Don't ditch The Landing when you play golf at Reynolds Plantation in Greensboro
GREENSBORO, Ga. - Tucked across the highway from the other golf courses at Reynolds Plantation, The Landing would be easy to overlook. And that would be a mistake.
The Landing at Reynolds Plantation officially joined the Plantation in a 2009 merger. Known previously as Reynolds Landing and, when it opened in 1986, Port Armor Golf Club, its stellar reputation has remained consistent.
At one time, some considered the golf course as the second best in Georgia behind Augusta National, a drive of only an hour or so to the east.
In 2008, The Landing at Reynolds Plantation, along with the heralded Jack Nicklaus-designed Great Waters at Reynolds Plantation, played host to the PGA Club Professional Championship. Bob Mauragas, vice president of golf operations for Reynolds Plantation, describes The Landing - designed by veteran architect Bob Cupp - as a hidden gem.
"From the masterful green settings to the challenging shots played around beautiful Lake Oconee," Mauragas said, "The Landing at Reynolds Plantation is clearly one of Georgia's finest kept secrets."
Tough holes on The Landing at Reynolds Plantation
The Landing course meanders through naturally wooded areas and rolling hills, offering a few peeks at the lake and a few more holes on which the lake really comes into play. Three holes dramatically wrap along the shoreline.
And although homes sit near the course, they are set back, almost hidden, to give golfers the feeling they're playing a golf course devoid of development.
The par-72 layout, which stretches to slightly more than 7,000 yards, is also deceivingly difficult. The Landing plays longer than its yardage, so golfers above a 4 or 5 handicap are told to stay off the back tees.
The problem then involves club selection more than the ability to reach greens in regulation. It's asking for trouble to come in with a long iron, especially on the holes protected by water.
The 10th, for example, plays 464 yards, but with an all-uphill approach shot, even good players likely need a long iron, hybrid or fairway wood.
The par-5 15th, at 575 yards, presents little problem to reach in regulation for a single-digit player, but don't approach with anything more than a short iron - or the pond that surrounds the front and right side of the green will pose trouble.
And the 16th, not too long at 548 yards, features a narrow green that's tough to hit even with a short iron, much less a longer golf club.
The Landing course at Reynolds Plantation: The verdict
A nice addition to the Reynolds Plantation portfolio, The Landing, like most of the golf courses at Reynolds Plantation, makes good use of the Lake Oconee shoreline with plenty of interesting and challenging holes in typical Cupp fashion.
Keep an eye out for great views throughout. The fifth hole offers a scenic journey along the shores before the golf course turns inland. Some of the tees are elevated, including the 10th, one of the best driving holes on the golf course. And the par-4 18th provides a nice finish with its semi-island green surrounded by sand and water.
In truth, resort guests should play every golf course to which they have access (generally five in season). They're all outstanding, and The Landing is no exception.
Practice facilities and lessons at Reynolds Plantation
Like all the golf courses at Reynolds Plantation, The Landing includes an outstanding range, practice greens and short-game area. During winter and early spring, it's all overseeded. You could spend an hour or two on the pitching and chipping green alone.
Lessons are also available from the professional staff at The Landing. Or if you really want to work on your game, check out the outstanding Reynolds Golf Academy, headed by top-100 instructor Charlie King.
Stay and play at Reynolds Plantation
The Ritz-Carlton Lodge offers one of the best ways to experience a golf vacation at Reynolds Plantation, which could also include fishing and other outdoor activities.
The luxurious hotel features 251 well-appointed rooms and suites, many with terrific views of Lake Oconee. Several two- and three-bedroom cottages are also available in addition to the the 5,400- square-foot Presidential House, which sits along the lakeshore next to the main lodge.
The resort also features a 26,000-square-foot full service spa and fitness center and four outstanding restaurants. Gaby's by the Lake, for example, delivers exquisite outdoor and indoor dining with panoramic views of the lake.
April 7, 2010