Atlanta Athletic Club Established

During the mid to late 1800s, the United States was experiencing an unprecedented growth in the interest of sports, especially amateur sports.  At the time, Atlanta did offer many social clubs, but there was no club organized for the purpose of promoting athletics. Led by Burton Smith, a group of 65 men formed the Atlanta Athletic Club (AAC) in 1898. The original clubhouse was located on Edgewood Avenue, just below the Equitable building.

The club initially had no golf course, but four years after it was founded, it had more than 700 members. John Heisman, the Georgia Tech football coach for whom the famed Heisman Trophy was later named, directed the club’s athletic program of swimming, tennis, basketball and track. The original clubhouse was located on Edgewood Avenue, just below the Equitable building in downtown Atlanta.

Visitors to East Lake today may notice the Atlanta Athletic Club’s crest on the front of the building (pictured below). The Atlanta Athletic Club added golf to its program in 1904, when it established the East Lake Country Club on the site where East Lake Golf Club exists today.

East Lake Country Club Established

With golf becoming more popular, the Club purchased a 178 acre tract of land in nearby DeKalb County, which was the site of former amusement park. In 1904, the Club broke ground on the first golf course at the newly formed “East Lake Country Club”. The golf course architect was Tom Bendelow.

Course and Clubhouse Grand Opening

The grand opening of the 18-hole course and Clubhouse took place on July 4, 1908. Young Bobby Jones and his father were in attendance.

Golf Course Architect Donald Ross hired

1913, the Club hired famed golf course architect Donald Ross to redesign the golf course at East Lake. Ross’s routing plan (which still exists today) had each nine concluding at the Club. The Bendelow design featured a routing plan where the nines did not finish near the Clubhouse.


Bobby Jones Wins Grand Slam

Bobby Jones completed the Grand Slam of golf, winning the United States Amateur United States Open, British Amateur, and British Open in the same year.

No. 2 Course Opens

In 1930, East Lake opened a second golf course adjacent to the first course. Designed by Donald Ross, the No. 2 course was opened on May 31, 1930, to coincide with the final day of Bob Jones’ victorious British Amateur championship match.

U.S. Women’s Amateur

Beverly Hanson (pictured here on the left) won the U.S. Women’s Amateur at East Lake in 1950. This marked the first time a United States Golf Association (USGA) National Championship was ever played in the Southern United States.

Changing Times

In the late 1960’s the neighborhood surrounding the Club began to deteriorate as it fell victim to urban decay. The Atlanta Athletic Club made the agonizing decision to sell the “No. 2” course at East Lake and relocate to its present home in Johns Creek. The original course and clubhouse were saved when a group of members banded together to purchase them and began operation as East Lake Country Club.


East Lake Meadows

Shortly after the No 2 course was sold, the property was developed into a public housing project called East Lake Meadows. By the mid 1980’s, the East Lake community had become a center for poverty, drugs and violence. The once proud East Lake became a tired, mostly forgotten golf course, seemingly as hopeless as the surrounding neighborhood.


East Lake Country Club is Purchased

Local business and philanthropist Tom Cousins purchased East Lake with the intent to restore it as a tribute to the club’s great amateur golfers and as a catalyst for revitalizing the surrounding community.

East Lake Hosts U.S. Amateur

2001 US Amateur Champion: Bubba Dickerson

2001 US Amateur Champion: Bubba Dickerson

FedEx Cup

Since 2007, the FedEx Cup has been presented at East Lake during the TOUR Championship to the winner of the season-long FedExCup competition. The FedExCup Playoffs, which conclude at East Lake, determine the season-long champion on the PGA TOUR.

The first FedEx Cup Champion was Tiger Woods (2007).

East Lake Hosts the Inaugural East Lake Cup

This three day collegiate tournament features the top four men’s and women’s golf teams from the previous year’s NCAA Championship and airs live on Golf Channel.

Tiger Woods wins his 80th PGA TOUR victory at the 2018 TOUR Championship in dramatic fashion.