Rees Jones, Inc.

Golf Course Design & Architecture

Rees Jones, Inc.
East Lake Golf Club
Atlanta, Georgia
Image: East Lake Golf Club
Course Type
Design Roles
Course Updates
Greg Muirhead

Client Course Description

In 1994, famed architect Rees Jones restored Donald Ross’ original golf course layout. The course measures 7,374 yards from the championship tees and plays to par 72. East Lake’s signature hole is the 168-yard, par-3 sixth, which plays from an elevated tee to a diagonally angled peninsula green. This particular green complex existed on the original Tom Bendelow course, where it served as the green at the par-5 16th and was one of the first island greens in America.

Designer Notes

As the centerpiece of the dramatic East Lake urban renewal project, we completely rebuilt this course to bring back the Donald Ross style while at the same time making it competitive for the longer, stronger golfers playing with the latest equipment. Changes continue to be made as the course annually hosts the PGA TOUR Championship, now the final event of the FedEx Cup.

A project to reverse the existing nines was completed in the spring of 2016 with the PGA TOUR. By reversing the nines on the course, play will now finish on a revised par five 18th hole. In order to create more excitement, the fairway was regraded to allow the ball to come to rest on the second level providing players an option to go for the green in two in order to make an eagle or birdie, thus creating more volatility on the final hole. Also, a bunker was added in the second landing and another behind the green. New tees were added on number 16 and 17 holes to give the Tour more flexibility with course setup. Also, the right fairway bunker on hole 12 was repositioned.

Course Photos

Site Visit Photos


Tournament Year(s)
Tour Championship 1998, 2000, 2002, Annually Since 2004
U.S. Amateur 2001


Award Publication
America's 100 Greatest Golf Courses Golf Digest
Top 100 Courses in the World and U.S. Golf Magazine
America's 100 Best Classical Courses Golfweek


Headline Date
Rees Jones Shares his Vision on New East Lake Golf Club Layout October 19, 2016
Minor Alterations At East Lake Ahead Of 2016 Tour Championship September 19, 2016
2016 Season Brings Top Players to 13 Compelling Rees Jones-Designed Courses January 26, 2016
East Lake Hole-By-Hole Review September 25, 2015
Tripleheader: Architect Rees Jones’ Touch Showcased During Three-Week Stretch August 1, 2001