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Countdown to Savannah: Golf in Savannah
Written by Leslie Erickson, CTA
In early 2007, we started our official Countdown to Savannah. Each Sunday, we posted a different topic about this special city where we met for our first Great Slow Travel Gathering in Spring 2008.
With 63 posts over 14+ months, we learned a lot about the many facets of this historic, hospitable and intriguing American city. Our weekly posts touched on Savannah's history, famous people, architecture, food, culture, surrounding area and much more. We hope this information acquaints you with Savannah, entices you to visit this historic city, and prepares you for a very memorable trip.
The State and City for Golf
Georgia is home to golf legend Bobby Jones, the country’s oldest golf club (Savannah Golf Club), and the world’s most prestigious golf tournament, The Masters®. No other state gives you such an opportunity to be a part of the history and heritage of the great game of golf.
One place you can count on in Georgia to offer the prospect of a unique and enjoyable golf adventure is Savannah. Savannah provides visitors some outstanding golf courses, regardless of the golfer’s ability and experience.
Located midway between Myrtle Beach and Jacksonville, Savannah, Georgia possesses a distinct flavor and laid back approach to life. In 1733, British General James Oglethorpe founded the city on a bluff above the Savannah River. Today, that rich history comes to life with old-fashioned hospitality and Southern charm offering world-class restaurants, Civil War forts, fine antique shops, and art galleries, not to mention some of the best golf courses anywhere.
Giant live oaks hung with Spanish moss paint a rich canvas for one of the largest historic districts in the United States. Twenty one squares dot this district amongst thousands of historic buildings and homes. Savannah embodies the spirit of an era when life moved a bit slower, people were a bit friendlier and cotton was king.
This scenic city, full of history, romance and charm, turns into one of the best party districts in the South at night. From the bars of River Street to the restaurants of Market Street, the cobblestone-filled byways of Savannah provide a party or drink to satisfy all who visit. There’s simply no better way to finish off the day than with a Hurricane down at “Wet Willie’s” or some homemade peach cobbler.
The only thing that improves the luster on this Southern gem is arguably some of the best golf anywhere on the East Coast. Consider the history of golf here: Although evidence shows that a Savannah golf club existed as early as 1794, The Savannah Golf Club, as we now know it, was incorporated in 1899. A century ago, there existed a line of Confederate fortifications, which extended across the entire property; the designers decided that the course should be laid out to exploit these fortifications as hazards. This Savannah Golf Club remains an enduring symbol of Savannah’s golf heritage even today.
There are other notable courses, accessible to both visitor and resident alike. From the undulating greens of Crosswinds to the majestic tree lined fairways of Southbridge, Savannah offers an abundance of courses of varying difficulty & design.
Southbridge GC has long been the most acclaimed golf course in Savannah, due to legendary golf architect Rees Jones’ strategic placement of water with a design set on a densely wooded tract. Large undulating greens protected by grass mounds and finely sculptured bunkers provide a fair test for players of all skill levels.
Crosswinds GC stands ready to challenge your skills. Designed by owner Mike Kistler, the 18-hole, par-72 course opened in October 2000. “It has a parkland/links design,” Kistler says. “It’s a fun course for the high handicapper and a challenging one for the low handicapper.” On the front nine, you’ll find a parkland setting studded with trees. On the back nine, there is more of a links flavor.
Henderson GC is an 18-hole championship course, playing up to 6,700 yards. The par-71 layout has all the characteristics of an old southern golf course. You’ll find the front nine holes open and rolling like a traditional links course, while the back nine offers tree-lined fairways in a natural setting.
Coastal Georgia could be one of golf’s best-kept secrets, but like any secret, the word eventually gets out. Savannah is no longer undiscovered to the golf world, or those just looking for a quick getaway from Atlanta’s traffic or Florida’s explosive growth. So come to Savannah and soak up the mystique, partake in its culinary delights, and head to the golf course as you share laughs and create new memories.
"The Perfect Job"
Carl went to a career counselor in search of a new career. After extensive testing, the counselor told him, "Carl, according to our tests, you are a sadistic psychopath who enjoys inflicting pain, misery & suffering on others.
You'd make a terrific golf course designer!" (Courtesy of Andy Stephens)
"It's Called Golf"
All About Savannah: Links to many information pages about Savannah (where to eat, where to stay, places of interest, getting around town, and more)
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