Perfect for Any Trip
There is no shortage of great destinations, but most are one trick ponies. Traveling with a group of hardcore golfers? No problem, plenty of places for you. Looking for a place to take the family? Easy.
But what if you want to go somewhere that can do it all? If you need a destination with top shelf golf, family fun, great food, and plenty of other activities, set your sights on Reynolds Lake Oconee.
You’re reading PluggedInGolf, so we’re going to start with the golf. Reynolds Lake Oconee is not some resort that also built a golf course, it’s a golf-crazy community with 99 holes plus Reynolds Kingdom of Golf.
Reynolds is home to six fantastic golf courses: The Oconee by Rees Jones, The Landing and The Plantation by Bob Cupp, The Creek Club by Jim Engh, The National by Tom Fazio, and Great Waters by Jack Nicklaus. I’ve had the chance to play three of them, and just within those there is enough variety to satisfy any golfer. Each of the three courses that I visited is also home to a great practice facility where you can sharpen your skills before hitting the course.
Next to 99 holes of golf, Reynolds Kingdom of Golf could be overlooked, but in reality it should be seen as a destination onto itself. If you’re a range rat like me, the practice facilities alone will have you drooling. There’s a massive driving range – complete with “Bomber Tees” for the kids that carry it 300+ – and one of the best short game areas I’ve ever seen. Most short game areas can accommodate some bunker shots and 20 yard pitches. This is more like a par 3 with multiple greens. I could easily spend an entire day there.
In addition to the practice facilities where you can receive world-class instruction, Reynolds Kingdom of Golf is also home to Tour-level club fitting from TaylorMade. The fitters there use TaylorMade’s MATT System in conjunction with Quintic and Trackman to help you find the best clubs for every facet of your game. If that’s not enough, your clubs can be built on site in a retired TaylorMade Tour Van so you can have them for your next round.
If you need a break from golf, Reynolds Lake Oconee has you covered. One of the newest additions is The Sandy Creek Sporting Grounds. Centered around the Sandy Creek Barn, the Sporting Grounds offer a wide variety of outdoor activities.
Whether you’re an experienced marksman or a beginner, the Sporting Clay Course is incredibly impressive. Your guide will take you through as many as 20 stations along a path through the grounds. You can also shoot sporting clays from a Five Stand.
If your tastes run toward quieter sports, the Sandy Creek Sporting Grounds also offers air rifle, archery, fishing, boating, and nature trails. The Sporting Grounds opened to the public in November 2017, and it’s far from finished. Expect an even more diverse array of activities in 2018 and beyond.
Luxuries for Your Spouse (or Yourself)
If you’re traveling with a spouse who isn’t into golf, direct them to the spa at the Ritz-Carlton. Or walk yourself there after a hard day on the links.
The spa offers a wide range of services such as a golf ball massage and a seasonal gingerbread facial. You’ll also find a sauna, steam room, cold pool, and hot tub which are available to guests of the Ritz-Carlton every day of their stay.
Having experienced the golf, the spa, and the Sandy Creek Sporting Grounds, I was under the impression that Reynolds Lake Oconee was an adults-only destination. Upon talking with the resort staff, I learned that many of the guests are there on family trips.
When I took off my golf-blinders, it was easy to see how a family could spend a week (or more) at Reynolds. The lake is the hub of activity with swimming, water skiing, jet skiing, paddle boarding, canoeing, and kayaking being just a few of the possibilities. Of course, fishing is another popular attraction, as are tennis and miles of nature trails.
Finally, if you’re able to visit during the holiday season, you’ll see one of the most impressive decorations I’ve ever come across: a life-sized gingerbread house. Right in the lobby of the Ritz-Carlton, Executive Pastry Chef David Campbell and his team construct a house that’s 9 feet tall, with a 13′ by 16′ footprint. It’s beautiful, and the numbers behind it are staggering: over 3,000 pounds of flour, 460 pounds of honey, 520 pounds of sugar, and nearly a ton of assorted candies.
First Class Accommodations
Just as you have a world of options for what to do at Reynolds Lake Oconee, you have plenty of choices of where to stay. On my recent trip, I stayed at the Ritz-Carlton, which I highly recommend. The hotel is beautiful, the food is excellent, and the service is truly unsurpassed.
If you are traveling with a group or just want a little more space, there are cabins and condos available as well. The condos are wonderfully located for those who want access to tennis and walking paths. If you’re in for a golf trip, opt for the cottages at The Landing or The National for easy access to the courses and practice facilities.
No matter where you stay or what you choose to do, you’ll leave Reynolds Lake Oconee feeling that your trip was too short.