A signature Gene Bates–designed course, Saddle Creek Golf Club's 18-hole layout alternates between dense woodlands and open fields, all brought together by a winding, stone-lined creek that babbles across multiple holes. Encroaching trees, lakes, and angry linebackers loom throughout the front nine, where accurate tee shots must bisect unforgiving fairways. The course's second act takes golfers out of dense tree lines and into an open, links-style layout, where players must conquer deep bunkers, intervening waterways, and unfavorable lies wrought by mounded, Scottish-style terrain. Rounds end with dramatic flair at the 18th hole, where a two-tiered green tests how well players have adjusted to the slick, bentgrass putting surfaces and triangular holes that dot the entire course.
The club's Nineteenth Hole overlooks the emerald expanse, allowing golfers to relive glorious moments over frothy beverages, savory meals from the grill, or mouthwatering sports broadcasts by Brent Musburger on the diner's dual big-screen TVs and LCD projector.
Course at a Glance:
* Designed by Gene Bates
In the deep, dark heart of Chapel Hill Haunted Woods, a specter searches for the head he lost many years ago. This unnamed and hatless figure commands a phalanx of frightful creatures, all of whom await to spook daring visitors every Saturday in October. A chorus of screams emitted from the treetops assures guests they've arrived at the right spot. Once on the path, they'll have to navigate the terrifying trails if they hope to make it out alive, calling upon every ounce of bravery as they snake past a pit of snakes and cross a slender wooden bridge that conceals unspeakable horrors. All proceeds from the frightful enterprise benefit the Young Farmers and Ranchers program, which funds scholarships and targets childhood hunger in the area.
Since 1924, the 9-hole course at Fayetteville Golf & Country Club has carved a thin route through the landscape’s mature trees, creating a well-manicured path for players to follow as they shoot for the par of 35. Though a short course at 2,808 total yards, the loop packs in a tight challenge with narrow fairways and several water hazards. At each green, the Champion Bermuda grass makes for smooth putts and even smoother celebratory somersaults.
Course at a Glance:
Bob Grimes, the founder of Ace High Ballooning, took his first balloon voyage 40 years ago and has been a commercially licensed balloon pilot for more than 36 years. In 1983, he embarked on an 18-month balloon tour as part of the Buick Olympic Balloon Program, a trip that culminated at the Los Angeles Olympic Games. Nowadays, he still floats off on adventures, but on a smaller scale. He and his team of FAA-certified pilots helm chartered hot air balloon trips over the Nashville area, which showcase bird's eye views of Southern scenery, and commemorate the trips with an optional champagne toast.
Tennessee State Park Restaurants has eight eateries under its umbrella, all of which can be found in scenic locales sprinkled across the state. Park-goers can take a load off after a long day of hiking and sightseeing to dig into different specialties. Each spot offers a unique menu—Cumberland Mountain specializes in catfish on Fridays, whereas Pickwick Landing combines Southern cuisine with views of the water.