AT&T Classic Golf Course

AT&T Classic Golf Course

DULUTH, GA - MAY 19: Henrik Stenson of Sweden hits his tee shot on the ninth hole during the third round of the AT&T Classic at TPC Sugarloaf May 19, 2007 in Duluth, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)The AT&T Classic golf course is TPC Sugarloaf, in Duluth, Georgia, north of Atlanta. This is the first US golf course design effort by Australian golfing great Greg Norman.

Since 1998, the golf course has hosted the PGA Tour event formerly known as the BellSouth Classic, which became the AT&T Classic as of 2007. A parkland golf course, TPC Sugarloaf has an inherent natural beauty that Norman went to great pains to preserve and accentuate.

“This place can move you; it is very special,” said Norman, two-time British Open champion and World Golf Hall of Fame inductee. “Some golf courses can really touch a part of you and make you feel energised or inspired. That’s how Augusta feels and I get the same sensation at TPC Sugarloaf. There’s a similar beauty and awe about it.”

The AT&T Classic golf course at TPC Sugarloaf is nestled snugly in 1 200 gently rolling acres, blanketed by towering, century-old trees including pines, maples and oaks. While streams, lakes and hills are significant aspects of the golf course, the primary characteristic of the TPC Sugarloaf comes in the form of corridors of fairways threading through the trees. Bunkers were applied sparingly, numbering around 60.

The exacting 7 259-yard, par-72 layout opened to raves among course reviewers and fellow PGA Tour players, and Norman even designed an additional nine holes on the Sugarloaf premises.

The project was not originally part of the TPC Network, but PGA Tour Properties came on board near the end of the completion of the course. After the original design was completed, only a few adjustments were made, other than “tweaking” the finishing hole for spectator viewing and repositioning some of the bunkers, proving to keep the most skilled golfer challenged for years to come.

Most important to Norman was the preservation of the greens, which include sizeable putting surfaces totalling about 6 000 square feet, and runoff areas that penalise anything less than the best approach shots. This is a feature that makes great championship courses like the acclaimed TPC at Sawgrass and Augusta National so difficult, yet so revered. The AT&T Classic golf course has continued this trend admirably.