16 Best Georgia Golf Resorts Offering More than Golf

There is no shortage of great Georgia golf resorts. From stunning mountain links, to scenic coastal greens, to stellar Atlanta area golf resorts – there are a lot of holes to play.

16 Best Georgia Golf Resorts Offering More than Golf
McLemore – ‘best finishing hole in America since 2000’ by Golf Digest.

My husband is an avid golfer, but not a huge traveler. I on the other hand, am a traveler, but not a golfer. We compiled this list of the top golf resorts in Georgia to satisfy both his quest for the perfect game, and my wanderlust. 

We are working our way through visiting them to give you the inside scoop. Our first stop is McLemore in Rising Fawn. Have you been to McLemore or any of these other Georgia golf resorts? Let us know your thoughts.

McLemore Golf Resort, Rising Fawn

Nestled amid state and national parks, historic land districts and private land trusts, is McLemore, a championship highlands course created by Rees Jones and Bill Bergin. Golfers may remember this as Canyon Ridge golf course, but in 2019, it went through such an extensive renovation that it is considered new. The redesigned McLemore course is already garnering accolades including the ‘best finishing hole in America since 2000’ by Golf Digest.   

16 Best Georgia Golf Resorts Offering More than Golf
The Creag is McLemore’s chef-driven Clubhouse Bar & Grille. The floor to ceiling doors open to a 6-hole short course called The Cairn. Just past that is the 18th hole with a spectacular view of the valley below.

For non-golfers, the 18th hole and views are visible from the patio at The Creag, McLemore’s chef driven restaurant and bar. For those playing the course, you’ll need a great tee shot to set up the 18th hole. Tip: stay right. And get the pimento cheese hush puppies at The Creag.

Golf at McLemore

There are six different tees, so no matter your golf acumen, you can still enjoy this course. Overall, you want to be able to drive well, so practice a bit before heading out. Tee shots are dramatic, and offer a bit of elevation pop. You will need to add distance to clear a few ravines, shorthand for expect to lose a few balls. No worries though, McLemore provides ball drop areas, so take your best shot, and drop on the other side if needed.

The greens are in fantastic shape and exceptionally receptive. They are also large, very fast, and have some slope, making reading breaks a challenge. To get a leg up on the rest of your foursome, read our full review of the McLemore golf course, or you can book a course tour with McLemore’s seasoned head PGA professional Doug Amor.

Beyond Golf

McLemore is a destination resort in the making, and the journey begins well before the guard gate as you wind your way up Lookout Mountain, past gorgeous hardwood forests and into the clouds.

McLemore may be best known as a golf destination, but I found their hiking trails to be pure zen. Along the miles of paths are a scenic overlook complete with Adirondack chairs and fire pit, at least four waterfalls, a pine forest, mammoth rock outcroppings, and ‘Inspiration Point’ – a peaceful overlook that is sure to take your breath away.

Currently, tags on trees mark the hiking trails. As I mentioned, McLemore is a work in progress. However, I would visit now to experience the full magic of this basically private path.  Looking for more natural adventure? Try hiking at nearby Cloudland Canyon, or hang gliding – so fun!

Where to Stay
In 2023 there will be a gorgeous 245-room hotel with the most incredible rooftop suite! It’s part of the Curio Collection from Hilton and the renderings look fabulous. I can’t wait to stay here.

Until the hotel is built, visitors can book cottages, cabins and even a manor home on site, but know that space is limited. During our visit, room at McLemore were booked, so we stayed at the Historic Read House Hotel in Chattanooga, less than 30 minutes away. The decor is Gatsby inspired with lots of nooks to relax while staying apart. Enjoy a cocktail during ‘flappy hour’. The Read House is convenient to the Tennessee Aquarium and most other popular downtown attractions.

I highly recommend this option for a country-city escape. Chattanooga is a walkable metro area with lots of attractions for every taste, and a variety of restaurants. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT leave Chatt without getting a burger with a side of handmade chips at Main Street Meats. I’ve eaten a LOT of burgers, and this one is THE ONE.

Callaway Gardens, Ga. Azaleas
Callaway Gardens

More North Georgia Golf Resorts

Innsbruck Resort & Golf Club, Helen

The Innsbruck Golf Club is actually part of the relatively new Valhalla Resort Hotel. This course has beautiful mountain views at reasonable prices. Beyond golf, there are loads of things to do in nearby Alpine Helen, like shopping, hiking, or if you want thrills, try the alpine coaster, tubing or the zip line at nearby Unicoi State Park.

Kingwood Golf Resort, Clayton Georgia

Kingwood Resort & Winery golf course in Clayton is a par 71 mountain course with four different tee locations to accommodate all skill levels. Off the course, there is a spa and – hello – a winery!

Barnsley Golf Resort, Adairsville

This North Georgia mountain golf resort is a Jim Fazio designed course that is described as a ‘beautiful challenge’ and ranked by GolfAdvisor.com. For non-golfers, ride through 3,000 acres on horseback, sooth tired muscles at the spa or couple your golf outing with a wingshooting adventure or sporting clays at the onsite Beretta Shooting School at Barnsley Resort.

