SKY VALLEY COUNTRY CLUB:
GEORGIA GOLF’S HIGH-ALTITUDE ESCAPE

Story by: Mike May

Do you want to experience a natural high which is legal?  Well, then grab your golf clubs, pack your bags and head for the Sky Valley Country Club (568 Sky Valley Way, Sky Valley, Georgia).  The Sky Valley CC – skyvalleycountryclub.com – is one of Georgia’s premier destinations for golf, specifically mountain golf.  Not only does Sky Valley CC’s average elevation of 3,500 feet make it the highest elevation golf course in Georgia, but it’s also been named Georgia’s #1 rated public golf course.  Impressive credentials indeed!  Yes, while Sky Valley CC may be nestled in the northeast Georgia mountains -- situated between Clayton, Georgia and Highlands, North Carolina -- it’s worth the scenic journey to this neck of the woods which is surrounded by the Nantahala National Forest. 

Sky Valley Country Club’s average elevation of 3,500 feet make it the highest elevation golf course in Georgia and has also been named Georgia’s #1 rated public golf course.
Below is the 15th hole that has a 60 foot elevation drop.

Not surprisingly, the Sky Valley CC is part of The Georgia Golf Trail, which features 24 golf courses in Georgia.

“Sky Valley is like heaven on earth and we in Georgia are lucky to have such an outstanding destination for golfers in our state and for those visiting from the nearby surrounding states,” said Doug Hollandsworth, founder, Georgia Golf Trail.

Redesigned in 2007 by Bill Bergin, Sky Valley Country Club’s length from the back tees -- 6,900 yards from the tips  – is tempered by the high elevation.  Par is 72.  If those back tees are too long for you, each hole has four other tee boxes.  To give golfers a consistent turf experience, the course now features bent grass from tee to green.

The practice facilities, which include a driving range, target greens, putting and chipping greens, are first class.

“Sky Valley is a fantastic layout,” said Steve Heher, head golf professional, Sky Valley CC.  “It’s a mountain golf course that winds its way through the valley.  It features great views from the elevated tees at the 2nd, 8th, 12th, 15th, and 17th holes.  Our signature hole is the par-3 15th, which has a 60-foot elevation drop from tee to green.”

Heher says his superintendent does an exceptional job.

“Our superintendent Steve Mason has been here since 2007,” added Heher.  “He does a great job to keep this course in great shape throughout the year.  He and his veteran course know what they are doing.” 

When you play Sky Valley, their first-class work is on full display.

The greater Sky Valley area is truly as appealing for golfers as it is for non-golfers, especially if you like hiking, fishing, boating, camping, whitewater rafting, mountain climbing, bird watching, and zip lining.   Located in Rabun County, Sky Valley also has a strong reputation of producing locally grown food which is why this area is called the Farm-to-Table Capital of Georgia.  Many wineries and vineyards are also in this area.  So, when you visit Sky Valley, come with an appetite and a taste for the finer things in life.

ABOVE: The clubhouse, which opened in 2013, is another big plus at Sky Valley.
BELOW: Croquet is a nice amenity to the total experience.

“We try to utilize local ingredients from vegetables, fruits and proteins,” said Elizabeth Truax, clubhouse manager, Sky Valley CC.  “You can be assured that each dish prepared offers scrumptious cuisine.”

The clubhouse, which opened in 2013, is another big plus at the Sky Valley CC.  This building features a natural stone floor-to-ceiling fireplace, glass window walls, exposed beams, and hardwood floors.  The clubhouse has an outdoor terrace where guests enjoy the views while dining in a comfortable, casual setting.  In May of this year (2019), the clubhouse’s 10,000 feet expansion project will be complete, making the clubhouse a 23,000-square-foot facility which will house a new pro shop, The Clubroom, and The Wildflower Room, which will be used for bridge, book club meetings, cocktail parties, and golf stretching classes.

It’s fair to say that however long you stay at Sky Valley, it’s never going to be long enough since there’s always something else to do, such as another zip lining trip or a round of golf. 

Once you and your family visit Sky Valley, this destination will soar to the top of your family’s annual must-visit list.

For a tee time or a dinner reservation at the Sky Valley CC, call 706-746-5302.

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