Nines, Wines, and Memorable Times
Some of the best golf courses in the country can be found at clubs you’ve probably never heard about. Champions Retreat, a private golf retreat in Augusta, Georgia, is one such club. I had never heard of it even though I’m very much involved in golf courses, their history, their design, and their facilities.
Champions Retreat is not a wonderful Retreat because it has three nine hole courses designed by three legends of the game. It’s not a great Retreat because its food and beverage operation will rival the best in the country. And it isn’t 5 stars because its facilities compare to Ritz Carlton. No, Champions Retreat is amongst the best in the country because it offers all of that plus a staff that will out service the best of the rest.
A Unique Golfing Experience that evokes a passion, an obsession, a romance, and a pleasant familiarity with trees, sand, and water. “May your ball lie in green pastures… and not in still Waters”.
The three nine-hole courses are built around distinct areas of natural topography…an Island, a Bluff, and a Creek. Luck of the draw determined which legendary golfer would design which nine. Arnold Palmer, drawing first, drew the “Island”. Jack Nicklaus then drew the “Bluff” which left the “Creek” for Gary Player.
Palmer’s “Island” course flows between the majestic Savannah River and the Little River. With spectacular hardwoods and pines throughout, Palmer purposely raised the fairways to take advantage of the serene vistas that overlook the fluent waters.
The Nicklaus “Bluff” course has some wonderful elevation changes, challenging doglegs both right and left, and his typical risk/reward challenges. It’s one of the best Nicklaus nines I’ve played.
Player’s design of the “Creek” opens through a beautiful wetland area and finishes in the upland weaving through a forest of native hardwoods. I spoke with several golfers who thought it was his best design ever.
Three great players…three great nines!
“With bottles of wine to drink when we dine”
From “Valentino” by Gilbert O’Sullivan:
The first clue that you are about to experience a remarkable culinary treat is when you’re introduced to Doug Snyder, the Director of Food and Beverage. A certified Sommelier, Doug commits his highly skilled staff to providing a dining experience that will exceed your utmost expectations. The second clue is the work of culinary art delivered from the kitchen by Augusta native and Executive Chef Jeremy Miller. His cuisine speaks with a Southern accent and you won’t soon forget how his 15 years’ experience with diverse international and domestic cuisine techniques works its way into your choice of menu. Doug and Jeremy are the 1-2 punch that has elevated the Augusta dining scene to a new level.
All’s Well That Ends Well
At the end of the day, the rewards of hospitality continue to delight. Members and guests choose from sixteen distinctive cottages that will each accommodate four to eight couples. Rustic views, Southern retreat style and genuine hospitality are part of every leisure getaway and corporate retreat. No place is this more evident than in their charming accommodations.
Convenient to all facilities, the cottages feature a full kitchen, fireplace, and cozy, common area perfectly suited for sharing stories after a rewarding day on the golf course, relaxing with friends, planning the next round of golf or enjoying full-service catering from the Grille House. While each location offers its own unique benefits, the one common thread is the exceptional attention to detail and professional service from their dedicated staff. Furnishings and decorative touches have been personally selected with a blend of understated elegance and cozy comforts. It’s just like home.
The Charm of The Barn
The Barn at Champions Retreat, a charming facility unique to the Augusta area, offers an unforgettable backdrop to host any event, whether it is an intimate gathering, grandiose celebration or somewhere in between.
With 10,000 sq. ft. to accommodate just about any gathering, The Barn is perfectly designed to host corporate events, reunions, wedding and anniversary parties, formal dinners, or a good old fashioned hoe-down. Themes of chic, country charm or sophisticated elegance are easily accommodated in a rustic setting. State of the art audio/visual and kitchen equipment, on-site catering, full bar capabilities, a performance stage, and dance floor are available to handle anything your imagination can dream up.
Membership for the discriminating buyer
Membership certainly has its privileges and Champions Retreat goes the extra step for its members as well as to encourage membership. Top rated golf, culinary excellence, accommodating facilities and 5 star service are a given. Members are also offered the opportunity to own a piece of the Retreat through existing cottage purchase or build.
Try Before you Buy
Masters week in Augusta offers a special opportunity to experience the ambience and all its character at Champions Retreat. They open their retreat to the discerning golfer or corporate executive on a first come first serve basis so as to give guests an actual feel for what a prestigious retreat offers. Information can be found at http://www.championsretreat.net/masters-week-information Some of the most highly rated golf retreats are little known and tend to fly below the radar. Champions Retreat certainly is one such venue and a perfect fit for the discriminating golfer.