Tim McDonaldThis Week at TravelGolf.com: Aug. 1, 2007

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.

As always, TravelGolf.com welcomes your comments.

4 Night Economy Package, Daytona Beach, Florida

Florida Golf Vacation SpecialDates: July 23, 2007 - December 31, 2007
Stay at Oceanside Inn and play Indigo Lakes Golf Club, Cypress Head, The Golf Club At, River Bend Golf Club and Halifax Plantation Golf Club starting at $298.00.

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Britannia Golf Club - FairwayBritannia Golf Club on Grand Cayman: Sleight of hand creates 2 courses in 1

Anyone who has ever lived on a Caribbean island knows improvisation and flexibility are important. The Hyatt Regency people knew this when they hired Jack Nicklaus to build their Britannia Golf Club on Grand Cayman. With little room on the small island, Nicklaus and his team aimed to provide as much variety as possible in tight quarters. The result is a fun, challenging play with a range of blind shots, pot bunkers and two-tiered greens.

PodcastPodcast: Caribbean golf and sailing trips

Palm Springs Triple Play Golf Challenge

Palm Springs Golf PackageDates: June 1, 2007 - September 30, 2007
Play 3 of the top golf courses in Palm Springs including PGA West Stadium, PGA West Nicklaus, PGA West Norman, La Quinta Mountain, Trilogy Golf Club and Classic Club. Challenging desert courses together in one great package, starting from $179.

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Dave Berner's PodcastGolfing the Canadian Rockies, American Singles Golf Assoc., Kiel Christianson reviews the Zero Friction Tee

"TravelGolf.com This Week" host Dave Berner talks to Gordon Schultz of Golf Canada's West about the stunning golf that's available in the Canadian Rockies. Are you single? Love to golf? The American Singles Golf Association can help you meet someone. And: Equipment Editor Kiel Christianson on the Zero Friction Tee.

BadGolfer.com: Meet Patricia Hannigan, Golf Girl

Colin HalpernColin Halpern, Domino's Pizza's Europe tycoon, gets into luxury FL real estate

Even among other eccentric millionaires in south Florida, Colin Halpern stands out. He's been told he looks like Sean Connery, and the British accent surely helps foster this sense of transatlantic cool. At 70, Halpern has reached an age when most people are settling into a slow, calm lifestyle, but not him. The former chairman of Domino's Pizza's UK operations has caught the real estate bug and is too busy transforming ultra-upscale private golf course communities to slow down.

Also: Golf real estate news at GolfCourseRealty.com

CLIENT FEATUREMystic Dunes Resort & Golf Club

Mystic Dunes Resort & Golf Club a gem for golfers in Orlando, Florida

Mystic Dunes is located within the beautiful Mystic Dunes Resort & Golf Club in Orlando. Carved from rolling orange groves and native protected wetlands, the resort is situated in the heart of the world's premier vacation destination, yet offers a feeling of escape from it all. Champions Tour Player and NBC Lead Golf Analyst Gary Koch created a masterpiece certain to go down as one of the most unique courses in Florida. For more, see MysticDunesGolf.com.

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Baja California Sur Golf Packages
Dates: January 29, 2018 - January 9, 2019
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