Druid Hills is one of Atlanta’s original surviving clubs along with Capital City Club–Brookhaven (also an H. H. Barker design, and also redesigned by Cupp, in 2009), Ansley, and East Lake. The course is nestled snugly into one of the city’s most prestigious old neighborhoods near Emory University, where Atlanta’s moneyed set built homes in the early 20th century. Unfortunately the golf holes don’t evince much 1900 character anymore.
Cupp’s improvements, while much needed, sweep the course away from the past and give it a modern feel with soft lines and billowy shaping. He enlarged the putting surfaces and pushed them closer to hazards, deepened bunkers and generally tightened and sharpened the look of everything.
The best aspects of the course—the way the routing utilizes the site’s considerable slopes and hills, as well as the way half the holes interact with two tributary creeks—have always been there, and thankfully remain the essence of the experience.
A revamped 15th hole swings up across a previously unused hillside, replacing a par-4 through a soggy floodplain. It’s a bold hole, one of just a few holes at Druid Hills today that feels like it might have been built in 1912. The spaciousness at any rate is missing at narrow, awkward holes like the 4th and 5th, and the unique par-3 6th playing
r, a par four that ran through a soggy floodplain, and anyway there are other holes more worthy of greater scrutiny (like the 4th, 5th, 16th and 18th). The new sixth hole is an awkward but unique chip-shot par three uphill to a blind, canted green, but it’s followed by the most entertaining two holes on the course: a par five that draws downhill around a tight corner toward a small, heavily bunkered green, and a long par three that plays diagonally to a shallow, elevated green across a deep stonewalled creek. (87)
Architect: H.H. Barker; renovated by Bob Cupp in 2003