This year we had four old golfers and we tried the mountains of East Tennessee. On the way down we stopped at Graysburg Hills Golf Course, which is east of Knoxville and just south of I-81. They have three nines and we played the Knobs and Fodder Stack. The course suffered from the same drought as my yard and the rough was turning to dust. The layout was good but mostly we will remember how badly they needed rain.
After golf, we drove on through Johnson City to a little town called Butler where we had rented a cabin in the woods at Iron Mountain Inn. In the trees in the mountains made for cool nights. The days on the golf course were hot, but open windows and fans at night make for good sleeping weather.
Tuesday we drove up to Mountain City for a round at Roan Valley. They have had more rain and the course was a neat layout and in great shape. Mike would have won that day except for the 10 he took on hole #5. Joe and Mike tied for low with 85's. I had 3 double bogies to drop out of contention.
On Wednesday we played the week's feature course when we visited The Ridges Golf & Country Club in Jonesborough. This private club was built in 1996 and designed by Arthur Hills. We need to thank the staff at Persimmon Ridge for working hard to get us on this great course. The member-guest at the Ridges was on the following weekend so the course was in pristine condition with greens that measured 11 on the stimpmeter. The fastest greens I've ever putted. I'm not a good enough putter for that. Joe and Baron are our best putters and shot 85 each to win the day. Mike threw in another 10 to off set the two birdies he carded.
Thursday we drove over into North Carolina to play the Boone Golf Club. Ellis Maples designed it in 1959 and I don't think it was as hard a course as we made it. My 86 was the low score but I was disappointed and continued to miss all my putts.
On our way home we decided to drive 3 ½ hours through the mountains to try out the new course at Prestonsburg, KY called Stone Crest. We wondered about the beautiful 4-lane highway 23 built out in the middle of nowhere, until we figured out that our governor Paul Patton is from the area. It's a really nice road. Stone Crest is also a pretty nice golf course built atop a strip mine in the Eastern Kentucky Mountains. Our only problem was that they had a fog delay that Friday morning and we waited almost 2 hours to tee off. We also played the course from white tees at less than 6,000 yards which makes Joe a cinch to win. He had two birdies on the back side and finished the week with an 80. I still couldn't putt but was second at 83. We all made it home safe and sound so this winter we will plan another trip for next year. Should we go back to North Carolina or maybe look at the Virginia Mountains?