ECHELON GOLF GOLF - ALPHARETTA
One of Atlantaís toughest tests...The course has changed names and status since it opened, but remains one of the strongest layouts in the metro area, although it may not be as tough a test as its reputation might attest.
 
Originally the Georgia Tech Club and a private facility, Echelon is now semi-private and is looking to fill the upscale daily fee niche created when nearby White Columns went private a number of years ago. The exceptional Rees Jones layout is a standout in every regard, with its difficulty and course conditions a match for Jonesí superb design.
 
There is a significant disparity in distance among the sets of tees, so itís crucial to select one that will not make an already demanding layout even more of a challenge. From the proper set of tees, Echelon is a very playable layout, with a number of elevated tees effectively reducing the listed yardages.
 
Echelon is relatively generous off the tee, and while there are a significant number of hazards in play, they are avoidable if you hit it reasonably straight. Some large, well-protected greens, many of which were carved out of hillsides, make Echelon more of a second shot course, with the greens among the best youíll putt, and also capable of ranking with some of the quickest youíll play.
 
The rolling terrain accounts for part of the challenge, but also produces some gorgeous views on a course that ranks with the top private club designs in the metro area.