FORT GORDON, GA (WFXG) - It's no secret that Augusta is known for what many call the nicest golf course in the world.
Only about 20 minutes away though, is the golf course the Army has dubbed the best in the entire branch.
A quiet cruise through the foliage along Gordon Lakes makes it easy to forget you're on a military post. Sharing the same Georgia landscape as Augusta National, the feeling is very reminiscent.
The fairways are wide open, island greens and fountains have given Gordon Lakes the distinction of the best golf course in the Army, according to course manager Gary Groff.
"It's been ranked the number one course in the Army which is a great honor. I'm honored to be here. You've got a good designer, Robert Trent Jones Senior, who's made it a premier course in the Georgia area..and there isn't much that rivals it," said Groff.
PGA Pro Gary Groff just recently took the reigns as course manager. After 15 years in military golf, his biggest goal with the course is to bring in more civilian involvement to a place many don't even know exists.
"That's one thing that struck my eye when I came here, I called it a treasure, it's not a community development like a lot of courses are. Many have houses. It's not real tight with the trees but we have mature pines all through the course it's really beautiful. Again the design is great. Bunkers are great and we have water," said Groff.
Bringing in the community means yes -- you can play without any military affiliation.
"We need to make them aware of that. There is gate access and they have to get a pass, but you can get an annual pass as a guest from the town," said Groff.
Gordon Lakes Golf Club is one of 160 golf courses operated by the Department of Defense.