Friday, September 18, 2009

Swing in the Smokies: Pack the Clubs for Unique Golf Experience

(HAYWOOD COUNTY, N.C.) - Home to six amazing golf courses, Haywood County offers excitement from tee to green on every hole for golfers of all skill levels - all while surrounded by breathtaking views of the mountainous landscape of the Smokies.

Whether you’re looking for fun outings with family and friends or for a more serious competitive challenge, whether you’re a scratch golfer or 20-handicap with an unmatched love for the game, pack your bags - and your clubs, of course - and swing into the season in a spectacular setting.

Like the game of golf itself, there are plenty of ups and downs on these mountain courses. The setting for a round of golf is nothing short of spectacular, no matter where you might find yourself on the course. The golf courses in Maggie Valley, Waynesville, Canton, and Lake Junaluska are among the most unique in the East, with a mix of flat valley fairways, blind tee shots, major changes in elevation, and undulating greens - during the same round. Best of all, it’s affordable.

“This fall, playing golf in Waynesvilleand Haywood County will be a great value, even more so than years in the past, with better packages at better prices,” said Jeffrey Young, sales director at The Waynesville Inn Golf Resort and Spa.

“What makes Haywood County a unique destination for golf is the weather, the mountain backdrop and the people,” he added. “Golfers can enjoy great fall weather and really get to enjoy the short-range and long-range mountain views while the leaves change color.”

Now’s the time to start planning a golf trip to Haywood County for the fall season, when the mountains and valleys are transformed by the changing leaves into a cornucopia of color - perhaps the only distraction you’ll find on these peaceful courses. Visitors can choose from on-premises lodging or one of the 180-plus accommodations in Haywood County.

“The combination of natural scenic beauty and expertly designed, well-maintained courses really makes Haywood County a unique golfing destination,” said Lynn Collins, executive director of the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority. “Thanks to the mountain setting and comfortable, crisp mountain air, golfing couldn’t be more enjoyable and rewarding - a destination for golfers of all stripes.”

The golf courses include:

• Maggie Valley Club - an 18-hole, 6,500-yard, par 72 course is like two courses in one, with the flat Valley Nine serving as a "warm-up" for the Mountain Nine that features an 800-foot rise in elevation and an increased challenge. (866) 659-4725;

• The Waynesville Inn Golf Resort & Spa - a picturesque 27-hole course that features three separate and distinct par 35, 9-hole courses that start and finish at the clubhouse. The Blue Ridge Course is the most mountainous; the Carolina Course is the flattest; the Dogwood Course is the shortest. In any combination, a round here offers everything one might expect from a Western North Carolina golf course. (800) 627-6250;

• Springdale Country Club - an 18-hole, par 72 course that stretches more than 6,800 yards (from the tips), from the gradual elevation changes of the front nine toward Rocky Face Mountain, to the wide open fairways that await you on the back nine where Cold Mountain serves as a spacious backdrop. (800) 553-3027;

• Laurel Ridge Country Club - fast, undulating greens, lush tree-lined fairways and spectacular panoramic views highlight this 18-hole, par 72 championship course. From the back tees, the semi-private course spans 6,904 yards and offers every challenge expected of a mountain course, yet does it with a delicate balance of fairness and playability. (800) 769-1177;

• Lake Junaluska Golf Course - At this 18-hole, 5,034-yard course, length and distance takes a backseat to accuracy and placement. A number of blind shots, especially coming in, makes this a challenging but fun par 68 for the entire group. (828) 456-5777;

• Iron Tree Golf Course - this 9-hole, par 35 course features 2,616 yards (from the back tees) in a natural mountain setting that will “test your mental game and keep you entertained!” (828) 627-1933.

Ideally located in the middle of the Southeast, only hours from Atlanta and Charlotte, Haywood County offers golf enthusiasts a complete experience, whether they’re looking for a weekend getaway or a longer vacation.

“They can golf in the morning, hike in the afternoon, and have an array of dining and shopping at their fingertips,” Young said. “Or they can kick back on their balconies for some much-needed relaxation.”

Haywood County, North Carolina, “Where the Sun Rises on the Smokies,” is 554 scenic square miles of spectacular country, with beautiful mountains and valleys dotting the landscape. More than a dozen of its mountain peaks soar to elevations of at least 6,000 feet (more than any east of the Mississippi River), and the county is one of the highest, with a mean elevation of 3,600 feet, east of the Rockies. One of its most notable mountain peaks is Cold Mountain - the basis for the award-winning, best-selling novel by Charles Frazier and the ensuing 2003 major motion picture - at 6,030 feet. The county sits at the western edge of the state, with the Blue Ridge Parkway running along its southwestern border. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Pisgah National Forest are located in the northern section of the county. For more information about golfing in Haywood County and details about accommodations, restaurants and other attractions, call 800-334-9036 or visit


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