An introduction to Georgia
The wonderful state of Georgia has some outstanding golf courses with a few different epicenters where they’re clustered.
Those include the capital of the state Atlanta, and the hub of Augusta on the Georgia/South Carolina state divide.
The last epicenter is located down on the 110 mile Atlantic coastline and is the scenic city of Savannah. Known throughout the nation for its historic landmarks and architecture, as well as cobblestoned parks and oak trees covered in Spanish moss.
See also: What are the best golf courses in Georgia?
There are also some superb golf resorts in Georgia which we’ll have a look at.
The best golf resorts in north Georgia
The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee
Just outside of Atlanta along the shores of Lake Oconee, is the luxury and tranquil base of the Ritz-Carlton Reynolds. This blissful resort is a golfing mecca. There are five championship courses to choose from as well as all manner of other first-class facilities.
The resort is over an hour’s drive from Atlanta, heading east out towards Greensboro. Once there you head south until you hit the reservoir of Lake Oconee. This whole area is like a blanket of green. Native vegetation, oak and pine trees are in abundance surrounding the lakefront property.
The rooms reflect the character of both the property and the lakeside location, with rooms either overlooking Lake Oconee or the gardens. There is also a collection of top class lake houses and cottages for larger groups.
The dining experience continues to tick the box. Each restaurant features Southern-inspired dishes with primarily ingredients sourced by local farmers.
There are four dining options. You have the more informal Georgia’s, a relaxed setting ideal for families. Also Gaby’s by the Lake, which has magnificent lake views and serves things like pizzas, salads, sandwiches etc.
The stand outs to me are the Linger Longer Steakhouse and the Barrel Room. The former is a formal dining experience with outstanding service and prime cuts of meat with tableside carvings. The latter is perfect for relaxing after dinner, either just to hang out, play billiards or listen to live music.
The spa is immense. Nearly 30,000 square feet of relaxation rooms, saunas, steam rooms, cold plunge pools and an indoor pool. The spa treatments focus on the healing elements of water, the benefits of locally sourced herbs and the science behind the ESPA product range.
There are a whole range of experiences on site, such as trekking, kayaking, paddleboarding, you name it. But clearly the main attraction is the 99 holes of golf designed by the best in the game.
Rees Jones, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Fazio and Bob Cupp all have their names against the courses here. Each is discreetly hidden away amongst the tall oaks trees and flowering magnolias and dogwoods. There is also a vast training centre to fine tune your game.
Callaway Resort & Gardens
A 40 minute drive north of Columbus, or over an hour’s drive south of Atlanta, is Callaway Resort & Gardens. Like other options on this list, the resort is hidden away from the noise and stress of everyday life. On this occasion, hidden amongst the Pine Mountain landscape.
The first decision is do I stay in one of the modern deluxe guest rooms overlooking the glorious Robin Lake. Or instead one of the home-away-from-home cottages, all of which are nestled away in the surrounding woodland. Either way, both will more than satisfy your needs.
Aside from the golf, this is a resort where there is a real focus on living in the outdoors. There is an array of activities which include hiking, biking trails, water activities on the lake and fishing. There is even a butterfly center with over 1,000 butterflies, and an awesome tree-top adventure trail.
The spa is wonderful, and there are a range of treatments which focus on natural products and non-invasive techniques. This includes taking inspiration from the essential benefits of plants, herbs and the surrounding natural landscape.
There are an epic nine restaurants to choose from, with clearly something for everyone. Piedmont Dining Room is the logical place to start as it offers a huge range of dishes. The other stand out is the Country Kitchen, which specializes in creative Southern dishes.
From a golf perspective, there are two 18-hole championship courses. Mountain View is definitely the pedigree course, having hosted the PGA Buick Challenge on numerous occasions. The other option is the scenie Lake View Course, which is more forgiving although there are a hell of a lot of water hazards.
Atlanta Evergreen Marriott Conference Resort
Compared to many of the other golf resorts on this list, Atlanta Evergreen Marriott is scraping in. Scraping in because it’s not the ‘traditional’ golf resort, it’s a conference center affiliated to a golf club.
