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Savannah Lakes Village

2022 - A Recreational Oasis

By David Theoret

Attention retirees and those looking to move South: You don't have to go all the way to Florida to enjoy great weather year-round.

Savannah Lakes Village is a recreational oasis located in McCormick South Carolina. This sprawling lakefront community is located at the confluence of the 71,000+ acre Lake Thurmond and Western South Carolina's Freshwater Coast Region. The Freshwater Coast has some of the nation's most scenic inland waterways and public lands. The community borders 65,000 acres of state parks and national forests and has 25 miles of shoreline along Lake Thurmond. In addition to every imaginable watersport, the community features two member-owned golf courses, two restaurants, a recreation center, community docks, and much more.

There's a wide variety of community events at the two restaurants - the River Grille and Monti's - for members and their guests to enjoy. Both cater to members and serve some delicious food.

The recreation center offers several daily activities and exercise programs and enough exercise equipment to work every muscle in your body. After a strenuous workout, relax in either the indoor or outdoor pool. If you'd rather swing a racquet than a golf club, play on one of their many tennis and pickleball courts. And don't forget, Savannah Lakes Village is surrounded by nature with over 150 miles of forest and water trails to explore. They are also at the forefront of technology, with one of South Carolina's best direct-to-the-home fiber optic broadband networks, allowing residents to stay connected, whether they work from home or just want to be entertained.

With so much to do, the main attractions are the two championship golf courses, Tara and Monticello. Both courses are carved from the rolling landscape wrapping Lake Thurmond and offer beautiful views and challenging golf holes. These 36 holes are recognized as some of the state's most scenic, challenging, and inspiring golf holes. If these two courses aren't enough, SLV borders Hickory Knob Resort which has a 3rd lakefront golf course

The Tara Golf Course winds its way around Lake Thurmond and through the hillsides of the Sumter National Forest. The land's rolling topography becomes more pronounced as your round progresses with stately oaks and pines that seem to frame each hole.

The elevation changes on the first three holes on the Tara Golf Course at Savannah Lakes Village prepare you for what's to come. For example, on the par 4, 3rd hole you tee off from an elevated tee box down into a valley and then play an approach shot back up the hill that is at least one extra club. There's also some good elevation change on Number 5, the course's first par 3, which features an elevated tee and an elevated green with water in between the two and woods on the right.

The 6th hole is yet another example of the elevation changes. This dogleg left par 4, plays 402 yards from the White Tees. It ends up playing significantly longer since everything from the 150-yard marker into the green is extremely uphill. The trees on the left side of the tee box can be carried with a good fade and the ball should come to rest in the middle of the fairway. Push your tee shot right and you'll be flirting with a fairway bunker. Since it takes a drive of 250+ to get to the 150-yard marker, most players will be hitting a long iron or hybrid uphill into the green - it's at least two extra clubs up the hill. The good news is there are no bunkers around the green but the mounding and grass swales that surround the putting surface can wreak havoc on a good score. This beautiful and challenging hole is Tara's #1 handicapped hole!

Number 9 is a very interesting hole; it plays 333 yards from the White Tees. It's dramatically downhill and actually plays about 310. Longball hitters may be inclined to drive the green, however, the large lake in front of the green will make you think twice. With out-of-bounds to the left and trees that can block out an approach shot on the right, it's best to hit something that will leave a manageable shot into the green and take the water out of play. It may be short but it's still a fun golf hole.

Number 18 is a great hole to end with and shares the green with Number 9. It only plays 337 yards from the White Tees. The hole doglegs to the right with a fairway bunker on the left that catches a lot of errant tee shots. The grass bunkers on the right side are full of long, gnarly grass but can be easily carried off the tee. Just like Number 9, hit something less than driver off the tee to take the water in front of the green out of play and leave yourself a manageable shot into the green.

The Monticello course could be considered a modern-day links-style course with gently rolling fairways and water hazards along a tree-lined shoreline. The course plays 7,032 yards from the back tees and features MiniVerde Bermuda greens with Zoysia collars, and Bermuda fairways and rough. You'll find water on nine of the 18 holes, and a dramatic lakefront peninsula on the front nine.

The Monticello Course has several memorable holes as well. Number one is a short, 388-yard par 4 (White Tees) It starts with a blind tee shot and from there plays uphill. A good drive that finds the fairway is going to leave a short pitch shot into a rather large green. Make the putt and get your round started on the right foot.

Holes three, four, and five epitomize what Savannah Lakes Village golf is all about. They are three of the course's most photographed holes. The 3rd hole gives you your first glimpse of Lake Thurmond. It's a picturesque par 5 - 460 yards from the White Tees - with a fairway bunker on the right and woods on the left off the tee. Longball hitters might have a chance to go for the green on their second shot but beware of the water on the left. Number 4 is a par 3 that plays 139 yards, right into Lake Thurmond. A large bunker protects the front, back, and left sides of the green. It's a great-looking par 3 hole.

The 5th hole continues to wrap its way around Lake Thurmond. It's a 346-yard, par 4, dogleg left with two lakes that come into play. Carry the bunker on the left off the tee but don't go too far left or you'll flirt with the second lake. A good tee shot will leave a mid-iron over water into a green that slopes left to right and is wider than deep. It's protected on three sides by sand.

Savannah Lakes Village is a bundled community meaning that membership is included with property ownership. It's a vibrant community with a lot of interaction between neighbors and residents. They recently opened a $3 million healthcare facility on site, which is owned and operated by Self Regional Hospital. Savannah Lakes Village is an easy drive from several major cities including Augusta, Greenville, Charlotte, Columbia, Charleston, and Atlanta. For more information visit them online at

Article Tags: South Carolina Golf Courses, Golf in South Carolina, Savannah Lakes Village, Golf Courses in McCormick South Carolina,Tara Golf Course, Monticello Golf Course

Revised: 01/31/2024 - Article Viewed 1,027 Times

About: David Theoret

David Theoret David Theoret has been in the golf and golf travel industry for over 10 years, primarily selling online advertising. For the past seven years, he has also been a golf writer, reviewing golf courses, resorts, destinations, equipment, golf apparel, and training aids - the latter of which never seems to help. David's articles and reviews have been posted on many golf travel and equipment websites.

Growing up in Southwestern Ontario, Canada, it was naturally assumed he would play hockey. Beginning at the age of 3 and continuing into his late 30's, he did just that. However, after one too many pucks to the head, he realized that golf was a lot easier on the body (whoever said hockey players were slow) and took the game up.

After moving to Florida and accepting a position with TravelGolf Media (now part of GolfNow) his love for the game grew exponentially. Most Saturdays you will find him on a course somewhere in Florida or on the practice range reinforcing his bad habits. David plays to a 10 handicap - unless there is money involved in which case it goes considerably higher. He currently resides in Lakeland, FL with his wife Belinda and their two "kids", Madyson and Molly.

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