One of western North Carolina’s most popular golf resorts, Etowah Valley Golf & Resort has hit the 50 year mark providing outstanding golf for more than a million rounds and lodging for visitors from almost everywhere in the world. The 27 hole layout with three distinctive nines(North, South & West) is a favorite of Carolinians and half-backs who have discovered the beauty and serenity of moving to a cooler climate where golf can still be enjoyed without an ice pack and respirator.
Etowah Valley is located in Henderson County off of highway 64 between Brevard and Hendersonville. Converted from a brickyard, Etowah Valley opened in 1967 with 18 holes designed by esteemed architect Edmund Ault.
The original (South & West) layout has remained pretty much the same featuring a traditional look. Long, straight or slightly doglegging tree lined fairways dominate the routing once used fro brick mining, land long ago stripped of tons of clay that formed the famous Etowah Brick. Most of the par 4s demand not only a good tee shot but a good mid-iron into the medium sized greens.
Ault added nine holes in 1988 which is the hillier North. It is a departure from the original 18, with a more open look with three reachable par 5s and a pair of short par 3s playing like mountain golf with smaller greens. As the name suggests, most of Etowah Valley is in a valley with the South 9 playing relatively flat, and the West 9 has some rolling hills, a little wider fairways and longer. The signature hole is the par 4, 4th on South. A large pond of more than 200 yards sits down the right side, forcing most to lay up on a narrow strip of fairway left of the water. That leaves a long iron shot to a flat green protected by bunkers left and right.
The Todd family built Etowah Valley and operated it until 2013 establishing it as one of the premier golf stay & play resorts in western North Carolina. The current ownership took over in 2014 and made some major investments in a new fleet of golf carts, maintenance equipment, and new irrigation on the South course.
The 63 lodge rooms were recently renovated along with Zeke’s Greenside Tavern which seats 160 with indoor and outdoor dining overlooking the golf course. “We have a vision…and feel good about the plan and the execution after three years,” said Tim Rice, one of the owners who also serves as general manager. “Our members and resort guests are excited about our efforts. They see our dollars are being well spent.”
Other amenities at the Resort include a heated swimming pool, tennis facility with its own pro, a 200 seat banquet facility and 200 seat covered outdoor pavilion available for parties, weddings and post- round tournament gatherings.
“We are very proud of where we started, evolving from a brickyard to a 27-hole facility,” says Rick Merrick, the head golf professional at Etowah who has been there for 26 years and that says a lot for the service and friendly atmosphere. “The new owners have worked hard to bring it back to where it used to be and to extend it even further. We are in the midst of short-range plans for improvement with a long range plan to make things even better. We’ve come a long way and feel like we have a long way to go-hopefully another 50 years and then some.”
Rick and his staff are available for personal instruction. They have a lighted driving range, 3 target areas, chipping area, practice green and bunker.
For more information visit EtowahValley.com or call 828-891-7022.