The ultimate sportsman. This true image is just one of the legacies left by Atlanta’s own golf legend, Bobby Jones. Staunchly amateur in an era of enormous galleries and rising professional golf, this Atlanta attorney lived and breathed the spirit of the game. At the same time, he played it with an excellence that was rarely rivaled. He founded the Masters tournament, and Augusta National owes its original form to Bobby’s guidance and inspiration. So does the accessible public golf course here that bears his name, in easy reach of Chastain Park real estate. Yet the game has changed since the course opened in 1932, and thanks to a saga of ingenuity and determination, the Bobby Jones Golf Course has kept pace.
Reversible, Adaptable, Personal
On track to open next month, the new Bobby Jones course benefits from breakthroughs in design and land use. Most prominent perhaps is the fact that the new course is “reversible.” That is, tees and greens are arranged so that on any given day you can play it twice and face a different course each time, the Azalea Course or the Magnolia Course. On alternate days, the course is reversed. And for special occasions, tournaments, and outings the course can be arranged to offer still another experience altogether.
One of only two courses of its kind in the U.S., designed by Bob Cupp, the new Bobby Jones achieves this versatility using the Longleaf Tee System that empowers golfers to vary the course from as long as 7,349 yards to as tidy as 3,164 yards, using the same facility. The new Bobby Jones will also be home to the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame and include a driving range and youth practice areas.
Cooperation and Ingenuity
Bringing a project this fundamental to life called for unexpected kinds of cooperation. City oversight of the course was transferred to the State in exchange for downtown parking that will further facilitate the advanced live-work-play community designs taking shape there. The Bobby Jones Golf Foundation, a non-profit volunteer organization, raised and contributed over $23 million to the project.
A sense of place, and an architectural feature of significance, is contributed by the Murray Golf House, with panoramic views of the course. Designed by renowned clubhouse architect Jim Chapman, the Murray Golf House will be home to the new Georgia Golf Hall of Fame. The Georgia Section of the PGA of America will be headquartered there, as well as the Georgia State Golf Association. Part of the project’s goal of relevance and longevity is that the Murray Golf House at the new Bobby Jones Golf Course will be the center of golf in Georgia.