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North Georgia’s Currahee Club in a class by itself

The iconic bronze statue of a Native American warrior greets guests at the entryway to the sports complex. Photo by John Hewitt

The iconic bronze statue of a Native American warrior greets guests at the entryway to the sports complex. Photo by John Hewitt

In the language of the Cherokee, “Currahee” means “stands alone.” In the competitive world of golf resort communities, Currahee Club lives up to its name; it stands alone at the top of many best-of lists.

Currahee Club—one of the nation’s top golf and resort properties—is located a couple of hours north of Atlanta in the foothills of northeast Georgia on 1,200 acres of rolling hills and Lake Hartwell shoreline. 

The history of the community is not unlike the history of the great Cherokee nation from which much of the club’s inspiration is derived. What was once an admired and beautiful property fell from grace and suffered from a tainted image, but it has now regained its standing and is a proud example of a rebirth of a community. 

A section of the golf course with Lake Hartwell in the background

A section of the golf course with Lake Hartwell in the background

Currahee Club originally opened in 2003, touting its natural beauty in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, ease of access to major metropolitan areas of the southeast and 800 home sites. Features included an $18 million golf course, a $12 million clubhouse, lakefront access and lofty ideas of what the community would eventually become.

Those lofty ideas and their accompanying marketing messages kept the community operating for a few years but were not enough to sustain a development of its magnitude. By 2011, the clubhouse was closed and 70 percent of the previously sold home sites were in foreclosure—as was the entire resort.

In 2011, Arendale Holdings Inc. purchased the property, which at the time had 24 dues-paying members. Of the 147 lots that had been previously sold, 70 percent were in foreclosure, according to Andrew Ward, current president and managing partner of Currahee Club. Ward assumed responsibility for the future of Currahee Club in January 2012 and was tasked with breathing life into a community that had fallen from favour with members, property owners and the surrounding communities.

 

Ward’s efforts paid off quickly. In 2013, Currahee Club rose to the final four of the Top 100 Golf Communities in the nation and Rolex named the club as one of the “Top 1,000 of World’s Golf Courses.” Since then the accolades have continued each year. Following are just a few of the recognitions:

  •  By 2014 the club was ranked No. 1, “Best Golf Club in Georgia” by the National Golf Course Owners Association and “Best Golf Community of the Year” by Golf World.
  • In 2015, it was recognized as “Best for Club Living” by LINKS magazine and ranked in the “Top 100 Best Residential Golf Courses in America” by Golf Week magazine.
  •  Homes and public buildings on the Currahee campus have been awarded Aurora Awards for best custom home and best amenities for its clubhouse and sports campus.
A community garden helps supply herbs and vegetables to the restaurants, residents and guests

A community garden helps supply herbs and vegetables to the restaurants, residents and guests

Entering the expertly groomed and maintained grounds, one notices that there are numerous greenspaces flanking both sides of the meandering streets that connect the residential and recreational areas of the resort. No detail is overlooked in keeping with the rustic elegance theme of the community. Plank as well as board and batten siding, stacked stones and nature-inspired colors are incorporated in signage, homes and community spaces throughout the property. 

There are 9.5 miles of golf cart trails that wind through hills and alongside ponds, an abandoned quarry with waterfall, and an abundance of natural landscapes. Golf course architect Jim Fazio designed the 18-hole, 7,513-yard, course that is sure to both challenge and excite the most demanding players of the sport. One hole offers views of four states

A prominent feature of the resort is the 48,000-square-foot clubhouse with a pub and formal dining area, men’s and women’s locker rooms, and a pro shop. The clubhouse is perched atop one of the highest peaks on the property and offers a view of the links and Lake Hartwell from its three covered verandas.

Homes begin at $399,000 and homeowners and builders have the opportunity to work with preferred builders or bring their own team. Adjacent to the sales office is a combination design center and post office complete with an antique wooden wall of post office boxes. In the design center, clients can choose from a variety of windows, cabinetry and moulding options to add customization features to their home plans.

A sports complex features swimming pool, gym, tennis, bocce, volleyball and basketball courts in addition to a community garden. Surrounding the sports complex is a large grassed area with fire pit and plenty of room. There is also a lake park that offers canoeing, kayaking and swimming and features hammocks, hiking trail connections and boat dock access.

Currahee Club again stands alone as one the top golf/resort communities in the Southeast and just as the mighty Cherokee, will be standing for many generations to come. It is a place of pride and pleasure with options for all to enjoy.

Members and visitors now have the opportunity to enjoy the multitude of amenities offered at Currahee Club. Visitors can take advantage of introductory weekend rental packages to get to know the facility and may purchase social memberships that allow the use of all amenities.

For more information on Currahee Club or to schedule a tour, visit www.curraheeclub.com.

 

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