Planterra Ridge – The Lake Changed Everything

Planterra Ridge in Peachtree City, GA is a private club and one of the four courses in town owned by ClubCorp (the others are Flat Creek, Braelinn and Whitewater Creek).  The Planterra course is the best of the four and sits within the Planterra Ridge sub-division but the homes rarely affect the views or your play.  This is a true country club with swimming pool, tennis courts and a good restaurant to complement the golf.  Full disclosure: I am a ClubCorp member and this is my home club.

Opened in 1994, Planterra is the newest of the courses in Peachtree City and plays 6800 yards (par 72) with a rating of 73.0 and slope of 131 from the back tees. This is a fantastic layout and normally in excellent condition.  Planterra has hosted US Open local qualifier tournaments several times including earlier this month.

All good golf courses have a Scottish connection!  The land that is now Peachtree City was originally populated by Indian tribes.  William McIntosh, Jr. born in 1775 was the son of a Scotsman and Creek Indian woman, who became Chief of the Lower Creek Indian tribes in Georgia.  Lake McIntosh, named after the Chief, is a major feature of the Planeterra course today.

The lake was planned way back in the 1960’s but we had to wait until 2013 for the lake to be filled with water.  The course was built with the lake in mind but for many years the ‘lake’ was full of bushes and trees – on 18 you could play from the ‘lake’ even if you were 50 yards off line!  It was a good course before the lake was filled.  It’s a great course now!  The lake has changed everything.  The hazards are now real, the views amazing and the breeze that comes off the water has to be considered on many holes.

The lake is visible from the clubhouse up on the hill and the practice green.  Out on the course you start to get sight of the lake on the 5th hole and gradually get closer on the 6th before you see it up close on 7, 8, 9 and 10.  It comes back in to sight/play again on the back nine from high up on the 13th tee box and its with you for the remainder of the round.

I’ve played this course more times than any other in Georgia. It’s a pleasant course to walk – only the hill between 12th green and 13th tee is hard work (but there’s a bench at the top if you need a rest!).  In 2015 Golf Digest magazine named Planterra one of the most cheerful courses in the country.

Some of my favorite holes…

9th – the lake runs along the left hand side from tee to green and your approach shot has to cross a sneaky inlet just before the green that you may not see from the fairway – many lay up short and right.

13th – elevated tee box, looking down towards the lake (which is beyond the 14th so not in play), dog leg right, all downhill, just watch out for the big tree on the right – if your tee shot ends up behind it then you have no shot to the green.

15th – short par 4, almost possible to drive the green if you catch the downslope.  Lake is behind the green.

17th – This par 3 has changed the most since the lake was filled.  Best par 3 on course by a long way.  Water left, right and behind the green.  Looks great, but wind can make club selection difficult.

The 18th is not quite the hardest finishing hole in Peachtree City – that’s at Braelinn – but it has ruined many a scorecard!  The lake runs all the way down the right hand side from tee to green.  A tee shot over water leaves a long approach shot over more water to a narrow green area with water left and right.  Accuracy is rewarded!

As an added benefit, the 4th and 5th holes are at the end of the runway of Falcon Field and weekends are really busy.  You are guaranteed a private air show with many vintage aircraft taking off and landing.  Falcon Field also hosts the annual Great Georgia Air Show.

Visitors are welcome at Planterra as guest of a member.  If you are a ClubCorp member from outside of Atlanta you should checkout the course on your travels.  More info available at www.clubcorp.com/Clubs/Flat-Creek-Whitewater-Planterra-Braelinn

There are no shortage of dining options in Peachtree City.  For lunch or dinner try Grazing Here on Highway 54 a casual burger restaurant famous for their 100% grass fed beef.  They also have live music in the evenings at weekends which brings in a decent crowd.  Grazinghere.com

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