Golf in Asheville and Western, North Carolina
What is Mountain Golf? The easiest and most accurate way to answer that question is diverse. From the course layouts and varying greens fees, to the multitude of people you encounter while playing these mountain gems, one is sure to encounter plenty of variety. Unlike the so-called golf Meccas of Myrtle Beach and Pinehurst, one of the biggest assets that architects encounter in Western North Carolina is the natural beauty and terrain of the region. In fact one course in particular serves as a microcosm of mountain golf's diversity. The Asheville City Municipal or simply 'Muni' to the locals is a rarity in that it is an original Donald Ross design with a greens fee of under $25. The most apparent example of Muni's ever-present diversity is the terrain. The front nine is mostly flat, similar to the courses from the piedmont and coastal regions of the Carolinas, but the back nine is mountain golf at its best. Tight off the tee with lots of elevation change, the back nine at Muni is a shot makers dream.
Well Known Course Designers
One doesn't have to look any further than the course designers to find a reason to explore the Asheville area golf scene. The Asheville area has courses from master architects including Jack Nicklaus (The Cliffs at Walnut Cove), Gary Player (The Cliffs at Mountain Park), Arnold Palmer (Cullasaja Club), and the aforementioned father of golf architecture, Donald Ross (Buncombe County Municipal, Biltmore Forest Country Club, Grove Park Golf Course and others). Perhaps even more telling of the rich golf scene of the mountains is that Tom Fazio, who may consider to be the modern day Donald Ross and the greatest living course architect actually, lives right here in Western North Carolina.
Just Get Out There!
Factual information is one thing, but to truly appreciate the rich history and diversity of golf in the highlands of North and South Carolina you have to experience it yourself. So throw out all the course reviews and online photographs, make the arrangements for your trip to Asheville, and get out there and tee it up. Just make sure you adjust your club selection for the elevation change and enjoy hitting a 9-iron 175 yards for the first time.
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Ask Jitterbug - Golf Advice Column by Bobby Steiner
About the Author
The following are a list of golf teaching columns generously donated to us by teaching professional and author Bobby Steiner. Bobby teaches golf at The Practice Tee in East Asheville during the summer months, and at The Westin Mission Hills Resort during the winter.
You can reach Bobby at: www.bobbysteiner.com or firstname.lastname@example.org