The Bear Trace at Cumberland Mountain.
This the approach shot to the 393 yard, par four seventh hole. The stone wall separates the green from a cascading stream.
MOE, JOE, MIKE & BARON
This year the old guys chose Brevard, North Carolina, as our target. It is located just west of Hendersonville in the Pisgah National Forest of North Carolina.
On the way down we stopped in London, Kentucky to play Crooked Creek C.C. It is now private, but they are very nice about providing reciprocal rounds for traveling golfers. The course has an interesting layout with a large variety of holes. However, on this visit the greens were not in great shape. They had a lot of poa annua and other strange grasses in them and did not roll true. Of course this hurts everyone else worse than roll-'em-and-hope Moe, so I won the day with an 81.
The highlight of the day and the trip occurred on the 6th hole. It is a 125 yard par 3. Baron Horne hit it right at the hole. We watched it roll toward the hole, then it disappeared into the hole. A HOLE IN ONE ! The first of his life. I must admit that after my initial surprise, my next thought was "why not me". I've played for 50 years now without a hole in one. Baron has played a long time too, so maybe this moves me up another place in the line.
After golf we drove on the Brevard and checked into our cabin in the woods. Moe and Joe won the downstairs bedrooms, then we all went into Brevard for a nice dinner at the Jordon Street Café. I recommend it if you're ever in Brevard.
On Tuesday we drove right up the road from our cabin in the woods for a round at Glen Canon Country Club. The course was designed by Williams B. Anderson in 1966 and holds up well as a true test of golf at 6,500 yards. Glen Canon has a creek that meanders through several fairways and a beautiful waterfall behind the green on the second hole. The houses are not on the course, but sit on hillsides above the course. Houses are not in play for any but the wildest golfers. Our own Mike ventured into a yard or two, but caused no damage. It was a tight match between Moe, Joe and Baron with scores of 86, 87 and 88 respectively. It's not an easy course, but I recommend it if you are ever in the area.
After Chef Mike fed us a wonderful steak dinner that night it started raining and was still raining Wednesday morning as we drove over the mountain to Laurel Ridge Country Club. We didn't get to play, but we could tell Laurel Ridge was great and we intend to return another year.
When it was still raining Thursday morning we checked the radar, adjusted our plan, packed our belongings, and drove on north to our Friday course near Tazwell, Tennessee. It was described to us as a "hidden gem". We agree it is both hidden and a gem of a golf course. After having played our Friday course on Thursday, we then needed a Friday course. We drove all the way back through Knoxville to Crossville, Tennessee, and played the Bear Trace Course at Cumberland Mountain State Park.
We played there at my suggestion since I had already played two of the Jack Nicklaus designs on the Bear Trace and loved them. The Bear Trace was just as nice and in great shape. I once again edged out Joe for low score on the day with another 86. That gave me a clean sweep of the four golf days. I also believe I was tied for the Heart championship with 1 win.
After spending the night in Crossville, we drove straight up 127 to Kentucky and back home. Except for the one lost day, it was another successful mountain golf trip. Perhaps we'll look at Virginia for 2004.