Three nine-hole courses by Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player. One club - Champions Retreat.
E S C A P E T O C H A M P I O N S R E T R E AT
â€œThe finest hospitality is invisible. It should be seamless and gracious. That is our aim. We see Champions Retreat as just that - a retreat. We feel fortunate to steward what we consider one of the most distinctive clubs in America and look forward to introducing our members and guests to the cutting edge of tradition at Champions Retreat.â€?
OUR MISSION We celebrate the simple, honest rustic charm of Champions Retreat. With warm hearts and a genuine smile, we embrace the true spirit of southern hospitality. We dare to be curious and creative in our pursuit of what is possible.
A C H A M P I O N â€™ S C A N VA S
A F O RT U I T O U S F I N D One of the most unusual and beautiful tracts of land in the South: a perfect canvas for a course unparalleled in vista and vigor. The three nine hole courses at Champions Retreat inhabit a former untouched timber plot and are built around an Island, a Bluff and a Creek.
CHAMPIONS Palmer, Player and Nicklaus. Perhaps the three most iconic figures to ever play the game. Among them, 13 green jackets, 34 Major victories and 159 tournament wins. Never before have these three collaborated on a course. It will never happen again, making Champions Retreat a singularly unique experience in all the world of golf.
C LU B H I S T O RY Gary Player chose the 1999 Masters Champions Dinner as his setting to recruit Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer to share in his dream of a 27-hole, private golf club located in the golf capital of the world – Augusta, Georgia. Since there were three distinct properties to choose from the question of “Who got what?” quickly arose. Gary Player decided to handle the designation of the properties “scientifically” and wrote “Island,” “Creek” and “Bluff” on the back of three index cards. Arnold chose first because he was the senior of the group and had played in more Masters than Jack or Gary. He drew the “Island” card. Jack drew second since he had won more green jackets than Gary and pulled the “Bluff” card, leaving Gary with the “Creek” property. These three great golf legends came together and designed nine signature holes of championship golf, sculpted from the foundation of 365 faultless acres of skyward Georgia pines, long-standing hardwood and wetlands along the great Savannah River. Champions Retreat is the realization of their collective vision.
During the design phase of Champions Retreat, Palmer, Player and Nicklaus looked to the unique features and typography of the former Canal Lumber holding to guide their plans.
ISLAND NINE Powerful and loose, charismatic and charming, gracious, yet passionately competitive; Palmerâ€™s playing style and personality revolutionized the game. Those elements which made him a legendary athlete also made him a visionary designer. The Island Nine at Champions Retreat shares the personality of its architect, at once challenging and auspicious.
Right: The fourth on the Palmer Island Course starts from the creek and opens up to the majestic Savannah River and an approach around a giant oak guarding the green.
â€œThe Island Nine is flanked on one side by the broad Savannah River and on the other side by the Little River. The spectacular hardwoods and pines along the river bank have been saved and the fairways have been raised to take advantage of the beautiful vistas out in the rivers. There is not a better setting for golf in the South.â€? - Arnold Palmer
BLUFF NINE The Golden Bearâ€™s acumen for creating iconic courses almost rivals his uncanny ability to win. Nicklausâ€™ 23 years between his first and last of six green jackets demonstrates an ability to adapt and compete that no golfer may ever duplicate. Evident in his approach to course design, he uses the natural tendencies of the land to amplify both its risks and rewards.
Right: The par 3 eighth on the Nicklaus Bluff Course is one of the most stunning vistas at Champions Retreat, its beauty belying its difficulty.
â€œThis is a nice, rolling piece of property with mature pines throughout. Very little dirt has been moved, which means the course fits nicely with the existing terrain and its surroundings. This is the kind of site that provides you the opportunity to design a golf course that on opening day will appear as if itâ€™s been there for 50 years. There is a great deal of variety in the routing, with this nine featuring uphill and downhill shots, as well as a balance of right-to-left and left-to-right holes.â€? - Jack Nicklaus
CREEK NINE The Black Knight, the longstanding nom de guerre of one of golfâ€™s greatest competitors, speaks to both Playerâ€™s gentlemanly demeanor and his intense approach to the game. Built to challenge and to charm, the Player Creek Nine is the vision of a man who understands the worth of both power and form.
Right: The ninth provides a breathtaking finish to a beautiful track and an opportunity for the occasional gallery from the porches of the adjacent cottages.
â€œThe site for the Creek Nine at Champions Retreat offered so many opportunities for a wonderful golf course. The opening four holes play a beautiful wetland area while the remaining holes move upland through native hardwood trees. The ninth dramatically plays over and around a large lake on the right. All level players will finish the nine with a variety of shot-making challenges.â€? - Gary Player
S O U T H E R N H O S P I TA L I T Y
S M A RT S E RV I C E Gracious and seamless, itâ€™s the perfect balance of friendly and formal. Our staff is dedicated to creating an atmosphere where you can completely unwind. Setting the stage to enjoy the day or the weekend is every bit as important as providing unobtrusive, attentive service. We pride ourselves on hosting offbeat, entertaining events designed to charm our members and guests.
