Driving to Florida, you may not realize how close you are to Georgia Veterans Golf Course at Lake Blackshear in Cordele. When you get off the exit by the Krystal — the one with the old NASA rocket in the parking lot — you’re only about seven miles to the course. And it’s a drive worth making.
Georgia Veterans is a good parkland-style course. If you can keep the ball in the fairway, you’ve got a chance to post a good number. But once you start losing it behind those big trees — often on both sides of the fairway — you’re going to be in a pickle.
A nice design by a Georgia architect
This parkland beauty was designed by Denis Griffiths, who used his mastery of the optical illusion many times throughout the layout. Griffith likes to fool your eyes by making you believe a bunker or a green is closer or farther away than you think. The course plays 7,010 yards from the back and it is still a challenge from the white tees (6,135). Almost every hole is lined by trees, so it’s best to hit it straight and avoid playing bumper pool.
There isn’t much elevation change, especially on the front nine, but Griffiths keeps things interesting by using some strategic mounding. There’s no guarantee you’ll end up with a flat lie all day. The Bermuda fairways are healthy and the Bermuda greens are large and have enough slope to keep your attention.
The best hole may be No. 15, a 560-yard par 5 bordered by a pond on the left. Two good shots will leave you with a wedge into a two-tiered green that’s guarded by four traps and water. The most fun may be No. 12, a 375-yard par 4 that plays downhill and will you saying, “I’d like another crack at that one.”
If you get an opportunity to play Georgia Veterans, take advantage of it. In fact, you can stay at the Lake Blackshear Resort that’s on the property. The rooms are nice and comfortable and overlook the lake. It’s a great way to relax.