Opened in 2007 and designed by Jim Engh, Golf Digest’s first “Architect of the Year,” as a unique and exclusive member-only course at Reynolds, the Creek Club captures the natural essence of the undulating terrain unique to the Lake Oconee region. Engh utilized the innate detail of the property and created a course that lends itself to spectacular viewing corridors from endless angles.
Richland Creek comes into play on 14 holes, demanding forced carries on eight of them, either off the tee or from the fairway. Much like the creek, the course flows with constantly changing features, appearing mild at some points, dramatic and bold at others. Each hole is characterized with distinctive mounding and bunkers that complement the topography and impact shot values, along with greens enhanced by multiple contours and collection areas.
The par 72 plays to a maximum of 7,079 yards. Four sets of tees – which can alter holes by as much as 160 yards – are designed to ensure a tough but fair challenge for every level of golfer. On No. 18, the architect built three separate greens, providing variety and challenge each time the hole is played.
I’m not a golf course architect, but an endorphin salesman. As the fifth designer at Reynolds, I was given the mandate to create something ‘outside the box.’ That mindset is evident on #18. I knew the hole would play up the valley, but I struggled with three sites to place the green. I said to myself, ‘you know what, let’s do all three.’ Now, the finishing hole has three distinctive looks depending on the green in play. I couldn’t be more pleased when a Golf Digest panelist commented, ‘if you don’t love this golf course, you have no laughter in your soul.
The never-a-dull-moment layout, including the par-5 18th with its three separate greens, is good to the last drop.
In inventing a clever layout that tends to bump balls back toward fairways and nudge them away from hazards and kicks them in slow circles toward the pins up around the greens, Engh also created golf holes of intense visual beauty.
Jim Engh, 2007
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