But, there are many reasons to make the Atlanta Evergreen home for a few nights. Firstly, the setting is stunning. There are wonderful lake views and attractive, calming woodland surrounding the resort. Add to this the impressive views across the lake to the imposing Stone Mountain landmark.
Secondly, despite this secluded location, it is a mere half hour’s drive from downtown Atlanta. So a perfect location to nip into the city for a day’s amusement and distractions. Thirdly, as far as conference centers go, this one is pretty decent.
Starting with the rooms, all were recently renovated and portray a modern, sleek decor. Most rooms enjoy lake views which can be enjoyed from your private balcony.
The food options aren’t copious, but there is just what you need. Within the resort you have the popular Waterside Restaurant. It offers a casual environment with scenic lake views, all whilst enjoying the plentiful buffet on offer.
Similarly, overlooking the lake and Stone Mountain, there is the ‘Bar on the Waterside’. Here you can kick back, enjoy the view and have a cold drink.
If you’re happy to shuttle round to the Stone Mountain golf club, The Commons is a great option. It has indoor and outdoor seating overlooking Stone Mountain.
This is one of the few resorts not to have a spa. But with a fitness center, indoor and outdoor pool, and over 3,200 acres of surrounding woodland, you have no excuse not to keep active.
And on to the golf. Stone Mountain golf club is just a 5 minute shuttle round the lake and has two wonderful 18-hole championship courses. Stonemount is a Robert Trent Jones Sr. design and without doubt, the most challenging of the two. Lakemount, designed by John LaFoy is another fantastic choice and water comes into play on 9 of the 18 holes.
Chateau Elan Winery & Resort
This divine resort is located between Atlanta and Athens just off Interstate 85. It is without doubt a wonderful destination for golf and wine lovers.
The sprawling resort is tucked away into 3,500 acres of rolling Georgia hills and quaint forests. Unsurprisingly it’s an immensely popular getaway for couples, corporate events and golfers.
The attention to detail within the resort is second-to-none. The rooms have all been newly renovated and are both modern and elegant. Each has an oversized soaking tub in the updated bathrooms. There is also a choice of private villas and lavish spa suites.
Dining here is an experience in itself. The Versailles Restaurant & Bar is a wonderful spot within the resort to enjoy French influenced cuisine. Al the more impressive is being able to sit under the vast glass-top atrium.
Marc Restaurant is an upscale chophouse featuring a southern-inspired steakhouse and rotating seasonal menu.
Other options include the all-American Sarazen’s Bar & Grille overlooking the 18th green. Whilst next to the spa, Fleur de Lis serves a range of breakfast and light lunch options.
There are a couple of good drinking spots including Paddy’s Irish Pub which serves great food. Like any good Irish pub, it is renowned for its live music!
Lastly Louis’ House of Bourbon pretty much does what it says on the tin. It’s a Southern gastro-pub with an extensive list of bucket-list bourbons and cocktails.
The spa is sensational. A serene sanctuary featuring innovative spa treatments specializing in multi-sensory treatments meant to refresh the mind and body. As well as the indoor pool, there are a number of both indoor and outdoor fitness classes on offer.
There are two championship golf courses onsite, the Chateau and Woodlands courses. Both immensely picturesque with fairways winding through lush Georgia terrain.
The Chateau course is a favorite. It meanders through 170 acres of rolling hills and featuring lakes, creeks and nearly a hundred bunkers. For anyone interested in fine-tuning their game or just being short on time, enjoy the 9-hole Executive course.
And finally, yes, this is a winery, one of the most awarded wineries on the East Coast. There are a range of wines on offer, either grown and cultivated onsite, or using grapes which have been hand-picked and transported over from California’s Lake County and Clarksburg regions.
The best golf resorts in Savannah Georgia
The Lodge at Sea Island
This boutique hotel is something quite special. Awarded five stars by Forbes and consistently rated as one of the finest golf resorts in Savannah and Georgia, I couldn’t recommend this enough.
