Here’s a private club with an unusual public twist. Almost all the time, Champions Retreat in Evans, Georgia, offers its elegant, country-estate amenities to members only. But for one celebrated week at the peak of each golf season (April 2–8 in 2018), when the Masters sets up its tent at nearby Augusta National Golf Club, Champions opens the doors to its 365-acre grounds and allows the public in, subject to limited availability.
Nowhere else can an ardent golfer find the combined design talents of the three Hall of Fame major winners in tandem like this. The Jack Nicklaus–designed Bluff Nine is routed through mature pine forests and sits naturally on the native terrain.
The Creek Nine, by Gary Player, meanders through low-lying wetlands. And the Arnold Palmer–designed Island Nine features six holes on German Island, a narrow swath between the Little River and the Savannah River.
It all makes for a gracious version of golf camp, thanks to a laid-back land plan that includes 16 guest cottages with four to eight bedrooms each. There’s also low-country dining and a 10,000-square-foot rustic barn that works for everything from buttoned-down corporate events to casual dances.
As a bonus, the facility offers concierge service, including transport to and from the Masters, 15 miles to the southeast. So not only can you play great golf courses; you can also watch golf greats.
For more information
about the course, visit championsretreat.net
or call (706) 854-6960.
Daniel Field (DNL) is 17 miles southeast of the course and has a 4,000-foot runway.
In Augusta, Georgia, Augusta Regional Airport (AGS) is 24 miles southeast of the course and has an 8,000-foot runway, while Aiken [South Carolina] Municipal Airport (AIK) is
35 miles east of the course and has a 5,500-foot runway.