Welling focuses on playability for renovation of Byrd design at Atlanta CC

  • Atlanta Golf Welling
    Atlanta Country Club

    Atlanta Country Club in Georgia has reopened its course following a renovation by Beau Welling Design. One of the biggest changes has been the redesign of the par-five eleventh

  • Atlanta Golf Welling
    Atlanta Country Club

    Greens and fairways have been regrassed, bunkers rebuilt and a hydronics temperature control system installed under each green

Richard Humphreys
By Richard Humphreys

Atlanta Country Club in Georgia has reopened its golf course following a renovation by Beau Welling Design.

The Willard Byrd layout first opened in 1956 and went on to host the inaugural Players Championship in 1974 and the Atlanta Classic on the PGA Tour between 1967 and 1996.

The recent renovation, led by Welling and his senior designer Scott Benson, is the first major project on the course and includes significant infrastructure updates and design alterations. Welling’s brief was to increase playability and foster a communal golfing experience.

“Our team is very proud of the work we’ve done to reinvigorate both the golf course and the larger campus, while preserving the long-standing ideals of which Atlanta Country Club is rightfully proud,” said Welling. “For many years, Byrd’s design challenged the game’s greats as a prominent venue for championship golf. With this renovation, Atlanta Country Club will no doubt continue to be a true test for the elite player, but I’m even more excited about what this will do for the membership and their guests who will enjoy the elevated playability and sense of community that we hope to inspire with all our designs.”

While most of Welling’s work has been executed in honour of Byrd’s original design, the par-three fifth and par-five eleventh were substantially redesigned. Changes have been made to “recalibrate the bunkering strategy”, with hazards now also featuring liner from Bunker Solution.

A key aspect of the project has been the installation of a hydronics temperature control system underneath each green to help ensure the putting surfaces remain in top condition throughout the year. The greens now feature 007XL bentgrass, while fairways have been regrassed with Zorro Zoysia. The course’s drainage and irrigation systems have also been updated.

Following membership feedback from the masterplan phase, Welling has added 13 forward tees, including multiple ‘ribbon’ complexes to offer more options and variety for tee shots.

“As a membership, we are excited that the exceptional golf and overall experience at Atlanta Country Club is getting even better,” said major champion and Atlanta CC member Larry Nelson. “We recognised now is the right time to look towards the future and how this renovation can help us achieve our goals as a club, and we could not be happier with the work Beau and his team have done to cement our legacy as stewards of the game for generations to come.”

Beau Welling Design has also redesigned the practice facilities, and has added a multi-green short-game area, expanded the driving range by 40 per cent and built a new practice putting green. There is also a new patio overlooking the eighteenth green.