Let it be known that in a world where PTO was unlimited, I’d always arrive in Athens on Thursday night in order to have the entire day Friday to play.
And I mean that literally, because I would start every Friday of Georgia football weekends off with a round at the UGA Golf Course, home of Georgia’s men’s and women’s golf teams. Not only is it a fantastic course, the pro shop is, in my opinion, the most underrated place in Athens to snag incredible Georgia gear.
If there is a tournament being held there, or you can’t get a tee time, we also love making the short jaunt over to Winder and getting a round in at The Chimneys. Elevation changes throughout the course make for awesome sight lines, and the Par 4s on the back are drivable if you catch hold a’ one – really, really fun.
Alas, my PTO is limited, so I usually take a half day on Friday and get in to town by mid-afternoon. These are my Friday must-dos.
3 pm on football weekend Fridays: Go see Jason Hasty for a UGA Athletics Archives tour
Each fall, UGA Athletics History Specialist and DGD Jason Hasty puts together an exhibit highlighting a different area of UGA’s robust athletic history.
At 3 pm on game weekend Fridays, you can take a free guided tour of the exhibit, led by Jason himself. This year’s exhibit – Not Only for Ourselves – celebrates the integration of Georgia’s athletics programs and it is excellent.
There is no one more passionate about the history of Georgia’s athletic programs, nor more diligent about its preservation and celebration than Jason Hasty, and spending an hour with him on a football Friday afternoon is the perfect way to kick off the weekend.
Five Points Bottle Shop
After you feed the tree of knowledge, the next step is to get yourself equipped to moderately and responsibly quench your thirst throughout the weekend.
I always make my way down Milledge and head to Five Points Bottle Shop to stock the cooler for the weekend’s festivites.
They’ve got a huge selection of craft beer, including all of the local Athenian craft brewers, so I make sure my drink choices have a Classic City flavor to them.
Also, they always have TH Estate Wines in stock. The TH in that is for none other than Terry Hoage, DGD and Heisman finalist who went on to a Super Bowl-winning career in the NFL.
After his playing days, Terry and his wife Jennifer started the winery, and the bottles they produce are ideal for a celebration like a a Georgia football weekend.
The other things apropos about serving TH Estate Wines at your tailgate? Each wine name has a double entendre that plays off the style of the wine and Terry’s playing days. For our weekends in Athens, we always go with The Hedge, 5 Blocks or Red Black because, duh, Go Dawgs!
Last Resort Grill
There are so many incredible places to eat in Athens, so for your Friday night supper, you could pick a spot out of a hat, and you couldn’t go wrong.
However, Last Resort Grill is our favorite place to enjoy a Friday night meal. They don’t do traditional reservations, but you can take advantage of their call-ahead seating. Even if you miss out on that, there’s nothing wrong with walking up, getting your name on the list, and having a cocktail at their slick outdoor space while you wait.
Once it’s eating time, I usually have to restrain myself from order seven or eight Potato Onion Pancakes as a starter. Lawd, they’re good. I know you should try different things, but for the entree, I usually go either 6-Hour Pig or the Last Resort Praline.
Obviously, this weekend, the only choice is the 6-Hour Pig.
Hopefully, you aren’t like me and didn’t stuff yourself with appetizers because it is imperative that you save room for dessert. Last Resort offers sweet treats from Cecilia’s, and trust me, when you get the chance to eat something from Cecilia’s, you eat something from Cecilia’s. You can thank me later.