21 DEC 2016:  Linger Longer is the name of the stellar steakhouse at Reynolds Lake Oconee (formerly called Reynolds Plantation). But given the resort community’s numerous offerings and attractions, it could well be Reynolds’ motto.

With 117 fairways on six courses, Reynolds is one of only eleven golf resorts in the US to earn the prestigious Platinum Medal from GOLF Magazine. Reynolds also boasts four of the Top Ten “Best Courses You Can Play” in Georgia, as ranked by GOLF Magazine: Great Waters (designed by Jack Nicklaus) No. 2; Oconee Course (designed by Rees Jones) No. 3; the National Course (Fazio) No. 5; The Landing (Bob Cupp) No. 10.

MetLife took possession of Reynolds Lake Oconee in 2012 and invested $40 million into the constantly evolving multi-generational community situated on 12,000 acres with 374 miles of shoreline between Atlanta and Augusta, Georgia. Lodging options now include eight new Club Cottages adjacent to the Tom Fazio-designed National Course. Part of the recently completed National Village, which includes the new National Tavern, the cottages overlook the short-game practice facility.

What Reynolds calls a cottage, most people would call a luxury home. Designed to comfortably accommodate eight, each unit features four bedrooms, 4½ baths, two open living spaces and an expansive porch area—perfect for your favourite foursome. The fully equipped kitchen with its stainless steel appliances, gas cooktop and large granite island is ideal for a dinner party, but if you don’t feel like cooking, there’s no lack of dining options. A seven-iron from your front door awaits The National Tavern. The craftsman-style farmhouse design, complete with a large stacked stone fireplace, creates a welcoming environment for sharing casual meals.

You might want to sip your nightcap around the outdoor fire pit area and practice your putts on the lighted practice green.

117 Holes of Golf

Although it offers so much more, golf is the main reason why most swingers head to Reynolds where they will be spoiled by choice.

Most spectacular, in terms of lakeside vistas, is the Jack Nicklaus Great Waters course. Playing 7,073 from the tips, Great Waters was credited with putting Reynolds on the map. The parkland-style course plays though rolling hills and thick forests. The memorable ninth is the first of the lake holes, as the water creeps in on the right side of the green. The back nine presents a grand finale with the last eight holes playing around the encircled peninsula on Lake Oconee.  The par-three 14th is one of the most photographed holes in the Southeast, as the green sits directly on the shore.

Your Titleists will also find plenty of water on the Oconee Course. Golfers are presented with numerous risk/reward options, as streams and various other features incorporate challenges into the Rees Jones design.

Bob Cupp designed two courses at Reynolds. Formerly known as Port Armor, The Landing, the first golf course built on Lake Oconee in 1986, was ranked as one of Georgia’s best golf courses at its debut, second only to Augusta National. Cupp’s Plantation Course was recently renovated and includes a Quick Six Loop for those wishing to play six par-threes in an hour.

Heading back to cottage country, the National beckons with three nines: the Ridge, the Bluff and the Cove. Dense forests of hardwoods, pines, flowering wild dogwoods and some of Lake Oconee's most dramatic lakefront topography shape the character of Tom Fazio’s masterpiece.

King of The Kingdom

Reynolds Kingdom of Golf presented by TaylorMade opened in 2016. The Kingdom is one of only two venues in the country where recreational golfers can be fit for equipment in the same environment used by PGA TOUR and club professionals on staff with TaylorMade clubs. They also offer a new high-performance Putting Lab.  Coincidentally, the director of instruction is Charlie King, whose honors include being ranked among the Golf Magazine Top 100 Teachers and being a Golf Digest “50 Best Teacher.” A session with King or one of his team will reveal what he calls “golf’s perfect ark secret.”

Linger Longer

You’ll find plenty more reasons to pack your clubs and head to Reynolds.  

Enjoy a lobster grilled cheese and a craft beer at Gaby’s by the Lake. Head to the Ritz-Carlton Reynolds Lake Oconee and pamper yourself with a wrap or massage at the Spa where the locker rooms are stocked with every conceivable amenity.

Recently opened, “The Gents Place” is a private room built around a classic barber chair where fellows can watch TV, have a shave and a shine and sip samples of Woodford Reserve bourbon, created especially for the resort.

Bring a robust appetite to the aforementioned Linger Longer Steakhouse. Highlights include the seared sea scallops, tuna tartare and 16-ounce cowboy rib eye. Consider “enhancements” such as seared foie gras or lobster crust with wild mushrooms, bacon and Parmesan.  

Need any more enticements? www.reynoldslakeoconee.com

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Anita Draycott

Quite aside from being an award winning writer, whose travel articles and photography regularly appear in golf and lifestyle publications and websites, Anita Draycott is a self confessed golf fanatic, who has chased dimpled white balls over five continents.  

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