THE FARM GOLF CLUB
Course Architect: Tom Fazio
Year Opened: 1988
Location: Rocky Face, Georgia
Slope: 146. Rating: 74.8
Hole-by-Hole: 1 - Par 4 361 Yds 10 - Par 4 388 Yds
2 - Par 5 601 Yds 11 - Par 3 153 Yds
3 - Par 4 445 Yds 12 - Par 5 498 Yds
4 - Par 4 459 Yds 13 - Par 3 169 Yds
5 - Par 3 167 Yds 14 - Par 4 442 Yds
6 - Par 4 403 Yds 15 - Par 5 518 Yds
7 - Par 4 354 Yds 16 - Par 4 367 Yds
8 - Par 3 243 Yds 17 - Par 4 461 Yds
9 - Par 5 566 Yds 18 - Par 4 417 Yds
Par 36 3,599 Yds Par 36 3,413 Yds
Key Events Held: Carpet Capital Collegiate Tournament (1989-present),
USGA Senior Amateur Championship (2005),
Georgia Senior Amateur (1997),
Georgia Women's Amateur (1995),
Southern Amateur (1993),
Georgia Amateur (1990).
Awards Won: Ranked #9 by Golf Digest - Best-in-State rankings (GA) (2007-08),
#12 by Golf Digest - Best-in-State rankings (GA) (2005-06),
#79 by Golfweek Magazine - Best Top 100 Modern Courses (2005),
#89 by Golfweek Magazine - Best Top 100 Modern Courses (2004),
Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary.
HISTORY: Tom Fazio has designed hundreds of courses around the United States
and the world. In fact, he has 13 venues rated in the latest rankings by Golf
Digest among America's 100 Greatest Golf Courses. Wade Hampton Golf Club,
Victoria National and the incomparable Shadow Creek are just some of the
marvels that Fazio has crafted.
In 1988, Fazio completed work on a Georgia "Peach," located north of Atlanta
and south of Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Farm Golf Club is situated in the
hills of a little town called Rocky Face, just due west of the "Carpet Capital
of the World," Dalton, Georgia. The Farm was the first course built by Fazio
in the state.
History buffs are certainly more familiar with the area than golf enthusiasts,
as The Battle of Rocky Face took place in 1864 led by Union General William
Tecumseh Sherman. Although cries that the "South will rise again" can be
heard, the main talk around town is about the sensational course that Fazio
The Carpet Capital Collegiate Tournament has been held at The Farm since its
inception in 1989. Past team champions include six-time winner Georgia Tech,
four-time champion Clemson and two-time victors Florida and Georgia. Even more
impressive is the list of medalists at this tournament. PGA Tour players
Stewart Cink, Tim Clark, Lucas Glover, D.J. Trahan, Bryce Molder and Bill Haas
have all earned individual honors.
In 1990, the Georgia Amateur was held at The Farm Golf Club and current
Champions Tour and two-time U.S. Senior Open champion Allen Doyle was
victorious. Doyle was a six-time Georgia State Amateur Champion, capturing his
last at The Farm.
Justin Leonard, who played his college golf at the University of Texas,
captured the 1993 Southern Amateur at The Farm, the same year he was a member
of the Walker Cup team.
The Farm Golf Club has also served as the site of USGA qualifying for the U.S.
Women's Open, and in 2005 the USGA Senior Amateur Championship came to Rocky
Face. The final was between defending champion Mark Bemowski and Mike Rice.
After the players halved the first two holes, Bemowski took a 2-up lead with
pars on the third and fourth. However, Rice got one back with a par on the
fifth. Bemowski regained his 2-up advantage with another par on seven and held
that lead through 11. Rice made the first birdie of the match on the 12th and
then birdied again on 14 to square the match, as Bemowski conceded the hole.
Bemowski reclaimed the lead with a conceded birdie on 16. Rice once again
squared the match with a two-putt par on 17. On the last, both players reached
the putting surface in regulation, with Bemowski 22 feet away and Rice 20.
Putting first, Bemowski knocked his birdie attempt four feet past, while
Rice's birdie try slipped 2 1/2 feet by the hole. After Bemowski missed, Rice
sank the putt for the championship, becoming the fifth-oldest Senior Amateur
champion at the age of 65.
