The Takeaway: The place to play in northwest Georgia, The Farm, like most Fazio designs, offers an enjoyable mixture of hole lengths, shape, and design that combine well with the hilly terrain to deliver a memorable golfing experience. Grade B+
Designer: Tom Fazio 1988
Phone Number: 706-673-4546
Course Website: Official Website - Visit The Farm Golf Club's official website by clicking on the link provided.
Directions: Get here! - 187 S Goose Hill Rd, Rocky Face, Georgia 30740 – UNITED STATES
What to Expect: An earlier Tom Fazio design, The Farm is located in northwest Georgia where it gets talked about more in the circles of the nearby Tennessee courses than it does in comparison to the more well-known Atlanta area tracks. As is the case with the majority of Fazio’s courses, the club is private and the conditions are maintained at a high level so you can plan on your experience being a good one. As the town name of Rocky Face might suggest, the course is laid out over terrain with a lot of movement in it which lends itself to several dramatic moments and shot-making opportunities. The fairways and greens are larger than average which increases the level of playability for all handicaps, but the plentiful bunkers and undulated putting surfaces will give your short game all the test it wants. As a whole, the front nine is a bit stronger than the back, and while the closing holes are solid they aren’t as good as later Fazio courses where that became a stronger emphasis. You would be hard pressed to find a player walking the course given the amount of movement in the property and some of the distances between holes, so you can plan on riding in a cart when teeing it up. In drawing a comparison, The Farm is most reminiscent of Stock Farm located in Hamilton, MT. Another early Fazio design, Stock Farm features a strong front nine in a hilly location with a closing stretch that could be a bit stronger. All in all, even though The Farm isn’t regarded as one of Fazio’s top tracks, it is a great course to play and an invite is a welcome treat.
By the Numbers
Individual Hole Analysis
Signature Hole: 13th Hole – 169 Yard Par 3 – Located at the furthest southern point on the golf course, the attractive 13th is a downhill one-shotter that descends over 50 feet from tee to green. The hole is reminiscent of the 11th at Castle Pines outside of Denver where the tee shot features a large drop and the green is front by a water hazard. Here at The Farm it is Mill Creek that carves in front of the putting surface while the rear features two large bunkers that you'll happily find yourself in rather than sailing into the thick foliage behind the green. Back left is a sucker's pin with a third bunker coming into play on that line and having less than half the depth of green to work with compared to the right side. Just right of center is the best place to aim in order to yield a birdie putt, but calculating the drop correctly along with any wind for the day will be the most challenging aspect to control.
Best Par 3: 8th Hole – 243 Yards – The lengthy 8th is Redan inspired with a green that angles away from the player front right to back left with a host of bunkers on the inside to cover. The putting surface doesn't feature the same sloping that you would find at a traditional Redan and pin placements can often be found on the right side of the green, but the strategy is similar nonetheless. Carrying a tee shot to the back third of the green is a bold play and reserved for people firmly in the zone, while everyone else should keep their eye on the right third of the green regardless of the pin placement. This is a tough hole, but the large downhill descent will knock some yardage off the number.
Best Par 4: 7th Hole – 354 Yards – While some players consider uphill holes a slog to get through, I often find them some of the most engaging to tangle with. The 7th is such a hole and includes a dogleg right to contend with and is further enhanced by a fairway that tilts the opposite way; begging players to shape the ball. A half dozen bunkers pepper the outside corner of the dogleg which can encourage players to hit their tee ball further right than normal which sometimes means hitting a cut to a blind landing zone. The oblong green is more than twice as wide as it is deep for much of the putting surface other than a small tongue in the center that reaches back towards the fairway. A trio of bunkers stair step up the right third while the left third is protected by a pair of smaller bunkers. You can plan on 40 feet of climb from the fairway and needing an extra club or two to reach the green, while coming up short will likely result in tumbling back down the fairway or into one of the bunkers. With only 12 yards to depth to work with on the outside thirds, it takes a precise approach shot to conquer this hole.
Best Par 5: 2nd Hole – 652 Yards – 652 yards isn't exactly a gentle encore to the opening act where Fazio gave players a severely downhill par four that can be reached by long hitters, but you better buckle up because the 2nd hole is the first of three extremely challenging holes. In the immortal words of Vizzini from Princess Bride, it is "inconceivable" to think you may not want to hit driver on a 652 yard hole, but that is in fact something you need to consider as the pond that is straight ahead is reachable for longer players. Staying short of the water will offer twice as much fairway width to work with compared to the rest of the hole so take advantage of it and get in the proper position for the next shot that sees water running the rest of the way to the green. 75 yards short of the green, the fairway bends left around the back edge of the pond and makes the water all the more treacherous to contend with, but bailing out to the right isn't a great option since a trio of bunkers protect the outside of the bend. The small tongue in the front of the green sits on its own tier while putts from the back tier to the front is a scenario you don't want to find yourself in.
Birdie Time: 12th Hole – 498 Yard Par 5 – With par fours of 498 and 495 yards on the front that play slightly uphill and slightly downhill respectively, coming to a 498 yard par five that drops over 100 feet from tee to green feels like manna from heaven. The tee shot plays mostly straight away but the fairway does start bending left the further down you get. Fazio placed a pair of bunkers and an outcropping of trees on the right side to encourage players to hug the tree line on the left for the best chance of a clear approach shot. Balls will carry with enough distance that reaching the green in two is a strong possibility, though the raised greensite and massive bunker on the left ensure it won't be too easy to score well on. Ultimately though, getting up around the green in two should be a realistic goal and carding a birdie after that is all about how your short game is feeling.
Bogey Beware: 3rd Hole – 498 Yard Par 4 – The Farm has some tough holes right off the bat to contend with, and the 3rd is smack dab in the middle of them. The 2nd is a 652 par five and the 4th is a 495 yard par four, so as a 498 yard two-shotter, the 3rd hole is among good company to test your game. The tee shot requires a carry over a pond with the carry getting longer the further left you aim. The center of the fairway is the only safe place to land as a fairway bunker sits on the right side of the driving zone and a series of hillocks occupies the space on the left side. The approach shot doesn't let up as the fairway ascends 20 feet enroute to the green with two different bunkers pinching the area in front of the green and begging players to fly their approach all the way to the putting surface. Greens in regulation aren't commonplace here and therefore pars aren't either, so kudos to anyone that can accomplish both.