After four months of self-isolation and avoidance of public places, “quarantine fatigue” was getting the best of me. I needed a road-trip – but where could I go and feel safe?
I did my research and stumbled across Lake Blackshear Golf Resort in Middle Georgia. The web site says it all:
Nestled in the middle of Georgia Veterans Memorial State Park, Lake Blackshear Resort & Golf Club is the ultimate lakeside destination. Whether you’re looking for an adventurous weekday getaway, have an upcoming corporate meeting, desire a romantic weekend or are planning a family reunion, choose Lake Blackshear Resort –one of the most versatile resorts in Georgia. Guests will discover a variety of activities to suit every taste; golfing, hiking, fishing, dining, dancing, boating and swimming, just to name a few.
Our renowned Southern hospitality and charm sets us apart from other resorts, not to mention our vacation packages designed to satisfy the needs of every family member or colleague. The natural surroundings put every guest at ease and in the mood to be creative and productive or relaxed and reflective.
Take in the breathtaking views and beautiful sunsets on the lake while relaxing on the veranda of the lodge or listen for the peaceful sounds of nature from the private screened porches of the villas and cabins. With so many options and affordable vacation deals, we make it easy to vacation in Georgia.
Recognized as one of middle and south Georgia’s finest courses, Georgia Veterans Memorial Golf Course or ‘Vet’s Course’ at Lake Blackshear Resort & Golf Club, is the best-kept secret of golf in Georgia. Only two hours from Atlanta and one hour from Macon, our challenging venue tests players through expertly placed mounds, water hazards, and plenty of sand bunkers.
Ranked by Golf Digest as a four-star course, the picturesque lake views along with the region’s mild climate and affordable golf packages make the Denis Griffiths’ designed course the perfect place to enjoy the sport year-round.
This sounded too good to be true… a four-star golf course with a lodge and restaurant in an uncrowded area at an affordable price!
After some consideration, I decided, this was the get-away I was looking for, let’s do this. It didn’t take much to convince my wife to go, she doesn’t play but enjoys getting out on the course with me, so she was all-in for a trip.
We arrived Friday night after dark, and our first impression was Wow, this is Nice! We didn’t have time to do much our first night since it was late, and I had an early morning tee time.
Saturday morning, we were up early and enjoyed the view of the beautiful lake before breakfast. We headed over to Cordelia’s Restaurant (adjacent to the lodge) for a delicious breakfast, then we were off to the golf course. The course is located near the entrance to the park/resort about a mile or two away from the lodge.
Arriving at the Golf Shop, I was impressed with the social distancing being practiced. Only one door was open, no more than four people in the shop were allowed at a time and the blue lines on the floor every six-feet were very prominently displayed.
The staff was efficient to say the least, it only took a few minutes for me to get to go inside and check-in. I was greeted with true Southern Hospitality, plenty of yes-sirs and thank-yous. A true appreciation by the staff for coming to play the course. It’s the little things like this that go a long way and make lasting first impressions.
When I asked what I should expect out on the course, I was told, “Well, the front 9 is pretty straight forward, but the back 9 is a little hilly and has a few holes where water will come into play, watch out for the hills.”
With those words of wisdom, I was off to the first tee.
The first hole was a 548-yard par 5. Stepping up on the tee box I was astonished. This was not at all what I was expecting. The tee box was immaculate, the fairways green, towering pines were lining the fairway, this was gorgeous. This was definitely NOT your typical Georgia Public Course. Now I was really started to get excited.
Hole after hole was the same story, incredible views of lush fairways lined with pines, crape myrtles and azalea. Too bad it wasn’t April because the azaleas would have been beautiful in full bloom. I enjoyed every hole, some more than others, the three that stood out the most to me were:
Hole Number 3 – A great par-4 playing 380 yards. Grip it and rip it on this wide-open fairway and leave yourself a shot approach to one of many two-tiered greens on this course.
Hole Number 10 – An uphill par 5 at 525 yards. A very fair hole, no real trouble once you get off the tee until you reach the green. Keep your approach below the hole so you don’t have to putt downhill.
Hole Number 15 – My Favorite Hole without a doubt was #15 (the signature hole). A 551 yard par 5 dogleg-left bending around a lake from nearly tee to green. Just remember on this hole, there is plenty of room on the right (away from the water). Don’t get fooled and try to shorten the hole by playing down the left side. A dry ball always plays better than a wet ball – stay right and you should reach yet another two-tiered green in regulation.
What I Remember the Most: The sheer beauty and tranquility of the course. The trees and conditions are a thing of beauty and with no houses on the course, the silence was welcomed. The only sound I remember hearing was the Sam Shortline Train whistle as it made its way through the park and over Lake Blackshear on the short trip to Americus, GA.
If you are lucky enough to get to play Vet’s Course, you will enjoy an experience that will make you glad you made the trip. This course has it all – gorgeous views, incredible fairways and well-manicured greens. Everything but houses on the course! Just enough water on the course to enhance the beauty of the course and provide for a Signature Hole worth writing home about.
Once on property there is really no reason to leave, the lodge is located right on the shore of Lake Blackshear and offers two full-service restaurants that both serve moderately priced menus.
Activities and amenities are plentiful. From the hiking and biking trails in the state park, to the marina with boating, the military museum, the Sam Shortline Train tour, the outdoor pool, the lake front, weekend live entertainment and the list goes on and on.
If you are looking for Great Get-Away, where you can really get away but still have all of the niceties and amenities, this is the place. It truly is the best kept secret in Georgia (probably in the South). I don’t know of any place that has as much to offer at as an affordable rate as Lake Blackshear Resort.
Final Words: Their web site is misleading; this place is better than what they say. The only disappointment of the entire weekend was it ended too soon. Georgia is DEFINITELY On My Mind. I’ll be back!