Where can you find a community with 19,000 acre lake, 117 holes of golf, and an internationally-ranked waterfront resort? How about the third lowest overall state tax burden,* proximity to an international city with thousands of daily direct flights to virtually anywhere in the world and mild winter weather? Reynolds Plantation on Lake Oconee.
“There’s so much to do here,” says member Tom Balestreire. “We’ve got clubs for golfing, swimming, fishing, hiking, and boating. There’s also a book club, trivia night, and many more activities. The Lake Club is great for parties, has an indoor pool, two outdoor pools, a fabulous fitness and tennis center, and docks that can be used if you prefer to travel there by boat.” Tom and his wife Bernadette live in Atlanta and own a lake home at Reynolds Plantation.
What originally attracted the Balestreires (and more than 3,000 other members) to Reynolds is a distinctive lifestyle, created by the combination of a few special ingredients.
This is an active, energetic place with a passionate spirit. Yes, it’s a beautiful, serene, even elegant setting, but there’s a great deal of energy in the way people live and play here. Reynolds is a grown-up “playground” of sorts – a place where you can get in touch with your inner child and let him or her out to romp for a while.
Reynolds Plantation has perfected a unique formula for being both the ultimate residential community and an extraordinary destination resort. It is a synergistic relationship, where the whole truly is greater than the sum of its parts. The presence of the community allows the hotel to offer guests an unrivaled golf experience plus access to marinas and club dining facilities; where having the resort on-property augments the member experience by offering additional dining facilities, an award-winning spa and special events.
The overall golf experience is unique to this location because of three important components:
A collection of six distinctive golf courses (five available for resort play), designed by a veritable “Mount Rushmore” of the best architects (Nicklaus, Fazio, Jones, Cupp and Engh). Variety is the key here – the courses each offer different designs, different topography and even different turf grasses. Four of the six have been renovated in the last 18 months, taking them to an even higher level of quality.
The TaylorMade Kingdom: This is simply the ultimate club fitting experience available to any player. One of only two locations in the world, The Kingdom at Reynolds Plantation was previously accessible only to professionals. The team here utilizes advanced swing analysis technology, fits you personally with the ideal clubs for your game and builds custom clubs on-site in a workshop that appears capable of constructing spy gear for James Bond.
The Reynolds Golf Academy: Headed by Charlie King (one of the latest members to land on Golf Digest’s “50 Best Teachers” list this past fall), The Reynolds Golf Academy offers personalized instruction for members and resort guests on every aspect of the game: drives, short game, putting and specialty shots. The staff takes a very personal approach to understand your distinctive swing and determine how best to improve your individual game.
They didn’t forget non-golfers. Residents and guests can find plenty to do away from the links. Both can enjoy the spa at the Ritz-Carlton Lodge, a variety of dining from casual snack bars to a classic steakhouse, a coffee shop, pools, watersports, tennis and 20+ miles of walking trails. In addition, The Lodge offers seasonal programming such as winter ice skating and a lakeside concert series in the summer. Members can also take advantage of the Lake Club, with its fitness center, swimming pools, fitness studio, meeting space and café. All this, plus a seemingly endless calendar of entertainment and events that rivals many luxury cruise lines. Just minutes outside the gates you’ll find shopping, dining, entertainment, schools and exceptional medical services – including a new 25-bed acute care critical access hospital.
“When we considered other communities, we noticed that many of them didn’t have enough full-time residents to support a lot of resort-style amenities,” Tom says. “That’s not the case here at Reynolds Plantation.”
“Even though we don’t yet live here full time, it’s been easy to make friends, and we’ve been impressed by how many residents are involved in volunteer activities and non-profit organizations,” Bernadette says.
“We continue to be amazed by how many activities are offered here whether they’re cultural, religious, or sports-related,” says Tom. “We weren’t boaters when we bought our home, but now we’re drawn to the lake and have a boat, a jet-ski, and other toys that make lake living so much fun.”
“There’s such a special atmosphere here,” Bernadette says. “We’re so thankful that we found a place where we’ll retire and make a tradition of bringing our family together.”
*Kiplingers’ ranked Georgia, the third lowest US state tax burden, after Alaska and Wyoming, November 2013.