by Bob Hughes, ASLA
The Bobby Jones Golf Course—Atlanta’s first public golf course, opened in 1932—was previously an underutilized course that suffered from dying trees, invasive plants, and eroded walking trails—it did not live up to the name of Bobby Jones. Marty Elgison, President and Co-Founder of the Bobby Jones Golf Course Foundation, became involved with the facility so that it might impact the surrounding communities, and was pivotal in pursuing a mission to turn something ordinary into something transformational. HGOR was selected by the Atlanta Memorial Park Conservancy to revitalize the area, establishing it as a destination where diverse crowds could gather and enjoy the sport while connecting with others.
Initial challenges varied in scope and included a lack of adequate parking and community engagement and the misconception that a renovation meant the removal of surrounding trees. An innovative approach was needed to solve several issues simultaneously.