Nestled in the wooded foothills of the Smoky Mountains, The Trails at Chickasaw Point challenges all club swingers with its par 72 course. Each of the 18 holes challenges budding Arnold Palmers with its own quirks, from sand traps and water hazards to doglegs and putter-eating trees. The seclusion of each hole allows individual groups a rare moment of intimacy with nature, and four USGA-rated tee locations accommodate everyone from the serial shanker to the effortless birdie-achiever. Traveling across the lush lime-green lawns up and down the rolling hills proves much easier with the new Yamaha golf carts or soon-to-be-invented teletransporters.
At Highland Walk Golf Course, Bermuda grass fairways and greens arch over 6,407 yards of steep hills studded by tall Georgia pines for a challenging 18-hole layout. Throughout the round, the course’s dramatically undulating terrain gives way to sweeping views of the countryside as well as numerous blind shots, giving an advantage to players whose golf bags double as periscopes. Georgian course architect Denis Griffith’s creative use of the terrain is on full display at the signature 17th hole, where golfers drive the ball from terraced tee boxes and over the shadowy, intimidating depths of a ravine. Though the elevation changes place precise shot making at a premium, the course features relatively open fairways and greens, providing ample landing areas for aggressive drives and caddies airlifted in for emergency putt-reading services.
Course at a Glance:
Southern Oaks’ 18-hole golf course is designed to incorporate the tree-lined countryside with 6,495 yards of bermuda-grass fairways and greens. A large, wishbone-shaped lake occupies the south end of the course, its surface forming a glassy resting place for errant golf balls and a natural mirror for self-absorbed golf carts. More than 650 trees line the fairways, further compounding the need for accurate shots. Golfers can warm up for rounds at the onsite driving range and practice green.
From its hilltop perch, Southern Oaks' clubhouse beckons golfers for a postround dinner of savory grill cuisine, an ideal way to replenish muscles after a long day of swinging for distant greens or setting personal long-jump records in sand traps.
Course at a Glance:
Located near Table Rock State Park, The Rock at Jocassee nestles a community and golf course at the base of South Carolina's highest mountain. Trout streams wind through the 18-hole course, which challenges golfers of all skill levels with bending fairways and sloping, bentgrass greens. At the clubhouse, a full sports bar and restaurant let visitors relax before heading out to the links or taking a lesson from a golf professional at the driving range. Surrounded by hundreds of miles of hiking and horseback-riding trails, The Rock embeds its golf course within a landscape of towering trees and sweeping foothills, forcing golfers to distinguish between their own balls and rolling acorns.
As one of the state’s largest public-practice outfits, The Eagle Zone Golf Center’s 22-acre campus houses all the amenities of a comprehensive golf-training facility. The all-access day pass gives both novices and seasoned pros ample opportunity to improve every facet of their game alongside a friendly staff of experts. Unlimited range balls allow slaphappy drivers a chance to blow off some steam on the driving range, while the short-game area and putting green hone precision, dexterity, and golf-clap etiquette. Eagle Zone’s heated and covered tees afford winter-weather practice, meaning that come spring, you’ll be able to unleash a barrage of bogeys, birdies, and eagles so potent, your caddy’s hair will turn tartan.
At Champions Golf & Learning Center, players set up their clubs at one of the driving range’s 30 hitting stations before pummeling range balls toward the bermuda-grass landing area. The driving range extends for more than 350 yards and features 16 target areas interspersed at varying distances, creating an ideal training ground for golfers who want to prepare for upcoming rounds or duels with the unruly neighbors on the next block.