A Family Affair

Like many families, The Bradways first came to Reynolds for the golf. And like many families, they’ve made it the place that binds them together.

For many Reynolds Members, it was golf that first drew them here. Count Scott Bradway among them.

“As a long-time golf lover, I was committed to getting golf clubs in both of my boys’ hands as soon as they could walk,” says Scott. “So many of my fondest memories occur on the golf course, many of which include my sons, Parker and Brooks. It’s such a special feeling when kids want and even ask to spend their free time with Dad. No better way to bond.”

Luckily for Scott, his passion for the game not only passed to his sons—now grown and married—but carried over into his career in marketing sales. “In 2005, I was planning a client golf meeting and looking for a new golf destination,” he remembers. “I had read about this amazing lake and golf community in Golf Digest and buddies of mine confirmed it was a golfer’s paradise.”

More surprisingly, Scott and wife Lee lived in Atlanta, just an hour and a half away. While playing with customers for the first time on The Preserve course, he started on the 10th hole and then had a hole-in-one on number 11, his second hole ever played at Reynolds. His reaction sums up his feelings about the entire property: “I couldn’t believe it!”

Scott, from New Jersey, and Lee, from North Carolina, met at Wake Forest University and married in 1985. In their first 10 years together, Lee became a teacher, Parker and Brooks came along, and they moved from Nashville, TN to Atlanta when Scott took a new job.

After his first visit, Scott simply couldn’t forget Reynolds. Planning an annual buddies’ golf trip the following year, it was his first choice.

“Every year for 37 years, we have planned a golf trip for 12 of my fraternity brothers, checking off our bucket list of great golf destinations. I told my friends ‘You’ve got to try this place, it’s amazing!’ ’’ In 2005—having played around the country and internationally, including Scotland and Ireland—they came to Reynolds. It didn’t disappoint. He continues to bring back his group here since it is the most popular destination from his group.

“I remember Scott going on and on about this place, saying we’ve got to go, you’ll love it, and it’s just over an hour from us,” says Lee. “We spent our anniversary at Reynolds that year and decided to look at some property while we were there.”

The Bradways were paired with veteran agent Mary Miller, who celebrated 26 years with Reynolds Lake Oconee Properties this year. “Mary really laid out the red carpet for us!” says Lee. “I remember the beautiful views on the boat ride, the good food, and, of course, Scott loved playing golf. But what amazed us the most was the people in the community: Everyone was so nice and welcoming, like they had known us for years. You don’t get that in bigger cities.”

In 2008, they bought a two-bedroom cottage in Great Waters, the ideal second home for the nearby commuters. And although the boys were older—Parker at Wake Forest (of course!) and Brooks in high school by then, Parker and Brooks say some of their favorite memories are at the lake.

“When my parents bought their first place at Reynolds, I was heading off to college. I never let them hear the end of it either,” laughs Parker, now 31. “But it was absolutely a haven for my college friends and me. Between the golf, pools, jumping off a boat, tennis and pickleball, working out, and lake activities, it was seriously like walking into a candy shop for us.”

For Brooks, now 28, Reynolds was his teenager refuge. “Growing up in Atlanta, Reynolds was the perfect getaway for me. In less than 90 minutes, I was able to leave the hustle and bustle of the city and truly escape to the lake,” says Brooks. “It was also great bonding time with my parents because we could share so many fun activities together, as a family.”

“We fell in love with the lake so much that Brooks and I wanted every single family gathering and holiday at the lake,” says Parker. “While we had the big house in Atlanta, we always passed right through the city to all pile in the small cottage. We just couldn’t resist spending every second together at Reynolds.”

The Bradways still live full time in Atlanta, but find themselves at Reynolds more and more often, even extending their weekends. “The commute back to Atlanta is so easy and so close,” says Lee. “I remember everyone dragging slowly to get packed up and leave on Sunday afternoons, so we finally just started saying, ‘Let’s just say a little longer and drive back in the morning!’”

Like many Members, they’ve also upgraded, now owning a larger golf-front home along The National course. “The more time we spend here, the more we want to be here,” say Lee. “And now that our kids are grown and married, we needed more space to accommodate everyone.”

“Lake Oconee is a refuge for my wife and me,” says Brooks who lives with wife Laura in Dallas. For him, it’s still about the golf, while Laura loves relaxing on a boat, sitting at The Lake Club, and walking trails along the lake. “She is also convinced the massage at The Ritz-Carlton is the best she has ever had.”

Reynolds also holds a special place for Parker and wife Kelly, who live in Nashville. “It was the first place I brought Kelly to really spend time with my family, so it is a very meaningful place for us,” he says. “There is just an air of ease and comfort that is truly unmatched.” Fun fact: Parker and Kelly are in a country music group in Nashville called MamaDear and one of their most popular songs titles was taken from their love of Reynolds: “Linger Longer.”

While it was golf and proximity that brought them to Reynolds, they’ve grown to love it for so much more. “We can be as active as we want to be,” explains Scott. Also a competitive tennis player growing up, Scott has enjoyed the extremely active tennis community. “Lee also has really gotten into golf, tennis, and pickleball, playing with me as well as other ladies’ groups. It’s like we live at an adult-sports camp and we are in the best shapes of our lives!” They also can often be found on the lake, renting a boat through one of Reynolds marinas.

Entertainment, food, and culture are important to the Atlantans, but as Lee notes, “Reynolds does a fantastic job at bringing all this right to us. Between educational lectures brought in by the Linger Longer Living series, music events like Sandy Creek Sessions and The Ritz Summer Concert Series, and the diverse food options at the many restaurants, we have no regrets leaving the city.”

Recent opportunities to work remotely allow Scott and Lee the flexibility of staying at Reynolds rather than returning to Atlanta during the week. “Who wouldn’t want to wake up here every morning,” Scott asks. “It’s easy to work and play here; the work-life balance is incredible!”

They’re even considering upgrading again. “We have realized the dream of owning a place where my grown children would want to come back, where more memories could be made with them as adults along with future grandchildren,” says Scott. And the dreams continue to come true: Brooks and Laura will welcome a baby girl this fall and all the Bradways can’t wait to spend her first Christmas you know where.

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