STONE CREEK GOLF CLUB
A SOUTH GEORGIA GEM
By Mike May
As you travel north along I-75 and cross the Florida-Georgia border from the south, your first major Georgia landmark is the city of Valdosta (www.valdosta.org), the heart of south Georgia. In Valdosta, you will discover wonderful dining options, irresistible shopping opportunities, multiple film/movie-making locations, hard-hitting Friday night football (in the fall)........and one of the best golfing opportunities in south Georgia. It's the Stone Creek Golf Club (4553 Greenway Drive, Valdosta, Georgia; 229-247-2527). This year marks the 25th anniversary of this club, which opened its doors to golfers in 1992. Like many great courses around the U.S., this property had a separate identity prior to becoming a golfing destination. Originally, this property was a cattle farm which featured an authentic beaver pond and a trophy bass lake. Well, the cattle are now gone, but the beaver pond and trophy bass lake remain. Instead of cows, this land is now the home of birdies, eagles, and the occasional albatross!
Because of its brilliant layout, designed by Franzman-Davis, the Stone Creek Golf Club is one of the 20+ destinations on the Georgia Golf Trail.
"This golf course is where Championship Golf meets Southern Hospitality," says Doug Hollandsworth, Founder, Georgia Golf Trail. "For golfers headed north, it's a great place to start their trek along the Georgia Golf Trail and for golfers headed home to Florida, it's a great place for your final round of Georgia golf."
The landscape of this golf course is dominated by tall pine trees which border the fairways, Spanish moss hanging from many tree branches, and a few wetland areas, all of which are true symbols of south Georgia real estate. While the golf course begins with a pair of straight-away par fours and a lengthy straight-away par five, the course ends with water influencing play on five of the last six holes of this par 72-layout, which measures nearly 6,700 yards from the tips. The most powerful and punishing water hazards are the lakes which border the entire length of the 14th hole (from tee to green) and alongside the 18th fairway. Any shots on the 14th and 18th holes which drift too far right will find a watery grave. It's fair to say that many rounds of golf have been negatively impacted by liquid disasters on either the 14th or 18th holes.....or both. Another memorable shot opportunity is the tee shot on the 8th hole - a downhill par three whose entrance to the green is protected by a small pond and a row of rocks. At the 8th, hitting too much club with your tee shot is a better option than coming up short.
In recent years, the greens have been upgraded with the installation of Champion Dwarf Bermuda grass, the same grass that is used at North Carolina's Pinehurst #2, the site of the 2014 U.S. Open. The existence of five tees on every hole at Stone Creek gives every golfer the chance to find their comfort zone on any given round on any given day.
At the end of your round, transition to the Stone Creek Grill for an ice cold glass of the Ole Southern Sweet Tea and a side item, salad, or a sandwich. It will hit the spot. As you bask in the sunshine on the outdoor patio, you'll also get an unobstructed view of the driving range, 1st tee, 10th tee, and the 18th hole. It will be a fitting end to a glorious and memorable day of south Georgia golf.
To get a sneak preview of Stone Creek, check out the well-produced video from this course's website (www.gagolf.com) which offers a visual glimpse of the clubhouse, restaurant, pro shop, driving range, and all 18 holes. Stone Creek looks great on camera and even better in person, with golf clubs in hand.
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Revised: 07/06/2021 - Article Viewed 732 Times
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About: Mike May
Mike May is a Wellington, Florida-based freelance golf and sportswriter, who is also a 25+ year public relations and communications executive in the sporting goods industry. He is also a veteran high school soccer official, an experienced high school basketball coach, an avid athlete, a part-time personal trainer, and a passionate golfer who is forever in pursuit of Old Man Par. He is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America.
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