FOOD FOR THE SOUL Good food is crucial when it comes to a great experience. At Champions Retreat, our focus is on delivering authentic, beautiful cuisine to delight and satisfy every palate.
Our cuisine mixes the staples and the seasonal.
O U R C H E F S , YO U R K I T C H E N When you stay at Champions Retreat, we are at your beck and call. Our chefs are available to prepare your meal in-cottage, custom to your specific tastes. We provide bar service, and weâ€™ll bring anything from the Grille House to your door.
â€œSouthern hospitality will manifest itself during your entire stay at Champions Retreat. Each culinary adventure is designed to enhance your connection with the property and your companions. The highest quality ingredients from local partners and purveyors at their peak of freshness create dining memories. A dining experience that is regionally inspired and locally sourced.â€?
The Grille House lies at the heart of Champions Retreat.
THE OPPOSITE OF WORK Pretension is something we’d rather do without here. Our major concern is a good time. A cold beer and a warm fire. A flawless drink and flexible schedule. These are the things we’ve built around and why stress stops at our gates.
The bonds formed at leisure are some of life’s strongest.
“There’s just nothing like a sunset and a fire. Lucky for us, we get a lot of glorious examples of both around here. If there is a finer place and time to have a drink and unwind with friends old and new, I don’t know it.” - Steve Brown, Member
A cocktail shared on the porch is time enough to break any barrier.
F R I E N D LY C O M P E T I T I O N While every round is the individual versus the course, a far more satisfying game is often found in challenging a friend. The nines at Champions Retreat are both demanding and encouraging, offering great play to golfers of all abilities.
Golf is a serious endeavor that we donâ€™t take too seriously.
â€œChampions Retreat is a magnificent tribute to Player, Nicklaus and Palmer. The beautifully designed three nines are fun to play for both high and low handicapped golfers and are always in immaculate shape. The accommodations are superb with the touch of customer service you expect from a one-of-a-kind private golf retreat.â€? - Jerry Shumpert, Jr. Vice President Piedmont Group, The Coca-Cola Company
The staff of the course: They know their stuff.
C U LT I VAT I N G C O M M U N I T Y
C O T TA G E S Woven into the stately pines surrounding the clubhouse, the Cottages, which can individually accommodate from 4 to 8 couples, are comfortable and charming. Fireplaces, fire pits and porches complement the rustic sensibilities of these smartly designed, arcadian homes.
“Our experiences have all been positive since becoming a corporate member in 2006. All of our groups, large and small, have thoroughly enjoyed all that Champions Retreat has to offer. The reviews have been glowing; not only about the courses, but also the first-class accommodations, the high quality of the food and service, and the efficiency and friendliness of the staff. We plan to utilize the facility even more in the future as it has proven to be an extremely effective venue for our executives and customers.” - Joe Daleo Director of Corporate Events Emerson – St. Louis, Missouri
“It’s a little tough to describe the experience other than ‘different’, which doesn’t do it justice. Champions is unlike any other club I’ve been to - maybe ‘honest’ is a better way to describe it. It’s comfortable; it belongs here; it’s completely unforced. It’s authentic.” - Mike Fowler, member
Above: One of the cottages lining the ninth on the Player Creek Course.
The Cottages are designed to create a comfortable sense of home.
C O R P O R AT E G AT H E R I N G S We understand the importance of relationships. That is why we put so much care in providing the perfect atmosphere to create them. Itâ€™s why we built our cottages, it underpins our thoughts on service and it manifests itself in the impact an outing at Champions Retreat has for our corporate partners.
Cottages at Champions Retreat provide expansive living and meeting space.
T H E B A R N AT C H A M P I O N S R E T R E AT The more the merrier. We believe that. Itâ€™s why weâ€™ve built the Barn at Champions Retreat - a place for celebrating with friends and family. Lots of them. Whether its raising a glass to toast a new business milestone or honoring the bride and the groom, the Barn will stand as another incredible asset for Champions Retreat, its members and guests.
The Barn at Champions Retreat offers a variety of entertainment venues for large parties or intimate gatherings.
J O I N T H E C E L E B R AT I O N
CAMARADERIE All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. But what about Jill? And what about all the people they work with? Their family and friends? We believe that true success is measured in quality of life, and that it is not a solitary undertaking. Champions Retreat is built around the idea of a shared experience - one where the bonds of friendship and family are forged and strengthened on the course, in the cottages, and around the clubhouse. Join us.
“The hectic pace and never-ending challenges of business gently recede into the background sounds of rustling Georgia pines and the view of a pristine lake as you arrive at Champions Retreat. First class accommodations encourage guests to spend time together and share their stories or relive the day’s adventures on three of the South’s most beautiful and challenging golf courses. Our guests and friends have been spoiled by the charm, hospitality and relaxing environment that combine to make their visit a truly enjoyable experience. Mark Twain wrote, “Golf is a good walk spoiled,” but then, he never came to Champions Retreat.” - Ben Thompson President Aviagen, Inc.
The bonds that last a lifetime are built not at work, but at play.
Champions Retreat 37 Champions Parkway Evans, GA 30809 706.854.6960 championsretreat.net
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