Celebrating East Lake Golf Club's 110th birthday
The TOUR Championship is played on the oldest golf course in Atlanta, East Lake Golf Club, which has impeccable credentials at both ends of the spectrum.
Not only was it the home course more than 100 years ago to the greatest amateur in history – Bobby Jones – but today it annually plays host to the 30 of the world’s best players. Over turf where Jones once played, today’s stars compete for the glory of the PGA TOUR’s most coveted possession, the FedExCup title.
On its 110th birthday on July 4, we celebrate the storied history of East Lake GC.
1889: A group of 65 men, led by Burton Smith, formed the Atlanta Athletic Club (AAC).
1904: The club initially had no golf course, but four years after it was founded, it had more than 700 members. Club leaders soon realized the increased interest in golf, and in 1904, acquired property in the “suburbs” of Atlanta to create a country club. Golf course architect Tom Bendelow his hired to lay out the course.
1908: On July 4, the grand opening of the Bendelow course took place on the property known as East Lake.
1908: Young Bob Jones, then 6, was present at the opening receptions on that summer afternoon in the company of his father, “Colonel” Robert P. Jones. The elder Jones, already an active member, later served as president of the club from 1937-42 and as a director for 38 years. (Bobby Jones also served as president, in 1946-47).
1930: Bobby Jones completed the Grand Slam, winning the U.S. Amateur, U.S. Open, British Amateur, and British Open in the same year.
1963: The 15th Ryder Cup matches were held at East Lake Golf Club. Arnold Palmer, who would become the last playing captain on either side, led his team to the second largest victory margin in Ryder Cup history.
1993: A local charitable foundation purchased East Lake with the intent to restore it as a tribute to Bobby Jones and the club’s other great amateur golfers. The East Lake Foundation, a Purpose Built Community, has used the renovation as a catalyst for revitalizing the surrounding community.
1994: Rees Jones restored Donald Ross’s original golf course layout. Using the original Philip Shutze architectural drawings, the clubhouse was brought back to its 1926 design and condition.
1998: Hal Sutton won the first TOUR Championship at East Lake, defeating Vijay Singh in a playoff on the 18th hole.
2005: East Lake became the permanent home of the TOUR Championship, where the 30 best players on the PGA TOUR compete for the season-ending trophy.
2007: The FedExCup competition was introduced ahead of the PGA TOUR season. Tiger Woods won the inaugural edition, rolling through the Playoffs with two tournament wins, including a record-setting performance at the TOUR Championship. Woods remains as the only two-time winner (2007, 2009) of the FedExCup.
2016: Rory McIlroy came from three shots back with three holes to play to win the TOUR Championship and the FedExCup. The 10th edition of the FedExCup was its most exciting, with McIlroy winning a three-way playoff at East Lake GC over Ryan Moore and Kevin Chappell. McIlroy is the first to win four times in the FedExCup Playoffs.