Golfing in the Smoky Mountains
Golfing in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee is any experience all its own. The courses in the area provide a wide array of golfing challenges and the Smoky Mountains paint a stunning visual background that helps frame a perfect day.
There are 5, 18-hole Golf Courses in the immediate Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Kodak and Sevierville area and 7 additional courses within 30-45 minutes. Each course has its own distinctive setting and challenges and several have been honored by national magazines. Golf Digest honored the Gatlinburg Golf Course as “Tennessee’s Best Public Course”, the Sevierville Golf Club as a “Best Public Course” and River Islands Golf Club as one of “Tennessee’s Top 10 Courses”. Bent Creek was listed as one of the “Best 50 Courses In the South” by Southern Living.
But enough about accolades, let’s talk fairways and greens and start with the newest course in the area, the Sevierville Golf Club.
This Club offers two, 18-hole courses. The River Course follows the Little Pigeon River and all but 5 holes are alongside water or have the green protected by the river or a pond or lake. In addition, this par 72 course is 7,155 yards long!
The Highlands Course is a par 70 and covers 6,372 through the foothills of the Smokies, so you face elevated greens, hidden approaches, trees and sand traps in addition to water. However you can take relief at Mulligan’s on the 19t hole in the beautiful, full service clubhouse, which is also set-up for small events and of course for tournaments.
The Gatlinburg Golf Course is located in Pigeon Forge off of Teaster Lane and Dollywood Lane, a stone’s throw from the Parkway. But you will only see or hear anything of the city or the traffic on 3 holes, the rest of the time you are lost in the hills and valleys of the course. This par 71 course is 6,280 yards long, a par three hole that is 194 yards long with a 200-foot drop from tee box to green!
Bent Creek Golf Village is located outside of Gatlinburg and is truly nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains. This Gary Player-designed course is a par 72 and features a front nine that travels along the Pigeon River but wide fairway giving golfers plenty of opportunities to find grass instead of water. The back nine is a true mountain course with changing elevations, hidden holes and lots of target golf. All along the course the mountain views are spectacular.
River Islands Golf Course is located just off of I-40 at the 407 Exit to the Great Smoky Mountains. This course features rugged terrain that will punish an errant shot but provides plenty of majestic scenery. Several holes require tough shots over the French Broad River and 3 islands for interesting play. Arthur Hill designed this par 72, 7,001 yard course.
Other adjacent course include Baneberry Golf & Resort, Dandridge Golf & Country Club and Patriot Hills in Dandridge, Laurel Valley in Townsend, Bays Mountain Golf Course and Creekside Plantation – a 9-hole course in Seymour, and Sequoyah National Country Club in Cherokee, NC.
Nearby Knoxville, TN offers an additional 14 courses for those willing to drive about an hour or more from their Smoky Mountain accommodations.
For those golfers salivating over playing golf on these unique Smoky Mountain courses, don’t worry because there is plenty to see and do for your spouses and families when you visit the area. There are also a lot of dining options and a range of accommodation choices including hotels, cabins and condos.
So tee’em up in the Smokies and hit ‘em long and straight!