June 22, 2020

Practice Facility Fit for a King

An updated Reynolds Kingdom of Golf presented by TaylorMade open to all golfers

The golfing kingdom at Reynolds Lake Oconee, located at the Georgia resort between Atlanta and Augusta, has always been a preferred east coast home for top amateurs and professionals. Currently, the Reynolds Kingdom of Golf presented by TaylorMade is making a concentrated push to have more resort guests and public golfers enjoy the expanded facilities.

“One of the things our owners at MetLife would like to do is get more recreational players out here and see what their swing is like and how we can help their game,” says PGA Professional Charlie King, who was the founding director at the Kingdom when it opened in 2007, and has served there for a decade. “The better players, the top amateurs, college kids and pros have always known that to compete you have to get better on the course and technology can help accomplish that. Now, we want to show the amateur players, the people here for the weekend or the week how it can help them.”

There is only two such TaylorMade associated practice areas in the U.S. and only one on the East Coast (the other is at TaylorMade’s headquarters in Carlsbad, California and is reserved for touring professionals and VIPs). The east coast model allows golf-loving and ability-challenged resort guests to come out and test a wide variety of new equipment with all the largest technology.

One of golf’s great debates centers on the question: Would legends from the early part of the 20th century like Hogan, Nelson and Snead have been helped or hampered by modern technology? Unless technology really advances rapidly and time travel becomes possible, we’ll never know that answer. However, there is little doubt the Average Joe golfers, just happy to see the ball airborne and advancing, can gain a valuable stash of golfing data here.

While Hogan was left to “dig it out of the dirt,” modern amateurs can dig it out of the data. Using advanced launch monitors (TrackMan in the case of the Kingdom), golfers can measure swing speed, launch angle and ball flight. The numbers provide a clearer picture of what they really do on each swing on the and how they can improve.

The Kingdom’s Doppler radar-powered launch monitor also allows validate the clubfitting process during equipment sales – allowing players switch between club heads and shafts before getting instant feedback on which combination best suits their swing.

There is a putting lab that features a high-speed camera – shooting at 250 frames per second, allowing fitters to exam virtually every stage of the putting stroke.

Furthermore, there are covered and heated practice bays, computerized sensors and the old school mirror so golfers can check their actual swing vs. the image they have in their head.

Now the Kingdom encompasses 16 acres with a 7,600-square-foot facility, located in front of the Ritz Carlton Resort, including a 2,100 square-foot expansion that recently opened.

Thankfully, the gates are wide open so the public can improve their game for fun, profit or just recreation. I guess you could say it’s a facility fit for both the king and the commoners.