If you haven’t noticed, golf is back and better than ever. Finding a tee time this time of year can be challenging, unless you know where to look. I found just the place – a hidden gem in Middle Georgia…Lake Blackshear Resort and Golf Club, one of the many fine courses on the Georgia Golf Trail. Tucked into Georgia Veterans Memorial State Park, two hours south of Atlanta, on the shore of Lake Blackshear this may be Georgia’s 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, Lake Blackshear Resort is one of the most versatile resorts in Georgia. Golf, hiking, fishing, dining, dancing, boating and swimming are just some of the activities awaiting you. Lake Blackshear truly has something for everyone.
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 golf secret in Georgia. Ranked by Golf Digest as a four-star course, this Denis Griffiths’ designed course is always in pristine condition and the perfect place to enjoy the sport year-round.
The challenging Vet’s Course (7,010 yards, par 72) with 5 sets of tees, features mounds, water and plenty of sand to test your game.
When I asked what I should expect from 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.”
Truer words have never been spoken…but what I wasn’t told was how immaculate the course was. From Tee Boxes, to fairways, to the greens, the course was as fine as any public course I have ever played. But what this course has that most courses don’t, are the towering pines and azaleas lining the fairway – you can’t help but think of Augusta. I think a return trip in April is definitely in store.
My Favorite Hole without a doubt was #15 (the signature hole). A 551 yard par 5 dogleg-left bending around a lake nearly from 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 the 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.
The only disappointment was it ended too soon. I’ll be back!