777 Jones Creek Drive, Evans
STAFF: Gregg Hemann is the PGA Director of Golf; Drew Belt is the Golf Professional
PAR/YARDAGE: Jones Creek plays to a pair 72 with five sets of tees: Championship (6,894); Blue (6,631); White (6,276); Yellow (5,743) and Red (5,354).
COURSE RATING/SLOPE: 73.4/139 (Championship); 72.1/136 (Blue); 70.6/132 (White); 68.2/122 (Yellow); 71.8/126 (Yellow).
ABOUT THE COURSE: Since it opened in the mid-1980s, Jones Creek has been considered one of the state’s top daily fee layouts, providing the Augusta area with its first upscale course that was accessible to public play. The club went through a brief stretch when it converted to private status, but has been semi-private for a number of years. Local ownership and management has provided more stability than the club has enjoyed in some time, and the course will again be a popular stop for visitors during Masters week. Jones Creek was the first solo design for acclaimed architect Rees Jones, with Tom Fazio consulting on some re-design tweaks. Fazio softened the greens complexes a bit, but other than the 16th hole, which has been shortened and flattened a bit, the character of the course has not changed a great deal over the years. Jones Creek presents a strong but fair test, with a terrific mix of holes and a well-spaced group of tees that provide comfortable options for every player. Jones’ layout includes a quartet of par 5s that require some thought and precision to avoid hazards that are very much in play on three of them. The par 3s are highlighted by one of the state’s most appealing over-water short holes (No. 2, which not so short from the tips) and a much shorter but still testy hole (15) that offers little margin for error. There are a few par 4s with ample length, but the diverse group of two-shotters includes several that offer scoring opportunities provided you can find the fairway on a number of holes that either relatively tight or feature doglegs where proper positioning off the tee is vital. The greens are mostly on the large side and have benefited from a switch to Bermuda surfaces, which are better suited to withstanding the intense Summer heat in Augusta. Jones Creek also has a top-caliber golf learning center, which has enhanced the club’s status for both its members and daily fee players.