In his poem “Back Roads to Macon,” Raymond Farr captures the small-town charm of Cordele when describing a mailbox's hand-painted sign scribbled with the folksy adage: "Whatever your destination, thank God you arrive." Farr’s muse sits off the beaten path—about 2.5 hours south of Atlanta—dotted with antique shops and quirky specialty museums showcasing the history of cotton-farm tools and vast collections of telephones. The dry Atlantic coastal-plain climate permits year-round outdoor activities, many of which can be pursued on or near the resort grounds, including 3 miles of hiking trails through a wetland ecosystem inhabited by deer, red foxes, and lost hikers.
Although comparable in length and difficulty, River Pointe Golf Club's front and back nines present two distinct challenges. The front eases golfers into the round with a traditional layout interspersed with only occasional water hazards. The second act could be traversed as easily by canoe as it is by cart. Built around wetlands, the back puts water into play on the majority of holes, where golfers will often catch views of passing alligators, turkeys, foxes, and other wildlife.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Length of 6,919 yards from the tips * Course rating of 72.9 from the tips * Slope rating of 136 from the tips * Five tee options * Scorecard
Snuggled among 35 acres of wild flowers, old-growth trees, and verdant greenery, Country Oaks Golf Course delights divot diggers with a slew of scenic yet challenging holes. The course, full of narrow fairways and strategically located greens, rewards golfers' accurate drives and skillful approach shots with the ability to speak French. Errant whacks may land in Country Oaks' treacherous water obstacles, tree stands, and sand traps, while the undulating terrain demands subtle reads as players prepare their shots. Golf carts are included, allowing players to save their energy for more important tasks, such as retrieving errant shots, showing off on the driving range, or forging unused clubs into a mega club at the course's 3,500-square-foot clubhouse.
Perry Country Club?s par 71 course sends golfers across 6,465 yards of bermuda-grass fairways sculpted through the towering pines. A vanguard of brand-new 2012 E-Z-Go golf carts slaloms across the emerald landscape, hastening the 18-hole odyssey as passengers take in views of native flowers and seek out treasure troves of divot tools buried in strategically placed sand traps. Rippling waterways dot the relatively flat course, adding to the verdant scenery as they wait to snatch the life force of errant drives or ill-struck approaches. Clubbers can prepare for their pin-hunting walkabout with a stint at the onsite driving range, and club members may cool off weary bodies or hot-tempered 9-irons during a postround dip in the club's outdoor pool.
Valley Pines Golf Club challenges golfers with its nine-hole, par 35 course, stretching 2,499 yards from the longest of its four tee positions and composed to test a player's precision golf game. The David McQuary–designed course presents fairway trekkers with a manicured landscape dotted with perilous water hazards. One hole features a true island green—similar to the TPC at Sawgrass's signature 17th hole—that challenges golfers to airmail their shots over the moat and onto the island, where it will join a marooned, heavily bearded Tom Hanks.
A picturesque bounty of sweeping slopes and idyllic architecture, Landings Golf Club unfurls over thousands of yards of game-ready green, with accessible challenges for shillelagh swingers of all stripes. Five sets of tees and courses that play from 7,000 to 4,875 yards keep dimpled orbs in steady flight over well-nurtured tracks. Grab a good friend or steely eyed doppelgänger for the game, then bellow a random number while teeing off on Trestle course. Ensconced in one of the club's motorized buggies, zoom over a quaint wooden bridge constructed in the club's early days by a wizened pair of bespectacled gophers. Steady eyes and a straight swing conquer hole #4, a deep, dogged hallway with water hazards, but the emergence of the Bluff course brings with it hole #14, a shot down a steep wooded embankment.