Charles Howell III has been playing on the PGA Tour for more than two decades. The Augusta, Georgia, native is a three-time winner best known for consistency competing against the best players in the world.

While playing around the country and the world, Howell often finds himself daydreaming. Not about golf, but about his happy place, which, along with wife Heather and their two children, is Reynolds Lake Oconee, which they visit every chance they can get.

“We're never ready to go when we leave and we're always ready to come back.” says Howell, who takes advantage of everything Reynolds has to offer during his off-season and vacations. Howell also serves as an ambassador for the community on the PGA Tour, sporting the distinctive Reynolds Lake Oconee logo on his bag.

We recently talked to Howell III about his longevity on the PGA Tour, how he learned from Tiger Woods, and what he and his family love most about the Reynolds community.

Q: You were born in raised in Augusta and actually spent time as a kid boating in Lake Oconee. What brought you back to Reynolds?

As a kid, Reynolds was our spot for boating and fishing. I didn’t realize it then, but it literally had everything and we were only an hour and a half away. Now as adults, we have some very good friends with houses here, like Dan and Megan Mullin. Dan is the football coach at the University of Florida and when he and Megan looked around Reynolds they immediately bought a house. That shows you how special it is. You just know right away and go from visiting here to buying a home.

Q: Can you put your finger on exactly what makes Reynolds special?

Reynolds is probably the one place we can go as a family where everybody's happy. My son Chase and I can go play golf. My wife Heather and daughter Ansley can go to the lake. We all go together out to Sandy Creek barn and go fishing and do archery and skeet shooting. For once, everybody in the family is happy!

Reynolds is probably the one place we can go as a family where everybody's happy. Charles Howell III

Q: You’re a self-described practice nut, always working on your craft. Are you able to do that when you’re at Reynolds?

Absolutely! I can always get all of my work done. I’ve told people for a long time that Great Waters is one of my top-three courses. All of the golf is great, and the courses offer so many different things for what I’m working on. Let’s just say if I’m working on my driver, I go to The Oconee course. If I want to work on some different shot shaping with my irons, I go to Great Waters. From a golfer’s work point of view, there’s really no facility or place like it in the world.

Q: Was there a moment while you were at Reynolds over the last few months that you looked at each other and said, “We have to get a place here?”

There was a morning when my son and I woke up really early and played Great Waters. Afterwards we got on a boat and joined everyone on the lake. That’s the moment where I was like, “Holy cow. This is it. Everybody’s happy here.”

It just feels like home. I pulled up to the dock to gas up the boat. I’d only been there one time before and right away the guy at the dock says “Hey, Charles, how are you doing?” Everyone knows your name and the people make it feel like home.

We’ve become very good friends with Jose Lopez, the head golf professional at The Creek Club. He takes us around the course and plays some golf with my son and me in the mornings. He’s a really special guy and one of the many people who have been wonderful to us.

Q: Does each member of the family have a favorite thing to do at Reynolds?

Yes. For me, away from the course, I love going out to Sandy Creek and bass fishing. You really feel like you can just get away from everything. It’s my own little piece of heaven.

For my 8-year-old Chase, the golf at The Creek Club is his favorite by far. For my 10-year-old Ansley, she likes to water ski and be out on the lake. It may sound simple, but a lot of the times we just like driving the boat out near the dam, parking, jumping out, and swimming.

Q: You’re 41 years old and have spent 20 years on the PGA Tour. How have you been able to adapt, evolve with the game, and remain successful?

It’s blown me away how fast 20 years have gone. Our lives are lived week to week out here on Tour, as opposed to day to day, and I think that makes the time go by faster. I’ve been lucky and had really good people around me. I bought into the idea of health and fitness a long time ago, largely due to Tiger. I came along in that era right behind Tiger when not only did he push my generation to become better, but we learned a lot from him. Tiger was one of the first guys to really show how strength and conditioning were beneficial in golf.

The game is certainly changing. Guys are hitting the ball so far and straight now. I think we have true athletes playing golf. Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson, Gary Woodland… I absolutely love the game, but man, the direction the game is going, I just need to enjoy my last bunch of years out here! (Laughs)

Q: You’re out on Tour week after week traveling the country. Do you ever find yourself daydreaming about returning to Reynolds?

We always circle on the calendar when we’re going back to Reynolds to give us something to look forward to. So the answer is a definitive yes!

This article originally appeared in Reynolds Living Magazine. Subscribe to the free publication here.

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