Living The Game
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It’s not hard to see why the people at Cuscowilla Golf Resort really love golf. Just look at the place. For starters, the grounds unfold about 70 miles from Atlanta in Eatonton, Ga., at the banks of the spectacular 20,000-acre Lake Oconee. The centerpiece—err, masterpiece—golf course is a tremendous work of art, a collaboration by arguably one of the hottest design duos in the world (Ben Crenshaw/Bill Coore). And the clubhouse is stunning, starkly reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most prestigious designs. The vacation cottages, restaurants, villas and club amenities rival the best in the country, and Cuscowilla’s merit as a hybrid country club/shared private residence club/full-time residential community has been proven by consistently ranking high and above the rest on many “best” and “top” residential and getaway vacation lists. By that, we mean it has earned an exhaustive list of “Number 1s” in a heap of categories. Speaking of hybrid communities, Cuscowilla used to be an expansive nursery for the development of hybrid pine tree specimens. Today, the tradition of maintaining the land in its former nursery tranquility is in full effect.
But, in our opinion, none of the above is what separates the Cuscowilla Golf Resort from the rest. The real difference is in the details (or lack thereof), and how despite being a huge 700 acres, the resort can’t help but feel as cozy as your own backyard. The staff members aren’t just friendly, they’re your friends. The amenities and accommodations aren’t only first class and comfortable, but they can be enjoyed full-time or part-time, yearly or seasonally, making Cuscowilla one of the country’s most desired golf communities.
Calling it “golf” is a huge understatement. Stretching more than 6,800 yards, this par-70 course is a test from the start. Each hole at Cuscowilla is diabolically designed to appear straightforward, but in reality is chock-full of subtle nuances that beckon players to come back and try again (and again), no matter what score they posted. Crenshaw/Coore’s brilliant design of Alister Mackenzie-inspired bunkering and Donald Ross’ greens blends together seamlessly, presenting the golfer with not only a myriad of challenges, but also a mix of visual tricks that can be hazardous to the scorecard of the unfamiliar golfer.
Adding to the ingenuity of the basic design, Cuscowilla is one of few golf courses in the world that’s both easier for higher-handicapped players and more challenging for better players. Strategic tee box placements and fairway widths accommodate players of all skills, making the golf course equally challenging and forgiving, depending on skill level. Better yet, it’s walkable (caddies are available), the views are beautifully unique and, lastly, each and every hole has a personality of its own. Some holes bank Lake Oconee, some weave through thick groups of native pines and others undulate through gentle meadowlands. The course carries an authentic, acoustic tone when compared to the overdone layouts that bellow with too many bells and whistles. Frankly, it’s not what the golf course has that makes Cuscowilla special—it’s what the course can live without that sets it apart from the rest.
• Bill Coore/Ben Crenshaw Design
• 6,847 yards from back tees (Slope 130—Rating 72.3)
• Semi-private designation
• Year-round play
• Caddies and/or carts available
1. Full golf practice facility
2. Resort-style swimming pool
4. Tennis courts
5. Walking/hiking trails
6. Complete lake recreation
7. Kids Club facilities
8. Conference Center
9. Gourmet food catering