A Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course that introduced the Golden Bear’s design work to Lake Oconee in 1992, Great Waters is a dramatic layout that offers some of the most breathtaking golf scenery in the Southeast. Consistently ranked among the Top 100 courses in the nation, Great Waters earned the distinction from LINKS Magazine as one of the “10 most significant and influential courses of the past two decades.”
At 7,073 yards, this par 72 offers players some of the most dramatic golf scenery in the Southeast, with nine holes coming into play along the shores of Lake Oconee. Great Waters begins with a parkland style front nine, through rolling hills and thick forests, with water in play on six holes. The back nine is a completely different experience, as the final eight holes are on Lake Oconee, including the par-3 14th, one of the most photographed holes in the Southeast.
Great Waters, along with The Landing, played host to the 41st PGA Professional National Championship, the showcase event for PGA Professionals, in June 2008. The prestigious Andersen Consulting World Championship of Golf was played at Great Waters from 1995 to 1997. The tournament is now known as the WGC Accenture Match Play Championship.
In 2009, the greens and bunkering underwent a renovation program to restore the shapes and sizes of the original specifications. Modifications enhanced shot value and preserved the integrity of the original design. A complete turf changeover was implemented on all 18 greens, from the original bentgrass to MiniVerde Bermuda. In 2012, further enhancements and modernization of the golf course infrastructure were completed.
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