One St. Ives CC Drive, Johns Creek
STAFF: Billy Jack is the PGA Golf Professional; John Gerdts is the General Manager
PAR/YARDAGE: St. Ives is a par 72 with six sets of tees – Gold (7,003 yards); Green (6,583); Blue (6,288); White (5,881); Gray (5,325) and Red (5,034).
COURSE RATING/SLOPE: 73.8/144 (Gold); 72.2/140 (Green); 70.6/134 (Blue); 68.8/129 (White); 71.3/131 (Gray); 69.4/128 (Red).
ABOUT THE COURSE: St. Ives has been around for more than two decades, but has managed to maintain a low profile in the crowded Atlanta private club scene despite its standout Tom Fazio design, which ranks with the most enjoyable layouts in the metro area. In part because of its residential setting, St. Ives is a bit narrower than some of his other Georgia designs, but still sports Fazio’s mark with dramatic bunkering and some demanding greens complexes that will test every aspect of your short game. With six tees, including two for the club’s female players, St. Ives is one of the best fits around for member play, offering at least two comfortable options for just about every level of play.
With several creeks winding through the course, which is bordered by the Chattahoochee River, and two very appealing but hazardous over-water par 3s, St. Ives provides plenty of opportunities to find trouble, with OB and Fazio’s trademark abundance of bunkers adding to the challenge. The course is not oppressively tight off the tee, but there are plenty of holes that will not treat errant drives kindly, with a few holes requiring more than just finding the fairway. Some of the tighter doglegs have trees that can obstruct approach shots from one side of the fairway, most notably on the short but perilous par-4 12th, part of a back nine that includes most of the danger holes. Apart from the significantly downhill tee shot on the opening hole, St. Ives offers little in the way of elevation changes, but the terrain’s gentle twists and turns and the amount of hazards in play will make you pay for lapses in concentration or misses in the wrong spots. Fazio’s layout features an excellent mix of holes, with a pair of short, vulnerable par 3s on the opening nine and three par 5s of modest length, although trouble lurks on two of them. There are only two par 4s with serious yardage, with the course extremely playable for those who don’t hit it great distances, but still a stern test for those who do. Conditions are outstanding, as is the course’s aesthetic appeal.