Brasstown Valley, Young Harris

This memorable course is a Scottish links-style course located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. There are several tee boxes to choose from so it accommodates any level of golfer. Off the greens, check out nearby Hiawassee Georgia.

16 Best Georgia Golf Resorts Offering More than Golf
Reynolds Lake Oconee

Best Golf Resorts near Atlanta

These Atlanta golf resorts are less than 90 minutes from the city.

Reynolds Plantation Golf Resort Georgia

Couple five signature courses designed by some of the games best-known architects including Rees Jones, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Fazio and Bob Cupp with the luxurious elegance of a waterfront Ritz Carlton and you have a winner in my book. Off the links, enjoy the lake life and water sports on Lake Oconee.

Callaway Golf Resort Georgia

Callaway Gardens is just an hour drive from Atlanta. Golfers choose between playing on the same course as PGA pros, or enjoying the views, and a few water features on the scenic Lake View Course (or just play both!). You can bring the entire family to Callaway. Depending on the time of year, there is a host of special events or just enjoy what’s blooming in the gardens. 

Chateau Elan Golf Course, Braselton

Choose between two 18-hole championship courses – the Chateau or Woodlands. For something a little different, try night golf. And off the green, try a  cooking class.  

16 Best Georgia Golf Resorts Offering More than Golf
The Cloister at Sea Island

Coastal and Savannah Georgia Golf Resorts

Peruse our picks for the best golf courses in Georgia along the coast.

Westin Savannah Golf Resort and Spa

Designed by renowned architect Robert Cupp in conjunction with legendary pro Sam Snead, the 18-hole championship course at The Club at Savannah Harbor sits right along the Savannah River. After your round, take a water taxi to the bars that sit on River Street. And for those who don’t golf, well, it’s Savannah, pick your poison.

Sea Island Golf Resort Georgia

This is one of Georgia’s most expensive golf courses, but if you are looking for a Forbes Five-Star experience, this is it. Choose between Seaside, Plantation or Retreat. You can’t go wrong. Whether golfer or not, I highly suggest the Spa at Sea Island. Plan for a few hours in addition to your treatment, you’ll want to hang out and enjoy all the spa extras.

King and Prince Golf Resort Georgia

The King and Prince Hotel is located right on the beach on St. Simon’s Island Georgia. The Par 72 golf course is off site about 12 miles from the hotel on the northern end of the island. You’ll be rewarded for your drive with spectacular salt marsh views and holes that wind around towering live oaks and across lakes and lagoons. After 18 holes, enjoy happy hour at the hotel bar Ecco, or a quiet walk on the beach. If you need more fun, don’t miss our extensive St. Simon’s Island post.

Sea Palms Golf & Tennis Resort, St. Simons Island

Sea Palms is a marsh side golf course that was renovated in 2019.  And the resort itself has gone through an extensive remodel in 2020, so if you haven’t been here in a while, it might be time to visit. For those who stay at Sea Palms you have a choice between a marsh front hotel or a beachside retreat.

Hard Labor Creek State Park

Georgia State Park Golf Resorts

There are eight Georgia State Parks golf courses, perfect for affordable Georgia golf getaways. For those looking for an affordable golf vacation, this is it. But not all golf courses are the same. Here are our favorites.

The Creek Golf Course at Hard Labor Creek State Park, Social Circle

It’s a well known fact this course has the hardest starting hole in the state. In addition, Golf Digest Frugal Golf magazine rates the Hard Labor Creek golf course as the fourth sweetest deal in the United States. A unique post-game activity at Hard Labor Creek is the observatory.

Meadow Links Golf Course at George T. Bagby State Park

This is a links style course, with large greens, subtle breaks, lush green fairways and traps that provide additional definition. Off the green book a duck boat at George T. Bagby State Park and rent some duck decoys for an unforgettable South Georgia duck hunt.

Highland Walk Golf Course at Victoria Bryant State Park

Minutes from Athens off I-85, enjoy steep rolling hills with broad, crowned Bermuda fairways and sloping greens. After a day on the links, try your hand at the archery range.

Arrowhead Pointe Golf Course at Richard B. Russell State Park

Ten of the 18 holes on this course skirt the shoreline of Lake Richard B. Russell. While you are here, try another form of golf – disc golf.

Looking for more fabulous golf vacations? Check out our review of Pursell Farms in Alabama.

16 Best Georgia Golf Resorts Offering More than Golf
Sue Rodman | Co-Founder

Sue came to Atlanta after finishing the Walt Disney World College Program where she was a tour guide then guest relations hostess (and no she did not moonlight as Snow White). Sue spent 25 years in PR before adding freelance travel writing to her resume. Prior to 365 Atlanta Traveler, Sue published an award winning family travel blog called Field Trips with Sue for eight years, and produced a TV segment with the same name on CBS Better Mornings Atlanta. Her favorite place to visit is anywhere with her husband and three sons. Sue believes anytime is a good time for dessert and there are no bad field trips, just better stories. @SueRodman

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