A near-Augusta experience: Golf at Champions Retreat in Evans, Georgia

EVANS, Ga. -- For 51 weeks out of the year, 27-hole Champions Retreat is a private club. But during the Masters in April, this impeccably conditioned course with perfect bentgrass greens is open to the public at a premium price..,

Located just 20 minutes or so from famed Augusta National, there are three nines at Champions Retreat, designed by Masters champions Jack Nicklaus (Bluff), Arnold Palmer (Island) and Gary Player (Creek). Between the three of them, they have won the Masters 13 times as part of their 34 major victories.

It was, in fact, Player's idea in 1999 to recruit Nicklaus and Palmer to design the course at the club, located just outside of Augusta on the Savannah River. With three different topographies to choose from, each nine is distinctly different.

The Bluff has more elevated tees and pronounced doglegs.

The Island is flanked by the Savannah River on one side the Little River on the other. One of the most beautiful spots on the entire property is the stretch between the fourth and sixth holes, where the Savannah is in full view.

And finally, the Creek plays through wetlands, hardwoods and around a large lake.

Pictured here are Champions Retreat's Bluff and Island golf courses. The Creek was shut down for renovations, but will be open in plenty of time for the 2017 Masters.

Nov 01, 2016

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Mike Bailey

Senior Staff Writer

Mike Bailey is a senior staff writer based in the Houston area. Focusing primarily on golf in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America, he contributes course reviews, travel stories and features as well as the occasional equipment review. An award-winning writer and past president of Texas Golf Writers Association, he has more than 20 years in the golf industry. Before accepting his current position in 2008, he was on staff at PGA Magazine, The Golfweek Group and AvidGolfer Magazine. Follow Mike on Twitter at @Accidentlgolfer.