Skip to content
5 Golf Courses to Fall in Love with in East Tennessee

5 Golf Courses to Fall in Love with in East Tennessee

Playing a new golf course is one of life’s great pleasures. The adventure and beauty a new course can bring golfers remains one of the reasons I love the sport as I do. Of course, there can be locations or types of terrain that have you thinking about snapping an iron over your knee. But hopefully, those are few and far between.

East Tennessee itself is a place of natural beauty, but there are some golf courses that you will fall in love with the first time you play them. They may not be kept to the level of a PGA Tour event, but they sure will have you in constant awe of the sheer beauty and design throughout. 

Lambert Acres Golf Club


Lambert Acres is located off Highway 321 in Maryville, TN. The course is a 27-hole course made up of three separate 9-hole courses that are color-coded. Each course tees off from the hill the clubhouse rests on and takes you on a journey towards the Smoky Mountains. Even though the course never leaves the foothills of the nearby mountains, the life-changing views of the Smokies probably will distract you from your game if you aren’t careful. 

Each of the three courses are fun, challenging, and unique in both the way they play and the way they look. Additionally, both the design and the natural foliage around you will take you on a journey that you haven’t experienced often while playing golf. One piece of advice I would give to golfers is to prepare for some seriously challenging terrain shifts and elevation changes. If you aren’t careful, you could easily find yourself failing to club up or club down enough. 

Laurel Valley Golf Course


Laurel Valley is nestled between the valley and mountains of Townsend, TN, just outside the boundary of Great Smoky Mountain National Park. As you might imagine, this 18-hole course is littered with flora and fauna throughout, and chances are you will have multiple interactions with wildlife as you play. I can remember playing there with my dad and brothers while what seemed like an avalanche of turkeys came running across one of the fairways. It has since become one of my most precious memories. If you’re in search of a course that truly makes you feel like you are alone in the wilderness with just your group and the ecosystem around you, then Laurel Valley is that place. 

The course itself is fun, but can be challenging. Multiple instances of steep terrain change and carefully placed hazards loom throughout the course. Even if you find yourself missing shots, the simple serenity of the course will fill you with peace. I will say that Laurel Valley can be foggy and dew-covered for most of the morning, due to the lack of daytime sun that hits it in places. But the bright side of that is most of the course lives in a constant state of shade depending on the time of day. 

So take the family on a short getaway and enjoy what I consider to be one of the most refreshing golf courses in East Tennessee, and certainly one that will always have a special place in my heart.

Island Pointe Golf Club


Island Pointe (known by the name River Islands to some of us) can be found in Kodak, TN on the banks of the French Broad River. One of the most well-kept golf courses on this list, Island Pointe takes you on a journey that has you playing on riverbanks, across steep ravines, through beautiful meadows, and even over the river itself to a dangerous hazard-surrounded green. The course design is simply divine. There are few things that compare to teeing off near a river in the early morning with dew still on the ground. It’s as if you are playing while most of the land is still asleep.

Truly one of the more unique locations for a golf course in East Tennessee, Island Pointe is one of those places that makes you feel right at home. You will fall in love with the feeling you get while playing there. My favorite holes on the course are the couple down and back holes that lie right next to the riverbank. They are both fairly flat and have skinny tall trees that you would most likely find in a pine grove. Something about them makes me smile no matter how bad I am playing. 

Tanasi Golf Course


Tanasi is located in Tellico Village on the banks of the Little Tennessee River. Opened in 1996, it is safe to say that it has one of the more contemporary golf course designs in the area. Another course with significant elevation change at times, Tanasi can eat you up quickly if you aren’t careful. However, Tanasi does have a saving grace of sorts with the way that the majority of its fairways are set up. A great number of Tanasi’s fairways seem to be down in a small valley where it is generally tough to lose a ball due to the funnel shape some of the terrains create. That is not to say that this course is any easier because of it though, as it will challenge players of all skill levels. This course is definitely the most proper and fancy course on this list, but all that means is that the place runs like a well-oiled machine and looks beautiful as well. 

I must confess what originally made me fall in love with this course was the putting green. Something about the unique design of the putting green had me chomping at the bit to play this course, and I was not disappointed.

Tennessee Centennial Golf Course


Centennial (as us locals call it) is a course in Oak Ridge, TN. Built in between houses, this course winds itself up and down hills and valleys with sheer cliff drops and ravines. For a short time, you will find yourself on flat ground but will be berated by the constant crosswind that makes you feel like you are playing near an ocean. While most of the holes are outlined by forests, you will find a few examples of a more open course. However, in both situations, you will be struck by the humidity. Make sure you bring sufficient water and perhaps a couple of extra towels if you are playing in the heat of the summer. 

Centennial was one of the first courses I fell in love with because of the way it made me feel. Something about the combination of privacy and stillness of every golf shot brought strong feelings bubbling to the surface. If you can find a place that even during a round of golf makes you feel relaxed and calm, then you have found an oasis in the midst of a desert, and you should cherish it.

Older Post
Newer Post

Shopping Cart

Your cart is currently empty

Shop now