Callaway Gardens: Georgia’s Gorgeous Golf Getaway


While millions of outdoor enthusiasts — walkers, hikers, bicyclists, birdwatchers, boaters, fishermen, and zipliners — have been visiting Callaway Gardens since the resort opened in 1952, golf remains the number one athletic attraction at this resort, which is one of the 20+ destinations on the Georgia Golf TrailIn fact, Callaway Gardens is one of the 18 founding members of the Georgia Golf Trail.

When you play golf at Callaway Gardens (17800 U.S. Highway 27, Pine Mountain, Georgia), you may not smell the roses, but you will be able to smell the magnolias, get a glimpse of the azaleas, and possibly spot a great horned owl.

Nestled in the southern foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Callaway Gardens exists “to connect man (and women!) and nature in a way that benefits both.”

Callaway Gardens has two golf courses:  Lake View and Mountain View.  Lake View opened in 1952, the same day that Callaway Gardens opened for business.  The Mountain View golf course, which has been open since the mid-1960s, hosted a PGA Tour event — the Buick Challenge — from 1991 to 2002.  Both courses are worth playing, possibly on the same day, if you have the time and the energy.  And, they are worth playing time and time again.

At Callaway Gardens, golfers have a smorgasbord of choices ranging from 18-hole rates to 9-hole rates to twilight rates.  There are also great replay rates for avid golfers.  There’s also the world-class Twin Oaks practice facility on site, if you decide to take a lesson or work on your short game.

The par-70 Lake View Golf Course is very playable from the back tees – a shade under 6,200 yards.  The course’s biggest defense is the water which comes into play on nine holes, including a memorable six-hole stretch around Mountain Creek Lake.  Like many resort courses, which are focused on being player-friendly, Lake View has very wide fairways.  When the course was designed by J.B. McGovern and Dick Wilson, the goal was to design a course that is as beautiful to visit as it is fun to play.  McGovern and Wilson were successful, as this course’s design reflects the philosophy of Callaway Gardens founder Cason Callaway, who always said that if a golfer lifts his or her head on a shot at Lake View, they should see something beautiful.  The Signature Hole at Lake View is the par-three 10th hole, which features an island tee and a serpentine bridge.  This is a selfie ‘hot-spot.’  A birdie at the 10th is a memory maker.

The par-72 Mountain View Golf Course is a worthy and deserving former host of the PGA Tour’s Buick Challenge because it is a tournament-approved test of golf.  This course stretches up to 7,057 yards from the back tees.  There are three other shorter tees to play from at Mountain View.  Dick Wilson is the architect of Mountain View.  He designed a course which has tighter fairways which are lined by towering pines.  The Signature Hole at Mountain View is the par-five 6th, where the tee shot and the approach shot to the green are played over water.  To play Mountain View, it helps to be a shotmaker and to have a strategic mindset.  Your golfing weaknesses will be exposed when you play Mountain View.  If you have a ‘big-boy’ attitude and can accept a bogey on any given hole, you’ll enjoy playing Mountain View.

It’s worth noting that both Lake View and Mountain View are Four-Star winners of the Golf Digest “Places to Play” award.

When making the trek to Callaway, pack a suitcase as there are many accommodation options on-site.   They include the spacious, first-class Lodge and Spa; the Mountain Creek Inn has a classic hotel feel; the Mountain View Golf Cottages, which overlook the practice facility, are geared for passionate golfers; the Southern Pine Cottages are cozy and nestled in the woods; and the Mountain Creek Villas & Vacation Homes are in a more natural setting.  Each accommodation option comes with free admission to Callaway Gardens.

So, when you are ready to smell the magnolias, get a glimpse of the azaleas, possibly spot a great horned owl, and play two great golf courses, visit Callaway Gardens.  To reserve your time or inquire about golf packages, call 1-800-852-3810 or access


About Author

Mike May is a freelance golf writer based in Wellington, Florida. Mike, an avid golfer, is also a member of the Golf Writers Association of America. He traces his roots as a golf writer to the 1983 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale -- which he attended for all four days -- and then voluntarily wrote his own account of that major championship event. In addition to being a golf writer, Mike coaches girls high school basketball, officiates high school soccer, and works with a cause (PHIT America) that is focused on bringing daily P.E. back to all U.S. schools. Mike is a 1985 graduate of the University of Florida where he earned a degree in broadcasting. Mike can be reached on email at:

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