Griffin Country Club (Private)
430 Country Club Drive, Griffin; 770-228-0710
STAFF: Tom Neary is the Golf Professional; Gordon Dixon is the General Manager.
PAR/YARDAGE: Griffin Country Club is a par 72 with four sets of tees — Blue (6,850 yards); White (6,448); Gold (5,635) and Red (5,424).
COURSE RATING/SLOPE: 73.9/133 (Blue); 71.8/128 (White); 68.3/118 (Gold); 72.3/125 (Red).
ABOUT THE COURSE: The host of the annual Georgia PGA Griffin Classic, the course is an underrated and understated test of golf, designed by the late Willard Byrd, one of golf’s most respected architects. The first nine holes opened in the 1960s, with the second nine added some years later. Byrd’s well-crafted design is on the short side by modern standards, and got a little shorter several years ago when the tees on one of the par 5s had to be moved forward. That has left the course with two easily reachable par 5s for the Georgia PGA members and amateurs who will play in the Griffin Classic next month, along with a 600-yarder that typically requires three shots and the rolling ninth, which includes some risk for those taking a rip with their approach shot. A reversal of the nines some years back has resulted in a par-3 18th, which provided a truly memorable finish to last year’s tournament. Jeff Hull, tied for the lead at the time, scored a hole-in-one, believed to be the first time someone has won a sanctioned tournament with an ace on the final hole.
The tournament participants will tackle a tree-lined layout that demands accuracy as well as some strategic thinking from the tee. The absence of length and the narrow fairways, several of which have hazards within reach, will keep the driver in the bag on more than one occasion throughout the round. With no par 4s longer than 430 yards, three par 3s of modest difficulty and the reachable par 5s, Griffin Country Club offers a number of scoring opportunities for those who keep it in the short grass. But the mostly undersized putting surfaces have some slope and generally are on the quick side at tournament time, keeping scores from going extremely low. Many of the greens are wide and shallow, making them play considerably different based on pin position. Over the years, the Griffin Classic has produced a succession of worthy winners, with multiple winners Tim Weinhart and Clark Spratlin joining the likes of Stephen Keppler, Ed Everett, Tommy Brannen, Sonny Skinner, Craig Stevens, John Godwin and Kris Blanks, who is headed to the 2009 PGA Tour.