Hampton Golf Village Review
by John Kim
What do you get when you take the same constuction company that built such reknowned local courses such as White Columns, Hawks Ridge, and East Lake; and a layout designed by famed architect Clyde Johnston? You get Hampton Golf Village up in Cumming Georgia. Are the parts greater than the sum? We went up to Cumming to find out.
Setting up your round: Although located amongst some great courses, Hampton can viably argue that it has location going for it. It is literally right off Ga. 400, so though it's a few miles north - there is no twists and turns to get you lost. Tee times during the week should be made at least a day in advance, though calling the day of might be able to get you out. Afternoon times seem more abundant than morning times, when the sheet seems to fill out quickly. Weekend times must be made a few days in advance. You can make any tee time up to seven days in advance. Call the pro shop at (770) 205-7070.
When you arrive: All the amenities you would expect are there for you. A nice grill room and dining area, superb putting green, and large driving range. Of course, putting is important, but the course can require precision irons, so make sure the wedges and mid irons are pretty sharp on the range before teeing off.
Hole you will love: Hole #15 is a par 5 with a huge fairway and no trouble guarding the front of the green for longer hitters that want to try and reach in two. Even for those who want to lay up, there is little danger if you keep it even somewhat straight. Definitely your best opportunity for birdie. Hole #6 gets an honorable mention as par 4 that some may be able to drive if they want to take a chance, but can still bite you with bogey or worse if you miss on the wrong side of this very sloping green.
Hole you won't: My most glaring fault for this course is easy, both par 5's on the front nine seem a bit excessive, especially for the average golfer. Hole #5 is a par 5 that requires a precise and fairly long tee shot if you want to clear the ravine with your second shot. The fairway feeds right, where a hazard goes all the way down the right side. For those that can't clear the ravine with their second shot, you'll have a mid-length iron in to a green with bunkers left and more trouble behind and to the right. Honorable mention goes to Hole #12 which requires a long tee shot to clear trouble and then a straight up the hill blind shot to a green where you have to drive all the way up to see the pin.
Overview: Very opposite of my traditional thinking, I think I enjoyed Hampton more the first time I played it vs. the last time I played it. The course can struggle at times with conditioning, and the little things that bugged me at first (the par 5s on the front, the blind shots) tended to bother me more in later rounds. There are some forced carries from tee shots and fairways that most golfers simply shouldn't be asked to do. I am not saying this course is bad by any means, and there are those who I'm sure love the layout. I'm just not one of them. Unless you have some great deal to get on, there are better bangs for your buck.