Golf in the Great Smoky Mountains

By: Olga Wierbicki
Golf course in Pigeon Forge

The terrain-rich golf courses of the Great Smoky Mountains receive rave reviews. The natural beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains and the neighboring foothills is breathtaking.

Due to a unique landscape of rolling hills and river plains, the courses range from mountainous to flat and everything in between. Players have to hit the ball uphill, downhill, and sidehill. Visitors find that these mountain golf courses present very different challenges from the ones they find at home.

The four local golf courses – Bent Creek Golf Course, the Gatlinburg Golf Course, Sevierville Golf Club, and River Islands Golf Club – are all championship courses, each with a distinctive personality.

Bent Creek Golf Course lies at the very foot of the Great Smoky Mountains. Divided into two distinct segments, this very challenging golf course lies half in a scenic valley and half in mountainous terrain. Southern Living magazine rated Bent Creek one of the top 50 golf courses in the South.

The Gatlinburg Golf Course has some of the most dramatic mountainous holes and views found anywhere, with lots of elevated greens, vertical drops, and tight fairways.

The Sevierville Golf Club has two very different and challenging 18-hole championship courses to play within view of the Great Smoky Mountains. Golfers enjoy the unique demands each has to offer. The River Course, a par 72, winds in and around the Little Pigeon River and even features three island holes. The Highlands Course, a par 70, takes advantage of the neighboring hilly terrain, presenting golfers with some very tight fairways to master. The stylish clubhouse is perfect to relax in after a full day playing on the two courses.

River Islands Golf Club, rated four-star by Golf Digest, is the highest-rated public golf course in the state of Tennessee. Five exciting holes actually rest on three natural islands in the French Broad River, making this one of the area’s most fascinating, as well as challenging, courses.

Golfers can find additional variety and new challenges at several outlying golf courses, where the terrain is less steep. Laurel Valley Golf and Country Club nestles in a picturesque little valley surrounded by mountains, while Baneberry Golf & Resort offers a quiet, relaxing setting by Douglas Lake. The Dandridge Golf & Country Club has 27 holes, and Patriot Hills Golf Club is the area’s newest golf course. Beginner or pro, you’ll want to play golf here all year ’round.

Local Golf Courses

Bent Creek Golf Course 865-436-3947; 800-251-9336
Gatlinburg Golf Course 865-453-3912
Sevierville Golf Club 865-429-4223; 888-710-1388
River Islands Golf Club 865-933-0100
Laurel Valley Golf & Country Club 865-448-6690
Baneberry Golf & Resort 865-674-2500; 800-951-4653
Dandridge Golf & Country Club 865-397-2655
Patriot Hills Golf Club 865-475-4466