September is the perfect month for golf in the High Country of North Carolina along the Blue Ridge Parkway. The cooler temperatures, crisp clear mountain views, brilliant fall colors, and top-rated golf courses make it a great golf destination. There is no problem with social distancing here. The tiny towns and villages of the Tar Heel State have been practicing it for years.
Public Golf Courses in the High Country:
Boone Golf Club is an 18 hole, par 71 Ellis Maples design utilizing the beautiful landscape and spectacular scenery featuring level to gently rolling fairways, large undulating bent-grass greens at 3450 feet above sea level. Boone is portrayed to be one of the best public courses with a private country club feel and is open from April-November where walking is allowed. For tee times visit BooneGolfClub.com or call 828-264-8760.
Willow Valley Resort Golf Course is an executive 9-hole par 3 designed by Tom Jackson with yardages ranging from the 131-yard sixth hole to the 221-yard ninth hole. The course has varying elevation changes with four sets of tees for all levels of play. Willow Valley Resort is the place to stay while visiting the High Country venues, with family-friendly amenities, 15 cabins nestled in the woods, and 44 condominiums along the golf course. Tennis courts, playground, kiddie pool, indoor pool, and spa are the amenities. Call 828-963-6551 or visit WillowValley-Resort.com.
Mountain Aire Golf Club is a well established Dennis Lehmann public course design located in West Jefferson offering 18 holes of well-maintained fairways and greens complemented by the natural rugged beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is a fun, not overly challenging 6400 yards, par 72 layout with the friendliest staff in the High Country, and well worth the visit. Open from March to December. Call 336-877-4716 for tee times or visit MountainAire.com.
Linville Land Harbor Golf Course is a member-owned semi-private golf course boasting 18 challenging holes on two distinctive nines. The original front nine was designed by Tom Jackson and stretches out almost 3,000 yards while ‘Ernie’s Revenge,’ the former course superintendent’s back nine, reaches just shy of 2,000 yards. Don’t let the numbers fool you. It will take some good long shots to conquer the outward 9 and some extraordinary short shots to hold par on the inward 9. Visit LinvilleLandHarbor.com or call 828-733-8325.
Old Beau Resort & Golf Club is my personal favorite. This semi-private par 72, monster sits atop a mountain on the eastern edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains and will take your breath away with its mountainous layout. The carts come with yardage books that will help you traverse the 134/72.2, 6700+ yards with blind shots and multiple dog-legs. The friendly staff, great condominium accommodations and delightful fare in the Old Beau Clubhouse Restaurant or Dudley’s Grill will make your stay and play here a special time. Visit OldBeauResort.com or call 800-752-1634.
Mountain Glen Golf Club is a fun and welcoming club. Once you get past the first three holes that play along the road you are in for a real treat, The front nine is more of a parkland style with relatively flat fairways playing to small bent-grass greens while the back works its way up to what was referred to as “Cranberry Draw,” and then 14 through 18 come down the draw. The 11th hole an uphill dog-leg left was rated as one of the best in Western North Carolina. The course is very playable so youngsters, oldsters, and ladies will enjoy their play here. Call 828-733-5804.
Sugar Mountain Golf Club is one of the best-kept secrets is tlocated just minutes from Boone. This 18 hole, par 64, muni is “Everyman’s Golf Course” in a region home to some of the world’s premier private country club communities. The fabulous design of Frank Dunne, the senior project manager for decades of Robert Trent Jones Sr., maximizes every view, every mountain brook, and every stand of rhododendrons and forest on the course, featuring nine par3s, 8 par 4s and a single par 5. Go to SeeSugar.com or call 828-898-6464.
This week in Central Florida the temperature was 97 one day and felt like 110 because of the humidity. That same day the high temperature at Old Beau was 78 degrees. What are we doing here? It is less than a one day trip to the High Country where you won’t pass out on the fairway, the fall colors will soon be showing and the small towns of Western North Carolina will be having their autumn festivals. Go Stay & Play for awhile!