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 Cork & Cleaver, the most popular restaurant in Waynesville according to TripAdvisor, serves luscious food with exceptional service. Starters on the menu include upscale favorites such as oysters rockefeller, baked with spinach and mornay asiago sauce ($8). Skim over soups and salads to land on the meaty terrain of the 20-ounce Braveheart black Angus porterhouse steak, including the tender filet and the hearty loin ($26). The Cork & Cleaver also offers natural meats, ranched sustainably and without a trace of hormones or antibiotics. All steaks are served with pillowy mounds of roasted-garlic mashed potatoes, a loaded baked potato, or the vegetable of the day.
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: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Total length of 6,492 yards from the back tees * Four sets of tees per hole * Scorecard
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.
Nestled in the scenic shadows of the Smoky Mountains, Bent Creek Golf Course's 18-hole layout stretches across 6,182 yards of fairways that rise and fall among rolling foothills and pristine valleys. Golf legend and course designer Gary Player made deft use of a babbling mountain stream by running it through the course and seamlessly uniting two distinct nines: a front nine that sprawls across the valley floor and a back nine that roams the hilly mountainside like a forlorn sasquatch. The overall effect is a course that does justice to both the sheer scope of the rising peaks with bottom-up views and the panoramic splendor of Great Smoky Mountains National Park when seen from the cresting hilltops of the back-nine. The inventive layout is perhaps best characterized by the 11th hole, a 362-yard par 4 where a 90-degree dogleg-left plays into a green completely surrounded by the creek's rippling waters. A blend of bent and bermuda grasses grows resiliently for golfers striving to play all year-round, and fragrant wildflowers blossom at every tee to warm the hearts of world-weary nine-irons.
Bent Creek bolsters the pin-hunting prowess of its golfers with a staff of PGA-certified instructors that conducts lessons and presides over the domain of their full-service pro shop. A practice putting green helps players trim their score by reading dicey slopes, and the Creek Side Grill hosts postround revelry and community gatherings to decry the historical hardships of the mashie niblick.