We played the Frog on the Monday of a long 4th of July weekend. We are members of Canongate (which is a great organization if you enjoy playing multiple courses), and The Frog is one of the 20+ courses in their stable. It’s located in Villa Rica, Georgia within the Georgian Resort, which is about halfway between Atlanta and the Alabama border on I-20. Took a little effort to get to from NW Georgia, but it was worth the effort, as you’ll see.
The flow of The Frog is noticeable and appreciated. Drop your clubs of at the bag drop, walk in and pay for the round, short drive to the well-maintained range area, then a great practice green just before you meet the starter and the first tee.
I played the Blue tees, which measured 6,239; a bit shorter than I normally play but thought since it was the first (of hopefully many) visits, I’d give myself a better chance for more GIR’s. There are 5 total sets of tees, ranging from 7,018 down to 5,336.
The first hole is a relatively straight-forward 397 yard par 4, with a tee shot that lands in a valley and an elevated green forcing an uphill (and almost blind) second shot. It’s also the #1 handicap hole; no warm-up holes for Tom Fazio! Luckily I hit a decent tee shot, and was left with about 160 to a very large and receptive green.
Standing on the green and looking back towards the first tee, I was lucky enough to get what I consider one of the best pictures of the entire course. You be the judge.
Turning a quick corner, we were on the second tee with an on-course restroom next to the tee box. Was pleasantly surprised to see this, as I’ve discussed many times before (my wife appreciates the on-course restrooms very much.) The second hole is short, at only 305 yards from the Blues. Don’t be too aggressive off the tee; think medium iron/wedge. The green is a bit raised (and again, quite large) but very receptive for wedges.
You can try to go for it with a driver if you like, but the bunkers guarding the front of the green are massive and hungry. Beware!
The third is a 142 yard par 3, with a green that slopes back to front. Hitting it short or left brings the bunkers into play, but going too far will force a downhill putt on a relatively severe downhill slope. Distance is key here.
The fourth hole may be my personal favorite on the entire course. It’s a slight dogleg right par 5 around a small lake, measuring 490 yards. The tee shot is to a wide fairway, and even though there’s water on the right, it might not be reachable for some so go for it!
Looking at the picture below, your second shot will go over the bunkers on the right, past the lake. I pulled it a bit left off the tee, and was left with this view for my second shot:
If you’re feeling strong and you hit a great tee shot (unlike me), you might be able to go for it in two. There is a deep bunker (pictured below) directly in front of the green and behind the green is trouble, so be careful.
The fifth hole is another par 5 (back-to-back) that “only” measures 461 yards, but this hole is so uphill I’d estimate that you can add at least 50 yards to that. The tee shot is to an open fairway so again, don’t be scared to let one rip.
Your second is uphill, but even if you layup (like I did), your third is also uphill. Here’s what my third shot looked like:
Once you’re on the green you are presented with another exceptional view looking back towards the tee; enjoy!
The sixth circles back towards the #2 teevbox, bringing the restrooms back if needed. It’s a 326 yard downhill par 4 and potentially reachable. If nobody is in front of you and your driver’s on, I’d say go for it, especially if you play a fade. Here’s the tee shot; the flag is behind the trees on the right.
Here’s a closer view, taken from about 100 yards out. Note that there isn’t any trouble to the right, and a large bunker bordering the green on the left. Again, when I play here again I’ll probably go for it.
The seventh is a 342 yard par 4, with an uphill approach. The green is long and receptive, but the entire left side of this hole is trouble, so bail right rather than left if needed. Here’s a view from the green back towards the tee:
Eight is a 191 yard par 3 to one of the flattest greens on the course. Yes there is undulation, but for the most relatively flat. The hole is all carry and anything left is dead, so better right on this tee shot. The hill to the right slopes pretty severely to the green so even a miss has the chance of providing a GIR.
Nine is easily the most uphill hole on the course. Measuring 350, it may play more like 390-400 yards. I hit a rock-solid tee shot and still had an approach that looked like this; Yikes!
Bunkers line the right side so center or center left is all good. In addition, the fairway on the left slopes back towards the center which helps.
The tenth tee has a collection of sand shakers which is always good to see. I’ve noticed in Georgia that not every course has these on the tenth tee, which seems odd to me. Anyway, great seeing them here, so I grabbed a fresh one at the turn.
The tenth is a straightforward 399 yard par 4. The tee shot is pretty open, but keep in mind that there is a little creek that runs up the right side of the green that you can’t see until you are almost on top of it.
Twelve is a dogleg right, that also has a creek running in front of the green. It shouldn’t come into play (and is unreachable on your tee shot) so let it fly, but try to end up center or right-center, or your approach may be quite long. Here’s the tee shot:
And the view when you turn the corner for your approach:
Thirteen is the first par 5 on the back, measuring 509 yards. From the tee you can’t see the green, but I’d suggest the right side of the fairway. There are bunkers on the far right side of the hole that may come into play. If you can land your tee shot at the top of the hill it will run down the other side quite a bit, potentially giving you a chance to go for it in two. Here’s the view of the tee shot:
And the potential second shot:
I chickened out because of the water surrounding the right side of the green and bailed a bit left, giving myself just under 100 yards. I actually had a birdie putt here (didn’t happen often enough) but I just missed for an easy par. I was pretty happy with that.
Fourteen looks a lot tougher than it is. It also looks longer than it plays (332 from the Blues). Standing on the tee (with the prevailing wind in your face), with lots of bunkers and water on the right, you might feel you need to hit driver (like I did.) Remember, it is only 332 yards (and the #18 handicap hole!)
There is lots of room to the left and center, and a relatively clear approach from the left side. Don’t be a sucker like me! Here’s the view from the green looking back.
The stretch of holes from 14-16 are three of the easiest holes on the course (rated #18, #14 and #16 handicap hopes respectively.) Be sure to take advantage now, because the two final holes are truly challenging.
Seventeen measures 417 from the Blues (the only par 4 on the course measuring >400 yards from the Blues) and if I remember correctly, the wind wasn’t helping. A long tee shot here isn’t beneficial; it’s a must-have.
If you really bomb it, it should roll far enough to hit a down-slope in the fairway, which could shorten your approach considerably. If not, you’re left with a decent-length approach. If you’re too far right, the tall tree may come into play, so better left or center than right off the tee.
Finally, there is a small creek that runs in front of the green ( a theme here, if you haven’t noticed) so be wary.
The Frog finishes on a par 5 that measures 497. The tee shot is key here, with trouble left (where I went) and bunkers right. I ended up punching out from behind some trees, leaving a very long third to the green. I missed par, but wasn’t disappointed at all; this course rocks.
This is one of the few courses on the Canongate group that isn’t private (according to the website.) I’d suggest playing it if you can. Yes, it takes a bit of time to get there and is probably more out of the way than most are accustomed to driving for a round of golf in Atlanta but believe me, the kindness of the staff, the views and the impressive elevation changes makes this a must play in my book.