Whether it's in the breathtaking mountains, the sprawling countryside or along the picturesque coast, new golf courses are springing up in every corner of the state. Georgia is benefiting from the sport's increase in popularity - not only because of the booming construction of new courses, but also because more players are flocking to the Peach State to take in a round or two.
"I think things are getting better," says Mike Waldron, executive director of the Georgia State Golf Association. "You can drive in almost any direction from the state's capital in Atlanta and find a course waiting for you."
In Georgia alone, you can find all types of courses - mountain, links and seaside - catering to every skill level. A short drive from Atlanta to the North Georgia Mountains lands you in the heart of some of the best mountain golf in the country. If elevated tee shots, tight, tree-lined fairways, and undulating, fast greens fail to intimidate you, you'll find all those features and much more in the many courses that call the vast Chattahoochee National Forest and Blue Ridge Mountains home. What makes Georgia's mountain courses so popular are the spectacular views and scenery that greet you at nearly every tee.
Link coureses, characterized by their wide-open layouts and gently rolling landscapes, also can be found in Georgia. Generally, links courses - those similar in design to courses in Scotland, England, and Ireland - are located in and around the metro Atlanta area. Perhaps the most popular and by far the most publicized courses in Georgia lie along the coast from Savannah to Brunswick to the northern part of the Okefenokee Swamp. According to the National Golf Foundation (NGF) the game's recognized authority on industry demographics, Georgia in 1990 was home to 324 total golf courses, ranking Georgia 15th nationally. In 1997, the number of courses in Georgia climbed to 413, a 27-percent increase. The reason for this impressive growth is simple - more people are playing. A lot more.
Since 1986, the number of golfers in the United States has increased 33 percent, from 19.9 million to 26.5 million. Much of the game's growth can be attributed to the fact that women are flocking to the fairways in unprecedented numbers. Over the same 11-year perio, the number of women playing golf has risen 24 percent, from 4.6 million to 5.7 million. Thanks to the increased popularity of the sport and the building phenomenon that has golf courses popping up across the state, you'll find that now more than ever, Georgia offers something for every golf enthusiast.
Alongside the hustle and bustle of city life, you will find many top-notch courses waiting to be discovered and enjoyed. Whether visiting for business or pleasure, make time to take in a round of golf at one of the area's spectacular courses. Some will have you teeing off amid a backdrop of Atlanta's skyline, while others are a convenient drive from downtown.
The 76th annual Master's Tournament will take place in the city of Augusta Georgia at Augusta National Golf Club April 5-8, 2012.
The 2012 PGA Tour Championship by Coca-Cola will be at the East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta GA from Sept 17-23.