Tripp Davis begins transformation of Atlanta AC's Riverside layout

  • Atlanta
    Tripp Davis

    Tripp Davis’s sketch of Riverside’s seventeenth, where the green will be redesigned to better fit the flow of the land

  • Atlanta
    Tripp Davis

    A sketch of the proposed new short par-three third hole

Richard Humphreys
By Richard Humphreys

Tripp Davis has started work on the renovation of the Riverside course at Atlanta Athletic Club in Georgia.

The project aims to update the course infrastructure and reimagine how to use the land in the best way possible. It includes work on tees, bunkers and greens, a new irrigation system, sandcapping and the subsurface drainage of fairways, enhancing surface and subsurface drainage across the course, installing new turf, and adding some new cart paths.

“We are taking advantage of the fact that everything is being rebuilt as new to move the strategic elements of the course – tees, bunkers, fairways, greens – to create a more strategically interesting golf course that will be very fun to play for the entire membership, while being flexible enough in set-up to be as challenging as they want,” said Davis.

“One of our objectives is improving the flow of the course. The current first hole is a par five, with the third being a shorter par five that is too tough for the average player due to a lake forcing a long carry to the green. This is currently followed by two mid-length par fours that don’t fit the land well. We are going to change things around to make the new third a short par three that sits in the landscape better, followed by a nice par four that plays to a new green location sitting right by the Chattahoochee River, with the new fifth being a mid-length par five that winds through the trees and rolling ground in a much more natural way. These new holes use the land better, and they create a more interesting and varied flow to start the round.”

Davis is also transforming the existing par-four twelfth, par-five thirteenth and par-four fourteenth into a short risk-reward par-five twelfth, a par-four thirteenth that has a closer relationship to the river, and a potentially driveable par-four fourteenth with the river more in play.

“With these changes, and through placement of strategic features around the rest of the course, we are focusing on giving the course a more interesting flow from start to finish that will see some holes becoming better opportunities for players most of the time, while some holes will become more challenging at strategic points in the round,” said Davis.

Landscapes Unlimited began construction in January with the support of club superintendent Lukus Harvey, his assistant Trent Inman, and Davis’s shaper Jason Gold.

“Being an Atlanta native, the opportunity for me to have this relationship with the Atlanta Athletic Club, a club Bobby Jones called home, is a dream come true,” said Davis. “I am pretty much moving to Atlanta for most of the project.”

The course is expected to reopen in late 2022.