Getting the chance to tackle a championship course where Hall of Famers like Tiger Woods & Phil Mickelson have won is not an easy task, but one you’ll never pass up. I made it a must to check out the renovations at TPC Sugarloaf this week ahead of the TOUR Championship and it was so interesting!
Have you ever played nine holes on one type of grass and the next nine on another? We did on Tuesday and the instant switch was quite the challenge!
A 27-hole facility north of Downtown Atlanta designed by Greg Norman, TPC Sugarloaf – the home of the PGA TOUR Champions’ Mitsubishi Classic, formerly the PGA TOUR’s BellSouth Classic – is currently undergoing a major overhaul.
Transitioning from Bermuda on the tees and fairways to Zeon Zoysia, as well as, changing from Bent grass to TifEagle (Bermuda) on the greens, the club is doing a complete renovation from top to bottom that also includes adding top-of-the-line fitness facilities and a clubhouse remodel.
Their practice facilities are already second-to-none and Chesson Hadley was out there taking advantage — practicing when we arrived at 10am and he was still out there when we left after lunch at 3:30pm! There’s a reason why these guys are good 😉
We began our day with a stellar breakfast sandwich (of course) at the Michelob Ultra Turn-stand and by playing The Pines Course – the first of the set of 9’s to be completed. The course was in pristine condition and gave us a chance to see what the rest of the property will look like once the renovations are finished.
Our second nine was The Stables Course — it just beginning the transition process and is still mostly comprised of the original grasses. It was such a challenge to switch from the Bermuda greens on the Pines Course to the Bent grass greens on the Stables Course. My putter did not cooperate! Totally the grass’ fault, not mine 😉
The third course — The Meadows — was completely closed for the renovations and will open back up in October. The Stables and Meadows are what make up TPC Sugarloaf’s par-72, 7,259-yard championship golf course.
My favorite part was the gorgeous rolling hills and elevation changes – it fit my eye and reminded me of the Midwest courses I grew up on back home in Southern Illinois. That was especially noticeable on the Par 3, 7th hole that you see in the YouTube video in this story.
The bunkers made you feel like you were on a European links-style course! Their depth and sod-layered bunker lips reminded me of my trip to Ireland. Good thing I got in plenty of practice hitting out of them over there 😉 I even surprised my husband with how I was able to escape one of the biggest ones we’ve ever seen on the first try. (Don’t believe me? Watch the video ☺)
It was such a fun day with friends! We ended our 18-hole adventure (complete with YouTube bloopers) with a tasty lunch by the pool at their new fitness center. Amazing! You HAVE to get their Buffalo Chicken Salad. It was magnificent!
We even washed up and got ready in their top-notch locker rooms before heading straight to SunTrust Park and The Battery to catch my St. Louis Cardinals clobber the Braves. Two of my favorite things: golf & baseball — is there a better way to kick-off the TOUR Championship?!
I’ll see you on our PGA TOUR LIVE broadcasts all week, complete with a two-hour preview show on Thursday and Friday starting at 10am ET.
Who is your FedExCup pick? Let me know in the comments below or on Instagram!