Golf in the Smokies – Top Courses Near Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge

If you’ve never played golf in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, on the golf courses in and around the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge area, you are missing out on a uniquely rich environment that ranges from flat to mountainous with all shades of topography in between. Many golfers come here to improve their game with unique shots and challenges they may never take anywhere else. And they do it all against a stunning backdrop of trees, rivers, lawns and Smoky Mountain terrain.

There are excellent golf courses as close to Gatlinburg as…Gatlinburg, and as far away as under an hour’s drive. Here are 7 great golf courses you can easily access during your stay in Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge, and for your traveling convenience we’ve listed them in order of distance from Gatlinburg.

Click each link for our feature story on each course, and see below for location information.

Bent Creek Golf Club

image courtesy of Bent Creek Golf Club

Golf Courses in the Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge Area

Bent Creek Golf Club is the closest golf course to Gatlinburg, located in town on East Parkway. It’s a relaxing par 72 course with fantastic golf design combined with natural, pristine scenery. Designed by three-time Masters and British Open Championship Winner Gary Player, the front nine holes of this course fall in a Smoky Mountains valley while the back nine are placed in more mountainous terrain extending all the way to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Synonymous with great golfing, the course has been ranked one of the top fifty golf courses in the South by Southern Living Travel Guide.

Just up the road is the uniquely designed Gatlinburg Golf Course, well worth visiting during your stay. Many experienced and beginner golfers plan their Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge golf vacations around this course. And why wouldn’t they? Its emerald fairways and challenging layout – renovated in 2007 – were originally designed by noted golf course architect William Langford. The course features a #12 hole dubbed “Sky Hi” for its notoriously dramatic design – 194 yards in length and falling a whopping 200 feet from tee to green! The club’s #3 hole, affectionately called “Long Lane,” spans 529 yards and is a fun-filled par 5 – just one exciting hole out of the many you can find in its total 6,281 yards of sloping terrain. Gatlinburg Golf Course is one of the most popular among local golfers.

Sevierville is just up the road from Pigeon Forge – with Gatlinburg, the three towns are almost connected and a trivial distance to drive – and the awarded Sevierville Golf Club is one of the top public courses in Tennessee. Set amid rolling hills and fresh water, the course offers spectacular views of the Smoky Mountains. The golf club is large and suitable for all skill levels, offering 2 18-hole courses, a par 70 a par 72. The host of several championship events, Sevierville Golf Club has a full service pro shop.

Wild Laurel Golf Course is a hugely picturesque course in a secluded valley with wildlife all around. It’s challenging but suitable for all levels of skill, including the novice golfer, and the full service pro shop has rental clubs for those who may feel like taking a day out of the bustle, and trying their hand at a round of golf. The course layout is both challenging and relaxing, a pleasant mix of hills, woods and water. The clubhouse is superb, with stunning views, great food, bar and verandah.

Wild Laurel offers another inducement in its location at Townsend, the anchor town to the west of Gatlinburg, in the area less frequented by visitors, and referred to as the Quiet Side of the Smoky Mountains. The whole area is unbelievably scenic, including the drive from Gatlinburg, the detour over to Cades Cove, and the more secluded entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. If you’re getting the idea that this course could form part of a wonderful day out in the peaceful mountains, you’re right.

Just to the north of Sevierville is Kodak, close to Interstate 40, and by now about 30 minutes from Gatlinburg. Here you can find River Islands Golf Club. This one really is unique. Stand near the scenic 3rd hole of the River Islands Golf Club, a few feet from the French Broad River — the water burbling in the background in combination with the sounds of teeming wildlife in the woods — and face the steely challenge of the 195-yard, par 3 hole (where the ball must be shot from an elevated tee to an island green landing over water) and smile. When it comes to playing golf in Nature, this is as good as it gets.

River Islands has a wide sparkling river running through it and is rated four stars by Golf Digest, making it the highest-rated public golf course in the state. Challenging yet beautiful and unique, the course offers four holes resting on three natural islands in the French Broad River. Another six holes are unusually located on the greens just outside the islands and the river. There’s more: the rolling, open fairways and the sloped, elevated lawns of this world-class course are framed by a majestic view of the Smoky Mountains – an area home to some of the most captivating parkland valleys in North America.

Dandridge Golf & Country Club has 27 holes made up of 3 9-hole courses. You can play them separately or in any combination of 18 holes. All three are on rolling terrain with challenges but manageable at the intermediate level. The club is located about 35 minutes from Pigeon Forge, 45 minutes from Gatlinburg, and to the east of Kodak.

Baneberry Golf and Resort is located on the shore of Lake Douglas, about an hour away from Gatlinburg – north past Sevierville to the interstate at Kodak, then east past Dandridge. The setting is relaxing and peaceful, with 6,700 yards of course on gently rolling terrain, and mountain views on the horizon.

Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge Golf Courses – Where to Find Them

Here are the addresses and websites of the 7 golf courses in the area for you to check out during your visit. They’re listed in order of distance from Gatlinburg. Let’s play golf!

Bent Creek Golf Club
3919 E. Parkway
Gatlinburg, TN 37738
Phone: 865-436-3947

Gatlinburg Golf Course
520 Dollywood Lane
Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
Phone: 865-453-3912

Sevierville Golf Club (originally Eagle’s Landing)
1556 Old Knoxville Hwy
Sevierville, TN 37876
Phone: 865-429-4223

Wild Laurel Golf Club (originally Laurel Valley Golf Course)
702 Country Club Dr
Townsend, TN 37882
Phone: 865-448-6690

River Islands Golf Club
9610 Kodak Rd
Kodak, TN 37764
Phone: 865-933-0100

Dandridge Golf and Country Club
1247 Stonewall Jackson Dr
Dandridge, TN 37725
Phone: 865-397-2655

Baneberry Golf and Resort
704 Harrison Ferry Rd
Baneberry, TN 37890
Phone: 865-674-2500