Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Reynolds Plantation

Reynolds Plantation, GA.
Spreading across 10,000 acres along the shores of Lake Oconee, just south of Interstate 5 between Atlanta and Athens, is a golfers,' foodies' and vacationers' paradise, Reynolds Plantation.

One of the 117 holes of golf at Reynolds Plantation.
Golf
For the golfers, begin with 117 holes of golf on six courses designed by Jack Nicklaus (Great Waters), Tom Fazio (27-hole National) Rees Jones (Oconee), Bob Cupp (Plantation and the Landing) and Jim Engh (The Creek Club).

Commute to Great Waters by pontoon boat.













Follow that with the Reynolds Golf Academy led by teacher and author  
Charlie King with its famed three-day "Red Zone" short game school and the TaylorMade Performance Lab to more accurately fit club to player.

The long putt is one of the Red Zone challenges.




Get your swing with each club analyzed just as the tour pros do.



















Top with the ultimate the swinger's maraschino, TaylorMade's The Kingdom Corporate Experience that puts you on a par with the pros when it comes to personal attention, equipment fitting and swing analysis.

Warning: Levelers, make sure carts are allowed off paths before committing to a round. Unless you have unerring aim, cart-path-only conditions will require steps and a lot of walking.

Cuisine
Three clubhouse restaurants - The Plantation Grille, The Landing and The Water View room plus course snack bars provide variety. Having a Ritz-Carlton on property adds an gourmet exclamation point with its Georgia's Bistro, Gaby's by the Lake and detached Linger Longer Steakhouse.

Our small group of travel writers sampled all of the favorites and wished we could rent an extra stomach to go back for seconds.

Fishing is good in Lake Oconee.
Vacation add-ons
Fishing for large-mouth bass, bream, catfish, crappie and striped bass hybrids in Lake Oconee keeps anglers' lines wet and catch strings full.

Pool at The Ritz-Carlton Spa.
The Ritz-Carlton offers 90 health and wellness treatments, whirlpools, indoor lap pool and a full-service salon.

There are eight tennis courts, lots of hiking and walking trails, a Heritage & Nature Center with canoes and kayaks and Segway tours and a kids' camp at The Ritz-Carlton.

Tour Heritage House, c. 1811, in Madison.
The nearby city of Madison is a charmer, considered in the early 19th century as "the most cultured and aristocratic town on the stagecoach route from Charleston to New Orleans." Most of its historic architecture was completed between 1830 and 1860. It survives because Georgia Senator and strong unionist Joshua Hill was a friend of Generals Sherman and Slocum, the commander whose troops were headed through Madison en route to the sea. He rode out and reminded Slocum of the Gentleman's Agreement not to burn and loot the town's homes and Slocum honored it, destroying only that which contributed to the Confederate war effort. However, his men were so enraged at not being able to loot, they destroyed Hill's plantation on the way out of town.

 Town 220 is an excellent spot for lunch - there's a neat store attached - and Patrick Alligood's confections at Antique Sweets are worth the calories.

Accommodations
Cottages at Reynolds Plantation.
Reynolds Plantation gives visitors a choice of 1-, 2- or 3-bedroom condos or cottages with full kitchens and daily housekeeping services. Or you can select the standard luxury of rooms at The Ritz-Carlton.

Tip: Two- and three-bedroom cottages will have at least one bedroom/bath upstairs.

Note: Recipes from Reynold's Plantation will soon be posted on my other blog, Food Afar - Recipes from a Travel Writer.

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