Get your fill of mountain golf up in the Great Smoky Mountains for less
There's a lot about mountain golf that appeals to golfers, especially flatlanders like myself. For one thing, you can reach that mythical 300-yard mark (and well beyond) off the tee - easily, if you're hitting your driver downhill.
Well, you don't necessarily have to go out West for your mountain golf fix.
Northeast Tennessee, in particular the Great Smoky Mountains area, is better known for being the childhood home of Davy Crockett, and the tourist-kitschy city of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, but the area does have some good golf courses.
The city of Gatlinburg owns a course in Pigeon Forge - don't ask, it's too confusing - that's one of the better ones. You can stand on most fairways at Gatlinburg Municipal Golf Course and fall over, if you aren't careful. Most of the fairways could double as ski slopes in the winter - they bend, twist, rock and roll like Elvis on vodka. Parts of the course feels like rural Tennessee: long, lonesome cart rides up and down through leafy, deciduous trees growing on the sides of mountains. Other sections are a mite too close to the heavy traffic whizzing by on Dollywood Lane, jam-packed with tourists hell-bent on their way to see their beloved Dolly and her great gifts, both natural and unnatural.
Patriot Hills in Jefferson City is another excellent one. It has bentgrass greens faster than a fat man on a water slide. On top of that, they're large, undulating and have more slope than Klingman's Dome, just a ways south up in the Smokies.
It has the sort of elevation you look for in a mountain course; you'll be hitting up and down all day, traversing the dramatic hills and mounds, and you'll get dizzy trying to figure out how much to club up or down. The elevated tees and greens are nice vantage points to enjoy the scenery.
The fairways wriggle like garter snakes, and the tees show you quite a few awkward and tricky angles. If you're a veteran of the course, you can use those slopes and angles to your advantage; if not - hit it and go find it.
You can find good mountain courses all through these mountains, and the green fees are a fraction of what they are in Phoenix or Las Vegas. Look for the full reviews of some of these courses coming soon.
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