Great Waters (Private/Resort)
112 Plantation Drive, Eatonton
STAFF: Mark Lammi is the Director of Golf; Nate Middleton is the Golf Professional.
PAR/YARDAGE: Great Waters plays to a par of 72 with five sets of tees: Gold (7,073 yards); Blue (6,581); White (6,069); Green (5,667) and Red (5,107)
COURSE RATING/SLOPE: 73.6/133 (Gold); 71.3/128 (Blue); 68.9/122 (White); 67.3/118 (Green); 69.4/122 (Red).
ABOUT THE COURSE: One of the state’s most picturesque courses and among the most entertaining. With virtually the entire back nine playing along Lake Oconee, few courses are more scenic, and the Jack Nicklaus layout is extremely playable, but perhaps not quite as friendly as some of the slope numbers might attest. The course will serve as host for this month’s PGA National Professional Championship along with sister course Reynolds Plantation, and the country’s top club professionals should put up some low numbers. Other than a par 4 or two, the course lacks for serious length, with the club pros likely to hit a lot of short irons and have a go at several of the par 5s. With a few exceptions, Great Waters is rather generous off the tee, but there are enough holes with either trees, fairway bunkers, OB stakes or a hazard in play to keep the club pros alert. The course yielded some low numbers when it served as host for the Georgia Open and GSGA Amateur Championship in the 1990s, with the presence of water on more than half of the holes, including nine of the last 10, more a concern for its members and resort guests.
Nicklaus makes wonderful use of the lake and a few creeks, beginning with the fourth, a downhill par 3 with a small, sand-protected green, and the fifth, a dogleg left par 4 that bears some resemblance to 13 at Augusta National. The lake makes its first appearance on the ninth, a gorgeous par 4 that plays down to the water which zealously guards the front right portion of the green. The back nine includes two shortish par 3s that skirt the lake, with the wind a potential factor when the pins are cut to the water’s edge. The 18th is a wonderful par-5 finishing hole, with the lake extending the length of the hole down the left side and in play on every shot. The most spectacular hole is the short, par-4 11th, with the lake bordering the left side of a huge fairway and a finger of it extending in front of an extremely wide, shallow green with some precarious pin positions. The outstanding greens are not overly undulating, and will offer the club pros the chance to roll in some birdie putts after quality approach shots.