by John Kim
For a long time, the Atlanta golf community pleaded for a top tier course with a closer proximity to the airport. In fact, the city's golfscape was skewed dramatically towards the north, often forcing visitors to travel upwards of forty miles to enjoy one of the city's better layouts. Wolf Creek, located about a par five away from the airport (okay, more like 5 miles down Camp Creek Parkway), hopes to fill that void by giving visitors and southside golfers the chance to play a better course than Browns Mill or Lakeside without adding to their commute.
Setting up your round: The few times I've been here, we were able to get out immediately (albeit we were out on Monday mornings). Of course it's better if you can call ahead a day or two, but don't feel like you are in for a long wait if you decide to show up on a long layover to try to sneak some golf in. The course is still a bit under the radar or the golfing community, and a weekday round will often mean you don't catch another group nor or pressed by one. Weekends are busier, but still not incredible backups on every tee.
When you arrive: There still isn't a clubhouse here, (the old standby trailer is still in place), but the course does have a driving range and practice green. There is not much of a grill/restaurant, though hot dogs and cold drinks are available.
Hole you will love: Hole #11 is a short par 3 that will play as a wedge of sorts for most golfers. In my group, one shot landed two feet away from the pin, another missed going in by less than an inch. If there is a such thing as confidence for a hole in one, this would be the hole. There will be more "aces" here than any hole in Atlanta.
Hole you won't: There are a few holes out here that are, quite frankly, too difficult or too blind for some people's tastes. Hole #16 will require a long carry off the tee in order to have a second shot, and Hole #17 will anger some as they don't know that they should hit the ball further left than it appears. But hole #13, a blind shot par 4 will fool many people into hitting a driver down the middle (which could easily result in a lost ball) and a downhill green that doesn't hold too many shots if you land on it.
Overall: We recently held our AtlantaGolfer.com tournament out here (June 29, 2003) and the feedback was definitely positive. There were several comments about the greens (very smooth, very fast, lots of slope) and the layout (somewhat quirkly, with two par 5s in your first three holes, and then no more until your last two holes). The course is usually in good condition and the staff could not be nicer. Wolf Creek has definitely succeeded in establishing a top course in an area that needed one, it now remains to be seen if the community that was begging for it will support it. I hope so. The course deserves your visit, at least once. Some will love it, some won't, but most will want to play it again after one encounter.