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.
The Golf 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_Ê 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._Ê
Specs Opened: 1997_Ê "__âBill Coore/Ben Crenshaw Design_Ê "__âPar-70_Ê "__â6,847 yards from back tees (Slope 130–Rating 72.3) _Ê "__âSemi-private designation_Ê "__âYear-round play_Ê _Ê "__âCaddies and/or carts available
The Encore other amenities_Ê 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 _ÊReal Estate At Cuscowilla "Own a home without the worries of owning one."
For those who want to unwind and spend not only most of their time, but all their time at one of the highest-rated golf destinations in the country, Cuscowilla has a variety of homes and home sites still available. Whether it's waterfront or tucked away in the pines or within view of the golf course, the residences at Cuscowilla take full advantage of the community's special land features and outstanding views. Choices include a full selection of lakefront, golf, wooded and vista views. Lots range from $100,000 to more than $1 million. Real estate opportunities include golf cottages, lodge villas, lakeside villas, a limited supply of waterfront condominiums and a beautiful array of year-round residences. Homes are available from $350,000 to more than $3 million.
The Private Residence Club At Cuscowilla What's better than owning a second home? Owning one without the worries that come with owning one. The Private Residence Club at Cuscowilla is an opportunity for fans of classical golf course designs to revel in the luxury of Cuscowilla's Club Cottages without having to take full responsibility for the maintenance or livelihood that comes with owning a second home. Each membership includes full access to the golf course, restaurants and recreation, including fishing, swimming, tennis, walking/running trails and the Kids Club facilities. Better yet, your guests are granted the same privileges that you have, making the Club membership an attractive one for business or family get-togethers.
Golf Cottages Nestled between the 2nd and 18th fairway, each of the cottages are individually furnished and include a fully equipped kitchen, living and dining area, one, two or three bedrooms, each with separate bath facilities, and a full-size porch overlooking the golf course.
The Vacationing Golfer Planning a vacation to Cuscowilla is easy. Depending on the size of your party, vacation rentals vary from Golf Cottages to Lake and Lodge Villas, with an assortment of amenities to choose from.
Lake Villas. The lake villas are as one might guess–located lakeside on Lake Oconee–and feature fully equipped kitchens, a living and dining area with a fireplace, one, two or three bedrooms, each with separate bath facilities, and a full-size porch overlooking the lake. The country style elegance of these properties includes granite stone, pine and cedar shingle outer surfaces, and tastefully designed interiors that blend into the natural surroundings of the serene Lake County.
Lodge Villas. Newly opened in the spring of 2006, the lodge villas offer a unique Mediterranean style with terra-cotta roofing and beautifully decorated Tucson interiors. These villas add a variety of accommodations, ranging from studios with two queen-size beds and a kitchenette to suites with full kitchens and living areas. Lodge villas are sprinkled near the golf course and near the lake, presenting easy access anywhere at Cuscowilla.
Golf Cottages. What's a golf destination without a few cottages overlooking the golf course? Each golf cottage is well-appointed with country charm, a porch with a view and a variety of room options to choose from._Ê
The Golf House Knowing when and where to stay and play is one thing; knowing what to do between rounds of golf is another. Anchoring the majestic golf course is the Cuscowilla Golf House, a 14,000 sq. ft._Ê Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired design with unencumbered views of the golf course. Inside, the golf shop is loaded with gear._Ê
Business Traveler Unlike other destinations that appeal to either families or business outings, Cuscowilla is equally hospitable to both. Business travelers can take advantage of the expansive conference room that overlooks the 14th hole, catering by the Waterside Restaurant and access to the aforementioned accommodations and amenities.
Waterside Restaurant Accessible by car, boat or walking trail, the tranquil Waterside Restaurant and Veranda Cafe feature an idyllic setting banked alongside Lake Oconee. Whether it be peppercorn-encrusted filet mignon or roasted lamb with minted pear butter, both places have become local favorites for the phenomenal food, service and charming_Ê ambiance.
Contact: Cuscowilla on Lake Oconee 126 Cuscowilla Drive Eatonton, GA 31024 (800) 458-5351 www.cuscowilla.com