It is the first U.S. Amateur for the venerable metro Atlanta golf club – which counted golf legend Bobby Jones among its members.
The club has hosted a large number of the premier events in golf – including the PGA Championship in 1981, 2001 and 2011. the 1976 U.S. Open and the Ryder Cup in 1963.
“The Atlanta Athletic Club has been very fortunate to host several major competitions and this is just another one that we have been trying to host and been wanting to host, because of who we are and the history and heritage of Bobby Jones.” said Charlie Anderson, who serves as the co-chairman of the U.S. Amateur with Glenn Cornell. “We are just very happy that [the USGA] saw fit to bring this championship here.”
Atlanta Athletic Club general manager Kevin Carroll said the preparations for the event are going well.
“Everything is on schedule and the golf course is in great shape and we’re looking forward to having everyone here,” Carroll said. “We’ve put in a lot of man hours to get everything ready and we added some extra staff for the 10 days of the event and all we need to do now is get some crowds out here to watch the best amateur players in the world.”
The week-long event begins with the field of 312 competing in a two-day, 36-hole stroke-play format, from which only 64 will emerge to battle it out the rest of the way in match play competition.
The first round of match play will be held next Wednesday, followed by the second and third rounds next Thursday, the quarterfinals next Friday, the semifinals next Saturday and the final two survivors facing off in a 36-hole championship match next Sunday.
Carroll said the match play portion, in which two golfers compete head to head, should make for some exciting competition.
“It’s a little bit of a mini competition in itself,” Carroll said. “There’s different strategies that the players use. They’re not playing against themselves; they’re not playing against the scorecard [like in stroke play]. They’re playing against the person that’s across from them and they may have certain strategies that they may use.”
A couple of former local high school standouts will be among the 312 players in the field – former Milton star Zack Jaworski, a rising junior player at Vanderbilt, and ex-Northview standout David Kleckner.
About 2,000 to 5,000 spectators are expected to be on hand for each day of the competition.
The tournament will be held on the club’s two courses – the par-71 Highlands and the par-72 Riverside.
The stroke play portion will be held on both courses, with the match play section to be hosted by the Highlands course.
The club is promoting the legacy of Jones, a longtime member who won five U.S. Amateur titles (1924, 1925, 1927, 1928 and 1930) during his storied career.
“We’re very proud to have Bobby Jones as part of our heritage, as part of the Atlanta Athletic Club,” Anderson said. “Not only did he compete for the first time in a U.S. Amateur, he went on to win five U.S. Amateurs – which is a record for the USGA. Our club is near and dear to amateur competition, but amateur golf. So it’s very special for us to be hosting the U.S. Amateur championship.”
Cost: Good Any Day tickets cost $20 and include complementary parking. Good Any Day booklets of 10 tickets cost $100. Weekly tickets cost $75. Juniors age 17 and under are admitted free when accompanied by a ticketed adult. Tickets can be purchased online at https://events.trustevent.com/templates/index.cfm?fuseaction=templates.home&eid=1476.