Mystery Valley Golf Course Review
by Bill Day
Located close to Stone Mountain, and minutes from Southland and Metropolitan, this Dekalb County owned course is usually in excellent condition. From your first discussions with the pros and the starter, they are obviously proud of the greens. Their pride seems worthy, the greens are always in great shape from the heat of summer to the coldest of winter days. Both nines open with short par 5's and both finish with hard par 4's. A good round isn't over until you survive the 439-yard par 4 eighteenth.
Setting up your round: Tee times are recommended for weekend play, but the marshals keep things moving pretty well. During the week, the course is usually busy, but moves at a steady pace.
When you arrive: There is a driving range, hitting off mats into a sidehill, downhill area. This is a good area to hit a few shots to loosen up, but not a place I would choose for serious practice. There is a very good putting green and a practice bunker and chipping green. The practice green is great, the chipping and bunker are acceptable.
Hole you will love: #10, a short par 5. A very pretty hole with a downhill tee shot over water to a wide fairway. A solid tee shot on the right side sets up a chance to go for the green in two, with little trouble near the green. If you lay up, you have to pick the right spot as the fairway slopes hard right to left. A great chance to hit a wedge close due to the back to front sloping green. You can hold almost any short iron even when the greens are hard due to the slope.
Hole you won't: #15, A downhill tee shot and an uphill second shot. A lay-up off the tee leaves you close to 200 yards from a pretty steep downslope. Any shots hit low into the green will probably finish in a ditch behind. A driver off the tee has to land in a fairway that's about 25 yards wide with water on both sides. Tough hole all the way around. Par is a great score here.
Overview: For the price, this is my favorite course in Atlanta. Some holes give you an option off the tee, others open up and beg you to swing for the fences, while others demand you hit two solid shots to have any chance to score. The greens are always in excellent condition and very fast in the summer. You'll get a lot of uphill, downhill and sidehill lies here, so be ready to manufacture some shots. Tough course to walk due to the quantity and size of hills in the area. If you get the chance, tee it up here. I think you'll find it worth the money.
Note from John Kim, Executive Director:
Mystery Valley was - for some time - one of the most controversial reviews I've ever posted. After Mr. Day's report, I wrote a follow-up stating that I did not agree with his assessment and did not want visitors to our site to have that impression. That was then...and this is now. For the first time in a few years, I have come back to give Mystery Valley another chance. I am very happy to report that my earlier review of this course is no longer valid - it's not even close. I could not have been more impressed with the conditioning of the course and the demeanor of the staff. The pricing is what it is, one of the best values anywhere. But now I see what quite of few of you have seen for some time....this is simply a very fun golf course to play. I apologize for my earlier misgivings, on this one...I was way off. Tee 'em up here, you'll be glad you did.