Birdie Hunt - Golf in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama and North Carolina

Birdie Hunt - Golf in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama and North Carolina

August 21st, 2012 by David Uchiyama in Glimpse 2012-a

The Ross Bridge Resort in Hoover, Ala. is seen Thursday, May 4, 2006. The Champions Tour Regions Classic presented by Bruno's Supermarkets, formerly the Bruno's Memorial Classic, begins Friday at Ross Bridge, the posh new stop on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail that will be home to the event after a 14-year run at Greystone Golf Club's Founder's Course.(AP Photo/Butch Dill)

The Ross Bridge Resort in Hoover, Ala. is...

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

The most likely place to find a golfer's set of clubs during the winter time is in a garage or closet.

But during the summer time, avid golfers -- and even casual duffers -- are known to keep their clubs in the trunk just in case the urge arises to to play 18 or just hit the range to beat a bucket of balls.

The Chattanooga area is blessed to have a variety of courses ranging from elite private clubs, to to casual public courses where a t-shirt is acceptable attire.

The region also is blessed with an equal amount of golfing challenges and entertainment.

Walk with a legend

The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Alabama, named for a golf legend, is a series of 468 holes of public golf located in 11 different locations throughout the state and as close to Chattanooga as Huntsville and Muscle Shoals and as far away as Mobile and Lakewood.

Pack just your clubs or a full suitcase: Chattanooga area golfers can enjoy a day trip to Hampton Cove or an extended vacation playing every site.

Pack some bagpipes: The Highlands course recently was reconstructed to give it an old Scottish links-style of golf.

Escape the beach: The River Course is the only course on the entire RTJ Trail without a single bunker.

Source: The Trail Guide 2012 Edition

Escape in Ellijay

The Whitepath Lodge in Elijay takes advantage of everything the North Georgia mountains have to offer in recreation, especially golf and the opportunity to stay a night or two away from the bright lights.

Put a fly-rod in the golf bag: The Ellijay River runs through several holes on the course allowing golfers an opportunity to catch trout during, or more likely, after a round.

Split activities: It's possible to play 18 holes in the morning then cool off in a kayak in the afternoon.

Pick up the pace: Slow play is understandable, especially with the picturesque views of the North Georgia mountains

Source: Whitepath Lodge Pro Shop

Cross into golf country

Crossville has been deemed the Golf Capital of Tennessee and is the location of the state women's open, formally known as the Golf Capital of Tennessee Women's Open.

Let's play two: Crossville boasts of 10 championship courses, and with its proximity to Chattanooga, it's possible to play two different courses in the same day.

Hear a different Bear roar: The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay is a popular public course for Chattanooga area residents. Crossville boasts its own Bear Trace at Cumberland Mountain.

Similar to Sawgrass: The River Run Golf Club features a par-3 with an island green much like the famed 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass.


Shorter and taller at the same time

Beech Mountain Club is like Lookout Mountain, but also different. Rock City claims you can see seven states. At Beech Mountain, you're almost guaranteed to see North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.

Off the tee: Hit the longest drive of your life in the thinner air of a 5,500-foot elevation and a few down-hill tee shots.

A chance at par: Golf courses are getting longer and longer to offset new technology in clubs. But Beech Mountain remains short at 6,200 yards.

Escape higher temperatures: The elevation and location provides for cooler average temperatures than lower elevations. The average temperature in August is 65.4 degrees and that drops to 60.1 degrees in September.


-- Compiled by David Uchiyama