Sky Blue Sky Valley


The short, captivating par-3 15th drops down over a Mud Creek ravine to a three-stepped green.

The short, captivating par-3 15th drops down over a Mud Creek ravine to a multi-stepped green.

The original designer of this resort course tucked up in the canyons of the Blue Ridge Mountains just south of the North Carolina border was not a golf course architect and, as of a few years ago at least, purportedly still lived on the property.

He actually did a great job of routing the course to show off the lovely views, and while he boxed himself into corners a few times the efficient hole sequencing makes perfect sense.

There are still a few tight turns (the opening drive turning almost 90-degrees around a hillside is incredibly awkward), but Bill Bergin was able to loosen up some cramped quarters by moving a number of greens and tees to unused areas and entirely rebuilding a few other holes. These include a sporty 300-yard uphill par-4 at 16, the tough 18th and the memorable 15th, which shoots 130 quaint yards across a gorge to a deep green with four levels dripping down toward the precipice.

Sky Valley's 17th and 18th, two demanding par-4's, show the beast within the beauty.

Sky Valley’s 17th and 18th, two demanding par-4’s, show the beast within the beauty.

The course runs primarily through the valley along Mud Creek and a few lakes but sends more exciting sorties up the flanks for scenery and the better holes. It’s one of the prettier spots of golf you’ll find in North Georgia, though the modest ski component, where a generation of Georgians had their first (and in many cases, last) experience with the sport is now defunct as new ownership continues to focus on golf and upgrading the lodging and amenities. (87)

Sky Valley Resort & Country Club

Sky Valley

Architect: Bill Watts/renovated by Bill Bergin in 2007

Year: 1971

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