Destination Wedding and Golf In GeorgiaWords by Courtney Kellar
Georgia + golf = Augusta National Golf Club. This is what nearly all golf aficionados will think, but there’s more to Georgia golf than The Masters. Drive 30 minutes northwest and you’ll find the Champions Retreat Golf Club. The club’s concept was born at the 1999 Masters Champions Dinner by none other than Gary Player. He recruited his friends, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer, to create a 27-hole golf club. What resulted were three, nine-hole courses, each designed by one of the game’s “Big Three” – a feat found nowhere else in the world.
In addition to world-class golf, Champions Retreat has 16 cottages and a 10,000 square-foot Party Barn ideal for destination weddings. While the club is members-only, hosting your nuptials here grants you and your guests access to the cottages and all three courses. Each cottage features luxe and cozy décor, fireplaces and large patios complete with comfy rockers. Champions Retreat will play a humble host to any wedding group with its small village feel and location along the banks of the Savannah River.
Treat your guests to a traditional oyster shucking at your cottage, but consider the Party Barn for larger gatherings. Unveiled in 2016, the space is the definition of rustic-chic and would make a gorgeous setting for any Southern-inspired wedding. You and your guests can dine beneath chandeliers and dark wood trusses before stepping onto the back porch for a beautiful view of the Bluff course’s ninth hole. The barn can accommodate up to 150 people, but tenting the nearby event lawn can double your guest list to 300.
Champions Retreat is known for its themed parties, so consider a fun welcome dinner like a Low Country boil. Non-golf lovers will also feel at home, because it’s meant to feel like a sanctuary rather than a traditional, jaunty golf club. The illustrious Arnold Palmer said, “There is not a better setting for golf in the South,” and there’s no higher praise than that.
This article first appeared in Destination I Do's Fall/Winter 2016 issue. You can order a copy here.
Photos courtesy of (in order of appearance): Brent Cline (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 7th) and Champions Retreat (4th and 6th).
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