Worth the long drive
When traveling through the mountains, sometimes it’s best to stop and enjoy outdoor activities in this beautiful natural setting.
One such activity is golf, and Rabun County has no shortage of golf options. These include Kingwood Country Club and Resort and Rabun County Golf Club, both just outside of Clayton, Sky Valley Country Club in Sky Valley and Waterfall Club on Lake Burton.
Kingwood, located just west of Clayton off of U.S. Highway 76, is the course most geared for visitors, for either a short or a long stay. In addition to a 6,016-yard layout, the resort features lodging, with The Inn and two- and three-bedroom condos, as well as hiking trails to nearby waterfalls.
The course itself is demanding, despite its short length, with tight greens and tree-lined fairways and plenty of elevation changes.
Sky Valley Country Club is at the heart of Sky Valley, with many of its members residing in the area as part-time residents.
The 6,961-yard course, founded in 1969, is a demanding layout. It’s the lengthiest in the county, with numerous hazards for players to overcome and its fair share of mountainous terrain.
Waterfall Club is a private club, located about 15 minutes west of Clayton on Lake Burton. The layout, which opened in 1999, starts with views of Lake Burton on the front nine, then finishes with breathtaking mountain vistas on the back nine.
It features five par-threes and a pair of back-to-back par fives, both rare in golf course layout. While all four Rabun courses have bentgrass greens, Waterfall Club is one of only two in Georgia with bentgrass fairways.
Golf is not the only attraction at Kingwood, Sky Valley and Waterfall. All three have dining in the clubhouse and are available as wedding venues. Kingwood and Waterfall each feature tennis, aquatics, fitness and a spa.
Rabun County Golf Club, just south of Clayton on Historic Highway 441, is the oldest course in Rabun County, dating back to its 1940 founding. The nine-hole layout isn’t long but features elevation changes and subtle-breaking greens.
No tee time is required at the course, which has a driving range and has memberships available.