 yards); Burgundy (6,513); Blue (6.034); White (5,498) and Gold (4,835).
COURSE RATING/SLOPE: 73.5/134 (Black); 71.4/130 (Burgundy); 69.5/126 (Blue); 66.6/132 (White); 68.9/123 (Gold).
ABOUT THE COURSE: Cherokee CC hosts the GSGA’s Amateur Championship this month, with the field taking on a classic, traditional style layout that has been renovated a bit in recent years. The course last hosted the Georgia Amateur in 2001, and the main changes since then is a switch in putting surfaces from bent grass to Champions Bermuda, and the conversion of holes 9 and 18 to par 4s for the tournament. The change to the 18th, which is only 487 from the back tees, was necessary, but the 9th is the longest and strongest of the remaining par 5s. Cherokee is relatively generous in width and not particularly long, although the gently rolling terrain will result in some slightly uneven lies. Those who play the course aggressively from the tee will have the opportunity to hit a lot of short iron second shots. The challenge in the tournament will be the greens complexes, with the new surfaces able to roll at very quick speeds and new chipping areas surrounding them placing a premium on the short game. Short side misses and approaches into the deep greenside bunkers will present definite up-and-down challenges, which should give the state’s mid-amateur contingent a chance to reclaim the title after four straight wins by collegiate players, who have taken six of the last seven State Ams. The two converted par 4s will likely be the toughest holes on the course, with no other par 4s longer than 435. The scenic and excellent group of par 3s includes a few of the over-water variety, with some testy potential pin positions. There are several interesting short-ish par 4s that offer differing options, with the 13th likely to be a drivable hole a day or two during the tournament. The short, tight par-5 15th will be within reach in two for just about the entire field, and will provide eagle opportunities for those who can find the narrow green from the fairway. Conditions will be superb for the championship, as they are consistently for the members, who have a second course to choose from at the club.