Greater Chattanooga region is flush with golfing opportunities

Greater Chattanooga region is flush with golfing opportunities

August 16th, 2013 by David Uchiyama in Life Entertainment

Robert Trent Jones Golf Course at Ross Bridge in Birmingham.

Photo by Contributed Photo/Times Free Press.

FarmLinks Golf Club in Sylacauga, Ala., is a research and demonstration course and the home of FarmLinks Academy.

Photo by Contributed Photo/Times Free Press.

Golfers have been known to store their clubs in their trunk during golf season. You know, just in case the urge arises to suddenly take off and play nine holes, a full round or sneak in some time at the practice range to try to fix their slice.

Duffers scramble nearly every day the sun shines to golf courses across the Tennessee Valley region, which is blessed with an abundance of courses from the flat lands of Alabama to the rolling hills of Georgia to the mountains of North Carolina. Courses range from easy to difficult, from private to municipal.

Some courses are resort style, designed for visitors to make a weekend of it with other activities and lush accommodations. Others stick to just the game.

Down on the Farm

FarmLinks Golf Club at Pursell Farms in Sylacauga, Ala., is a resort that spreads over 3,500 acres and was ranked the No. 1 public course in Alabama by GolfWeek in 2013.

• It's open to everybody: FarmLinks Golf Club is a research and demonstration course featuring the FarmLinks academy led by instructor Lane Savoie, who is willing to teach even the greenest of beginners.

• Pack just your club or add a suitcase: Luxury cabins and cottages are available and guests receive complimentary carts for their entire stay.

• Hunt for birdies: The clay type, that is. FarmLinks also features world-class hunting, clay shooting and bass fishing experiences. So there's more than golf.

• Location: 2200 FarmLinks Blvd., Sylacauga, Ala. 35151

Source: Buffalo Communications

Severely new

The Sevierville Golf Club used to be known as something different. It used to be the 27-hole Eagles Landing, but an expansive renovation and renaming now features two different courses.

• Decisions, decisions: The River Course is set along the Tennessee River and features plenty of sand and water hazards. The Highlands Course features more elevation and wooded areas to provide an equal challenge.

• Pack a swimsuit: The Sevierville Golf Club is located adjacent to the Wilderness at the Smokies Waterpark resort, which provides family entertainment for those who would rather do something than play golf.

• Reasonable rates: The Golf Club offers rates similar to most other resort courses in the area, plus juniors are 50 percent off. Daily rates before 1 p.m. are $59 and $41 after 1 p.m.

• Location: 1444 Old Knox Highway, Sevierville, Tenn. 37876

Source: Ackerman PR

Tucked in the mountains

The Maggie Valley Club & Resort is worth the trip just to play golf in Western North Carolina. It has all the amenities of a traditional resort and sits a quick zip from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, as well as Asheville.

• Club down: Like playing golf in the thin air of Colorado, a challenge to golfers could be selecting a shorter club into the green than a typical yardage at Brainerd.

• Eyes up: It's quite possible to forget about the mountainous terrain and abundance of winged and four-legged creatures while walking (or riding through) the course.

• It's OK to play nine: The Valley Nine is an easier set-up than the back nine, which feature an elevation change of more than 800 feet.

• Location: 1819 Country Club Drive, Maggie Valley N.C., 28751

Source: www.MaggieValleyClub.com

Play a Player

Nob North Golf Course continues a trend in the region of municipalities offering high-quality golf courses to those who want to play. A championship course in the hills of Whitfield County, Ga., it was designed by World Golf Hall of Fame member Gary Player.

• Visage vision: Every golf cart at Nob North is equipped with a touch-screen global positioning system. It provides golfers down-to-the yard accuracy for their shot from any position on the course.

• Bent in shape: Nob North is in the minority when it comes to grass. The greens here are still bentgrass which is a little different than other courses that have switched to Bermuda grass.

• Membership value: Nob North offers a variety of memberships for those who prefer to play it more than once. A monthly family membership for every day of the week runs less than the cost of four regular rounds.

• Location: 298 Nob North Drive, Cohutta, Ga. 30710

Source: Golf Professional Eric Hester

Contact staff writer David Uchiyama at duchiyama@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6484.