The 18th at Reynolds Lake Oconee
Finishing holes are meant to be summary statements, providing golfers with a conclusion that will forever remain seared into their memory banks.
Located halfway between Atlanta and Augusta is Reynolds Lake Oconee. The six-course facility is among the most golf focused facilities in all of the United States; the facility features the handiwork of such distinguished designers as Jack Nicklaus, Tom Fazio, Rees Jones, Bob Cupp and Jim Engh.
The Oconee Course by Rees Jones provides a quality mixture of holes that both tumble through the Georgia landscape and conclude with a scintillating finisher that brings one to the edge of the lake.
The first thing you notice about the 18th is the majestic beauty of the hole. The primary teeing areas are on the far side near to where one walks off the 17th green. Golfers playing from that position must play a tee shot that crosses a sliver of the lake immediately near them. The angle of the tee shot is most pronounced from the rear teeing areas.
The hole turns left and is strongly defended by fairway bunkers - both left and right at different intervals. The longer the tee shot the more demanding the available landing area becomes. Golfers desiring a more aggressive line of play must shape the tee shot on a right-to-left flight.
Those opting to land one’s ball short of the narrow landing area can do so, but are then left with a far longer approach shot to the green.
Players missing too far left will be blocked by trees, and those too far right will encounter two penalising fairway bunkers.
Two bunkers are nearest to the green - the one situated on the left side is present to keep shots hit in that direction from finding the nearby lake, also there is a smaller bunker on the right side and its placement is far more impactful.
There is room to run an approach shot into the green but the opening must be skillfully negotiated.
The green provides an array of vexing internal movements. The most captivating pin position is when located in the deepest part. The area is rather narrow and any shot deviating even the slightest amount - left or right - will encounter either the lake or a steep drop-off to the right. Tread smartly or pay the price.
The 18th on The Oconee Course weaves brilliantly together the intersection of the beauty of the Georgia landscape and the strategic calculus of a golf hole that yields only to the finest of plays.
Once played it is forever remembered.
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Welcome to Reynolds Lake Oconee, a Luxury Golf & Lakefront Community