Bent Creek Golf Course, Gatlinburg

1.8
#13 of 13 in Outdoors in Gatlinburg
Bent Creek Golf Course, designed by three-time Masters and British Open Championship Winner Gary Player, is a par 72 course that has been popular since the sunny day it opened back in 1972. The front nine hugs the valley floor while the back nine offers a challenging mountain course. A beautiful sparkling mountain stream meanders throughout the entire course making for a breathtaking contrast between water and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Southern Living Travel Guide rated Bent Creek Golf Resort one of the “Top Fifty Golf Courses in the South.” This course is all at once challenging and relaxing.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
55 reviews
Google
3.0
TripAdvisor
  • June 11, 2017
    We used to come here every visit to Gatlinburg, but hadn't made it for a couple years; we'd come to golf, enjoy a burger and a beer at the Creekside Grill, or both. Now the golf course is in real roug...  more »
  • June 3, 2017
    This Golf Course has been suddenly closed on June 1,2017 without any notice. The course is beautiful Course and great design, hard to imagine this course could not prospect with proper management and ...  more »
  • April 16, 2017
    Beautiful course with running water that makes the course that much tougher. Very reasonably priced. Electric carts. Lots of fun. Strongly recommend this course. Short par fives  more »
Google
  • August 6, 2016
    It is a really pretty course. The fairways are moderately difficult due to how narrow they are but the greens are very simple. Really too simple. The biggest frustration was we were playing at 4pm in July and there were only two water jugs on the course and they were both out. It wasn't really busy and they couldn't keep them refilled. It was too hot for that and that is just such an easy fix. Also the gnats were crazy.
  • June 25, 2016
    The course was not well keep. The facilities were very poor. The was no place to hit practice balls to warm up. There were some nice mountain views. I was there June of 2016. If you are a good golfer looking for a good course this is not it
  • March 21, 2017
    Staff was friendly and the course is beautiful with a medium to hard challenge
  • June 27, 2016
    Played 9 holes today. Very nice people and the course was in awesome shape. Never played here before, living in Wisconsin, but I'll definitely be back the next time I'm down here! Thanks for the GREAT time!!!!!!
  • August 7, 2016
    Played here on August 4: It's been many years since I've seen a nicely designed golf course so diminished by a failure of maintenance and upkeep. It's a shame, really. There's not a smooth putt on the course. Patches of fringe-height grass and weeds are left uncut on the greens. Truly not a decent green on either side. The website for the course advertises "mountain golf," especially on the back. Tight fairways and blind shots are to be expected on a mountain course, and you'll get plenty of that, but you'll also get the greenside rough. Advertise "mountain golf" all you like, but letting bluegrass grow doesn't equate to "mountain golf"; this is just lazy mowing. Goats could chew it down to four inches, and it would still be punishing, but probably more consistently trimmed. Averaging 6 inches, with patches at 8-10 and some weeds sprouting to 12-16, this rough is simply the result of management saving wear-and-tear on mowers. This course would be twice as playable were 150-yard stakes placed on each hole, and three times more playable with the purchase of some two-by-two stakes and a couple gallons of paint for other yardages. Bring your rangefinder; you'll need it. The fairways are in decent shape, but clogged with clippings left to rot. Hint: the second shot on 11 is to the flag that looks like a fairway marker (that looks like it's in the fairway approach - see above regarding the condition of the greens) not to the one that looks like a pin 60 yards behind it; that's 13. Avoid the walk to the tee on #14. The only thing you'll find there is a marker for all four tees laying on a range mat. Yep. You read that right. A driving range mat 50 yards upstairs from your cart is the tee box. Granted, it's in the woods, shaded enough that it's probably hard to grow grass. Cut down a couple trees, already. You need to thin the edges of several holes already, anyway. If you start here, there will be fewer to cut when you close the course to develop the land (that seems to be the goal). My suggestion after my round was to fire the greenkeeper. The staff advised that the greenkeeper isn't the problem... "it goes much higher than that..." If you're a golfer in Gatlinburg, you'll play this course once (unless you've read this) mostly because there aren't that many courses within a short drive.) Maybe not even once; unless single rounds are paying the bills (because I can't see that someone who takes the game seriously would return) I can't imagine that the course is profitable. If you're a recreational golfer, looking for some time outside without concern for playability, have fun. If you just want to swing a club, feel free, but a golfer wouldn't go back, and that's a shame, because this Gary Player design has potential. (Many times I pictured Player looking in circles, muttering, "What have they done to you?") Until someone takes that potential seriously, play elsewhere.

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Where to stay in Gatlinburg

As gateway to one of the country's major national parks, Gatlinburg offers plenty of economical rooms to satisfy the needs and budgets of most travelers. Good-value motels remain the best option for those looking for adventure in the great outdoors. If you need more than just a decent bed, consider the area's cabin rentals, which provide loads of space and unparalleled privacy. Alternatively, reserve a site at one of many local campgrounds to experience the Great Smoky Mountains at night.
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