City Club of Marietta


Playing golf on new tracks is always fun, but there is something to be said for the comforts of familiarity. Back in the day, one of my normal haunts of local Atlanta golf courses were the friendly confines of Marietta City Club. Located north of Atlanta in the city of Marietta, GA, this little course has survived for 100 years. The current incarnation existing since 1960 when the city officially took ownership. For a long time this course held stature as one of my favorites. Maybe it’s the relatively easy course rating or the scoring opportunities on the back 9? Could be the “niche” holes that lend themselves to much internal conversation sometimes evolving to a level of mild consternation? Can’t really put my finger on it, but I know I like a lot of what it does have to offer.

Measuring some 5700 plus yards from the tips, not a monster by any means. I would imagine many big hitters will find the course a little confining. Honestly, I may hit driver one, possibly two times the whole round and I don’t consider myself to be a big hitter. You could bring the driver out a little more if you are shorter off the tee or if you want to try to over power what lay before you. I’ve found accuracy is king at City Club, leaving my ego in the bag in search of a decent score is usually a safe bet. As a whole the course can provide the casual golfer ample entertainment. The greens fees are marginal in my opinion for the value, but nothing too oppressive, especially if you get a twilight or special rate via their site. Not sure I’d ante up for a morning round rate, the course condition just doesn’t warrant a $60 greens fee. The practice area is nice with real grass tees found on the lower level. Practice greens are good, not great, but they are pretty accurate to course conditions. I’ve found the staff to be friendly and helpful without exception in all the years I’ve played out there. Kill them with kindness, certainly a proven business model.

So on to the course. I’ve decided to break it out with a brief description of each hole. Hopefully, this is helpful to those that may find this review. All descriptions are from the tips and are just one man’s opinion. To each his own.

Hole 1
A great starting hole. Plenty of room to the right, dead if you go left. Straight forward hole that will reward a long tee shot with a decent lie from which to approach. If you don’t catch the end of the downslope, you will be left with a downhill lie and your target will be a huge elevated green. The green has some teeth to it, downhill putts aren’t fun here, so make sure you have a good yardage to land below the pin if possible. This is one of those holes that begs for a good driver to be hit. Just challenging as it’s the first hole of the day, so I often will take a 3 wood and just try to get it down there accepting I will have a downhill lie to navigate. The real bummer about this hole is that it is adjacent to the driving range. The left side of the fairway will be littered with range balls that have made it through or over the nets. Be careful parking on the cart path as it’s not all that uncommon to have a few knock about the trees lining the left side of the fairway.

Hole 2
A quirky little hole. 252 from the tips, all uphill dogleg right par 4. Seems easy enough? I’ve seen guys hit driver here trying to hit the miracle fade up and on to the green. Have yet to see it pulled off. You go too far right, your ball will find the woods. Though these woods are rather sparse in general, I’ve found the trees there are innately adept at snookering any thoughts of a hero out. Left of the fairway ain’t good either. Those woods are denser and tend to eat your golf ball. The play for me is some kind of middle iron maybe 6, 7 or 8 leaving something in the 100 yard range for an approach. This strategy has worked in general though hitting that approach close can be tough. The green is long and can be pretty quick if conditions are dry.

Hole 3
Short par 3. All right in front of you. Certainly a birdie opportunity with an accurate iron. Green is typically a little slower than the others. No real trouble here.

Hole 4
5 par that is less than 500 yards. Yes, may I please have another? Not so fast. You must get that tee shot to the top of the dogleg to really have a shot at getting it down there in 2. I liken the hole to a roller coaster, up the big hill, bank right and hit the chute. If you hit your tee shot long and straight, you will have problems, For that reason, I throttle back and take a 3 wood with the hope of getting it up to the top with a little fade. If you are a little short, you can still knock it down the hill with any kind of decent long iron or hybrid. Leaving a short iron into a accessible green. Long over the green is bad, like don’t do that bad. The hole is toughest when the pin is on the right side. Though the green is flat there, the front is guarded by a bunker that seems to dominate your peripheral vision. Odds of a flat lie are slim on the slope funneling down the fairway. Birdie can be had though with a good approach on that side.

Hole 5
Uphill hole….like all uphill. The slope you rode coming down 4 is the same one you will traverse up on 5. At 342 yards, pick your poison. Keep the tee shot up the right side and it will get you started on the right foot. Left is dead. Not much else to say about that, it’s a little ravine. The grass was pretty thick too on my last visit. You’ll find some golf balls, just probably not the one you are looking for. The approach is pretty simple. If you have a 8, 9 or PW in your hands you should be set up to go after it. The green is domed. Hit it long and the ball could run quite a ways down a severe slope. Hit it short…it ain’t going up the slope to the green. This green can bite back. If the pin is in the front, you are pretty much going to have to deal with a speed putt down the slope.

