The Lake Oconee area boasts of eight world class championship golf courses, each designed by a world famous golf course architect reflecting individual design concepts. Each golf venue provides both challenge and fun to the scratch golfer and novice alike with the many various tee complexes.
Here are the Lake Oconee golf courses in alphabetical order:
CUSCOWILLA GOLF CLUB – ONE 18-HOLE COURSE
Opened in 1996, Cuscowilla is a Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore classic masterpiece featuring native grass areas and natural sand traps. Cuscowilla is a favorite of tour and collegiate players and a popular tournament venue for many amateur tournaments. The green complexes are probably the most difficult in the lake area. In September 2014 Cuscowilla completed a complete changeover of their greens from bent to Bermuda grass. The par 70 course is 6,847 yards from the back tees with a course rating of 72.2 and a slope of 132.
Course Website: Cuscowilla
HARBOR CLUB GOLF CLUB – ONE 18-HOLE COURSE
The Harbor Club golf course opened in 1991, a highly acclaimed design of Tom Weiskopt and Jay Morrish. The semi-private course is one of the most playable in the Lake Oconee area and from the back tees is all the golf you will ever want. Most who have experienced Harbor Club agree that the three finishing holes are the toughest on the lake – #16 par 4, 458 yards; #17 par 3, 180 yards, all carry over Lake Oconee to a difficult green complex; and #18 par 4, 448 yards, crossing a creek twice. The par 72 course is 6,964 yards from the back tees with a course rating of 73.6 and a slope of 138.
Course Website: Harbor Club
REYNOLDS LAKE OCONEE – FIVE 18-HOLE COURSES; ONE 27-HOLE COURSE
THE LANDING (formerly Port Armor) – 18 HOLE COURSE
The Landing golf course was the first golf course opened in the Lake Oconee area. When it opened in 1986, the Bob Cupp design was known as Port Armor and over the years has been the site of many high school, collegiate, and professional events. From its opening, The Landing course was known as one of the most challenging in the area. A recent renovation completed in the spring of 2013 elevated the course to even higher levels. Playing to a par 72, from the back tees the course is 6,926 yards, a course rating of 74.0 and a slope of 140.
Course Website: The Landing
GREAT WATERS – 18 HOLE COURSE
Opening in 1992, the Great Waters Jack Nicklaus designed Reynolds golf course is arguably the most sought after golf destination in the Lake Oconee area – it’s the one all visitors want to play. It has the most holes with views of Lake Oconee and the most scenic landscaping of any Lake Oconee golf course. Great Waters has been the home to the PGA Professional National Championship and the prestigious Andersen Consulting World Championship Match Play Championship of Golf. Great Waters plays to a par 72 at 7,048 yards from the back tees with a course rating of 73.8 and slope of 135
Course Website: Great Waters
THE PRESERVE – 18 HOLE COURSE
The Preserve, a Bob Cupp designed course, was the second golf course built in the Lake Oconee area opening in 1988. From its beginning, The Preserve course was considered the easiest of the area courses with its sloped fairways bringing most errant shots back into the fairways. But if you move back to the longer tees, you won’t think there is anything easy about the course. This par 72 layout from the back tees measures 6,698 yards, a course rating 72.0 and a slope of 133.
Course Website: The Preserve
THE NATIONAL – THREE 9 HOLE TRACTS – 27 HOLES OFFERING 3 UNIQUE 18 HOLE COMBINATIONS
The original 18 holes of the National Course designed by Tom Fazio opened in 1997, now known as the Ridge and Bluff courses. The last nine holes were added in 2000 and now known as the Cove. A recent renovation of the National Courses was completed in the spring of 2014 returning the venue to its original Fazio greatness. All 18 hole combinations are par 72; the original 18 hole Ridge/Bluff measures 6,955 yards with a course rating of 73.4 and a slope of 137; Bluff/Cove combination measures 7,034 with a course rating of 73.8 and a slope of 137; the Cove/Ridge combination measures 6.987 yards with a course rating of 73.6 and a slope of 139.
Course Website: The National
THE OCONEE COURSE – 18 HOLE COURSE
As a true spectacular complement to the Ritz Carlton Lodge at Lake Oconee, this Rees Jones masterpiece takes full advantage of all the views of the lake. This is the course the visitors at the Ritz Carlton enjoy. The added bonus for the Oconee Course is its proximity to the TaylorMade Kingdom golf learning center utilized by touring pros and aspiring amateurs alike. The spectacular course offers all that any player will want for their golf. It is home to the annual Chick-fil-A Bowl Alumni Challenge. The par 72 course from the back tees measures 7,029 yards with a course rating of 73.5 and a slope of 137.
Course Website: The Oconee
THE CREEK CLUB – THE MEMBERS ONLY 18 HOLE COURSE
In 2007 Reynolds Lake Oconee opened the Members Only Creek Club course, designed by renowned architect Jim Engh. The writer has not played this course so has no first-hand knowledge of the design except from friends who have played it. I have been in the clubhouse many times, which is spectacular, with its panoramic view of the three separate greens of the par 5 hole #18. Those who have played the course come away still talking about the green complexes – that appears to be the most distinguishing feature, in addition to the immaculate overall condition of the course.
Course Website: The Creek Club