This is the third in the Play the Lake Oconee Golf Courses series featuring all of the courses in the order in which they were completed and opened for play. The author is a mid-handicapper who has played all the courses. Click to see previous posts in this series: Reynolds Landing, and the Plantation Course at Reynolds. The golf course featured in this post is Harbor Club on Lake Oconee.
The third of the eight golf courses built in the Lake Oconee area is Harbor Club, opened for play in 1991. Before discussing Harbor Club, I should disclose that I am a resident and have been a member of Harbor Club since 2005, so bear in mind what I say here will be with some bias. The Harbor Club championship golf course was designed by Tom Weiskopf and Jay Moorish, widely acclaimed golf course designers. The course has Tom Weiskopf signature design features, most significantly a couple of par 4s that are driveable for the big hitters. For Harbor Club, these are the signature par-4 7th hole over a portion of Lake Oconee, and the short par-4 15th hole. You make par or bogey on these, you lose one or two shots to the field. Following a major renovation of several years ago when all the greens were completely redone, what is now the 18th hole was completely reconfigured into what is now a great finishing hole. Sometime during the years since Harbor Club Golf Course’s opening in 1991, the front and back nine holes had been reversed. Following the renovation and reconfiguration of the greens and redo of the 18th hole in 2005, the nines were taken back to the original 1991 configuration of the Weiskopf-Moorish design. Now the closing holes at Harbor Club are as below
- 16th hole- Par-4, a sharp, difficult dogleg left (Signature Hole)
- 17th hole – Par 3, all carry over Lake Oconee to an impossible green
- 18th hole Par-4, players must cross a wide creek flowing into Lake Oconee TWICE (except for the extremely long hitters playing from up tees who can try to drive over trees to a landing area just short of the green)
Hole number 17, above, was voted by readers of a local magazine the Best Par Three Hole of the Lake Oconee Golf Courses for 2010.
These three holes now make what I believe to be the toughest closing holes on Lake Oconee. (I call it “The Gauntlet”)
Over the years Harbor Club has been host to several Mickey Mantle Celebrity Tournaments (Mickey was a resident of Harbor Club for many years); many University of Georgia outings; various college, high school, and other amateur tournaments; and many other corporate and charity events.
Family memories above are from the Mickey Mantle Golf Tournament in 1992 when Mickey congratulated our son Jay, then 12, on his super golf game.
In my opinion, speaking as an mid-handicapper, Harbor Club is one Lake Oconee golf course that I think anyone would be comfortable in playing several times a week, regardless of their level of play. With 6 sets of tees, you can pick your poison – play the tees most appropriate to your handicap or the challenge you desire.
Everyone who plays Harbor Club Golf Course will have a great day of golf. My biased opinion is that you will find the course and the folks you’ll meet here feel as welcoming as going back home – where ever you’re from.
Harbor Club Signature Hole