There is a great vibe surrounding Harbor Club, the award winning luxury lakefront golf community nestled in 1,000 acres of beautifully wooded terrain along 9 miles of shoreline on Lake Oconee, Georgia. From the southern hospitality to the challenging-yet-enjoyable golf course to the glistening lake that serves as a centerpiece-everything you’ll find at the Harbor Club gives you a good feeling.
The Harbor Club continues to grow in size and stature. There were 60 homes on the property when John Matney and his partner purchased it in 1992. Since then it has grown to over 500 homes, with Matney’s sons Brandon and Justin buying out the partner. Brandon Matney has been General Manager since 2012. “It’s really a community within a community that makes us special,” says Brandon. Harbor Club has been debt free since the Matney family took ownership.
The dramatic growth of the infrastructure around the lake-the shopping, the award-winning St. Mary’s Good Samaritan Hospital, the Lake Oconee Academy charter school- makes Harbor Club living more appealing.
The centerpiece of the community is the golf course, designed by Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish, that has received great reviews since opening in 1991. Golf Magazine ranked it #4 among “Golf Courses You Can Play” in Georgia and Links called it “one of the Top Golf Course Communities in the United States.” The course is open to non-member play and is a convenient spot for visitors who come for the Masters each April. The 15,000 square foot clubhouse is a fun spot for golfers, pro shop and dining in the Clubhouse Restaurant.
There are many great holes on the course which plays 7,048 from the tips and has four sets of tees for any handicap player. Among the favorites are:
- #3- a dogleg right par 4that plays 374 yards from the championship tees. With water running down the right side, a player must decide how much of the narrow fairway to shave off.
- #5- a difficult par 4 that requires a good drive, however there are some gaping bunkers on the left and out-of-bounds on the right.
Play smart and you’ll be smiling when you spot the green with Lake Oconee in the background.
- #7-a 345 dogleg left that plays from an elevated tee and gives the aggressive player a chance to drive the green. Just a fun and sometimes infuriating golf hole.
- #14- a 552 yard par 5 that features a large oak tree in the middle of the fairway, which turns left for the risk/reward players or right of the tree for safe approach golfers.
- #17- 180 yard par 3 that requires you to carry the lake with a green sloping back, so don’t go above the hole to multiply your swipes on the green.
- #18-a 448 yard par 4 that crosses a creek with the drive, and again with the approach to a large receptive green. Good Luck!
There is more than just golf at Harbor Club, a Southern Living Inspired Community, that has a collection of neighborhoods that are noted for their charm taste and spirit. In 2019, a stunningly decorated Southern Living inspired Model Home was made available for public tours. In addition, an another 600 acre parcel of land adjacent to the community is available for future development. And while the homes are nice the people are even better.
Much of the family-oriented activity occurs at The Grove, site of the 2,000 square foot fitness center, quarter-mile track, sports field, sanctuary pond, victory garden, two dog parks and a pair of hiking trails, one a Fit-Trail that includes 8 stations for stretching and bending. There are pickle ball courts and tennis courts all lit for night play, a croquet lawn plus a junior Olympic size swimming pool.
The Stables, also located at The Grove, is a popular spot for weddings and events. There is a large banquet area, a bridal suite and a lovely wedding chapel made from cedar trees imported from the mountains of Virginia. Children at Harbor Club especially enjoy their own Big Timber Playground.
Another popular spot is the Boathouse Marina which offers easy access to Lake Oconee. The dry storage facility is being expanded to hold 300 boats, making it the largest on the lake, where boats can be kept during season or put away for the winter with shrink wrap storage. It also includes boat ramps, fuel and a convenience store. The restaurant is operated seasonally where boaters can “boat up” to it, or pull up in their car- to enjoy good food, great ambiance and live music on Saturdays in season.