The Pro's Recommended Order of Play at Reynolds Lake Oconee

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Golf
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Written by Wes Forester

With five world-class golf courses from some of the game's most celebrated designers, Reynolds Lake Oconee is one of America's premier golf resorts. For those visiting on a golf vacation, the natural question is in what order should you play these courses? Below, Wes Forester, PGA Director of Golf at Reynolds Lake Oconee, offers his recommended order of play.

Those that visit Reynolds Lake Oconee come for many reasons, anything from wanting to play a golf course designed by their favorite architect to the beauty, course conditioning and level of difficulty. In designing your visit, you will need to know what is most important to you. Here are my personal recommendations when visiting Reynolds.

Knowing that I will be traveling some distance, I would imagine I will be stiff, tired and ready to get started with less than my "A" game. I want to play a course that is welcoming, fun to play and allows me some time to knock off the rust. I would not want to play the most challenging golf course, but a golf course that requires some shot making, forgiving from tee to green, and would get me warmed up for future rounds. At Reynolds, my first-round recommendation would be at The Preserve or The Landing. They are forgiving off the tee, have great shot-making qualities to the greens and are fun to play for all skill levels.

The Preserve
The Preserve
Now that I have had a good night's sleep and knocked off some of the rust, I am ready to tackle a more challenging course. Reynolds has two courses that fit that description. The National by Tom Fazio requires precise shot making from tee to green. The greens are the traditional tabletops that challenge the most experienced short game. This course also has 27-holes and I could get in that emergency 9-holes just in case my group needed to settle some ties.
The National
The National
The second course I would recommend playing is The Oconee. This Rees Jones' design is forgiving off the tee but increases in difficulty as you play to the green. Holes 10-18 begin to incorporate Lake Oconee, as #15, 16, 17 & 18 are lakefront along with some amazing water features throughout the entire back nine. The tee shot off #18 has a great view of the hole as well as an amazing backdrop of the lake. Afterward, The Tavern (The National) or Linger Longer Steakhouse (The Oconee) are great places to tell stories from the day, grab a drink and enjoy some dinner.
The Oconee
The Oconee
Finally, the golf course that I would end my visit on at Reynolds would be Great Waters. This is a Jack Nicklaus' design that was renovated in 2018 and re-opened in October 2019. This amazing golf course is well-conditioned and one of Nicklaus' best designs. It requires thoughtful and precise shot making from tee to green. More importantly, it is a golf course that you know you'll remember each and every hole. 9 of the last 10 holes at Great Waters are on the water and incorporate Lake Oconee, giving you a great view while challenging your shot making the entire way. The signature hole at Great Waters is the Par 3 -17th. This hole will have your heart racing while boats and jet skis zoom around the lake and even stop to watch and cheer as you attempt to hit this tiny green.
Great Waters
Great Waters
I hope this has given you some ideas as to how to plan your next visit to a golf resort. Once you determine your needs for a golf experience you can then ask the questions of which course will best fit your needs. In the end, have fun and play well! - Wes

Interested in visiting? Start planning your Reynolds experience here.

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