Golf Course Living
Discover Some of Atlanta’s Best Golf Communities
By Derek Prall
Atlanta is known for many things— its booming businesses, itsthriving economy, its thrilling nightlife—but there’s another selling point that’s not as often discussed: the city’s incredible golf courses. The metro area has numerous courses of all skill levels available to players, and dozens of golf-centered communities have grown in popularity throughout the years.
While golf has built a reputation as an exclusive sport, Atlanta’s Southern hospitality has made it more inclusive. For the paid professionals to the hobbyist, there’s a course—and a community—here in the city to call home.
St. Marlo, Forsyth County
Located on the southern tip of Forsyth County— one of the fastest-growing in the United States—St. Marlo Country Club’s luxury homes sprawl across 900 acres of lightly forested gently rolling hills. The gated community offers low property taxes, highly acclaimed public and private schools and easy access to shopping, dining and entertainment.
Of course, the community takes pride in its golf course, and many of St. Marlo’s homes are located adjacent to the award-winning, 200-acre gem, which is open to the public and members alike.
With 900 homes, St. Marlo is a sizable community, “But it doesn’t feel that way,” says Realtor Donna Luff Taylor, a resident for more than 20 years, who notes that the mix of homes and friendliness of the neighborhood give it an intimate feel.
Here, you’ll find European and traditional home styles, offering luxurious amenities like gourmet kitchens, keeping rooms with fireplaces, and spa baths with his-and-hers closets. Terrace-level recreation rooms are popular, with many featuring billiard rooms and theaters. Taylor notes that outdoor living is popular, with infinity pools and putting greens as coveted home features.
The championship 18-hole golf course was ranked in the Top 3 of Atlanta’s best daily fee golf courses by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Georgia Golf News. It also made the Top 10 “Best New Courses” according to Golf Digest.
Designed by Denis Griffiths, who also designed Chateau Elan and Georgia National, the course is made for players of all ages and skill levels. Water comes into play on nine of the holes, and players will also enjoy distinctive stonework and beautiful hardwoods designed to fit perfectly into the natural, rolling terrain.
The semi-private club includes a long list of events, including amateur tournaments and outings. It also offers company rates and often host charity tournaments. No matter the need, the dedicated staff can help coordinate every event.
The St. Marlo Dining Room and Grille offers delicious casual and formal dining options coupled with spectacular views of the course. For more information, visit stmarlocountryclub.com.
TPC Sugarloaf, Gwinnett County
Located about 45 minutes north of Atlanta in the Gwinnett County city of Duluth, this gated community is considered by many to be the epitome of luxury living in Georgia. Grand in scale, these established estate-style homes offer a pleasing mix of traditional Southern, Georgian and European architecture, set on lavishly landscaped lots of a half-acre and larger.
No detail is overlooked, from soaring atrium entrances, multiple fireplaces and expansive grilling patios perfect for watching the action on the fairways. Pools, saunas and home theaters are other popular amenities in the neighborhood. Prices range from the high $600s to more than $5 million, with many in the high-$1 millions.
But the community is best known for its spectacular course, the first U.S. course designed by the legendary Greg Norman and home of the Mitsubishi Electric Classic PGA Tournament. The two nine-hole courses—The Stables and The Meadows—are the crown jewels, renowned for challenging play and stunning landscaping. A third course, The Pines, is slightly shorter in length, but just as beautiful and challenging.
But golf isn’t Sugarloaf’s only world-class offering. The handsomely appointed clubhouse offers casual and formal dining rooms, private conference rooms and a full-service banquet facility, complete with an outdoor verandah with romantic panoramic views.
The sports center offers a state-of-the-art fitness facility and a nationally recognized tennis center with all-weather and hydro-clay courts. And they didn’t forget something for the little ones—the aquatics center features tree pools, waterfalls, slides and spouts to splash around in. An active women’s club hosts numerous welcome events year round.
Just outside the community, the brand-new Revel development offers more than 300,000 square feet of curated shopping, entertainment, and chef-driven dining. From there, it’s a short hop to I-85 to reach the city. For more information, visit tpc.com/sugarloaf.
Cross Creek, Fulton County
For a golf-centered lifestyle in the heart of the city, look no further than Cross Creek. Often referred to as “The best-kept secret in Buckhead,” Cross Creek is a gated condo and townhome community on 122 acres of mature landscaping in the northwest corner of Atlanta, with easy access to Buckhead, Midtown, downtown and I-75. Since the ‘70s, those in the know have recognized it as one of the best places in Atlanta for a little rest and relaxation—and, of course, golf.
Despite being in the city, Cross Creek combines a peaceful setting with an array of amenities and services for both residents and guests including tennis courts, fitness center and three swimming pools. The on-site Caf ffers casual dining for lunch and dinner with breathtaking views of the golf course, and the adjacent clubhouse offers pub fare, live music and a lively late-night crowd.
Cross Creek is perfect for those seeking a streamlined, low-maintenance lifestyle. The extensively renovated condos and townhomes seamlessly blend the expansive rooms and “good bones” of the original units with modern style, including granite countertops, new appliances and hardwood floors. Charming patios and sunrooms replace expansive yards, so residents are free to enjoy the golf and tennis or enjoy Buckhead’s upscale shopping and dining or check out a concert or art exhibit at Midtown’s Woodruff Arts Center.
The 18-hole, par-three golf course has something to offer players of all ages and skill levels. The combination of gently rolling hills, ponds, grass mounds and woods makes this a challenging 2,000-yard, par-54 course. Specifically designed to sharpen a player’s short game, the course is particularly challenging for those who might rely a little too heavily on their driver. Residents enjoy discounted rates for greens fees and memberships.
The welcoming environment is perfect for those new to the sport, and due to the size of the course, the pace of play is quick enough that playing a round doesn’t need to be an all-day affair. For more information, visit crosscreekatlanta.org.