Fans of Jack Nicklaus will be in for a challenging task should they hope to play every one of the Golden Bear’s architectural adventures; the golf great’s company has been involved with more than 400 designs. Bear’s Best Atlanta is one of several courses around the country that allow players to get a “greatest hits” of sorts, as Nicklaus has chosen a variety of his favorite designs to suit this property northwest of the city.
Among the more popular “origin” courses feeding into Bear’s Best are Nicklaus’s designs at Muirfield Village and Gleneagles, from which the architect chose two holes each. The Memorial Invitational host provides inspiration for two heroic holes: No. 6 here is a par three based on the water carry and thin green at Muirfield Village No. 13, while the forced carry at Bear’s Best No. 13 comes from a similar design at Muirfield No. 3.
The No. 12 hole at Bear’s Best is a par five that plays dramatically uphill, as with the closing hole at Gleneagles. The No. 17 hole is also a tribute to Jack’s Scottish design.
The designer could have counted his brief stint at Augusta National and pulled a few holes from that World Top 100, but tastefully opted not to.