The impressive elevations, dense forests, and breathtaking views that define the 27 holes at the National returned freshly renovated in the spring of 2014 following the first major remodel of the Tom Fazio design since the original 18 holes debuted.
The three nines are the Ridge and Bluff, which debuted in 1997, and the Cove, which debuted in 2000.
All are par 36 courses that can be combined to create 18 holes that play to a maximum of 7,034 yards from a choice of five sets of tees.
The National nines all feature hardwoods, pines, and flowering wild dogwoods, as well as some of Lake Oconee's most dramatic lakefront topography. Fairways wind up, down and around hilly, rolling terrain, and lead to large, undulating greens (which are being converted from bentgrass to a Champion Bermudagrass surface).
The National also is characterized by water features, with streams, ponds, and Lake Oconee all coming into play. Strategically placed bunkers, both in the fairways and around the greens, add to the challenges, as do false fronts on the greens that are symbolic of Fazio’s design flair.
My course at Reynolds Lake Oconee is called The National, but a more appropriate name is “The Natural.” The holes flow with the terrain into ravines and valley, making for a playable, member friendly course. Reynolds Lake Oconee offers a wonder blend of golf courses and its amenities extend far beyond the game. With the lake and strong family friendly calendar of events there is something for everyone. Having MetLife as the owner and developer adds another degree of stability. Their long term vision and financial might ensures Reynolds future success is pretty well guaranteed.
In Fazio fashion, the bunkers themselves are a statement. They aren't just oval, but have tentacles in every direction. They are worthy of being considered works of modern art, certainly in their grouping and distribution. Few courses are so visually dramatic.
Tom Fazio, 1997
1130 National Drive