The Sandy Creek Sporting Grounds, named for the beautiful creek that flows into Lake Oconee and shapes the course’s topography, is a world-class sporting facility with a variety of sporting endeavors. Over the course of the last two years, the team at Reynolds has logged thousands of miles evaluating highly rated shooting facilities across the country. The objective from the outset was to create a best in class facility, fully in harmony with both the campus that surrounds Sandy Creek Barn and the many other amenities already available to Reynolds members and guests. Their travels eventually led the team to course designer and shooting instructor Justin Jones, who was retained to bring British tradition and authenticity to the rolling hills of north Georgia.

Jones was born into the sport: Both his grandfather and father captained the British Olympic Trap Shooting teams, and his family farm in Wales is home to the leading trap-shooting grounds in Great Britain. Taught to shoot by his grandfather at the age of 12 and a competitor since 15, Jones has traveled internationally representing Great Britain in both Olympic Trap and Skeet. For more than 30 years, he has brought his knowledge and experience to the design and management of sporting facilities at luxury resorts around the world, including Scotland’s iconic Gleneagles and The Greenbrier in West Virginia. In addition, Jones works in conjunction with HM British Consulate Atlanta to support British companies in the Southeast.

At Reynolds, Jones has created an all-encompassing sporting adventure. There is a 20-station sporting clays course built to emulate the unpredictable and challenging nature of a classic British shoot, with clay targets launched at a variety of speeds, trajectories, angles, elevations, and distances. It can be set up to challenge and entertain all kinds of shooters, novice to professional.

Other activities at the new sporting grounds include a five stand (a compact version of the sporting clays course), air rifle and archery, instructional/games area, fishing, canoe and kayaking adventures, and hiking. The anchor of the Sporting Grounds is the historic Sandy Creek Barn, built in the early 1800s and relocated from Pennsylvania to Reynolds 10 years ago. Adding to its current role as a versatile event space for weddings, culinary dining, concerts, and member functions, a portion of the Barn hosts a welcome center and outfitters shop for Sporting Grounds visitors.

This is just the beginning of development out at Sandy Creek. The master plan calls for adding more amenities and activities, plus a limited number of large estate lakefront homesites as part of a 1,300-acre residential development along 10 miles of untouched Lake Oconee shoreline. The hidden treasure known as Sandy Creek is getting a makeover.

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