The Golf Club at Cuscowilla
Par 70, 6,847 yards
Greens fees: $75-$150
If you measure age in years, the Golf Club at Cuscowilla is a young course, established in 1996. But in terms of character, it's an old soul. On gently rolling land along Lake Oconee, 70 miles east of Atlanta, Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw reveal their throwback leanings, with a layout built on elements of classical design.
Though there's enough length here to contain the modern bomber (as with the 232-yard, par-3 8th, and the monster that follows, a 480-yard dogleg right par 4), the course is more inclined to ask you subtle questions.
On the short par-4 5th, for instance, do you want to tempt the green? Or lay up to one side of the outsize fairway bunker that divides the hole in two? From start to finish, deceptive fairway mounding and shaggy-lipped bunkers conjure images of golf from another era. A deft wedge here. A precise long iron there. You don't just pace off distances, you ponder angles. Think of Cuscowilla as a thinking-golfer's test: the kind of place that stands the test of time.
Where to Sleep
Cuscowilla: Stay-and-play packages in four-person golf cottages. From $204 per person. cuscowilla.com
The Lodge on Lake Oconee: Tranquil lake-front hotel with an outdoor pool and water views. From $119. thelodgeonlakeoconee.com
The Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation: Luxury digs with 99 holes of golf of its own. From $239. ritzcarltonlodge.com
Where to Eat
Da Corrado Ristorante: Old world Italian dishes like nonna used to make. dacorradoristorante.com
Eenoco Steakhouse: Great steaks. Fresh sushi. Say no more. eenoco.com
Hannah's: A local favorite for seafood and other coastal fare. hannahsga.com