The Plantation Course at Reynolds Lake Oconee has added a modern twist: a short course called the "Quick Six" within the original layout.
The Plantation -- the original of six golf courses at this resort community on the shores of Lake Oconee in rural Georgia 80 miles east of Atlanta -- reopened May 1 after a renovation by original architect Bob Cupp.
Not only did Cupp do the usual work required to modernize and refresh a course built in 1988, he created a unique par-3 loop within the main routing that allows families, juniors and beginners to play six holes in roughly an hour.
Golfers can utilize several new tee boxes to play holes of less than 130 yards by hitting shots to existing greens at holes 1-2-3 and 6-8-9. Its creation combats the complaints that golf A, takes too long; B, is too hard; and C, costs too much.
"It's more of a par 3 for mom or dad, but for a junior, it will be more of a challenge," says Ryan Frisch, head professional at The Landing who is also in charge of growing family participation on the resort's courses.
Mark Lammi, the vice president of golf at Reynolds Lake Oconee, said in a statement that the course was designed to be "fast, easy and fun."
"We want golfers of all ages and skill levels to enjoy this wonderful game, and sometimes, an hour or so is just perfect," Lammi added. "With 'Quick Six,' they can play a few holes or more, if they want, and still have time to enjoy all the other things Reynolds has to offer."
It makes sense that the Plantation morphs into the most family-friendly course at the resort. It's the only one open to the general public. It doesn't generally get national or state recognition like the Oconee Course and Great Waters Course. I gave Plantation four stars in my Golf Advisor review from 2014.
The updates and enhancements should help its stature. They include:
- Restoring all 18 greens to their original size and shape and replanting them with Penn A-1 bentgrass.
- Reshaping all tee box areas and adding forward tee boxes to seven holes.
- Removing 11 non-strategic bunkers while adding three new ones.
- Reshaping all the bunkers and installing the Billy Bunker system to improve drainage and prevent erosion, which was previously implemented at The National and The Landing.
- Pruning to increase air flow and sunlight.
- Rebuilding cart paths.
- Refreshing and reinforcing creek banks.
- Installation of nearly two miles of subsurface drainage.
- Enlarging the practice area.
- Adding nearly 10,000 ornamental grasses and plants.