'The best finishing hole in America': McLemore offers weekend getaways for golf and more on Lookout Mountain

The 18th hole at the course at McLemore sits on a perched terrace overlooking the valley below. / Staff file photo

The back of Lookout Mountain has a new getaway spot, McLemore, which is ideal for a golfing weekend with friends or a quick mountaintop escape for couples or families seeking a change of scenery.

McLemore's main draw is its 18-hole Highlands course, designed by Rees Jones and Bill Bergin and featuring what Golf Digest called "the best finishing hole in America since 2000."

The resort also has a six-hole Bill Bergin-designed short course, The Cairn, that can be played in about 45 minutes.

McLemore CEO Duane Horton says most of the course's players are regional, though McLemore has also hosted players from faraway states like California and Alaska.

Though the resort's hotel is not yet under construction, several homes on the property are available to rent as part of the Stay and Play option.

Eight lodging options that range from three to seven bedrooms are now available, and four more are set to to be completed in the next few months.

"There's not a lot of mountain courses that are necessarily available for stay-and-play packages without being a member," Horton says, adding, "[McLemore] is a place you have to see to believe. The pictures do not do the place justice."

There's plenty to keep non-golfers occupied as well. Hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, rock climbing and hang gliding are among the activities available nearby for adventure seekers. The resort also has a number of its own trails to explore, along with tennis courts and a pool that's open seasonally beginning in May.

The Creag - the resort's restaurant, which is open to club members and resort guests, and to the public by reservation - offers elevated comfort food, a curated selection of wine and whiskey from around the world, and cocktails in a setting with striking views of the Chattanooga Valley.

"Lookout Mountain is really a destination in and of itself," Horton says. "This is a place to use as a base to explore the rest of Lookout Mountain that's still only 35 minutes from the rest of downtown Chattanooga, and it offers a full golf experience on top of the mountain."

Stay and Play packages start at $250 per person, with discounts offered on weeknights and during the off-season November through March.

For more information or to book a stay or restaurant reservation, visit themclemore.com or call 1-800-329-8154.