The Reserve Club At Woodside Plantation - The Reserve Course
|Green (W)||72||5715 yards||72.9||126|
|Red (W)||72||5006 yards||68.2||115|
|Black M: 73.6/134||420||380||230||434||412||618||403||564||175||3636||350||542||158||403||387||181||403||505||430||3359||6995|
|Blue M: 71.8/130||412||371||211||414||394||549||393||519||162||3425||340||528||148||390||379||171||390||493||407||3246||6671|
|Blue/White M: 70.5/127||386||371||189||386||394||549||362||519||142||3298||313||528||148||351||379||171||343||493||376||3102||6400|
|White M: 68.6/126||386||348||189||386||357||513||362||505||142||3188||313||481||130||351||356||143||343||441||376||2934||6122|
|White/Green M: 67.5/122||366||324||189||386||357||444||342||484||142||3034||313||456||130||331||356||143||325||441||345||2840||5874|
|Green M: 66.9/121 W: 72.9/126||366||324||167||375||347||444||342||484||131||2980||296||456||110||331||338||116||325||418||345||2735||5715|
|Green/Red M: 65.1/113 W: 70.8/118||307||324||151||310||315||444||342||444||131||2768||251||408||110||331||338||116||325||418||274||2571||5339|
|Red M: 63.5/110 W: 68.2/115||307||270||151||310||316||435||306||444||125||2664||251||408||104||263||290||98||280||374||274||2342||5006|
|Red/Gold W: 66.4/109||307||270||151||310||225||347||306||444||64||2424||180||345||104||263||290||98||280||374||274||2208||4632|
|Gold W: 65.5/107||299||259||148||280||225||347||298||375||64||2295||180||345||99||258||285||92||275||365||210||2109||4404|
A Great Place to Play and Watch the Masters
Now that I’m nearing retirement age, my thoughts drift to where I want to spend “the golden years.” I lived in Florida for almost 25 years and that scene got tiring; the heat was oppressive, the traffic was terrible and the people were not the nicest. We relocated to the small town of Crossville, TN – the Golf Capital of Tennessee – and it’s been great although the weather isn’t quite warm enough for me. My wife would vehemently disagree; she loves a good cold spell and, for some odd reason, snow.
One area that has caught my eye is Aiken, SC, in particular a community known as Woodside Plantation. Woodside is a private, master-planned community in Aiken, S.C., a town that has been lauded by Southern Living Magazine as the “South’s Best Small Town!”
Within the 24-hour manned gates of Woodside Plantation are more amenities than the average person will use during a lifetime, let alone during their retirement years. These include 4 golf courses designed by some of the game’s biggest architects: Clyde Johnston, Fuzzy Zoeller, Rees Jones, Bob Cupp, and Nicklaus Design, over 15 miles of nature trails, 3 onsite medical providers, a myriad of racquet courts, 60+ member-led social groups and clubs, and much more.
There are two separate private country clubs inside the Woodside community: Woodside Country Club and The Reserve Club at Woodside Plantation. Woodside Plantation Country Club is a private country club with membership available to anyone inside or outside the gates. Pay an initiation fee, keep up on your monthly dues and you’re a member. The Reserve Club at Woodside Plantation is a little more restrictive. It’s a “mandatory membership” community meaning the only way you can become a member is to buy a home or homesite. The centerpieces at the Reserve Club are the two 18-hole championship golf courses: The Reserve Course, a Nicklaus design, and the recently completed Hollow Creek Course, designed by Fuzzy Zoeller and Clyde Johnston.
The Reserve Club opened in 2002 and has become a wonderful addition to the Woodside community, providing members world-class amenities right in their backyard. Earlier this year, The Reserve Club recently transitioned into local club management after being managed by Troon Prive for the last few years.
The second layout at The Reserve Club is the Hollow Creek Course, designed by U.S. Open champion Fuzzy Zoeller and architect Clyde Johnston, who is best known for playable courses with a premium on aesthetics and captivating shot values. Construction on the course started in 2007. The course was originally 10 holes, with plans to add the remaining 8 within a couple of years. Unfortunately, the recession of 2008 derailed those plans, however, two more holes were added in 2017. Earlier this year, the final 6 holes were added and the renovation was completed.
The six new holes wind their way around the Hollow Creek Land Preservation, a 110-acre natural woodland and wetland area. Each hole has been carved from the existing landscape providing golfers with some great views as they make their way around this meticulously maintained layout. Ask anyone that has played the new layout and they’ll tell you what they remember most are the last three holes.
Number 16 is a pretty par 3 that plays downhill, so it is considerably less than the 195 yards on the scorecard. There’s a rock retaining wall in front of the green with two bunkers on the left and one front right. Cunning Lake serves as the backdrop and only adds to the beauty of the hole. Miss this elevated green and you’re facing a tough up and down.
For most players, the 487-yard par 5 17th hole is a 3-shot hole. Start with a tee shot over the corner of Cunning Lake, which runs up the entire right side of the hole. Playing up the left side off the tee and on your layup shot will still leave a mid to short iron over the lake into a very wide but shallow green. Number 17 is handicapped the hardest hole on the inward nine.
Number 18 is a scenic and challenging finishing hole that offers a great risk/reward opportunity. It’s a 369-yard par 4 with a blind tee shot down a narrow, heavily wooded fairway. Your dilemma is that crest of the hill. You can take a chance and hit driver to reach the crest; that will leave a short iron or wedge into the green. Or you can play it safe off the tee, hit a fairway wood or hybrid, and leave yourself a 150 – 170 yard shot downhill into the green which is protected by water short and bunkers long. The choice is yours!
Being located a mere 16 miles from Augusta, GA, you’d expect to find some big happenings around Masters time. And The Reserve Club doesn’t disappoint, offering one of the best Masters Week Golf Packages in the area. Director of Golf John Keller has been at The Reserve Club for over 17 years and is pretty much the “Master of the Masters.” The Reserve Club offers two daily Masters packages, The Club Package, which includes 18 hole greens fees, cart fees, range balls, and lunch. The more popular VIP Package includes unlimited golf as well as breakfast, lunch, and dinner, access to the VIP Masters Suite, complimentary bar service including beer, wine, alcohol, and soft drinks, cigar service, giant screen TV coverage of The Masters, and all-day access to all of the Reserve Club’s practice facilities. The Reserve Club’s Master Packages start at $250 and sell out quickly, so it’s best to book early.
Only 10 holes complete, two more under construction. No timetable for course completion. Unimaginative layout until final three holes, then HOLY COW! Those three not for high-handicappers....forced carries, small targets, no place to recover from errant shots.
Staff makes visit worthwhile.
The Reserve Club is a private club, that only allows public play during Masters week. Although expensive (as all golf is during Masters week), you could not get a much better experience. The course itself was in almost perfect condition for early April, with great greens that were very fast and very true. The layout has great changes in elevation, making club selection very challenging at times. The fairways were a little soft due to some rain, and that, in addition to the elevation changes made the course play longer than the yardage. One thing I particularly liked was the great Par 3,s. All were different with a couple relatively short one's that were beautiful, but challenging. Hole #3 was a beautiful hole playing over 180 yards downhill to a beautiful lake. As a private club the service and amenities were outstanding. I felt our group receive the same great service that any member would have received. Great course, great experience.
Top Level Course
The Reserve Course is clearly near the top of must play courses in the Aiken, SC area. Holes are challenging, but very fair. Conditions of the course when I played in early July was truly outstanding. Greens are smooth and putt fairly true. Sometimes, there are breaks you can't see, but the putting is great. I was playing in a tournament so the pace was a little slow. I don't even know if the general public can get on this course, but I would hope so.