Hermitage Golf Course/Presidents Reserve near Nashville Tennessee
I was fortunate to get an invite down to Nashville from wife for a little working vacation. She was working, I was vacationing. We both had a little R&R after she got off of work. In fact, I was supposed to play 36 holes on Wednesday, but after a rather long R&R session with a historic Nashville club called "Tootsies" I decided to cut myself back to 18 and a little later starting time. I think the country music did it. I don't care for country music much, but I would still suggest this stop to anyone going to Nashville. Great little dive with a lot of history and a lot of characters.

For golf I headed out I-40 east to Old Hickory Rd. to find the Hermitage Golf Course. The course is not hard to find, but like many rural areas the locals had a hard time coming up with different names, so everything you pass has Hermitage in the name. This caused fits for the people traveling behind me as my brake lights popped on at every entrance until I discovered that "golf course" was not on the entrance moniker.

The 229 yard par three seventh on Presidents Reserve

As I mentioned, I intended to play 36 before the country music got me at Tootsies, so I chose Hermitage Golf Course which is actually two courses. They have the Gary Baird designed "Generals Retreat", which appeared to me to have been around for a while and the "Presidents Reserve" designed by Denis Griffiths. The Presidents Reserve course is newer and was suggested to me by a couple of golfers when I mentioned I was going to Nashville. Since I was down to one course I picked the one with more notoriety.

The Presidents Reserve is a nice course. It's 7,157 yards but I still don't think it seemed long. The bermuda fairways were firm and incredibly spacious. The maintenance level of the course is impressive especially when you consider that almost everything that requires routine upkeep is oversized. Expansive fairways lead to large and larger bent grass greens. Along the way you'll find massive sand bunkers...lot's of 'em! The course is built in a low land area near the Cumberland River so you get a little water to negotiate too. I liked the course, but it didn't blow my golf cap off or anything like that. It's a nice player friendly design kept in great shape. I felt like there were a few very ordinary holes, but as you can see from the pictures they have their share of very nice holes as well.

Number 11 at Presidents Reserve

I was paired with a couple of Vandy soccer players, so we had a lot in common to chat about while we watched the fivesome in front of us play poorly, do odd pre-shot routines, and then of course, the occasional club throw. Course management knowledgeably allowed the fivesome, which we all know irked me a bit. Just as we were discussing mentioning our dismay in the clubhouse after the round, the slow fivesome caught the slower foursome in front of them on 16 tee. Unbelievable! So now we think they need a ranger.

The finishing hole is a 499 yard par five

But I'm on vacation and we still slipped in under five hours, so all is well. I gave about $60 to play Presidents on a weekday. Your paying for a well kept course with a decent design in my opinion. If I get down there again, I'll probably try Generals Retreat on the suspicion that it has more features than it's sister course. Sometimes age builds character.

After golf we enjoyed a nice dinner at Merchants on Broadway, which is right across the street from Tootsie's if you are looking for a place to kick up your spurs and hang your cowboy hat on any given night. I like these working vacations!