The recently-opened Sandy Creek Sporting Grounds is the latest amenity at Reynolds Lake Oconee, the great 12,000-acre resort community between Atlanta and Augusta.
The Sporting Grounds complex encompasses nearly 100 acres and features a 20-station sporting clays course, five-stand shooting range and air rifle facility, as well as archery and instructional/games areas and a hiking course. The guest center is to the existing, 1800s-era Sandy Creek Barn and a 40-acre lake.
The coolest part, however, is yet to come. Justin Jones, the British international shooting champion who designed the Sporting Grounds, is a long-time friend of legendary Formula One racing champion Jackie Stewart. In 1985 Jones helped build The Jackie Stewart Shooting School at famed Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland.
Stewart, by the way, was a shooting champion before he was a racing legend. He won a won a clay pigeon shooting competition at age 13 and went on to become a member of the Scottish shooting team.
Jones named the 12th shooting station at the Sporting Grounds at Reynolds Lake Oconee, “The Glorious Twelfth,’’ in honor of the annual Aug. 12 opening of the grouse shooting season in Scotland. Jones even designed a grouse butt at the 12th station and – here’s the best part – will have Stewart narrate a welcome to the station.
“We’ll have a small box on the stand. People can press a button on the box – just like a museum – and Jackie will do a little ‘Welcome to shooting school’ at Reynolds and talk about his shooting career as well as his racing career.’’
Jones said he hopes to have the box and narration in place by the end of this month.