Coweta County in west-central Georgia has a total of 153 holes of golf all within minutes of Newnan and conveniently located just off I-85 south of Atlanta. Two of the best courses are at White Oak Golf Club which is just three miles east of the interstate. The Old Course and Seminole course we’re both designed by Joe Lee and Rocky Roquemore and wind there way through the White Oak sub division. The is one of the best 36 holes facilities in Georgia.
Any course called the ‘Old Course’ has a lot to live up to! When the club opened in 1985 the greens were bentgrass like most courses in this area at the time. Following some really hot summers when bentgrass greens at many courses in Georgia suffered, the Old Course was converted to Mini Verde Bermuda. The conversion has been a huge success and the faster greens have improved the course immensely. From the Gold tees the Old Course plays 6,724 yards par 72 with a rating of 72.7 and slope of 134. The alternate tee boxes are Blue 6,356 yards (70.8/130) and White 6,044 yards (69.5/126).
The best stretch of holes on the Old Course are on the front nine. The 391 yard 4th is the #1 handicap hole has a lake on the right of the fairway and out of bounds on the left making an accurate tee shot a must. You can’t hit your drive too long either as there is another lake at the end of the fairway. Approach shot is over the lake to a wide but narrow green where the only bailout is to the right. A par here is a great score. Follow that up with the 497 yard, par 5, 5th hole. The line of this hole is right, left, right so finding a good position on the fairway from the tee sets up the rest of the hole. There is a creek along the left side of the fairway and the hole narrows towards the green. The short 348 yard, par 4, 6th gives you a great chance to make up for any dropped shots at 4 and 5.
The back nine has a number of very good holes but it’s the 10th and 18th that I like most. The 10th is a beautiful 405 yard, par 4, slight dogleg right with a creek that sneaks into play on the right side. The 403 yard, par4, 18th is a tough dogleg finishing hole. The green is not visible from the elevated tee box so your tee shot plays downhill to the landing area short of the lake where the hole turns right. Make sure you are not too short or too far right as the hill and trees may block your approach shot. The green is long and narrow with the lake on the left and bunkers on the right – playing out of the bunker towards the lake is no fun!
The Seminole course also has a famous namesake – the Donald Ross designed course in Florida – and complements the Old Course perfectly. The first nine holes were built in 1987 and the the final nine opened in 1990 to create the course we know today. The Seminole course is slightly shorter that the Old Course and still has the original bentgrass greens. From the tips the course plays 6,539 yards par 72 (rating 71.6, slope 133) with alternative tees playing Blue 6,167 yards (69.8/129) and White 5,877 yards (68.7/123). Unlike the Old Course, Seminole does not return to clubhouse at end of front nine. There is a halfway house at the 10th tee but it’s opening hours are a bit erratic.
The best holes on Seminole… On the 3rd hole, 481 yard par 5, a well positioned tee shot gives you the opportunity to go for the green in two. The creek across the fairway is unlikely to come into play. The 7th hole is a 390 yards par 4 and is the #1 handicap hole. This is a deceptively difficult hole that bends to the left so you need to find the right side of the fairway from the tee. Watch out for the lateral hazard on the right side. Approach shot is into a narrow green well protected by bunkers. There is also a creek short of the green.
On the back nine the 331 yard, par 4, 12th is a a challenging uphill hole. The right side of the fairway drops off to a creek and always attracts tee shots! The elevated green has two tiers making the approach shot critical to avoid 3 putts (or worse!). 16, 17 and 18 are good finishing holes. Make sure you avoid the bunkers on the uphill approach shot at the 380 yard, par 4, 16th. The 553 yard, par 5, 17th is a dogleg left but straightforward enough to give you a shot at birdie. The 416 yard, par 4, 18th plays uphill and always feels longer than the yardage justifying it’s #2 handicap hole status.
The Seminole course has always had some drainage problems and can be a very wet underfoot when there has been rain. In January 2015 the cart path on the 1st hole was washed out and there is still evidence of the damage caused.
White Oak is now part of the ClubCorp family and contact details can be found at www.clubcorp.com/Clubs/White-Oak-Canongate. The Lee and Roquemore courses at Canongate 1 (guess who designed them?) are also part of this membership cluster giving members access to 72 holes of golf.
The clubhouse has a well stocked pro shop and a bar / reatuarant that always has fantastic service. You can be confident when taking guests here that there will be no issues! There are also good practice facilities with a driving range and two practice greens – one bent, one bermuda. Make sure you choose the right one for the course you are playing!
The other courses in the Newnan area are: Summergrove (18 holes), Orchard Hills (27), Newnan Country Club (18), Coweta Club (18) and Canongate 1 (36).
For an alternative food option check out La Fiesta at 7 Jackson Street in Newnan. This is my favorite hole in the wall Mexican restaurant in the area. No website for this restaurant but you can check out the reviews on Yelp www.yelp.com/biz/la-fiesta-restaurant-newnan.