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.
The Reserve Club at Woodside Plantation – Getting Better Every Day!
South Carolina is chock full of golf courses and private golf communities; some with large, opulent homes, others with multiple golf courses. But there is nothing quite like Woodside Plantation. Sure they have fabulous homesites; in fact there are plenty of homesites for new construction or you can find something for sale that is move-in ready, all in peaceful, private settings. But what makes Woodside Plantation different is that there are two private golf clubs within the guarded gates; Woodside Plantation Country Club and The Reserve Club at Woodside Plantation. Two totally separate private clubs, managed by two totally different management companies, yet located within the same gated community.
Woodside Plantation Country Club is a private country club with membership available to anyone inside or outside the gates. Pay an initiation fee, 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 Reserve Club currently offers golfer 27 holes; the 18-hole championship Reserve Course - a Nicklaus design - and the 9-hole Hollow Creek Course, designed by Fuzzy Zoeller and Clyde Johnson. And, while many golf courses and private clubs are calling it quits and selling out to real estate developers, The Reserve Club is adding another nine holes that are due to be completed later this year. The Reserve Club opened in 2002 and has become a wonderful addition to the Woodside community, providing members world-class amenities right in their own backyard.
The Reserve Course is a fun and challenging Steve Nicklaus Design. Shortly after the course was completed in 2003, Golf Digest named the Reserve Course one of the “Top Ten Best New Private Courses in America.” Sixteen years later, The Reserve Course is continually recognized as one of South Carolina’s top private courses. The course can play as long as 6,995 yards from the back tees, all the way down to 5,005 yards from the forward tees. As you traverse the layout, you’ll find plush fairways, picturesque vistas and a lot of rolling terrain. The members seem to play at a very leisurely pace, yet we were done in about 4 hours!
The course is full of memorable holes but for my money, the 4th hole takes top prize. It’s a slight dogleg right that plays 386 yards from the White tees and requires an accurate tee shot down the mid-right side of the fairway. This can be a daunting task with the fairway sloping from right to left. As if that wasn’t tough enough, your approach shot will be a mid to long iron into a green fronted by a lake and surrounded by sand. Take enough club, put the ball in the middle of the green and two putt for par. Piece of cake, right?
The second layout at The Reserve Club is the Hollow Creek Course, designed by U.S. Open champion Fuzzy Zoeller and architect Clyde Johnston, best known for playable courses with a premium on aesthetics and captivating shot values. The original 10 holes were built in 2007, with plans to add the remaining 8 within a couple of years, however the recession that hit in 2008 altered these plans. Two more holes were added in 2017 and now the final piece of the puzzle is due to be completed before the end of 2019, with a few tweaks to several existing holes.
The six new holes will flow around the Hollow Creek Land Preservation, a 110-acre natural woodland and wetland area. This will provide a safe haven to indigenous wildlife and keep the aesthetics intact. The 9-hole layout that is currently in use plays through the rolling hills of Woodside Plantation and showcases some of the area's best nature preserves. Each hole has been carved from the existing landscape providing golfers with some great views as they make their way around the meticulously maintained track. When completed, I think Hollow Creek will become every bit as popular as its sister course.
If finetuning your game is important to you, the Reserve Club has one of the most comprehensive practice facilities in the area. Members have the opportunity to work on all aspects of their game, whether it be a full swing on the driving range, dialing in pitch shots and distances at the short game area or perfecting their putting stroke on one of two practice putting greens. The professional staff is there to help if you can’t figure it out on your own.
The Golf Shop at The Reserve Club offers members everything from apparel by several of the industry’s top manufacturers to shoes, hats and just about any other golf accessory you can think of. If you need to get a new set of clubs, the trained PGA professional staff can help you get the right set to fit your game, so that you’ll get the most enjoyment out of them.
If racquet sports are more your thing, The Reserve Club has 6 lighted Har Tru fast dry tennis courts. Serious players can compete in inter-club leagues, clinics and club tournaments. Pickleball is a large part of the social fabric of the club, with three designated courts lit for night play and over 60 active players. There’s also a PTR certified Tennis Director on staff and the pro shop offers services such as racquet restringing and regripping. The Reserve Club bases several social events around tennis and pickleball; members share food and beverages as well as a good time while enjoying the company of friends.
The clubhouse at the Reserve Club is the centerpiece of the community and there is always plenty going on. As a member, there are plenty of activities to choose from; sip a cocktail on the covered veranda looking out onto the manicured landscaping, play in a weekly bocce ball game, play bridge or mah jongg, or enjoy some arts and crafts. The club also hosts trivia nights, wine tastings, cook-offs and many other events. With so much to do you’ll never be bored!
When it comes to dining, it’s tough to beat what the Reserve Club offers. Start or end your evening in the piano bar, enjoying a cocktail and the company of friends, before being seated on the outdoor covered veranda. If you’re looking for an upscale dining experience, try L'Attitudes. They offer Southern Living-inspired dishes, an expansive wine list and an exhibition kitchen that provides great entertainment. If laidback is more your style, chill with fellow members in the casual dining room while indulging in Chef’s culinary delights or enjoy a drink while watching a game in the sports lounge.
Take a quick glance around the grounds of The Reserve Club and you’ll realize it’s the perfect place for a wedding! The staff is eager to help plan your special day including room bookings, menu selections, floor plan creations, and more. The culinary staff can put together any menu your heart desires.
Masters Week is a special week for any golf club near Augusta, GA, public or private. A great Masters week can mean a successful year! The Reserve Club is no different; their Masters Week is considered one of the best in the area. The Club Package includes a round of golf with cart and greens fees on the package date(s) and access to the practice area on the day of play for $240. The VIP Package includes golf with cart and greens fees on package date(s) and access to the VIP Suite where you can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner, complimentary bar and cigar service and big screen TV coverage of the Masters. You’ll also have all day access to The Reserve Club’s practice facilities. The VIP package is $425 per day and is very popular.
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.