Sky Valley Country Club: Georgia Golf’s High Altitude Escape
Do you want to experience a natural ‘high’ while also being ‘cool?’ Well, then grab your golf clubs and head for the Sky Valley Country Club in Sky Valley, Georgia. Because of its mountainous terrain, Sky Valley is a community with the highest elevation in Georgia while also having the coolest temperatures in the state, which is refreshing in the summer.
The Sky Valley CC (706-746-5302) is also one of Georgia’s premier destinations for golf, especially if you like mountain golf. Sky Valley CC’s average elevation of 3,500 feet makes it one of the highest elevation golf courses in Georgia. While the Sky Valley CC may be nestled in the mountains of North Georgia, it’s worth the scenic journey to this destination which is surrounded by the Nantahala National Forest.
Georgia Golf Trail
Not surprisingly, the Sky Valley CC is part of the Georgia Golf Trail, which features 20+ golf courses in Georgia.
“Sky Valley is like ‘heaven on earth’ and we in Georgia are lucky to have such an outstanding destination for golfers in our state and for those visiting from the nearby surrounding states,” said Doug Hollandsworth, founder, of Georgia Golf Trail.
At Sky Valley, the golf course sits in a valley that is totally surrounded by mountains. You can check out current conditions by accessing Sky Valley’s 24-hour webcam.
The many tee shots struck from raised tees add an element of excitement, intrigue, and strategy to the Sky Valley golf experience. Sky Valley’s tee-to-green course conditions are exemplary. And, when not playing golf, many Sky Valley residents are also playing croquet, tennis, and bocce ball. Many members of the Sky Valley CC refer to their time spent at the club as like being at summer camp!
Redesigned in 2007
Redesigned in 2007 by Bill Bergin, Sky Valley CC’s length from the back tees of this par-72 layout — 6,900 yards from the tips – is tempered by the high elevation. Each hole has a total of five tee boxes. To give golfers a consistent turf experience, the course now features bent grass from tee to green. And, Sky Valley CC’s practice facilities — a driving range, target greens, putting and chipping greens — are first-class.
“Sky Valley is a fantastic layout,” said Steve Heher, head golf professional, Sky Valley CC. “It’s a mountain golf course that winds its way through the valley. It features great views from the elevated tees at the 2nd, 8th, 12th, 15th, and 17thholes. Our signature hole is the par-3 15th, which has a 60-foot elevation drop from tee to green.”
The view of the 15th green from the tee is rather profound and worthy of being this course’s signature hole.
Heher says the superintendent’s leadership and vision are key ingredients to the Sky Valley golf experience.
“Our superintendent Steve Mason has been here since 2007,” added Heher. “He does a great job to keep this course in great shape throughout the year. He and his veteran crew know what they are doing.”
When you play Sky Valley, the superintendent’s first-class work is on full display.
The greater Sky Valley area is truly as appealing for non-golfers as it is for golfers, especially if you like hiking, fishing, boating, camping, whitewater rafting, mountain climbing, bird watching, and zip lining.
Located in Rabun County, Sky Valley also has a strong reputation of producing locally grown food which is why this area is called the Farm-to-Table Capital of Georgia. A winery and vineyards are also in this area. So, when you visit Sky Valley, come with an appetite and a taste for the finer things in life. You won’t be disappointed.
“We try to utilize local ingredients from vegetables, fruits and proteins,” said Elizabeth Truax, clubhouse manager, Sky Valley CC. “You can be assured that each dish prepared offers scrumptious cuisine.”
The clubhouse, which opened in 2013, is another big plus at the Sky Valley CC. This building features a natural stone floor-to-ceiling fireplace, glass window walls, exposed beams, and hardwood floors. The clubhouse has an outdoor terrace where guests enjoy the views while dining in a comfortable, casual setting.
It’s fair to say that however long you stay at Sky Valley, it’s never going to be long enough since there’s always something else to do.
For variety in your accommodations and dining while at Sky Valley, consider staying and eating at the Dillard House in nearby Dillard, Georgia. Here, the accommodations are first-class. And, the family-style dining style will satisfy all hunger pains. By the way, the homemade sausage served for breakfast and the fried chicken for lunch and dinner are outstanding! And, the sweet iced tea is delicious. The Dillard House has been operating for more than a century.
Once you and your family visit Sky Valley, this destination will soar to the top of your family’s annual must-visit list. Sky Valley is not a ‘bucket list‘ destination. Instead, it should be an annual pilgrimage.
For more information about Sky Valley CC and other courses along the Georgia Golf Trail, access www.GeorgiaGolfandTravel.com.