LAKE BLACKSHEAR RESORT:
A TRUE GEORGIA ‘PEACH’
Story by: Mike May
When you think of great golf courses in Georgia, three layouts that spring to mind are the Augusta National Golf Club, Atlanta Athletic Club, and East Lake. But there’s a course in the south central part of the Peach State that is a top-notch golf experience which is accessible, affordable, and proclaims to be “best value in the South.” I am referring to the Georgia Veterans Memorial Golf Course (aka, Georgia Vets) -- located at the Lake Blackshear Resort and Golf Course (www.lakeblackshearresort.com) near Cordele, Georgia.
“We spent a lot of time in recent years transforming this course into what it was intended to be,” says Brian Boeling, regional director of golf operations at Lake Blackshear. “We have upgraded our bunkers. Our regulars like our commitment to excellence. We are looking forward to strong business in the fall and spring, our two peak seasons.”
Georgia Vets is listed on Golf Digest’s list of four star-rated courses and is one of the 20+ golf courses on the Georgia Golf Trail, which stretches from Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa in the north to Stone Creek Golf in the southern part of the Peach State.
“The Georgia Golf Trail is very pleased to have Lake Blackshear Resort and the Georgia Veterans Golf Course as a part of the trail,” says Doug Hollandsworth, founder of Georgia Golf & Travel. “Lake Blackshear is a wonderful resort that a lot of people don't know about and we want to help change that. It was a perfect fit for our trail as it is just minutes off I-75 in south Georgia. I have been to the resort a few times and I can truly say it is a great place for the entire family or a company business meeting. You have to make Lake Blackshear your next stop on the Georgia Golf Trail soon.”
This par-72 layout measures 7,059 yards from the back tees. It has four sets of tees, 130 sand traps, and at least one grey fox!
One way to describe this course is to focus on six key holes. If you like the description of these six, then you’ll love the remaining 12:
|This par-72 layout measures 7,059 yards from the back tees. It has four sets of tees, 130 sand traps, and at least one grey fox!
1st hole (‘Home in Two’): Par 5…Distance: 548 yards
On this hole, it is possible to ‘get home in two,’ which means a birdie or an eagle are a possibility. If you miss the green with your approach shot, your chances of ‘getting up & down’ are good. Make sure that you show up on the first tee having practiced with your driver and three wood. You will need both clubs on this hole.
7th Hole (‘Fun & Fair’): Par 3…Distance: 164 yards
This hole is ‘fun & fair.’ Since the green falls away from all sides, aim for the middle of the green. If you are successful, you will have a makeable birdie putt. Pick the right club and execute a sold swing on this downhill ‘one-shot’ experience.
11th Hole (‘Bumpy’): Par 3…Distance: 206 yards
This par three is one of the most challenging holes on the inward half, especially from the gold tees. To give yourself a birdie putt, you must carry the ball all the way to this deep and narrow green. Since the entrance to the green is guarded by a series of small hills, mounds, and pot bunkers, it’s impossible to reach the green with any shot struck low to the ground. If you play this hole late in the day, keep your eyes peeled for the grey fox which lives in that ‘neck of the woods.’
13th Hole (‘Herculean’): Par 4…Distance: 456 yards
A power fade or slight draw will serve you well at 13. The tee shot here is somewhat ‘blind.’ Once you split the fairway with your tee shot, you are left with a second shot to a kidney shaped green. A lake sits awaiting an overly aggressive second shot. If you miss the green to the right, you must get ‘up & down’ from a grass bunker. The best place to miss the green is short left. No need to get upset if you register a bogey. If the pin is located back right, it will take a ‘Herculean’ effort to finish pin high. A par four is a fantastic score.
15th Hole (‘Risk & Reward’): Par 5…Distance: 551 yards
This is the ‘Signature Hole’ at Georgia Vets. This dogleg-left par five has a big lake bordering the hole for its entire length. A well struck tee shot will veer left once it hits the fairway. If it rolls far enough down the fairway, you might have a chance to reach the green in two. If the risk is successful, you will be rewarded with an eagle putt. Overall, it’s a beautiful and fun hole. Please avoid ‘the drink.’ To add to its appeal, the two-tiered putting surface at the 15th is well bunkered. A par five will keep you coming back. After a birdie four, smile and take a ‘selfie.’
18th Hole (‘Augusta’): Par 4…Distance: 443 yards
The ‘home’ hole is a great golfing test – a right-to-left, uphill dogleg par four. It’s the opposite of the 18th at Augusta National. To play this hole well, you must hit a right-to-left tee shot. With your tee shot, avoid the loblolly pines, which sit near the left rough. On the second shot, you will use a mid to long iron to an elevated, two-tiered green. To reach the green in regulation, you must be accurate with your approach. A par here is something to treasure.
Once you walk off the 18th green, head to the Cypress Grill. At this ‘19th Hole,’ you can relive your experiences on the “best value in the South.” To make this experience a reality, call the pro shop – 800-459-1230 -- to reserve your tee time. Fore!
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The author of this story is Mike May, a freelance golf writer based in Wellington, Florida. Mike is an avid golfer and he encourages you to visit the Lake Blackshear Resort & Golf Course at your earliest convenience. Mike can be reached via email: firstname.lastname@example.org