REVIEW: The course opens with a simple, but solid, par four of just 361 yards.
From an elevated tee, this dogleg right is a great starting hole, as it eases
the player into the round. Just a three metal off the tee will set up a simple
wedge to a front-to-back sloping green. The putting surface is open, but
narrow, as sand guards left and right. Pin placement will dictate your
approach, with a front-right flag quite intriguing.
The longest hole at The Farm, the second is a monster par five, a true three-
shotter at 601 yards. The real test on this bear comes after the tee shot, as
your first play can attack a very generous fairway. A long iron or fairway
metal is the next shot, as a large lake on the left and mounding on the right
needs to be threaded to leave a little wedge to a two-tiered, undulating
green. The putting surface, which sits off to the left, features a bunker left
by the water and deep mounding and sand to the right and behind.
Now that you've gotten your feet wet, so to speak, the course really begins to
heat up with the back-to-back rugged par fours at three and four. First up,
the third is a slight dogleg right, the first of six par fours over 400 yards
in length. Another wide fairway, but beware of the right side, as a deep
bunker and trees could create problems. A long iron or hybrid will be needed
to reach the slightly uphill green guarded by sand left, right and deep. The
putting surface slopes from right to left and is quite wide, but only 30 paces
The most difficult hole on the course is the fourth, a whopping 459-yarder
that bends hard to the left. The closer down the left you play, the more you
bring the out-of-bounds into play, so be careful off the tee. You'll have a
long iron left to a medium-sized and slightly-elevated green. The putting
surface is quite slick from back to front, so play below the hole for your
best shot at par. Birdie if you're lucky.
If you think at 167 yards that the fifth hole would be a reprieve, you'd be
mistaken. A meandering creek runs down the right side of the hole alongside
the long, sloping green. Two tall trees stand guard on the left with a bunker
in the rear. At 48 paces long, the putting surface features a ridge that runs
left to right, making two-putting next to impossible. This is the first of
four outstanding par threes.
There are two keys to the par-four sixth. The first objective on this fairly
straightaway hole is to dissect the fairway between the bunkers on either
side. A short iron should remain to an elevated green with a mound in the
center. A front flag could present some difficulty, especially if you come up
short, as your play will roll back down the hill.
Take driver and let it rip on the par-four seventh. From an elevated tee, this
short hole plays uphill to the green. Trees guard the right and a series of
traps cover the elbow of the dogleg right. It's straight uphill with your
approach to the slimmest green on the course, just 20 paces deep. Club
selection is of the utmost importance, as the climb is at least a club-and-a-
half extra. A back-right pin is the most difficult, especially if you misclub
and end up in the deep greenside bunker.
The longest par three on the course, the eighth, is a downhill beauty, a
robust 243 yards from the gold markers. The putting surface is the grandest at
The Farm, 50 yards in length with a trio of traps on the left-front and one
back-right. The hardest part is choosing the correct club to navigate the
elevation change, not to mention pin position. Make par here and you've stolen
The closing hole on the outward nine is a gradually-uphill par five. A narrow
fairway with a creek down the right side, with mounding and sand on the left,
puts a heavy premium on your tee shot. The running stream pushes the landing
area even tighter for your lay-up, but a successful play will leave just a
short third shot to a four-club green. The putting surface is quite narrow,
with mounding and sand left and pot bunkers below and right, not to mention
Similar to the opening nine, the back side starts with a short par four. Tree-
lined on both sides, a driver should suffice, as the hole plays uphill to the
green with a pair of bunkers down the right landing area. Just a short iron
should remain to a wide, but only a 26-paces deep, putting surface. A front
pin could be tricky, especially if you under-club, as the ball will spin off
The shortest hole on the course, the 11th is a 153-yard par three, rated the
easiest on the course -- or so they say. Built into the side of a hill, the
putting surface is quite treacherous and undulating. Three deep bunkers sit
well below the green on the right, while one trap and the slope of the hill
guard the left. The landing area itself is the longest on the back nine at 46
yards long, so with a back-right pin, you might need two or three extra clubs.
Easy? I don't think so.