Around an hour and a half’s drive from Savannah, The Lodge at Sea Island has a truly sensational spot. It’s right on the Atlantic coastline, overlooking Jekyll Island and the town of Brunswick.
Driving up the avenue to the resort is an experience in itself, passing under a canopy of Spanish moss-covered oaks. You just get the sensation this place is going to be special.
Being a boutique hotel, there are only 43 rooms. Add to this seven private golf cottages and a selection of oceanside and pool houses, each of which has been elegantly decorated.
The experience continues through into the dining options. Consequently, there is a huge range of different eateries for different moods. The standout choices include the warm and inviting Colt & Alison American steakhouse, with its wood-burning fire and stunning views over the golf course.
The Oak Room is another great option, with a choice of Southern favorites, whilst Tavola is a rustic Italian dining room with homemade pasta and pizzas. These are just some of the choices on offer with plenty of other great dining and drinking establishments to enjoy.
Additionaly, you will absolutely love the spa. A Forbes Five-Star Spa no less, there is a whole range of treatments and services to satisfy every need. This includes a hydrotherapy pool, cascading waterfall, two couple suites, steam room, sauna, mineral pools….and the list goes on.
As does the list of activities onsite. Horseback riding, boating, biking, tennis, beach club, fishing, shooting…. Basically, you name it, they will probably have it. Which leads us nicely onto the golf.
The Seaside course, one of the best golf courses in Georgia, was a Colt & Alison design. It opened in 1929, although in the intervening years it was completely remodelled by Tom Fazio. As such it is an ocean-side links style course with stunning views and some immensely challenging yet fun holes.
The other two 18-hole courses onsite, the Plantation and the Retreat, are right up there. Alongside the Seaside course, they are two of the best golf courses in southern Georgia.
Furthermore, there is a 17,000 square-foot performance center as well as a huge 18-hole putting course. This place is hard to match.
The Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa
This four-diamond resort is in a wonderful downtown scenic location. Subsequently, there are views over the winding Savannah River and it’s literally minutes away from Savannah’s historic district.
There are 403 smart rooms onsite with a choice of suites for those on a slightly higher budget. All of them include either a harbor or golf view.
The dining is modern and elegant, but casual at the same time. Aqua Star Coastal offers a delectable choice of southern-inspired dishes whilst the informal Champions Bar & Grill, which overlooks the golf, offers a choice of lighter and more relaxed options.
A really popular choice is the Escape Pool Bar & Grill which has great riverfront views and offers a range of cocktails, drinks and American classics like a good old grilled burger.
The spa is called The Club at Savannah Harbor, just a short walk (or even shorter shuttle) from the hotel, and features a range of rejuvenating therapies by a team of first-rate therapists. Other facilities include the outdoor pool at the hotel, the WestinWORKOUT fitness studio and a collection of tennis courts.
The golf course is classy, a Bob Cupp designed course (with a little support from Sam Snead) and one of the finest golf courses in Savannah. There is also a 22,000 square-feet clubhouse to chillout in.
Sea Palms Resort
The Sea Palms Resort has been an island retreat since 1967 and is positioned amongst the salt marshes of the Golden Isles, an hour and a half’s drive from Savannah and just up the road from the other luxury seaside property of the Lodge at Sea Island.
There are two different properties part of this resort, the Marshfront escape on the north end of Saint Simons island, and the Beachview Getaway on the south side, just a short walk away from the beach.
With the two different locations, there is a range of different accommodation types. The Marshfront property offers your standard queen sized rooms, condominium-style suites and apartments, all with breathtaking views of the Georgia salt-marshes. Whilst at the Beachview Getaway, there and oceanview, and island-view condos on offer.
There is just the one restaurant here, but boy is it good. It was recently renovated and offers a menu for everyone, with Southern classics and seafood favorites prepared by an award-winning culinary team. Choose from being in the refreshed and revitalized indoor dining room, or being seated poolside on the outdoor patio.
The golf is great fun – a challenging George Cobb designed layout which was completely renovated in 2019. There are awesome views throughout whilst the fairways twist and turn around Saint Simons Island under impressive oaks and towering pine trees.