Lakefront scenery abounds on Great Waters golf course at Reynolds Lake Oconee

GREENSBORO, Ga. -- The golf courses Jack Nicklaus designed in the 1990s tended to be bogey-inducing bullies rather than playable buddies. Great Waters at Reynolds Lake Oconee -- his 1992 stunner situated along Lake Oconee halfway between Atlanta and Augusta -- broke the mold.

Maybe it was the remarkable setting that softened The Golden Bear's mean streak, because Great Waters is purely exhilarating and fun to play. Difficult holes -- such as the 422-yard, par-4 no. 5 -- don't define the routing. They merely enhance it, taking a back seat to a collection of scenic lake holes among the best in America. Georgia's second-largest lake makes a grand introduction on the par-4 ninth by guarding the green. After the 10th hole, the waves on the water accompany golfers the rest of their journey.

Certain greens, such as the 11th and 16th, sit at land's end. The par 3s at No. 14 and No. 17 require carries over watery coves. The 540-yard 18th ends any tournament with an epic dose of risk-reward. Great Waters isn't Jack's ultimate masterpiece, but it's close.

Not long after Great Waters opened, it hosted the Andersen Consulting World Championship of Golf from 1995-97 and paved the way for the WGC Match Play, which is now sponsored by Dell and held at Austin Country Club.

Reaching Great Waters from the National Cottages or the Ritz-Carlton takes about twenty minutes by car. In the summer of 2018, Reynolds is planning a major renovation project to Great Waters with Nicklaus Design that is scheduled to close the course for over a year.

Staff course reviews of Great Waters at Reynolds Lake Oconee: Jason Deegan | Brandon Tucker

Nov 17, 2017

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robvet29's avatar
robvet29 wrote at 2016-04-09 09:34:42+00:00:

Where do I find affordable accomodation to play this course,  It will be a tournament so I do not need a "package".

Brandon's avatar
Brandon wrote at 2017-11-17 14:34:21+00:00:

Reynolds courses can generally only be played by staying at the Ritz or Cottages. There is some availability at times to general public but rates are pretty high and practically the cost of a stay and play.

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Jason Scott Deegan

Senior Staff Writer

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 700 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Twitter at @WorldGolfer.