Situated in the northwest corner of Georgia, close to the Tennessee border, The Farm Golf Club is a scenic and hilly Tom Fazio design which opened for play in 1988.
Site of the annual Carpet Capital Collegiate (a men's major college event) and used for US Women’s Open qualifying, the course hosted its first national competition in 2005 when the 51st US Senior Amateur was held here.The Farm plays a lot tougher than many of the architect’s more modern, residential-based, golf projects as evidenced by the downhill 243-yard 8th, the forested holes between the 10th and 13th, and the water protected 516-yard 15th.
The Farm is a Fazio design located in Rocky Face, GA near Dalton. The first hole is welcoming a short dogleg right. A decent drive should give you a wedge in, but the green is well protected with bunkers right and left. The green is the tricky part as it is narrow and slopes front to back. Time to hunker down on the 600 yard plus par 5 2nd. Off the tee there is plenty of room, however on your second you are faced with a lake left and moguls right. The second has a two tiered green that is well protected with bunkers, moguls and water.
The par 4s 3rd and 4th are sobering. Long and fraught with danger. Two good shot MAY result in pars, a bad shot and you will be lucky to bogey. The 167 yard par 3 fifth looks like a reprieve, not so fast. The green is almost 50 yards long and has a ridge running left to right, thus club selection is key. We were fortunate that the pin was up and we escaped unscathed. The straight away par 4 6th should have been a picnic. Best not leave your approach shot short as the ball will taunt you as it rolls down the hill. The 7th is a short dogleg right par 4 and an oppty to make up for earlier miscues. However, a gaggle of bunkers guard the elbow. They should call this green Twiggy, as it is less then 20 yards deep. Depending upon the pin position, take an extra club. Havinf fun yet? How does a 240 yard downhill par 3 sound? Another 50 yard green protected by 3 bunkers. The pin was back right when we played. It is a good thing I checked my ego years ago as I am proud to say I hit driver to about 12 feet to set up my bogey. The 9th is a long uphill par 5, with a creek on the right and more moguls and bunkers left. All you need is three good shots!
Fazio must have been concerned about our vital signs as the short par 4 10th should allow us to catch our collective breath. The par 3 11th is the shortest par three with a devilish putting surface. The green is protected by 3 bunkers right and one left. Regardless, it is rated the 18th handicap hole. Best make hay while you can. I loved the par 5 12th, a downhill reachable par 5. Heck, if I can do it so can you. The par 3 13th is like most desserts, looks better than it tastes. It is almost an island green with a creek forming a semi-circle in front and bunkers lurking behind the green. Go pin seeking at your own risk. The course levels out yet challenges remain. The long dogleg left par 4 14th will require a tee shot that navigates between water left a deep bunker right. The par 5 15th is not really memorable, especially when you take a double. I was told you can reach it in two but watch out for the meandering creek that starts out on the left and ends up on the right of the green. I was able to shake off my demons and conquer the par 4 16th, if conquer equates to a par. It was a good thing because 17brought me to my knees. How does a 460 yard uphill par 4 sound? Wait, there’s more, 240 yards just to reach the fairway. Another two tiered green with a deep bunker left. Aye, mi madre! After 17 the 18th will feel like a vacation. Built into the side of a hill, there are bunkers and OB left. Hit the green or risk ruin. Right is a precipice and left has two nefarious bunkers. Deep breaths, you made it.
The Farm is an adventure, you have to bring your best grinding game. As an aside, my friend Carlos and I played The Farm in the AM and Canyon Ridge (Rising Fawn, GA) in the PM. I asked him which one he liked better and he said Canyon Ridge. I will say this Canyon Ridge is more fun, but The Farm will test your golfing mettle.