Augusta Golf Courses: Where to Play Golf While in Augusta for the Masters

Want to tee off on a local course while visiting Augusta for the Masters? Follow this guide and book your tee times early.

The azaleas are in bloom and the traffic is bumper-to-bumper on Washington Road. Journalists and golf analysts from The Augusta Chronicle to The Golf Channel are in town. Golf fans from Australia to China are making their way to Augusta National Golf Club to witness the annual event dubbed "The Super Bowl of Golf." It must be Master's Week—April 4-11—in Augusta, Georgia.

Many people who plan a trip to golf's premiere event spend a little extra time in town to play at least one of the area's golf courses—and there are a lot from which to choose. Though there are many places to tee off in Augusta and in nearby towns of Evans and Martinez (both in Georgia) in addition to North Augusta and Aiken (across the border in South Carolina), we chose several courses that are open to the public (including two private clubs that open to Masters guests) and two private courses at which you can play only via invitation.

[You might also like: Food and Drink near The Masters and 31 Things to Do in Augusta, Georgia]


Where to Play Golf Near Augusta 

Champions Retreat Golf Club

Though Champions Retreat is a private club, it is opening to the public for the first time during Master's Week 2016. It is the only club in the world featuring three individually designed courses by Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus. In addition to golf, an array of amenities will be available during the week, including dining at the Grille House and Bluff Overlook Sports Bar, a night-lit putting and driving range with cabanas for seating and live music and roaring fire pits for after-golf relaxation. 37 Champions Pky., Evans, GA, 706.854.6960

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Aiken Golf Club

Like many things in the smaller town across the Savannah River from Augusta, Aiken Golf Club is historic. It opened in 1912 with 11 holes and was completed in 1915. It made GolfWeek Magazine's Best Courses You Can Play in 2013 (No. 11). Voted "Best Sunset View in Aiken," the club features a nine-hole putting course and full-service restaurant and bar. 555 Highland Park Drive, Aiken, SC, 803.649.6029

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Forest Hills Golf Club

The classic Donald Ross design of Forest Hills has won many accolades since opening in 1926. The course was renovated by the Arnold Palmer Co. in 2004 and has been named Best Public Golf Course several times by Augusta Magazine. The 18-hole course has a lot of history, including Bobby Jones beginning his 1930 Grand Slam of Golf at Forest Hills in the Southeastern Open to college golf events where future greats like Phil Mickelson (1989) and Davis Love III (1981, 1982) competed. 1500 Comfort Road, Augusta, GA, 706.733.0001

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Jones Creek Golf Club

Designed by Jones Reese, Jones Creek was built on a site reminiscent of the rolling hills of Augusta. The course boasts beautiful dogwoods, azaleas and elevation changes. A few years ago, the course was renovated by design architect Tom Fazio. Accomplished players will be challenged, but it's also an enjoyable course for the average golfer. The golf club has received many awards, has been voted best course in Columbia County and is the home of the annual E-Z-Go Vaughn Taylor Championship, the 2013 AJGA Tournament of the year. The neighborhood surrounding the course is filled with many homes that are rented to players, sponsors and ticket holders attending the Master's tournament. 777 Jones Creek Drive, Evans, GA, 706.860.4228

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The River Golf Club

Set along the banks on the South Carolina side of the Savannah River, The River Golf Club has established itself as one of the best course designs in the Southeast since it's opening in 1998. The golf club is a semi-private club directly across from downtown Augusta, Georgia. The River has continued with club improvements, even after being named a top five new course nationally by Golf Digest. The course offers a unique setting that includes new Mini-Verde Ultradwarf Bermuda greens, numerous lakes, wetlands and dramatic bunkers. 307 Riverside Blvd., North Augusta, SC, 803.202.0110

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Palmetto Golf Club

Aiken's Palmetto Golf Club is another area private club accepting Masters Week tee time requests. Founded in 1892, Palmetto has played host to the likes of Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, Ben Hogan and Barry Goldwater, to name a few. The golf course is a par-71 layout and plays at 6,713 yards from the championship tees. The competitive course record of 59 was established by USC Aiken's Dane Burkhart on Aug. 14, 2005, in the final round of the Palmetto Amateur. Dr. Alister MacKenzie wrote in the May 1933 edition of the American Golfer Magazine: “The alterations at Palmetto have been such a success that the Chairman of Bobby Jones’ executive committee at the Augusta National writes me saying, ‘We have only one serious complaint to make against you regarding the Augusta National. That layout you designed at Aiken is liked so well that the Aiken colony does not seem to be the least bit interested in coming over to the Augusta National’.” 275 Berrie Road, Aiken, SC, 803.649.2951

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Where You Need an Invitation

West Lake Country Club

The West Lake course, designed by Donald Ross protege and Pinehurst native Ellis Maples, is a traditional course known for its impeccable playing conditions and Tifeagle Bermuda greens that run 11.0-12.0 on the stimpmeter, according to Director of Golf Kirk Hice. The course opened in 1969 on 700 acres, with water features on seven of the 18 holes. "West Lake will challenge and reward players of all levels," Hice said. West Lake has a new driving range with Tifgrand Bermuda grass with areas for players to practice short-range games, bunker shots and fairway play. "West Lake is an Augusta tradition for guests from around the world," Hice said. West Lake Country Club was voted Best Private Golf Course in Augusta by Columbia County Magazine in 2015. 3556 West Lake Drive, Augusta, GA, 706.863.4640

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Sage Valley Golf Club

In the Graniteville area of Aiken County, South Carolina, Sage Valley Golf Club is a private national membership club surrounded by several thousand acres of preserved Southern pine forest. Tom Fazio and his team guided the design and construction of the course and grounds in 2001. Sage Valley members and their guests have access to a 7,344 yard pristinely maintained golf course along with three practice holes, a learning center and practice facilities, a 35,000-square-foot clubhouse, full-service spa and 16 well-appointed cottages to accommodate the member’s overnight lodging needs. A nearby, private air strip provides easy access for people flying in via private planes and has been used by celebrities and professional athletes coming to the course. 474 Bettis Academy Road, Graniteville, SC, 803.663.0900

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[For a complete list of Augusta-area golf courses, see our sister site, augusta.com.]

Watch: The Essential Things to Do in Augusta, Georgia