Nestled in the natural landscapes of the beautiful Great Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg is a destination that promises serenity as visitors bask in the many outdoor wonders of eastern Tennessee. And one of the best ways to explore these outdoor marvels is through a relaxing round of golf at one of the city’s many courses.
Whether a beginner or a seasoned pro, Gatlinburg offers fun and varied courses for golfers of all experience levels. However, with such a diverse course selection, it could take individual weeks to try them all.
Luckily, they won’t need to. With this list of the eight best golf courses in Gatlinburg, visitors to the city will discover only the best of what the Great Smoky Mountains have to offer.
The 8 Best Golf Courses in Gatlinburg
- Bent Creek Golf Course
- Gatlinburg Golf Course
- Sevierville Golf Club
- Wild Laurel Golf Course
- Dandridge Golf & Country Club
- Patriot Hills Golf Course
- Island Point Golf Course
- Ruggles Ferry Golf Course
1. Bent Creek Golf Course
First opened in 1972, Bent Creek Golf Course is a par 72 course designed by three-time Masters and British Open Champion Gary Player. One of the most popular courses in the state, Bent Creek offers a round that combines relaxation with a degree of difficulty to challenge even experienced golfers.
On the front nine, golfers will play through a more laid-back round on fairways that hug the valley floor. Meanwhile, the course’s back nine raises the stakes as golfers will drive their way through holes that weave their way through Bent Creek’s ambitious mountain course.
All through both courses, Bent Creek offers plenty of beautiful views of the Great Smoky Mountains and even features a beautiful mountain stream carving its way throughout the course that only adds to the overall tranquility of the location.
Whether you are looking to test your skills along the challenging mountain course or are simply looking for a relaxing day out on the greens, Bent Creek is one of the best golf courses Gatlinburg has to offer.
2. Gatlinburg Golf Course
Initially designed by the famous golf course architect William Langford in 1955, Gatlinburg Golf Course has undergone a series of extensive renovations in 1993 and 2007 to completely upgrade its facilities to become one of the best golf courses in Gatlinburg and the surrounding Smoky Mountains region.
Featuring 18 intricately designed holes, the Gatlinburg Golf Course features wholly rebuilt greens and fairways that promise a moderate challenge for beginners and experienced golfers alike.
Of their unique and engaging hole designs, Gatlinburg Golf Course’s #12 has become a famous challenge amongst golfers around the world. Only 194 yards in length, the hole experiences a drop of 200 feet and is considered one of the most dramatic holes in the entire country.
3. Sevierville Golf Club
The Sevierville Golf Club is home to two of the best golf courses in the Gatlinburg area, and both are as incredible as any other found within the Great Smoky Mountains.
The first of Sevierville Golf Clubs’ fantastic courses is The River. Laying adjacent to the Little Pigeon River, this par 72 course features plenty of water hazards and beautiful views of the Smoky Mountain’s most iconic body of water.
For a more topographically diverse golfing experience, visitors should try their hand at the club’s par-70 course known as The Highlands. This course is defined by its 18-holes that weave their way through the region’s rolling hills and fresh mountain ponds, which combine for an adventurous day out on the links.
Regardless of which course you decide to play, be sure to stop by the Sevierville Golf Club’s Mulligan restaurant for an enjoyable meal after a day on the greens.
4. Wild Laurel Golf Course
Located about an hour’s drive east of Gatlinburg, the Wild Laurel Golf Course is one of the most picturesque in the entire Smoky Mountains. Born out of the growing demand for sustainability, the Wild Laurel Golf Course is designed to accentuate the environment around it.
The family-friendly course is well-suited for golfers of all levels and is famous for the local wildlife that still occupies the creeks, woods, and other ecosystems featured within the grounds.
Of course, the 18-hole course also offers one of the best experiences for those golf lovers that prefer the simple joys of the game over the facility’s surrounding beauty. Enthusiasts will enjoy the course’s Bermuda fairways and bent grass greens designed by none other than Edmund D. Ault.
After a day teeing off of the course’s idyllically designed links, the course’s on-site tavern offers a fantastic spot for a quick bite or drink.
5. Dandridge Golf & Country Club
Situated in the nearby Jefferson County, Dandridge Golf & Country Club is an excellent location for visitors of Gatlinburg to engage in a round of golf, whether they are a beginner on the links or a pro.
Established in 1980, Dandridge originally only featured 18 beautifully designed holes with Bermuda fairways and bent grass greens, which can still be enjoyed today. However, in 1991, Dandridge added nine additional holes to their facility, making them the first 27-hole complex in the area.
Along with offering their beautifully designed holes, the Dandridge course also features some of the most breathtaking views of the Great Smoky Mountains and the nearby Douglas Lake that will be sure to have you taking several breaks throughout your play to simply bask in the landscape’s natural marvels.
6. Patriot Hills Golf Course
The sister course of the Dandridge Golf Course, the Patriot Hills Golf Course was established in 1997 and was designed to offer a more challenging experience for seasoned golfers. But, while the course is definitely more difficult, it is still well suited to host players of various talents.
The par-72 course includes 18 holes that feature the same Bermuda fairways and bent greens as Dandridge while also offering scenic views of the nearby English Mountains and the Great Smoky Mountains.
7. Island Point Golf Course
Along the waters among the French Broad islands, Island Point Golf Course offers a challenging round of golf through its scenic location. Emphasizing the importance of maintaining a consistent pace of play, the course is primarily targeted only at experienced golfers.
However, the experience Island Point offers is one of the best in the Gatlinburg area. The courses Zoysia fairways and Bermuda Greens offer a combination of difficult and beautiful engineering guaranteed to provide one of the most memorable rounds of golf you have ever played.
8. Ruggles Ferry Golf Course
For a more casual golfing experience, Ruggles Ferry Golf Course offers one of the most friendly atmospheres in the Gatlinburg area. With one of the best layouts in the region, Ruggles offers fun and welcoming playing conditions for players with diverse experience levels.
And, with four sets of tees, the Ruggles Ferry Course can be as easy or as difficult as you choose. But, regardless of your tee selection, the course’s Bermuda-grass fairways and bent grass greens are sure to promise a relaxing afternoon as you play through the beautiful countryside.