Course: Sequoyah National Golf Club
Location: Whittier, N.C.
Course Architect: Robert Trent Jones II
From The Tips: 6,517 yards
Saturday morning green fee: $$ ($50-$99)
Caddie service: No
Walker friendly: No
Starter: The views and shotmaking are among the finest in the Great Smokies. Sequoyah National, which is affiliated with the nearby Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort and operated by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, offers a spectacular mountain routing, with thrilling changes in elevation and a requirement to hit every club in the bag.
Play because …: It’s the best-conditioned, most-challenging public-access course in the mountains west of Asheville.
Takeaway: Don’t let the 6,517-yard back-tee distance fool you into puffing up and playing the tips. This course is no pushover. Double-digit handicaps should bring an extra sleeve or two of balls. There are enough forced carries and hazards to make Sequoyah National anything but a relaxing respite from the gaming tables. But if you’re willing to roll the dice, it’s well worth the gamble.
RATINGS [1 to 10 scale, 10 being the highest]
Food | beverage: 6
Pro shop: 6
Pace of play: 5
Best par 3: 13th hole (201 yards). Enjoy the downhill mid-iron or hybrid tee shot into a Y-shaped green set against a scenic mountain backdrop.
Best par 4: 4th hole (323 yards). It plays much longer, with a forced carry off the tee and an uphill short-iron second shot to an elevated three-tiered green. Hit to the wrong level and you’ll have a rollercoaster putt.
Best par 5: 1st hole (521 yards) This downhill dogleg right sets the tone for the scenic shotmaking to come.
RATED BY: Steve Harmon