There’s a public golf course in Rome, GA that is revered by local golfers and is a true hidden gem. Stonebridge Golf Club is owned by the city of Rome and is managed by Indigo Sports – formerly Billy Casper Golf.
Stonebridge Golf Club was designed by Arthur Davis and offers golfers five sets of tees that can be played anywhere from 5,039 – 6,809 yards. The Blue Tees play 6,383 yards with a course rating of 70.9 and a slope of 128. Seniors typically play from the Green Tees (5,643/66.5/120) and Ladies from the Red Tees (5,039/69.9/119). Choose the tees that best suit your game and you are sure to have a good time. Stonebridge is certified as Cooperative Sanctuary by Audubon International and is committed to protecting the local environment, providing wildlife habitats, and conserving natural resources.
Over the years, the club has received its fair share of accolades including a “Top Twenty Georgia Course” in 1997 by Golf Digest, “Georgia’s Best Public Golf Course” in 2002 by Georgia Golf News, and a “Top 10 Course in the US under $55” in 2012 by Golf Digest.
Stonebridge Golf Club is set in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, with a beautiful view of Lavender Mountain awaiting you on the first tee. Mature Georgia pines frame well-manicured Bermuda fairways that lead to challenging Champion Bermuda greens. The course winds its way through an upscale neighborhood but the homes are never a factor.
The first and third holes at Stonebridge Golf Club are long, challenging par 4s that if played correctly can get your round off to a great start. Number 1 is a fairly straight 401-yard par four with a tee shot that plays slightly uphill into a green that is protected with a single bunker front right and a lake right of it. Miss your approach shot left, and you’ll encounter some mounding around the green which can lead to some interesting lies.
The 3rd hole at Stonebridge Golf Club is a dogleg left that plays 418 yards from Blue Tees. Your tee shot plays slightly uphill and then slightly downhill on your approach shot. There’s good undulation in the fairway and the bunker in the front right catches a lot of balls hit short. It will take two well-played shots to reach this green in regulation.
There are several other memorable holes, too. Number 6 is an interesting par 4 that is listed on the scorecard at 383 yards from the Blue Tees, but it plays downhill and significantly shorter. Trees frame the left side of the fairway and there are four pot bunkers in the landing area. A good drive will leave less than 150 yards slightly downhill into a large, well-undulated green.
Number 9 is a 511-yard par 5 that is the number 1 handicap. It’s also the first hole with a significant amount of water; water that needs to be dealt with twice on your way to the green. Long ball hitters may want to leave the driver in the bag off the tee, the rest of us can just swing away! Unless your tee shot is up near the water at the end of the fairway, play your layup shot onto the fairway to the right of the green but be sure to avoid the cluster of three bunkers. Success so far will leave a short pitch shot onto the green which is protected on three sides by water and slopes slightly from the back right towards the water.
This same lake is going to come into play on the next two holes. It helps to create a dogleg on the 337-yard 10th hole, a hole where hitting a draw off the tee goes a long way toward posting a good score.
Number 11 is a straight, 393-yard par 4 with water all down the left side and a large, deep bunker that comes into play between the water and the green. The mounding on the right helps to funnel balls hit slightly right back into play. The green slopes dramatically from left to right with some good undulation in it.
Fourteen is a short, but interesting par 5. At only 474 yards it’s not that long and can present an opportunity to go for the green in two with a good tee shot. Your drive is somewhat blind and slightly uphill but once you get up to the top, it’s all downhill from there. There are a couple of bunkers on the right off the tee that need to be avoided but the most significant hazard on this hole is the creek that crosses about 30 yards in front of the green and the two grass bunkers on the left side. Another short but challenging hole.
From the tee box, Number 18 is a great-looking finishing hole. It’s a par 4 that plays uphill and consequently longer than the advertised yardage of 398 yards. There’s a fairway bunker on the left side in the landing area off the tee and two more bunkers on the right side just short of the green. The green is angled and a lot wider than it is deep.
In addition to the best public course in the area, Stonebridge is home to the best practice range in Northwest, GA. Actually, there are two practice ranges here. The first is your traditional range, with small and large buckets of balls and a bevy of flags and targets to shoot at. It’s long enough that you can hit every club in your bag. The second range option is a lot more fun.
“Launchbox” is Stonebridge’s version of a TopTracer Range. In case you’re new to this technology, a Toptracer range uses image sensors to capture a golf ball in flight and then converts the multiple video angles of the ball to create a near-perfect flight of the ball. It also captures all kinds of data, such as the distance, height, and ball speed of each shot. Not only is it a great practice tool, but it’s also a great entertainment tool as well. The system itself has different modes so you can have a long drive competition, closest to the pin challenge, and a variety of golf courses that can be played “virtually.” Launchbox at Stonebridge offers 5 covered Toptracer bays complete with outdoor furniture and bayside food & beverage service. Each bay can accommodate up to 8 players and is rented by the hour. If no one has the bay booked right after you, you’re welcome to stick around for a while. Just don’t forget to tip the wait staff…generously!
Stonebridge offers a variety of memberships with monthly payments to fit anyone’s budget. The “Caddie” membership offers unlimited range balls and $12 greens/cart fees after dusk for $49/month. At the other end of the spectrum, the “Legend” membership includes unlimited range balls, greens fees, and cart fees as well as discounts on events. For an avid golfer, $300/month is a bargain!
Scoring well at Stonebridge is going to take not only some good ball striking but also the ability to think your way around the golf course. The driver is not always the best option off the tee and knowing the location of the hazards goes a long way in scoring well. The course is always well-maintained and with Indigo Sports and Troon managing the course, rest assured that things are only going to get better. For more information on the facility or to book your next round of golf or reserve a time at Launchbox, visit them online. at www.romestonebridge.com.