Stepping onto Reems Creek Golf Course, you may get the feeling you've been transported to the Scottish Highlands. Course architects Hawtree & Sons designed the layout to suggest that region's rolling topography, its sense of quiet solitude, and its roving bands of Brigadoon extras. Undulating hills seem to shift under the shadows of trees swaying in the wind, and dense forest in the foreground gives way to majestic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The 18-hole, 6,492-yard course tests players' mettle with a number of challenges. The long, slightly curved drive of hole 3 seems an open shot, but a guarding sand bunker punishes ill-aimed drives for the green. Hole 16 ups the ante with a pond and two sand bunkers directly in front of the cup.
Course at a Glance:
Black Mountain Golf Club can trace its roots back to 1929, when Scottish-born course architect Donald Ross—one of the most prolific course designers of all time—designed the 9-hole course that would later become the front side of the Club's 18-hole, 6,215-yard layout. Perhaps it was the peaks of the Black Mountains that drew Ross to the area, seeing them as both a picturesque backdrop to the course and a breeding ground for the goats that served as the club's first caddies. Golfers should bring a confident putting stroke to the course, as tricky greens supply the bulk of the difficulty. After rounds, players can unwind over burgers or tacos at the grill, which overlooks the scenic surroundings.
Ashville's Fun Depot brings together a multitude of giddy, rambunctious pastimes for competitors of all ages. Laser tag pits noble light-warriors in battle across two stories covering 1,200 square feet, as they weave and dodge around rubberized pillars in a ritualized war dance guaranteed to trip opponents ($7). Colorful, low-slung, single- and double-seater go-karts zip along a quarter-mile outdoor track ($8), while weather-immune karts race for the finish indoors ($7). Three indoor batting cages lob pitches at four speeds and adjustable heights ($1 for 15 throws), and an 18-hole indoor mini-golf course, festooned with verdant murals and a burbling waterfall, separates the birdies from the eagles ($4 for adults, $2.50 for children 10 and under). Knee-high ruffians can ricochet into a padded play area ($3 all day), with neon tunnels, slides, and a bounce area that allows them to perform calibrated experiments on relative gravitational rates.
Inside Nevada Bob's, everything is dedicated to golf. For instance, one wall is lined with golf bags and another showcases rows of shimmering golf clubs from top industry brands such as Mizuno, Nike, and Callaway. Customers can roam in between this corridor of quality golf equipment to browse golf shoes, inspect the latest golf ball technology, and find the right pair of golf gloves capable of bench-pressing a golf cart. The store also features a repair facility, an indoor golf simulator, and private lessons with an accredited golf pro.
The course at the private Wolf Laurel Country Club leads players on a secluded retreat into the Blue Ridge Mountains, with mature forests and alpine vistas dappling climbs to elevations of more than 5,000 feet. Designer W.B. Lewis planned the fairways so that no two run directly parallel to each other, allowing players to explore every angle of the sprawling resort that’s bounded to the north by the Appalachian Trail. With tee-to-green elevation changes of as much as 300 feet, golfers must make careful club selections to give themselves the best shot at the par of 74. The signature sixth hole, a par 3, couples a downhill tee shot that plummets more than 200 feet with a dramatic vista from the tee box, spelling doom for shots that fly long and golfers who recover slowly after tee-to-green barrel rolls.
Course at a Glance:
Set on a peninsula surrounded by the waters of Douglas Lake, Baneberry Golf and Resort's 6,735-yard course ripples through terrain lined with waterways and the foothills of the Smoky Mountains. Golfers must evade water hazards on ten holes throughout the course while also keeping their shots from straying into tight tree lines. The 523-yard, par-five third hole is Baneberry's most difficult, combining considerable length with a pond that hugs the left side of the green, like a caddy trying to read a putt with his emotions. Before taking to the first tee, golfers can warm up at the driving range.
Course at a Glance: