Recommended for golfers
who: Enjoy a moderately challenging executive
Few metro courses have as interesting a history as
does Steel Canyon Golf Club, which opened in 2002 in
Sandy Springs as Blue Heron. The executive style
course was built on a landfill and had to jump
through several political hoops before being
constructed, which was an experience in itself
considering where it was built.
Course designer Mike Riley, whose outstanding metro
area layouts included Reunion and Alpharetta
Athletic Club East (formerly Crooked Creek) did an
admirable job considering the challenges, which
include 70 wells, an underground gas pipeline, high
voltage power lines and a cellular tower with ground
wires on the property, which also features a
significant amount of elevation changes for a short
(3,874 yards) course.
In 2009 a great deal
of changes were made to the property. A new
owner took over and hired Affiniti Golf Partners
to manage the club. Together they not only
renamed the course Steel Canyon Golf Club, but
also began major renovation. Brand new Champion
Bermuda greens were grown in, a brand new fleet
of golf carts were obtained, the clubhouse was
renovated and numerous other golf course
improvements were made. The club was completely
rebirthed and the conditions Blue Heron was
known for no longer apply. If you have yet to
visit the course since it reopened in September
of 2009, we encourage you to give it a try.
Steel Canyon plays to a par of 61 with 12 par 3s,
five par 4s, and in a rarity for an executive
course, a par 5, which measures right at 500 yards.
Other than the 350-yard 16th, the par 4s
average around 300 yards, but can play much longer
if the wind is up.
With an exception or two, primarily two lengthy and
demanding par 3s, Steel Canyon is a comfortable
layout from a playing standpoint, but the elevation
changes and a hefty hike or two from a green to the
next tee make it a healthy walk. The par 3s include
a nice mix of holes, with the over-water-and-sand 3rd
and scenic downhill 4th part of an
interesting opening sequence of holes that includes
two sharply downhill par 4s and the lone par 5.
Riley uses the terrain on several of the par 3s to
obscure pin positions from view, and the mounded
areas bordering many of the greens create much of
the movement on the excellent putting surfaces, as
well as making for some delicate short game shots.
The areas around the greens are in top-flight
condition, which eases the challenge when faced with
a testy little pitch or chip.
Steel Canyon also features a lighted practice
facility, with a state-of-the-art indoor putting
area above the pro shop