Recently, Reynolds Lake Oconee welcomed the world's best female golfers to vie for the title of the LPGA Tour Drive On Championship at the renowned Great Waters course. Though spectators were not allowed on the course, Reynolds Members found creative ways to enjoy the tournament.

Despite restrictions, some Great Waters residents still found a way to trail their favorite players on the course — from the comfort of their own backyards. One group of friends planned a progressive Eat, Drink, Watch party, moving from house to house — and hole to hole — as they observed the game and enjoyed cocktails and hors d'oeuvres. The first stop was Tom and Bev Berardo's home on the first hole, where the group enjoyed steak crostini and mini tomato tarts. Next up was shrimp and Pigs-in-a-Blanket at Pam and Jack McDonald's home on the 5th hole.

"We watched the tournament all four days from our backyard on number five," said Pam McDonald. "The first three days we hosted friends from the other side of Reynolds with food and drink. We had a marvelous view, which included the second shot onto the green and then putting."

The group then enjoyed chicken salad sliders and a taste of Proseco on the 10th hole at Bruce and Susan Punger's, with a final rendezvous complete with chicken wings at Ross and Cindy Lappin's home.

The couples, all part of a Wednesday night supper club, were no strangers to creative dinner parties. This year, the group's weekly gatherings have been adapted to accommodate appropriate social distancing measures, moving from dining rooms to backyards and patios. When the tournament was announced, plans were made to utilize the golf course homes in the group.

"To watch the best women golfers compete on our home course was a thrill," said Bev. "From the massive drives of Bianca Pagdanganan, to tenacity of Danielle Kang and the inspirational play by Ally McDonald in winning her first LPGA tournament, the event was exciting from start to finish. But the absolute best was listening to Mike Whan's on-course commentary on the back nine of Thursday's TV coverage as he spoke so eloquently about what makes Reynolds and the Great Waters course so special."

While many Great Waters residents were able to find a view of the course from porches and backyards, Members from the other side of Reynolds had to take to the water to see the action.

Members David and Peggy Woodyard and Brian and Liz Hiatt watched the televised tournament Thursday and Friday, but on Saturday accepted invitations from friends to observe via boat. Golf Channel footage featured a peanut gallery of pontoons, bass boats, and other watercrafts cheering — and honking — on the golfers from just off shore.

"It was so fun seeing all the golfers I watched on TV and fellow friends on the other boats. We loved the big screen outside the clubhouse and all the excitement on the lake, and being able to socially distance, but still be with friends on other boats," said Peggy. "Being on the water on a beautiful day with other friends and excited fans made us thankful once again of our decision to live in Reynolds!

"My husband and I are huge golf fans! It was so much fun to watch these incredible women," said Liz. "We really enjoyed watching the tournament both by TV and by boat. More so the TV because it was so cool to see how beautifully Reynolds was portrayed!"

After watching via pontoon with friends on Saturday, Doug Keipper found himself without a group or an invitation on Sunday. So, he came by jet ski, to be more mobile. While many of the watching boats made it on the Golf Channel's feed that day, Doug — and his jet ski — received special air time.

"It was cool. People who normally don't watch LPGA were watching because of the location," said Doug. "I had friends in Indianapolis who are interested in coming here text me that I was on TV. Friends in Atlanta who were watching said the the same thing."

While they all enjoyed their out-of-the-box watching experience, almost everyone agreed that they look forward to watching future tournament the conventional way, on the course — although the progressive Eat, Drink, Watch party will likely become a final round tradition for the Wednesday night supper club. As for Doug Keipper...

"I'm sticking to watching by boat. Way more fun!"

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