THE CREEK AT HARD LABOR:
A GEORGIA GEM

Story by: Mike May

For golf enthusiasts in Georgia who are looking for a refreshing, exhilarating, and energizing golf experience in a natural setting, consider a stay-and-play golf outing at The Creek Golf Course at Hard Labor State Park (1400 Knox Chapel Road, Social Circle, Georgia; phone:  706-557-3006).  Despite its negative-sounding moniker, visiting this state park is anything but labor-intensive.  Instead, it’s relaxing and enjoyable.  Located just north of I-20, about an hour’s drive east of Atlanta, The Creek Golf Course comes highly recommended.  The Creek’s geographic locale has prompted Hard Labor State Park General Manager Steve Phillips to say that The Creek is “not close to anything, but not far from everything.”

The course tests your golf aptitude and it starts on the first tee as the first hole is considered “the hardest first starting hole in Georgia,”

Not surprisingly, The Creek Golf Course is one of the 20+ destinations on the Georgia Golf Trail.

The Creek is also affordably priced as Golf Digest Frugal Golfer has listed The Creek as the “4th sweetest deal in the USA.”  In addition to being a fairly priced golf experience, the course also tests your golf aptitude and it starts on the first tee as the first hole is considered “the hardest first starting hole in Georgia,” as your opening tee ball is a downhill shot into a blind bend.  It also requires you to ring a bell in the fairway after you have hit your approach shot to the green.  Another memorable hole at The Creek is its Signature Hole – the 14th.  Here, the water wheel and bridge that are located on this hole form a backdrop that make it one of the most peaceful and picturesque backdrops in the region.

"The Creek at Hard Labor State Park golf course is one of those courses that has it all,” said Doug Hollandsworth, founder of the Georgia Golf Trail.  “The Creek was stunning scenery, a great layout, and some tough par 3s.  The Creek is just one of those courses you just want to keep coming back to play again and again. Karl Gross is one of the most professional golf course pros I have met in my years of being in the golf industry.  The state park golf courses in Georgia are called ‘Hidden Gems’ and the Creek is certainly one of them.  They also have a great meeting facility for companies or outings.”

According to Karl Gross, the Head Golf Professional and General Manager at The Creek, one of the key members of his team is golf course superintendent Bill Bradburry.  Gross admits that taking care of a golf course is a science and Bradburry knows his craft.

Playing golf at The Creek is such a delightful experience that it’s worth playing on back-to-back days which means you should pack an overnight bag and spend the night in one of the 20 cabins located in the park.

“Bill is aware of weather patterns and knows when to apply chemicals to the greens and when to roll the greens, which have Champion Ultra-Dwarf grass,” said Gross.  “As a result, our greens are true and smooth throughout the year.”

To help improve the growing climate for grass, a few trees have been removed which has helped eliminate some of the shady areas on the course.

This state park is also a haven for nature lovers, so if two of your pursuits are golf and Mother Nature, then The Creek Golf Course is a must-play locale for you.  Besides the sightseeing and golf, other things to do at this state park include bicycling, birding, fishing, geocaching, horseback riding, kayaking, and boating.

Playing golf at The Creek is such a delightful experience that it’s worth playing on back-to-back days which means you should pack an overnight bag and spend the night in one of the 20 cabins located in the park.

Admittedly, the name of this state park – Hard Labor State Park -- is somewhat odd, but it is thought to have originated from slaves who once tilled the fields every summer in this area or the American Indians, who lived in the area and found the creek difficult to cross.

It’s time to seize the moment and make plans for your refreshing, exhilarating, and energizing golf experience at The Creek at Hard Labor.

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