Lakeview Golf Club in Blackshear a good play for the money, even without the view
BLACKSHEAR, Ga. - Lakeview Golf Club does indeed have a nice view of a lake. Unfortunately, the best view is from the parking lot.
The lake does make several appearances as you play your way around the golf course, slipping and sliding out of view on some holes while serving as the main man on a handful of others, both aesthetically and strategically.
This isn't to detract from the public course, which is an excellent value, considering its green fees are under $30 for both weekends and weekdays, and it's 6,589 yards from the back tees and very playable from back there in the woods.
The golf course is nicely treed, mostly with tall, stately pines, with some palms and oaks thrown in for good measure. The fairways are tree-lined, with an interesting configuration of holes. There are a number of doglegs that can be challenged, some water to be carried, blind tee shots to be negotiated and the conditioning is good for a public course that is in a relatively rural part of the state.
Lakeview Golf Club's greens, in particular, are in good shape, if a tad slow. They also throw a variety of different looks at you. Some are flat, while others have slope to them, and a handful have multiple tiers and some excellent undulation.
The slope rating at Lakeview is only 121, but there are some very challenging holes, especially from the back tees, like No. 12, a short par 5 that throws a classic risk/reward option at you. You can challenge the green with a good drive in an ample fairway, but the creek that cuts across the fairway angles in from the left to guard the green in front. That green is shallow and sits sideways to the fairway, with a high shelf to the left.
Lakeview Golf Club's closing hole is another tester. It's 412 yards from the tips with an awkward tee shot from back there. The lake to the right is partially blocked from view by trees so your landing area is seriously compromised, as is your approach, with a narrowing fairway to a slightly elevated green.
As you work your way around the course, you can also get some nice views of the farmers' crops.
Lakeview Golf Club: The verdict
Lakeview is a good play, and a good value for the money, but it does have its drawbacks. The layout is rather awkward, for example, with the distance between some holes unnecessarily long - this is not a course you want to walk in the heat of summer.
Also, the signage could be better - I got lost several times, as did some other golfers on the day I played.
But, with the low green fees and friendly staff, this is a course - designed by J.D. McDuffy and opened in 1971 - I'd recommend.
The course has three sets of tees and a driving range.
The Holiday Inn in Waycross is a good place to stay if you want to sample Waycross' small sampling of golf or to play around in the big swamp. It's close to the Ware County airport and only 60 miles from the Jacksonville, Fla., airport.
The motel consists of a two-floor exterior corridor surrounding a pool area, with a good, full-service restaurant and lounge. Kids eat free. There's also a hot continental breakfast. It's right off the interstate, but the pool area is quiet.
It opened in 1963, but the property has had many renovations since. There is a relatively extensive fitness center, and the motel offers guests use of a bigger fitness center a block away. There are laundry facilities to wash off the swamp bugs.
It has a business center and high-speed Internet service available.
They're country-friendly here, which means, for one thing, they allow pets. Also, ask about the Okefenokee Swamp package.
September 2, 2008