STEVE PIKE ANYWHERE: Reynolds Lake Oconee

The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee is located about 75 miles from Atlanta and considered by many as one of the most beautiful lake getaways in the South offering guests an opportunity to golf or engage in a variety of outdoor activities.

LAKE OCONEE, Ga. – The Ritz-Carlton, Reynolds Lake Oconee continues to evolve as one of Southeast’s top resorts. Located on 30 shoreline acres within the 3,000-acre Reynolds Lake Oconee resort community, the 251-room property (not counting cottages and Lake House) offers guests all the personal services Ritz-Carlton is known for, on top of Reynolds, Lake Oconee’s amenities that include six golf courses, Reynolds Kingdom of Golf presented by TaylorMade, 374 miles of Lake Oconee shoreline, and the Sandy Creek Sporting Grounds, which is heaven on earth for shooting and archery enthusiasts.

A few steps outside of the lodge-like Ritz-Carlton, located 75 miles from Atlanta, is a new 6,000 square-foot pavilion, motorized and non-motorized water activities, a swimming pool and large green lawn. Across the street is the clubhouse to the outstanding Rees Jones-designed Oconee Course and Linger Longer Steakhouse. Georgia’s restaurant, which specializes in Southern cuisine (don’t miss the Fried Green Tomatoes) is downstairs; and the Barrel Room, a whiskey-centric bar, opened earlier this summer just off the lobby.

“We’ve come a long way since (owner) Met Life arrived in 2012,’’ said Ritz-Carlton, Reynolds Lake Oconee General Manager Ralph Vick. “Everything has been elevated on the golf side – and the real estate side has come back. Met Life is continuing to invest in the asset.’’

The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee can create an unforgettable golf vacation with packages that deliver weekend getaways and unrivaled golf experiences.

Those continued investments include the complete renovation of the Jack Nicklaus-designed Great Waters Course (set to re-open in October 2019) and a 2019 renovation of Linger Langer steakhouse. In the discussion stages, Vick said, is a second resort pool and residential component near the hotel.

“When I look at what Met Life has done in commitments to capital investments at Reynolds Lake Oconee – it’s long-term ability to pump money into it has been a windfall for all of us,’’ Vick said. “That’s not always the case in the hotel market. So that commitment to make Reynolds continuously better is big.’’

And just as important, Vick said, Met Life has created a seamless relationship with The Ritz-Carlton, Reynolds Lake Oconee and the Reynolds Lake Oconee community.

“That wasn’t always the case,’’ said Vick, who has been GM at the hotel for the past eight years. “It’s nice whenever something gets done on (the community) side because I’m informed of it. There is a strong collaboration of how we impact the membership and how the members impact our guests that makes my job easier.’’

And it helps make The Ritz-Carlton, Reynolds Lake Oconee a Georgia gem.

Steve “Spike” Pike is a lifelong journalist whose career includes covering Major League Baseball, the NFL and college basketball. For the past 26 years, Spike has been one of the more respected voices in the golf and travel industries, working for such publications as Golfweek, Golf World and Golf Digest for The New York Times Magazine Group. In 1998, Spike helped launch the web site for the PGA of America. As a freelance travel and golf writer, Spike’s travels have taken him around the world. He has played golf from Pebble Beach to St. Andrews, walked the Great Wall of China, climbed an active volcano in the Canary Islands, been on safari in South Africa and dived with sharks off Guadalupe, Baja California. He lives in Delray Beach, Fla, and can be reached at

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