How Tom Fazio triples the golf experience in Reynolds Lake Oconee?

By: April 12, 2023

Last year I was asked to show examples of unique golf course designs. This is how I mentioned among the others the Tom Doak-designed The Loop (Forest Dunes), and the 6-6-6 golf course design of the Nikanti Golf Club – by Piraporn Namatra of Golf East – in Thailand.

I tell you this because when I found out that Tom Fazio planned another 9-hole golf course – in addition to the existing two 9-hole courses – in Reynolds Lake Oconee, I had a little deja vu feeling. Or maybe I’m wrong? We shall see….

Reynolds Lake Oconee_Bluff 9.1 Oar

Tom Fazio has completed plans for nine holes that will join his existing Bluff nine on The National course to create an entirely new 18-hole layout.

The original, Fazio-designed 18-hole National course opened in 1997. In 2000, its two nines, The Ridge and The Bluff, were joined by an additional nine holes – called The Cove – allowing for various combinations of play.

The existing 27 holes make use of the natural rolling terrain, highlighted by hardwood forests, streams, ponds, and views of Lake Oconee. The combined nines also provide plenty of challenge, with any of the pairings boasting more bunkers than any of the 5 other courses at Reynolds Lake Oconee.

The future 18-hole course will utilize the existing Bluff 9 along with adjacent land distinguished by a creek, large natural boulders, and an existing pond.

Reynolds Lake Oconee_The National Bluff
The National, Bluff Golf Course

The land slopes gradually down toward a cove of Lake Oconee with more than 100 feet of elevation change. This will be the only golf course at Reynolds Lake Oconee to traverse both sides of the peninsula and touch the lake from both Richland Creek and Oconee River.

The first five holes will use the existing Bluff routing, followed by nine all-new holes, including a new ninth green that will sit along Lake Oconee. The final four holes will connect back to The Bluff.

The new 18-hole experience is projected to open in late 2024 and be private, accessible only to Reynolds Lake Oconee members.

With the addition of the new course, Reynolds Lake Oconee will now have 7 golf courses with two private 18-hole courses—including this new course and Creek Club —as well as another 90 holes available for member and resort guest play:

  • The National (Fazio),
  • The Landing (Bob Cupp),
  • Great Waters (Jack Nicklaus),
  • The Preserve (Bob Cupp), and
  • The Oconee (Rees Jones).
Reynolds Lake Oconee_The National Bluff Golf Course

Did you know these about Reynolds Lake Oconee?

  • Surrounded by more than 350 miles of shoreline on Georgia’s historic Lake Oconee.
  • Home to The Kingdom at Reynolds Lake Oconee, a world-class instructional and TaylorMade club fitting facility. It’s 1 of only 2 such facilities in the U.S., a full-service location where weekend warriors can be fit for the latest and greatest equipment in the same high-tech environment popular among many pro golfers on the PGA and LPGA Tours.
  • Located between Atlanta and golf’s legendary grounds in Augusta, Reynolds Lake Oconee is an outdoor recreation paradise that includes the Sandy Creek Sporting Grounds, an award-winning tennis center, swimming pools, pedestrian trails, a wellness campus, and full-service marinas to facilitate watersports.
  • Guests can choose private accommodations that include luxury resort condominiums and cottages, or The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds (Owned by MetLife), Lake Oconee, a 257-room lakefront resort and spa. Dining is available at 10 distinctive culinary venues.
  • The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee was a finalist in the Resort project category at the 2021 HD Awards.
Reynolds Lake Oconee The National Bluff Golf Course fishing