Savvy golfers looking to escape the scorching summer heat and still get in 18 holes will drive north along Ga. Hwy. 441 to Rabun County this month to the coolest golf course in the state — the beautiful Sky Valley Country Club.
Nestled in a lush green valley in the Blue Ridge Mountains and surrounded by the Nantahala National Forest, Sky Valley is a refreshing 3,500 feet above sea level. During the dog days of summer, the temperature in Sky Valley is far below that of other Georgia courses.
Noted course designer Bill Bergin transformed Sky Valley into a championship course in 2007. Now this par-72 championship course stretches out over 6,900 yards and is not only the highest course in Georgia, it is the only one that features bent grass from tee to green throughout all 18 holes. There are five sets of tees which makes it enjoyable for every player level.
Sky Valley’s uniqueness lies in the fact that it is relatively flat for a mountain course.
Director of Golf Hugh Holland explained, “On most mountain courses, there is a lot you can’t see so they are very difficult to get around. But we’re in a valley surrounded by mountains and everything is right there in front of you. I can hit a driver on every par 4 or par 5.”
Stan Awtrey, an avid golfer and golf writer for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Golf Georgia Magazine, said what he likes most about Sky Valley is its cool mountain breezes and scenic beauty.
“I played a round with Bill Bergin shortly after he redesigned the course and it is a beautiful course,” he said. “We played in the late spring and it was nice and cool. I remember there were many scenic holes. The one I remember most was 15. It’s a par 3 with a bunker in front and back of the green. It also has a rock outcropping with a watefall that is very picturesque.”
After sinking the final putt, golfers can unwind in with a cool beverage, lunch or dinner in the rustic, awe-inspiring 13,000-square foot clubhouse featuring gleaming hardwood floors and a floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace. Window walls allow golfers to appreciate the seasonal beauty of the pristine setting. The outside terrace overlooks Lake McClure.
Sky Valley offers a great stay and play opportunity for families with multiple choices for lodging from condos and chalets to luxury homes for rent by the day, week or month and there are many attractions in addition to golf. Those with an adventurous spirit can enjoy zip lining at nearby Highlands Aerial Park, whitewater rafting on the Nantahala River, hiking one of the many scenic mountain trails or trout fishing. For the less adventurous, there are many unique antique shops in nearby Clayton or Highlands, North Carolina.
For more information, visit www.skyvalleycountryclub.com.