Posted by Phil Rodgers in Things to Do
Spring is Goldilocks season in the Smokies. It's not too hot, and it's not too cold. In general, the weather here is just right for all kinds of outdoor fun, including everything we have to offer at Goats On The Roof. It's hard to beat a pleasant spring day when you're enjoying our alpine coaster, gem mining attraction and live-goat exhibits.
Golfing is another popular springtime ritual for many folks. And yes, there's lots of golf to be played when you visit the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, but if the mention of the sport immediately brought beautiful, sprawling golf courses to mind, we should remind you that that's not the only way to have fun knocking a little ball from point to point.
In the Smokies, we have some awesome championship golf courses, but we also have a lot of really cool miniature golf courses. So whether you prefer to measure a golf hole in hundreds of yards or dozens of feet, this is the place to go to put your club skills to the test. In this post, we'll share our overview of both kinds of golf and leave you to choose your favorite. Or you could make it a total golf vacation and make time for both!
A lot of golfers come to the Smokies every year for the sole purpose of hitting the outdoor links. You'll find several quality courses throughout the area, including Pigeon Forge, Sevierville and Gatlinburg.
Pigeon Forge is home to-we're not joking-Gatlinburg Golf Course. This public course is located just a couple of blocks off the Parkway and was once named Best Municipal Golf Course In Tennessee by Golf Digest. The course itself is wrapping up an irrigation and drainage makeover that should be complete by April. Until then, only nine of the course's 18 holes are open for play, but that shouldn't be the case for much longer. Gatlinburg Golf Course offers the well seasoned and the beginner golfer alike a challenge on every hole, while the scenic beauty is hard to beat. With breathtaking views of the mountains, Gatlinburg Golf Club has been acclaimed as one of the most picturesque courses in America.
Another popular course is Bent Creek Golf Course, located on the extreme northeast end of Gatlinburg. Originally designed by legendary PGA golfer Gary Player, this club is celebrating its 50th anniversary. It offers 18 holes of scenic golf action, from a front nine that hugs the valley floor to a back nine that uses the surrounding mountain terrain to its best advantage.
One more option is Sevierville Golf Club, located not far off Tenn. Hwy. 66 in Sevierville. This is one of the newer golf venues in the area, having only been around since the 1990s, but its two 18-hole courses have something for all experience levels. The Highlands Course is a par-70 that winds through lush, rolling hills and freshwater ponds, while The River Course is a par-72 that runs alongside the scenic Little Pigeon River.
The great thing about miniature golf is that anyone can give it a whirl, whether they've had golfing experience or not. And if they have the right-sized clubs, even the tiniest of tots can give that little colored ball a whack and try to knock it into the hole. Because it is easily accessible by all ages and experience levels, miniature golf is ideal for families. It's one of the few such activities at which mom, dad and most of the kids can compete against each other and still have a good time.
Trying to putt the ball into the hole in the fewest number of strokes is fun because it's challenging, but miniature golf courses are usually fun places in their own right, many having a very specific theme that sets the scene for the entire experience. At Fantasy Golf in Pigeon Forge, for example, there's more than just clubs, balls and cups. Both 18-hole courses are decorated with unique, colorful and larger-than-life structures and figures that go hand-in-hand with the attraction's fantasy theme. You'll see giant serpents, castles, dinosaurs, Pegasus, dragons and much more. They're fun to look at while you're on the course, and they also make for some pretty cool photo opps.