By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Masters brings crowds to local courses

The golf world descends on Augusta every April for the Masters, but before the big tournament weekend many visitors have to pass through Conyers and Rockdale County traveling on I-20 from Hartsfield -Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

The golf-hungry visitors not only stop at restaurants along the way, but also several nearby courses.

One such course is Conyers' Cherokee Run, which has even been featured on the Golf Channel, for a piece on courses en route to the Masters.

Cherokee Run, renovated in 2010, is also offering a Masters package, which includes green fees, cart, range balls, a Tee gift, continental breakfast and lunch for $85.

The package has been met with such success that Golf Director Tommy Moon prepared for 400 rounds, and as of Wednesday morning was at 680 with another 300 booked to come through.

"We're going to be probably at 750 or 800 rounds," Moon said.

In the first year after Cherokee Run's renovation, the course hosted around 200 rounds, before doing 268 last year. This year, the course is anticipating to more than triple that number.

"It kind of blew us away," Moon said.

Other courses in the area are also experiencing upticks in business with Honey Creek seeing about 95 rounds a day since Saturday.

"It definitely has affected us down here," said David Cole, Honey Creek Pro Shop Manager. "It's been pretty impressive the past couple of days, tripling our regular play.

"It's been a lot of out of town folks and a lot of people who have never seen Honey Creek coming here because it's available."

Even with the larger number of visitors, Jody Stephens, head golf professional at the Highland Golf Club, said Masters traffic used to be even larger near Augusta. Since the Masters went to a lottery system in awarding tickets, rather than its traditional general admission procedures, golf fans now know whether or not they can get in to Augusta National.

"It seems now you get a lottery and get that golden ticket, it's like Willy Wonka," Stephens said.

Amateur golfers ticket still find time to play at Rockdale area courses before and after their Masters' tickets time, leading to inflated numbers each Masters' week.

"Tee times have booked up sporadically throughout the week because the Masters," Moon said. "They want to get in one round after watching the big boys."