Featuring 90 holes of golf on five quality golf courses, Fairfield Glade Resort is a must-visit while in the Volunteer State of Tennessee. Located on the picturesque Cumberland Plateau – a few hours’ drive east of Nashville – Fairfield Glade is a retirement community that comprises of more than 12,000 acres. The course(s) are considered by many to offer the best golf in the state, and are open to the public. Offering four distinct seasons, the area sits at 2,000 feet of elevation, and is the highest point between the Rocky and Smoky Mountains.
According to local resident and avid golfer Ed Stone, Stonhenge Golf Club at Fairfield Glade is at the top of the list of best public courses in Tennessee. Well-manicured, Stonehenge gets its name from walls of native stone found throughout the 6,549-yard, par 72 layout, where natural rock outcroppings come into play on several holes.
Heatherhurst Golf Club offers 36 holes of golf, including the Crag course and the Brae course. The front nine of the Brae is most challenging, which includes a double dogleg fairway on the 4th hole. This is said to be the toughest par 5 in Tennessee. The 17th is the Crag’s signature hole, which will require two shots: One off the tee and the other with your camera!
Rounding out the golf gems at Fairfield Glade include the Druid Hills Golf Club and Dorchester Golf Club. Druid Hills, a par 72 that stretches to 6,270 yards from the tips, is located on the highest point in Fairfield Glade. As the name suggests, Druid Hills provides several scenic views of the surrounding mountains. With rolling, tree-lined fairways, plenty of water, several doglegs, and undulation bent grass greens, Druid Hills is a true test of your game. The par 72, 6,400-yard Dorchester offers bent grass greens, narrow tree-lined fairways, strategically placed bunkers, and water on six of its 18 holes.
Though all these courses are scenic and challenging in their own way, everyone has a favorite. For local Ed Stone, his preference, in order, includes: Dorchester, Brae, Stonehenge, Crag, and Druid Hills. You can’t go wrong with any of them, though. Green fees for any of these courses will rarely top $40. Also, Legends is the flagship restaurant at Fairfield Glade, where the steaks are to die for.
There are several other golf courses in Tennessee’s Upper Cumberland, and one worth mentioning is Bear Trace at Cumberland Mountain State Park at Cumberland Mountain State Park in nearby Crossville. This par 72, 6,900-yard Jack Nicklaus-designed course is part of the Tennessee Golf Trail. The course is routed through a natural setting with scenic views and tree-lined, mounded, and rolling fairways featuring a bounty of sand bunkers and large tiered greens.
Lots to see and do
Just six miles down the road from Fairfield Glade you’ll find the rural town of Crossville, which bustles with activities. A few highlights of the area include:
- The Cumberland County Playhouse provides Broadway productions as well as local productions based on Southern history and culture.
- The historical Palace Theatre is a 1930s restored theater which plays host to various live productions
- A quaint, revitalized downtown area
- Two wineries
- More than 50 restaurants
The Upper Cumberland area has many wonderful attractions including a small wine trail with six wineries, the largest yoga and meditation hall in the U.S., and more than 60 sites along the Tennessee Civil War Trail.
RVers will be happy to note that several quality resorts can be found in the region as well. Deer Run RV Resort, in Crossville, is set on 200 acres and features full hook-ups, a 25-acre private lake, WiFi, and lots of natural settings, wildlife, and a swimming pool. Also located in Crossville is Spring Lake RV Resort, formerly known as Roam and Roost Campground. Spring Lake offers 63 sites, full hook-ups, and free WiFi and cable.
Outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate the waterfalls throughout the region. The Upper Cumberland Plateau offers some of the best waterfalls (and swimming holes) in the country. Cummins Falls is the eighth tallest waterfall in Tennessee by volume. Walk about a half mile from the parking lot to get an awesome bird’s eye view of Blackburn Fork State Scenic River, which plunges 75 feet into a deep, wide pool at the base. Burgess Falls State Park is another popular water fall, which is located about eight miles south of Cookeville (not to be confused with the town of Crossville). Here, you’ll see Falling Water River drop some 250 feet forming 20-foot cascades, 30-foot upper falls, 80-foot middle falls, and the dramatic 136-foot lower falls. You could spend days exploring waterfalls in the area.
In fact, you could spend days or weeks exploring the plentiful offerings throughout Tennessee’s Upper Cumberland.
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Rick Stedman is an avid golfer, RVer, and writer who lives in Olympia, Washington. Rick writes a weekly golf blog, “The 19th Hole,” which is published every Saturday at rvlife.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.