Meadow Links at George T. Bagby (Public)
100 Meadow Links Drive, Fort Gaines
STAFF: Aaron Feyes is the Golf Professional; David Lee is the Superintendent.
PAR/YARDAGE: Meadow Links is a par 72 with five sets of tees: Black (7,007 yards); Blue (6,550); White (6,119); Gold (5,629); Red (5,089).
COURSE RATING/SLOPE: 73.5/133 (Black); 71.3/129 (Blue); 69.3/123 (White); 67.1/115 (Gold); 67.4/119 (Red).
ABOUT THE COURSE: Too many courses bill themselves as “hidden gems,” but in this case that is an accurate description. Tucked away in the southwest corner of the state along the Alabama border, Meadow Links isn’t close to much of anything, but is well worth the effort to locate it. It may be the best of the excellent group of State Park golf courses and bears some resemblance to Brasstown Valley for both its scenic appeal and strategic shot values. Meadow Links’ natural setting is strongly reminiscent of Brasstown Valley, but the terrain is not quite as flat. Meadow Links was designed by Willard Byrd, who created many of the state’s finest courses, and his understated work on the State Park course is among his best. Meadow Links is relatively open off the tee with mostly sparse tree lines, although several small clumps of trees and individual oaks, cedars and pines can definitely impact play depending on where your tee shot winds up.
Byrd’s layout includes a fair number of bunkers, with some of the more open fairways lined by a bunker or two and the greens modestly guarded by sand. With an exception or two, water is not that serious a factor, but there is a pair of lengthy par 4s with greens fronted by hazards that may require lay-ups after errant or short tee shots. There is also two risk/reward par 5s, highlighted by an outstanding finishing hole that bears a little similarity to the Byrd-designed 18th at Atlanta Country Club. Meadow Links’ greens have a nice variety of shapes and sizes, with the larger ones requiring well-judged approach shots to avoid potential three-putts, and the smaller ones putting some pressure on your short game if you miss in the wrong spot. Enjoy the pastoral views along the way, but remain focused on your game. The two back sets of tees have some length, and provide an enjoyable challenge that is a little sterner than the friendly Slope numbers.