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Eagle's Brooke Country Club: Southside Atlanta golf course is lovely to look at, difficult to tame

Stan AwtreyBy Stan Awtrey,
Eagle's Brooke Country Club - no. 18
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Bunkers guard the green on the 452-yard, par-4 18th at Eagle's Brooke Country Club in Locust Grove, Georgia. (Stan Awtrey/TravelGolf)

LOCUST GROVE, Ga. -- The eye will tell you that Eagle's Brooke Country Club is a beauty. The total on the scorecard at the end of the round will tell you it's a beast.

The golf course, located about 30 miles south of Atlanta, is in immaculate condition, from tee to green. The routing takes you through elevation changes, woodlands and around lakes and provides an optical feast.

While that's all good, you'd better bring your best game, because anything less is liable to lead to a long day and a big number.

"It's long, and it's in great shape all the time," fPGA Professional Allen Thompson said. "It's a really hard course. It's a good place for people who want to get better."

The course was designed by Scott Pool, who cut his teeth as an architect working for Pete Dye, and opened in 2006. The course plays to par 72 at 7,490 yards from the black markers, one of five sets of tees. But even the normal men's tees are a handful at 5,979 (white) and 6,582 (blue).

"This course has a lot of defenses," said Trey Sherwood, a local resident and member. "There's not a lot of forgiveness. If you hit it right or hit it left, you're in the woods. There are a lot of forced carries, so there's no bump and run. You have to be precise and put the ball in the fairway. It's probably the most challenging course I've ever played."

You get a good idea about what's in store from the very first tee. No. 1 is a 452-yard par 4 that requires a strategic drive over water. The tee shot is less penal from the middle tees but offers immediate punishment for a less-than-stellar first shot.

Eagle's Brooke Country Club's front nine ends on a difficult, 456-yard par 4, which plays as a dogleg right.

The best holes on the back nine are no. 15 and no. 18. The 15th, a 444-yard par 4, requires an approach shot to a green fronted by a large waste area. The horseshoe-shaped green offers numerous tricky pin placements and requires accuracy. It is the most difficult hole on the course.

The 18th is a 452-yard par 4 that has no tricks. It doglegs slightly to the left and plays up a hill to the green. "It doesn't look hard, but it'll get you," Thompson said.

"It's a very nice layout," said local player Roger Crawford. "It's challenging, and it's got some beautiful holes."

Everything about the course is long when playing the back tees; the par 3s are all 200-plus yards from the back. The length makes the par 5s actually seem short. Playing from the blue tees will be a challenge, but at least there are seven par 4s that play less than 400 yards.

Eagle's Brooke Country Club has an expansive 50,000-square-foot practice area with five target greens. The putting green mirrors conditions on the course and sits conveniently next to the first tee.

The club, part of a planned community, was given back to the bank in December 2009 when the developer filed personal bankruptcy. It was purchased in September 2010 by the owners of nearby Crystal Lake Golf and Country Club. Fortunately, the financial woes have not had an impact on the condition of the course.

Eagle's Brooke is a semiprivate facility with memberships available, but it is also open to the public.

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Eagle's Brooke C.C. golf course - 14thEagle's Brooke Country Club 15Eagle's Brooke C.C. golf course - 18th greenEagle's Brooke C.C. golf course - 1st

Stan Awtrey spent 25 years as a sports writer with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He is editor of Golf Georgia, the official magazine of the Georgia State Golf Association, and writes a weekly column for PGATOUR.com. His work has appeared in dozens of newspapers, magazines and Web sites.

Any opinions expressed above are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of the management.

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