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|Sevierville Golf Club is the Smokey Mountain's newest must-play. (Courtesy of Sevierville G.C.)|
SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. -- Just 20 miles from Knoxville and a short, Peyton Manning skinny-post pass from the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Sevierville is one of the top tourist attractions and wedding destinations in the Southeast. Entertainment and adventure seekers take note -- you will love this place.
And that includes golfers. After extensive additions and redesigns to the old Eagles Landing, the city of Sevierville has transformed the previous 18-hole layout into what can be seen today at the new, 36-hole Sevierville Golf Club.
The full-scale championship facility had its grand opening in August 2011. An impressive, multi-million-dollar clubhouse and gargantuan driving range welcome golfers.
Mounted in the waving hills of the Smoky Mountains, Sevierville's Highlands Course, a par 70, peaks out at 6,300 yards from the back tees.
But don't let its lack of yardage fool you. With six par 3s on the scorecard, three of which register more than 200 yards, the Highlands Course is far from a sleeper. Large mountain ponds and/or sneaky, winding creeks come into play on 17 of the 18 holes making course management and tee ball placement essential for low scoring.
Sevierville's River Course, meanwhile, is the epitome of championship golf. The par-72 track plays a stout 7,200 yards from the back tees and poses one of the greatest tests in all of east Tennessee. Playing along and across the banks of the Little Pigeon River and up into the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, every hole tempts players to whip out their camera and capture the scenery.
On top of the views, the conditioning on both the Highland and River Courses is second to none. Lush, rolling, bermuda-grass fairways highlight the intended course of travel leading up to flawless bentgrass greens. The large greens, predominantly protected by greenside bunkers, offer many potentially tough pin locations.
With green speeds registering at a lightening-quick 12 on the Stimpmeter, golfers constantly face the possibility of the dreaded "putt, chip and then putt again" scenario.
Sevierville's countless attractions and adventures coupled with its great golf courses come together to create golfer's perfect getaway.
"Location, location, location along with our service and quality are what set us apart from other golf courses," said Mark Wallace, Sevierville Golf Club's director of golf.
Great golf isn't the only tray of good times Sevierville has brewing.
Rattle off the top 10 entries on your bucket list, and Sevierville probably can help you etch a check mark beside a handful of them. Whether it's zip-lining through the tree tops of the Smoky Mountains, sky diving from 12,000 feet or visiting the world's largest knife store, Sevierville has plenty for thrill-seekers.
Thirty minutes from the entrance to the Sevierville Golf Club, the east branch of the Little Pigeon River in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park offers some of the best fly fishing in the Southeast. Between 2,000 and 4,000 hungry brown trout and rainbow trout swim each mile of the east branch eagerly awaiting the fly from any fisherman.
Another one of the area's premier attractions is Dollywood. Sevierville native Dolly Parton's theme park is home to high-flying roller coasters, specialty shops and craftsmen, live shows, various festivals and a taste of some of the region's best food.
Speaking of food, Sevierville is known for its Southern, home-style cooking. Tony Gore's BBQ and Clint's BBQ and Country Cookin' serve up some of the most finger-licking and belly-rubbing barbecue you've ever eaten. Back at the golf club, Head Chef Aaron Ward's fantastic filet mignon is topped with slices of pork tenderloin and sprinkled with a touch of au jus.
After a delicious supper, treat yourself to one of Sevierville's live shows. Cirque de Chine highlights the town's list of incredible performances. Watch in awe as contortionists and acrobats bend their bodies into shapes you only thought possible to find in a bag of pretzels.
If a show isn't quite what you're after, walk across the parking lot of Sevierville Golf Club to the Wilderness at the Smokies' Wild WaterDome -- an indoor water park featuring intense tube slides, rocking wave pools, wild raft rides and a surfing wave.
November 9, 2011
Hayden Echols is a graduate of the University of Tennessee where he majored in sports journalism. He has worked as an intern for GolfChannel.com and the Tennessee Section of the PGA of America.
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