(June 29, 2011) - Bald eagles soar over the deep, clear waters of Lake Thurmond, the largest lake east of the Mississippi. Record-size striped bass tempt anglers. More than 63,000 acres of national forest and state parks, abundant with wildlife, border its edges.
It is hard to imagine a place that embraces the outdoors more than Savannah Lakes Village & Golf Clubs. This 4,000-acre sporting community, which sits in the Little River Blueway Outdoor Adventure Area, has a rare, protected scenic beauty.
Lake Thurmond straddles two states, and with 70,000 acres it’s big enough to have two names. (On the Georgia side, it’s referred to as Clark’s Hill Lake.) The forested shoreline has only 150 miles of 1,200 miles zoned for development; Savannah Lakes occupies 25 of those miles.
The surrounding lake, blueway and land not only buffer the club, but also provide members with a remarkable selection of outdoor sporting opportunities. There is a strong focus on programming that encourages members to enjoy more than 100 miles of hiking and biking trails, kayaking and fantastic fishing and hunting. The Outdoor Adventure Club is part of the initiative providing programs and social events to promote participation in the great outdoors. The Rod and Gun Club, with more than 100 members, organizes outings and events for hunting, fishing and shooting enthusiasts.
The community recreation and cultural center provides even more activities, from bowling and bocce to yoga and swimming. The tennis program, which welcomes players of all levels, has seen great growth. The men’s group won South Carolina’s USTA championship in 2009 and were runners-up in 2010. This community is a very attractive place to retire not only because of its location, affordability and beauty of the land, but also because of its easy access to major cities and medical centers. It doesn’t hurt, either, that golf membership is included with property ownership, as are all the amenities. There are no golf initiation fees to burden new owners, and members can choose from very attractive unlimited annual play packages or daily fees as low as $20, including cart.
But don’t let the low golf rates give you the wrong impression. The golf is affordable because, like all the amenities at Savannah Lakes Village, the courses are owned by the not-for-profit community. Property owners have full access to two award-winning Tom Clark-designed lakefront courses. The NGA/Pro Golf Tour has held its most popular event, the Savannah Lakes Village Classic, at the Monticello course the past nine years. Both courses, Monticello and Tara, wrap around the forested shoreline of Lake Thurmond, adding scenic vistas to the challenges of the rolling landscape. While each course stretches more than 7,000 yards from the tips, multiple tees allow members to play from as little as 4,500 yards.
Whether through golf, social events or the shared appreciation for the idyllic setting, friendships bloom easily and newcomers feel a sense of community immediately. About 2,000 residents call this spacious community home.
As great as the golf and the beauty of the surroundings are, one of Savannah Lakes’ best selling points is its financial stability. The community transitioned out of developer control more than a decade ago and now its financial position is the strongest it has ever been.
Not only has the community developed a strong, sustainable financial position, it continues to shape amenities and programs to enhance the quality of life for its residents. Several capital programs are in the planning stages, including a major renovation of the Tara clubhouse and an expansion of the tennis complex.
Taking advantage of the good life here is very affordable, with new homes ranging from $149,000 to $850,000 and homesites from $20,000 to $250,000. There are six different neighborhoods offering lake, golf, and interior-wooded homesites. While some are available with lakefront docks, every resident has easy access to the lake through the community docks and area boat ramps.
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