Sunset Hills Country Club’s storied history to add another chapter with 7A golf championships

It’s been said that once the wives in Carrollton got their husbands back from World War II, the ladies lost them again. But this time, to the game of golf. It wasn’t uncommon for their husbands to drive as far as Atlanta to find a place to play the game and by 1947, it was determined that a golf course was needed in Carrollton.

Sunset Hills Country Club in Carrollton was birthed in the booming years after the War when Sam Boykin, Oscar Roberts and M.C. Roop purchased pastureland on the west side of Carrollton and hired famed golf course architect Robert Trent Jones Sr. to design a course on the property.

However, the ladies took little time staking a claim to their place on the course.

The first head pro at Sunset Hills was Johnny Suggs, the father of famed woman’s golfer Louise Suggs, who won 61 times on the LPGA Tour including the Carrollton Georgia open, which was held at Sunset Hills from 1950-55. Suggs won the Carrollton Georgia Open in 1951 and 1954.

“It certainly has a great history,” said former Carrollton golf coach Kurt Hitzeman, who stepped down from the varsity level in 2023. “The club is actually going to start a girls-only elite invitational this fall and we are going to try to make it the best.”

A founding member of the LPGA in 1950, Suggs is an 11-time major championship winner and became the first LPGA player to complete the career Grand Slam when she won the 1957 LPGA Championship.

She was inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 1966 and the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1979. The Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Award is given annually to the most accomplished first-year player on the LPGA Tour. In 2015, she became one of the first female members of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews in Fife, Scotland.

In the years since, the course has grown into one of the premier private facilities in mid-west Georgia and entering the Class 7A state tournament, there are many challenges the best teams in the state will face at Sunset Hills.

“It’s a really awesome course for junior golf, which is something that’s very well-supported here,” said Hitzeman, who stepped down from the varsity level in 2023. “We have a wonderful relationship with the club and the city schools at Sunset Hills.”

The course plays around 6,300 yards from the back tees, which is relatively short compared to some of the other courses in the area and state, most of which can reach well beyond 7,000 yards. But what Sunset Hills might lack in sheer distance, it makes up for in challenging tee shots, difficult approaches to the greens and smooth, fast putting surfaces.

“The greens are bent grass and some of the very best bent grass greens you will find,” he said. “It’s an old country club style course, where it does not play long, however the layout of the course does play longer than the card. It forces you to not just bomb it and approach shots are premium on the greens. It’s just hard to overpower this course.”

On the boys side of Class 7A, Milton has won three-consecutive championships to go with the program’s first in 2012 while the Lambert boys are favorites to challenge the defending-champions. On the girls side, Lambert will try for its 10th overall and consecutive championship and is riding a 10-year-old wave of momentum.

“The top two coming back, Milton and Lambert’s boys, would have to be the favorite,” Hitzeman said. “On the girls’ side, Lambert and Lowndes look to be very competitive this year as well.”

Stay tuned for a look at the Class 6A state championship courses – Chattahoochee Golf Club (boys) and Apple Mountain Golf Club (girls) in the next edition of this series.

Tags: ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply