Tennessee Golf Adventures
Posted Apr 28 2010, 10:18 AM by Cathy Erickson
I just returned home from a 6-day trip to Tennessee/Kentucky. The main purpose of the trip was to meet friends and head to a concert, but since I was travelling, I figured I might as well try to fit in some golf, too!
Even though I didn't book any tee times before I left, I was able to golf 4 courses on three different days. Day one was a Thursday trip to The Hermitage. There are 2 18-hole courses - the President's Reserve and the General's Retreat. When I called that morning to see if I could play, I was able to get in with a two-some at 10:30 on the President's Reserve, the newer and more expensive of the 2 courses.
I was paired up with Craig and Mike, two of the nicest guys you could ever meet from the Nashville area. Being a solo golfer, it can be awkward to get paired up with golfers who would prefer to play alone, but the genuine welcome I received made me feel at ease immediately.
I was thankful to have hit a few putts on the practice green because if I hadn't I'm sure my first putt would have sailed by the hole at warp speed...these were some nice (and speedy) greens!
It was a busy morning at the course, but we moved along at a decent pace. I was also able to channel a decent golf swing to give myself a chance to hit some greens. Unfortunately, I just couldn't get many putts to drop! Final round score: 75 (3 bogeys and 15 pars!). I had a total blast playing with my new golf friends, to whom I give a tip of the hat and a wave for making my first golf in Tennessee so awesome (thanks for the pop!).
It was just before 3pm when we finished and after hearing that rain was coming for the next few days I decided to ask if there was a chance I could play the General's Retreat course. There was a group scrambling out there, but there was room for me! I headed out and could immediately sense the different feel to this course... tighter fairways and the mature trees left the impression that this course had been around for awhile. I liked it. (and I think the LPGA Sara Lee Classic used to be played here!)
I forget how speedy I can play sometimes and I ran into other golfers by the 3rd hole. I slowed things down and decided to play 3 balls to pace myself better. After making the turn, most of the scramble groups were finishing so I was able to move a little faster...by 6:30 and 36 holes later, I was happily exhausted! The nice gal from the pro shop even said I could play until dark, but I was ready to call it quits. It was a great day at The Hermitage!!
Costs: 18-holes at the President's Reserve: $61 + tax, a replay at the General's Retreat: $29.95 + tax...a logo ball for my Mom and a hat for me (and some snacks) and the day was approx. $120. Overall feeling: Worth every penny. If I'm ever back in TN, I'd LOVE to play these courses again - and it would be even better with Mike and Craig!!
My next golf day was Sunday. The weather was looking sketchy but I've played in the rain before, so I figured I would call and find out if I could get on at the Windtree Golf Course in Mt. Juliet (just northeast of Nashville). The nice person I talked to in the Pro Shop said just to come out around noon and he would fit me in somewhere.
I found my way there and was able to get paired up with two other singles. Chris from Mt. Juliet, and Nick from South Carolina. We were met on the first tee by a brisk wind and with the rain that had gone through the 2 days before, it was cart paths only. I struggled a bit with club selection (due to the wind), and once again could not get a putt to drop when I needed it! When we made the turn, Chris decided to pack it up, the clouds were looking darker and he was sensing rain. Even calling him a girl for quitting didn't change his mind. So Nick and I headed to #10 where we found another 2-some waiting to tee off...Tim and Andy from Nashville. We paired up and headed off. I played a little better tee to green, finally carded a birdie, but putting killed me. Everyone had some great shots and I really enjoyed golfing with such nice people. And the best part was it never rained! Final round score: 83. (too many 3 putts!)
Costs: 18 Holes at Windtree: $45 + a logo ball for my Mom. Overall feeling: Great value! Both Tim and Andy said it was their favorite course to play in the Nashville area. I would really like to play this course when it's not so windy!
My last round in TN was Monday morning at the Springhouse Golf Club, which is a part of the Gaylord Opryland group. I had to play early since I needed to be at the airport by noon, so I was given a 7:40am tee time as a single. I got a little lost trying to find the course but still made it in plenty of time. As a matter of fact, I was the only car in the lot when I arrived. The clouds were dark again and it almost felt like a Minnesota morning! I got set up with a cart and was told I could head to the tee box at 7:30 if no one else arrived. After spending a few minutes putting I saw a two-some head to the tee. Bummer. I tried to get the GPS working but had trouble so I headed back to the starter to get some help. He got me going, but when I got to the first tee it said yardages were temporarily unavailable. Another bummer.
I watched the guys hit from the tips so there was a chance I might not zipping around this course after all. Again, it's an awkward situation...I don't want to push, but in this case I would LOVE to zip through and get out of their way. I'm still not sure why I couldn't just go out first, but that was their policy I guess.
I heard them hit when they were on the 3rd tee, but when I was walking off the green I could still see them there so they were waiting for me...YAY! Very nice guys...and thankfully I stuffed it about 12ft from the pin on the par-3 so I could putt (of course left the birdie on the edge) and get out of there.
I was surprised at how little standing water there was on the course for all the rain that had come...they must have some serious drainage! The GPS was still MIA and it made for more difficult club selections since they didn't have any visible yardage markers on the course except for 150 yard poles. I made the turn and asked if I need to slow up at all for mowers or workers...they gave me the green light to keep buzzing so I did. I finally got GPS readings on #16, but it felt too little too late at this point...but the good news is that it never rained and I was off the course by 10:30am! Final score: 82.
Costs: 18 Holes at Springhouse: $65 + tax, plus a logo ball for my Mom, and 2 shirts on sale (50% off!!). Overall feeling: The course was nice...lots of mounding and some tight fairways (MN friends, think The Wilderness), I liked it, but maybe it was the lack of GPS and grey skies that caused me not to have the same appreciation that I had for the other courses.
Overall, I loved my Tennessee golf adventures!! There were a few more courses I would have liked to play, but there just wasn't enough time. I guess that means I'm going to have to go back! If you ever get to TN, don't forget your golf clubs!
PS... Craig & Mike, if I do come back, I'll meet you at The Hermitage!
Filed under: putting, Golf, Cathy Erickson, Springhouse Golf Club, Nashville, Tennessee, The Hermitage, Windtree Golf Course
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