Hole 6
Bad things can happen on 6 and quick. It’s blind tee shot to a dog leg left hole. Hit the ball over the hill and the slope will take it quite a ways further. It measures 370, but plays significantly shorter. The right side of the fairway is compressed. If you try to play that draw and it stays straight on you….good luck, you won’t be happy. If you hit your drive left, you still have life, but hitting the green might be a pipe dream. The green is guarded by tall trees that encroach the approach from either extreme right of left of the fairway. Play it a club less for the approach to the downhill green. Pretty big green.

Hole 7
107 yard par 3. Doesn’t shake the boots for certain. I think that’s why there are high numbers shot on this hole…it’s so short, it can’t be that hard. It’s really not, but beware, if you lose focus bad things are in play.

Hole 8
Monster hole on this course. 570 yard par 5 that demands a long tee shot out the chute of the tree lined fairway. You can get there in two if you have got that kind of game. I don’t, so I always set this up as a 3 shot hole. A ball hit right into the trees off the tee if deep enough may still give you a chance to punch out and salvage par. Anything left is just going to be penal. Water fronts the green, but the water is the least of your worries. The green is probably the toughest one on the course. I think the only place severe slope isn’t in play is if the pin is on the far right. At least it seems a little flatter up there. Buckle up.

Hole 9
In a word, I hate this hole. A mirror image of hole 1, just all uphill. I always feel I need to take an extra club to get it up to the pin, but it really depends on the wind. Par 4 that makes me happy when I par it. The best thing about the hole, is the food vendor who sets up his grill and has ice cold drinks at the ready as you make the turn. Saves a lot of time if you want that dog heading off to number 10.

Hole 10
I get mad when I don’t have a makable birdie putt on this hole. It’s a short par 4 downhill a little dog leg right. A 3 hybrid and a sandy is usually all it takes. You can make up for some mistakes on the back side of the this golf course starting with hole 10.

Hole 11
This hole will tease you to take a poke at the green. Yes it’s reachable, but prudence usually wins out here. Something to about 100 yards and you could set yourself up with another birdie attempt on this hole. The play is the miss left, you can use the 8th fairway if you are really left. Right is a mental error that will cost you.

Hole 12
Tough par 3. Any wind and your mind may race a bit. The green is generally flat. I just pretend the water isn’t there and I’m okay if I go a little long when tackling this hole.

Hole 13
Another short par 4, but give it it’s due. Hitting it right into the woods can bring in a high number left center and you are in business. The green is huge, but relatively docile. The hole can be a little mean if the pin is deep as water protects a long approach. Play short of the pin if that’s the case.

Hole 14
Hole 14….I just don’t have kind words for this work in anarchy. Been meaning to ask the guys in the clubhouse what happened to this hole. This hole used to be a short par 5 long par 4 when the green (that still exists) was protected by the pond in front of it. Somewhere along the way, another green was constructed longer and further right of the original. This makes the hole totally incongruent and dysfunctional. Unless you hit it deep, like crazy deep, I can’t see hitting this green in 2 much less seeing it using the designed fairway. The trees lining the right side of the fairway seem to block a good drive to the right side of the fairway at any reasonable attempt at landing a decent second shot. A significant fade would be required to do so, which would also mean starting the ball over water. Maybe it’s sour grapes, but the hole is just poorly designed. Now another way to play the hole is to hit your tee shot fading it into the 15th fairway. Doing so will give you your best shot at getting it home in 2 and at least a much easier layup for your second shot. The green isn’t deep, but it is wide. Guarding the front is a wide bunker.

Hole 15
A fun dog leg left short par 4. The key is not hitting your tee shot past the bend in the fairway. If you can shape a little draw about 210 it should catch the slope and run a bit. Getting a level lie will be tough, the slope is severe, funneling to a green fronted by a creek on the left side. Long is okay, but I tend to take one less club to try and knock it close to this pretty little green. Keep the pin above your approach, the green mostly slopes from back to front.

Hole 16
One of those tweener par 4’s. It’s short and juts uphill from the fairway to a bunker protected green. The approach is the tough part with this one, something about this hole plays with your eyes adding some difficulty to an otherwise simple approach.

Hole 17
Make a birdie here at the easiest hole on the course. The green is comparably flat. Go ahead and hit it close.

Hole 18
As finishing holes go, this particular 18th has something cooking. The hole plays uphill with a little dogleg to the left. Like a broken record, I’m just trying to place this tee shot deep enough for a short iron approach. If you approach goes left of the green you won’t be happy. It’s tough from down there. The green is huge. Depending on the pin placement, 2 putts can be challenging.

So that’s Marietta City Club in my eyes. Sometimes when I play this course I think of the MindBender at Six Flags with all it’s twists and turns. Small form factor, but good things sometimes come in smaller packages. I hope City Club of Marietta enjoys another 100 years of continued success. The course was in adequate shape as of this blog post, but not as good as it could or should be. If I paid the premium greens fees, I would more than likely be a disappointed in the overall condition. That said, I won’t hesitate to play this course again, I have too many fond memories not to go back. Give it a go, but I would suggest looking for a deal for value.

Hit ’em straight
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