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Bobby Jones Golf Course’s contested redo on track for November debut

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After removal of hundreds of trees, Buckhead will boast one of only two reversible courses of its kind in the country

Bobby Jones Golf Course, its clubhouse, and the Bitsy Grant Tennis Center are drastically changing.
With clear-cutting complete, the course will once again welcome golfers.
YouTube, Mike Williamson

Buckhead’s Bobby Jones Golf Course is primed to reopen on schedule in November, following a slaughter of trees but the addition of people-friendly amenities such as bike lanes.

Thanks to a $23 million overhaul, the revised course won’t be some run-of-the-mill, 18-hole playground; it’ll be “reversible,” meaning, depending on the day or time, the nine holes will be playable backwards or forwards, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Once the course opens for tee times on November 5, Buckhead will boast one of only two reversible courses of its kind in the country, the paper reported.

The fall debut may be cause for celebration among golfers, but it comes at the chagrin of some environmentalists who claim the project’s developer, the Bobby Jones Golf Course Foundation, acted recklessly and unlawfully when clearing the land for construction.

Citing hundreds of trees hacked on the property, Saporta Report described site preparations earlier this year as a “tree massacre.”

Some neighbors of the Memorial Park golf course even lodged a lawsuit against the foundation, claiming it had violated the city’s tree laws, which require replanting those felled.

The foundation leases the 130-acre swath from the state—thanks to a land swap deal that yielded the City of Atlanta a parking deck needed to progress the Underground Atlanta revamp—so the developer reportedly contended that it shouldn’t have to abide by the municipal code, and the project chugged along.

The reversible course layout
Bobby Jones Golf Course Foundation

But the neighbors’ lawsuit wasn’t the only friction the golf course redevelopment faced.

According to WABE, environmental advocacy organization Chattahoochee Riverkeeper actually succeeded in getting the foundation to preserve some trees that stand on the bank of a couple of nearby streams, as well as plant some new ones.

Meanwhile, construction is about to kick off on a 23,000-square-foot clubhouse, which will replace one that’s being subleased and transformed into a music hall and meeting space.