For over a decade, the most spirited debate in golf was over who really designed the really fine Atlanta Country Club. Both Willard Byrd of Atlanta and Joseph S. Finger of Houston claimed the honor. Both lobbied Golf Digest hard for the architectural credit, but neither provided much supporting documentation. Both architects are deceased now, and from what we can piece together, Byrd landed the original contract in the early 1960s, but was still more land-planner than course architect in those days, so the club brought in Finger to finish the job. We give them both credit for this hilly, strategic design, a solution neither architect would likely have accepted. Atlanta resident and former Jack Nicklaus associate Mike Riley remodeled the course in the early 2000s and his work helped put the course back in the America's 100 Greatest Courses ranking in 2003 after it had fallen off in 1997. Now architect Beau Welling is working with the club, and the results of his renovation will be revealed in late 2023 or early 2024.
100 Greatest: Ranked for 26 years from 1969-'90, 1995-'96, 2003-'04. Highest ranking: No. 79, 1985-'86.
Second 100 Greatest: Ranked since 2015. Highest ranking: No. 158, 2015-'16. 2021-'22 ranking: No. 194.
Best in State: Ranked fifth, 2011-'12. Ranked inside the top 5, 1977-'99, 2003, 2009-'10. Ranked sixth, 2013-'16. Ranked seventh 2017-'22. Ranked inside the top 10, 2001, 2005-'07.
Current ranking: Eighth.