Tripp Davis renovates Atlanta Athletic Club’s Riverside Course

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Architect Tripp Davis has completed a renovation to the Riverside Course at Atlanta Athletic Club that includes entirely new playing surfaces and the rerouting of six holes.

Northeast of Atlanta in John’s Creek along the Chattahoochee River, the private club had three goals in the renovation: update infrastructure from tee to green to allow for heightened playing conditions, accentuate the Riverside terrain in a more natural way and enhance the playing interest and enjoyment.

A major part of the job included rebuilding and repositioning tees, green and bunkers. Davis also reshaped areas to improve drainage that goes along with a new irrigation system. Fairways were sand-capped and replanted with Zorro Zoysia, the primary roughs covered with Tiftuf Bermudagrass and the farther reaches of the rough seeded with a fescue blend. Some trees were also removed.

Holes No. 3, 4, 5, 12, 13 an 14 were rerouted to make better use of the land, Davis said.

“I wanted the visual perspective the golfer has while playing to be more interesting, which on this site meant getting the ground to flow with and embrace the overall landscape,” Davis said in a media release announcing completion of the project.  “With the great trees, the rolling land, distinct ridge lines and the river, it is such a majestic site, and we wanted the golf course to look and feel like it is just a part of that. Rerouting the holes was a vital part of this. …

“Riverside can be set up to be a very enjoyable course for the membership on a daily basis, but we instilled design elements that will allow high-level events to test the best players in the game. We can grow the rough a little, speed up the greens and use a variety of tougher hole locations to present a complete test. … Riverside now has a more classic feel and playing quality, like a 1920s-era course that hasn’t been touched, which is exactly what we were trying for. I am incredibly pleased with how the work turned out. In fact, it is better than I thought it could be. While we certainly tweaked small details, we did not change much from the original basic plan we developed. It all just fit.”

The Riverside Course was site of the 1990 U.S. Women’s Open won by Betsy King and the stroke play rounds for the 2014 U.S. Amateur. The club is also home to the Highlands Course, which has hosted numerous national championships. The club was founded in 1898 in Atlanta but moved to its current site in 1967.

“Tripp has done an excellent job reimagining Riverside by making better use of the land, creating a unique style and making the course both fun and interesting to play,” John Stakel, board member and chairman of the Riverside Renovation Committee at the club, said in the media release. “The infrastructure work will allow our director of agronomy, Lukus Harvey, to dial in playing conditions, notably allowing the course to play firmer and faster most of the year.”

Check out the photos of the renovated course below.

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