A really good chance to get one back comes in the form of the short, and
reachable, downhill par-five 12th. Just 498 yards from the tips, the key here
is the opening shot, which must be threaded through a chute of trees to a very
accommodating fairway. A pair of bunkers down the right must be avoided to
have any shot at getting home in two. Fairway metal or hybrid will remain to a
small, sloping green. Another must: Avoid the enormous bunker short and left
of the putting surface, otherwise it will be a difficult up and down. The
green slopes swiftly from back to front and left to right, so approach
One of the many signature holes at The Farm, the 13th is one of the prettiest
and most challenging par threes around. Playing straight downhill from 169
yards, this one-shotter features an almost island green. Mill Creek forms a U-
shape fronting the putting surface, while a pair of bunkers cover the rear.
With the significant elevation change, wind can wreak havoc on your club
selection. The green is fairly small, so when in doubt, play for the center,
two putt and move on.
After rolling through the hilly section of the course, the next few holes
offer very little with regard to elevation changes. First up is the dogleg
left, par-four 14th. A modest 442 yards, your drive must split the water left
and sand right to set up the best approach. The longer your second shot, the
harder it will be to hold the smallish putting surface. Just 26 paces and a
lake fronting the left front will make you think twice with your second.
The final par five on the course, the 15th, is certainly reachable, but with
Mill Creek fronting the green, you better choose wisely. The water meanders
down the left side of the fairway and then crosses in front of the putting
surface. Reaching the green in two will require a precise strike, as tall
trees guard both sides of the fairway as you near the promised land. Two
bunkers deep could provide for a difficult up-and-down if you go long. The
green, which angles to the right, is quite wide, but very narrow and
undulating as it slopes towards the water.
The last three holes at The Farm are among the hardest rated on the course,
but not the longest, as is evident looking at the 16th. Just 367 yards from
the tips, 16 is a modest dogleg left with the creek running down the left side
through the green. From an elevated tee, just a three metal should suffice off
the tee, setting up a short iron to a very challenging green. The putting
surface is one of the longest on the course at 45 paces, but the difficulty
arises with the tight width and bi-level slope. A back-left pin will create
fits for even the best of players.
In contrast, the 17th is the longest par four on the course from the back
markers and plays more difficult thanks to the uphill climb to the green. A
strong tee ball of 240 yards is needed just to reach the sloping fairway. Miss
left off the tee and you'll find a difficult fairway bunker, not to mention
thick woods. A long iron or hybrid will be required to reach the two-tiered
putting surface. A deep bunker guards the left side of a green that sits well
above the sand. Two-putting here will be a real chore.
The closing hole is a sensational par four, built into a side of a hill as you
work your way toward the clubhouse. A series of bunkers protects the left side
of the landing area, while the fairway drops off to the right. A medium iron
should be enough to negotiate the uphill nature of your approach to another
long, undulating green. Miss right and you won't be able to see the flag with
your chip. Miss left and let's just say that the two bunkers are next to
impossible for a saving par.
FINAL WORD: When people talk about golf in Georgia, Augusta National, East
Lake, Peachtree and Ocean Forest come to mind. Not to be overlooked, however,
is The Farm.
In his beautifully-designed layout, Tom Fazio used the dramatic elevation
changes to provide golfers with a supreme test of golf, not to mention an
aesthetically pleasing one.
Let's begin with the practice facility. Certainly not the size of Sea Island,
the range is a standard area to sharpen your skills prior to and after your
The course itself is one challenging hole after another. Each hole presents a
unique design from tee to green. The fairways are generous and framed to
perfection. The bunkering is rock-solid and the green complexes are quite
mysterious. Fazio used the lay of the land to craft a wide variety of putting
surfaces, each one as difficult and fair as the next.
The mix of holes is an integral part of the layout. Although the yardages on
three of the four par threes are fairly similar, each play significantly
different. The par fours feature six over 400 yards and four under 400,
running up and down the hillside. The big holes provide quite a risk-reward
opportunity on two of the four, while the second and ninth are truly three-
shotters (unless you're John Daly).
With such a diverse quality of golf, immaculate conditions, a wide variety of
tee boxes ranging from 5,300 to just over 7,000 yards and the "Southern
Hospitality" charm, The Farm is a must play for all levels.
When the USGA picks a course for one of its championships, and when that
course's rankings continue to improve year after year, you know it's something
Not well known by the general golf public, The Farm is certainly celebrated by
golf aficionados. This Georgia peach is really sweet.