Georgia has been home to a host of top professional golfers, from the legendary Bobby Jones to contemporary champion Stewart Cink. The state is also blessed with some of the sport’s most exquisite, professional-level courses developed by top pros and designers, and many play host to major PGA events. The most well known of these tournaments is the Masters, played at Augusta National Golf Club. Metro Atlanta Bear’s Best Atlanta, an elegant daily-fee facility, was designed by Jack Nicklaus. Each hole is a replica of one of the best holes from his 200 course designs worldwide. Wolf Creek Golf Club, located minutes from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, is a tough offering from Mike Young. Another popular course is RiverPines, located in Alpharetta. The 18-hole championship course designed by Denis Griffiths meanders through woods and around ravines, streams and ponds. Stone Mountain Golf Club offers two 18-hole courses. The Stonemont was designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr., and John LaFoy designed the Lakemont course. The Coast The PGA Champions Tour stops at The Club at Savannah Harbour every April. The course, a Bob Cupp/Sam Snead design, winds its way through scenic marshes, while players are treated to views of downtown Savannah. A favourite among local Savannah golfers is the Rees Jones–designed Southbridge Golf Club. Skilled golfers are attracted by the challenging greens, yet the course is forgiving enough for the average player. One of the most exquisite golf resorts in the world is Sea Island Golf Club (actually located on nearby St. Simons Island). Its three classic courses are a perfect blend of old and new - the original 1929 Seaside Course was redesigned by Tom Fazio in 1999, and Rees Jones reworked the Plantation Course the year before. Nearby Jekyll Island offers 63 wonderful holes at the Jekyll Island Golf Club. Central and Southern Georgia The Lake Oconee area, known as Georgia’s Lake Country, is a golfer’s paradise, featuring many exceptional golf courses. Highlights include Cuscowilla on Lake Oconee, The Ritz-Carlton Lodge at Reynolds Plantation and Harbour Club on Lake Oconee. The city of Augusta has become synonymous with the Masters, played at the Augusta National Golf Club, designed by Bobby Jones. Augusta National is a private course, but there are several public courses in the area that feature breath-taking views and plenty of challenges, including Jones Creek Golf Club and the Bartram Trail Golf Course. Just south of Augusta is Fort Gordon and the Gordon Lakes Golf Club. Twenty-seven demanding holes are divided into three hilly courses. The original 18 holes were designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. Pine Mountain, in west Georgia, is home to Callaway Gardens. Apart from butterflies and blossoms, Callaway is known for its impressive golf pedigree and immaculate courses. Northern Georgia In Adairsville, Barnsley Gardens Resort’s 18-hole Jim Fazio course offers immaculate new greens, serene vistas and outstanding par 3s. Another of north-west Georgia’s must-play courses, The Frog at The Georgian in Villa Rica, has hosted numerous tournaments. Nestled amidst the spectacular Blue Ridge Mountains in north-east Georgia, Kingwood Golf Resort in Clayton is short in length, but its physical features will keep you guessing. Braselton’s Château Élan, a four-star luxury hotel, winery, spa and golf resort, showcases the artistry of Denis Griffiths at the Chateau and Woodlands championship courses. At Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa in Young Harris, Griffiths created one of his finest layouts and one of the most environmentally friendly courses in the United States. The new Legacy on Lanier Golf Club at Lake Lanier Islands Resort represents a return to the golden era of golf - a period from the early to mid 1900s - when designers created some of the most talked-about courses in the world. Created by renowned designer Billy Fuller, the course offers stunning views of the lake. State Parks Great golf courses, some created by top designers, can be found at eight of Georgia’s state parks and include: The Creek at Hard Labor, Highland Walk at Victoria Bryant, Arrowhead Pointe at Lake Richard B. Russell, Meadow Links at George T. Bagby, Georgia Vets Memorial Golf Course, Wallace Adams Course at Little Ocmulgee, Brazell’s Creek at Gordonia- Altamaha and The Lakes at Laura S. Walker. Learn more at georgiagolf.com.
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