Designed in a collaborative effort between former Masters champion Fred Couples and Love Golf Design, The Golf Club at Sanctuary Grove’s 18-hole, par 71 course snakes across 7,003 yards of immaculate greenery. Golf carts nimbly traverse the course’s labyrinthine corridors, zipping players past the intervening ponds, towering pines, and trash-talking waterfowl that supply the bulk of the course’s challenges.
On Jekyll Island, waves lick the 10 miles of beaches as kayaks cut through the salty water, cyclists roll over 20 miles of paved trails, and riders on horseback clop through hushed maritime forests. All visitors to the barrier island can partake in myriad active, relaxing, or educational activities while immersed in its lush natural landscapes, where dunes give way to beaches filled with hermit crabs and shell collecting and where birders clutch binoculars to examine avian habitats and decode gulls' sign language. The island's public golf club, open since 1898, hosts two 18-hole courses and one 9-hole course on manicured greens and rolling terrain. In the summer, the Summer Waves Water Park provides a cool escape from the heat with six slides, a wave pool, and a lazy river. For indoor adventurers, exhibits at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center illuminate the lives of the shelled reptiles, and a museum preserves relics of the wealthy families who used the island as their gilded getaway and a place to bury their expired money. The Jekyll Island Authority oversees all conservation and development on the idyllic island, existing to continually improve the park and its amenities.
St. Simons Island, recently named the third-best island in the country by AOL Travel, is etched with an elaborate network of scenic biking trails, which visitors can explore on a fleet of rental two-wheelers. A web of leisurely tracks weaves through the south end of the resort village, winding along the marshlands coast at East Beach and along the length of Frederica Road. Cyclists can also navigate the island's pearly beaches or traverse the popular airport trail. For a more demanding outing, a 12-mile stretch originating at the northern end of Frederica Road offers wide-open riding, panoramic views, and honey-coated speed bumps.A scenic, 20-mile drive south brings island hoppers to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, a marine-turtle rehabilitation, research, and education center located on Jekyll Island. During guided tours, guests explore a host of exhibits on the islands' indigenous reptiles, illuminating the creatures' habits, human efforts to protect them, and findings from ecological and wildlife health research. In addition to sea turtles, the center also nurtures diamondback terrapins, river cooters, and gopher tortoises.
Black Creek Golf Club features 18 holes of lush landscape in addition to fetching facilities such as a practice green, a driving range, and a full-service clubhouse. Before confronting the par-72 course, launch two bags of range balls (a $10 value) into the well-maintained yonder of the club’s 2-acre driving range, complete with multiple tees and greens for chipping, putting, and dressing in vinaigrette.
A proud host of several PGA events, Henderson Golf Club presents a scenic and challenging course entwined with lush countryside and running streams. A traditional southern course, the 6,700-yard family of fairways is populated by an abundance of old-growth oak, pine, magnolia, and money trees, deliberately placed to reward straight shooting. Open and scenic, the front nine plays like a traditional links course, and the back nine takes full advantage of the tree-lined setting to intimidate claustrophobic golfers. Rife with wildlife, the course will provide you with an audience of native deer, bald eagles, and the reclusive surviving cast members of The Dukes of Hazzard. The included golf cart will help players travel from tee to tee with limited wear on their ostentatious golf trousers, and the included range balls will help rusty orb whackers find their groove before hitting the fairways.
Island Miniature Golf and Games entices guests with a full mini-golf course and multiperson batting cage. Send golf balls along the winding 18-hole course, which is divided by red brick and pale stone enclosures and a pond spouting three fountains. Batters can smack oncoming baseballs within the large, square batting cage, which traps outbound home runs inside its enclosed walls and netted roof. One token prods one of the three pitching machines to lob 14 balls and one pie toward the batsperson.