Eighteen major professional titles long ago cemented Jack Nicklaus’ on-course legacy in golf history as one of the game’s greatest performers. Golfers who play his Great Waters course at Reynolds will confirm his architectural skills represent another exceptional legacy. The dramatic signature layout of Great Waters, much of which winds among the tranquil coves of Lake Oconee no doubt placed Reynolds on the map when the course opened in 1992.
Great Waters begins with a parkland-style front nine, through rolling hills and thick forests. The gorgeous ninth hole is the first of the lake holes, as the water creeps in on the right side of the green. The back nine is a completely different experience with eight of the final nine holes touching the lake.
Great Waters, the highly-acclaimed Jack Nicklaus Signature Course at Reynolds Lake Oconee, will undergo a total restoration and will involve personal input from Mr. Nicklaus and oversight from his award-winning Nicklaus Design Team. Work is to begin in June 2018 with an expected re-opening in Fall 2019. The course will be unavailable for play during this period.
“The first time I went to Reynolds, I knew we had the potential to have a great golf course,” says Nicklaus. “I think we found it then, and now more than a quarter of a century later, a wonderful golf experience remains but is in need of a little updating. It’s one of the really great pieces of property with which I have ever had the experience to work.”
Great Waters is an appropriate name for my course at Reynolds Lake Oconee. Other than Hole #10, water is either in play or visible throughout the back nine. It is no secret that I have a deep-rooted love for Augusta National (located 78 miles to the east). Bob Jones and Alister MacKenzie placed an emphasis on second-shot strategy, something I have integrated into my design philosophy. All that said, you could argue that the canvas I was given at Great Waters represents a superior piece of property.
With practically the entire back nine skirting Lake Oconee, there's eye candy galore, but fans of risk/reward options will gleefully embrace the short par-4 11th and the reachable par-5 18th.
The first time I went to Great Waters, I knew we had the potential to have a great golf course, but we had to find it. I think we found it. I think we have great balance on the golf course. I think we have great tree-lined holes. We have great water holes. We've utilized the lake to a large degree for some of the difficulty of the holes. But we've also taken the holes and utilized the lake for view and kept the holes off of it. It's one of the really great pieces of property that I've ever had the opportunity to work with.
Jack Nicklaus, 1992
112 Plantation Dr
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