The final event of the 2016-2017 season occurs with the 30th Tour Championship and the 11th for the FedEx Cup at East Lake Golf Club in downtown Atlanta.
East Lake Golf Club was founded in 1904 and it is primarily known for being Bobby Jones’ home course. Currently, it is the home of primarily corporate memberships. It was originally designed by Donald Ross and then some re-designs and renovations were headed up by Rees Jones.
East Lake had become somewhat of a forgotten course in the 70’s and 80’s as the surrounding area, once referred to as ‘Lil Nam’ (as in Little Vietnam) was considered one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the country. When I lived in Atlanta, one of my neighbors recounted the time that he and his boss played East Lake during that era and were robbed at gunpoint while playing.
Eventually, the East Lake Foundation was started and it not only revitalized the golf course, but the surrounding area. Now the East Lake area is most gentrified and has been one of neighborhoods in Atlanta that has been on the rise in the past 15 years.
Personally, I’m not a fan of the course. It’s very long at 7,385 yards and only being a par-70. It’s wide open with shorter than average rough so one can win there with a lack of driving skill. It features a lot of very difficult, if not ridiculous Red Zone (175-225 yards) shots. Thankfully, they switched around the nine’s and the 18th hole is no longer a par-3. And the old 18th hole used to be a 235 yard par-3 uphill. Overall, it’s not a bad course, but I could never figure out why it was ranked a top-100 course in the world other than the history it has with Bobby Jones.
This is a course that stresses a lot of Red Zone shots and Short Game shots which play off the difficult of the Red Zone shots.
Projected Winning Score: -11
Jordan Spieth +500
Rickie Fowler +1,000
Jon Rahm +1,200
Jason Day +1,200
3JACK’S DARK HORSE PICKS
Marc Leishman +1,800
Paul Casey +2,000