Lake Tansi Golf Course – Arguably Cumberland County’s Best Collection of Par 3s


I have been blessed to play a lot of golf around the country. Our travels include playing at daily fee courses, private clubs, and resorts. Without naming names, we have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly and there have been a handful of courses I would consider joining if I lived in the area. Given all of our travels, I would have to say that the best-conditioned and best-maintained daily fee course I have played just so happens to be my home course: Lake Tansi Golf Course in Crossville, TN.

Crossville is considered the “Golf Capital of Tennessee,” but I’m guessing they were given that moniker because of the five courses at Fairfield Glade. I don’t get out to play them much. Not to mention, I live 3 minutes from the Lake Tansi clubhouse so to me there’s no reason to go anywhere else.

The Lake Tansi Golf Course is always in outstanding condition and the course is green year-round. According to Course Superintendent Todd Matthews, the grasses at Lake Tansi are a mixture of Bentgrass, Kentucky Bluegrass and Fescue, although the exact percentages of each are as closely a guarded secret as the Colonel’s secret recipe. “Lake Tansi lies at an elevation of 1,900 feet, making the daytime temperatures considerably cooler than other areas of the state. The grasses don’t lose a lot of their color when they go dormant in cooler weather.”

That’s just one of the positives about the course. Another would be that the course is very playable, regardless of your ability. If you’re new to the game, play from the White or Green tees, you won’t be over-powered, and you’ll have a good time. From the back tees, there are a couple of holes that will challenge the best of players. Most notably Number 13, which plays over 100 yards longer from the Blue tees than from the Green; the same is true on the 18th hole as well.

To me, the holes that set this course apart from other area golf facilities are the par 3s. They may not have the pizazz or elevation changes that some other area par 3s have but believe me, they can make or break a great round. Number 3 is the first par 3 and plays 151 yards from the White tees. A back pin placement can have the hole playing anywhere from 165 – 170 yards. It’s handicapped #11. The green slopes pretty severely from left to right with bunkers on either side. Find the bunker on the left off the tee and par just got that much tougher, especially if the pin is on the left. In the event you fly the left-side bunker, the long grass behind it will have you wishing you were in the sand. I learned from one of the guys in the league I play in that your best bet with a back pin is to hit a low shot and let it run to the back of the green. It worked well for him and won him a closest to the pin that day!

Number 6 is a 172-yard par 3 and your first real encounter with water, although for most players it shouldn’t come into play. It plays over a pond and uphill and seems to play about a club longer. Out of bounds can come up quickly out to the right. Once again, there are sand traps on either side of the green which slopes back left to front right. Regardless of pin placement, up and down from either bunker can be a daunting task. Playing from the grass mounds around the bunkers is no easy task either. You’re best to just find the green off the tee and two-putt. It’s rated the toughest par 3 on the course and is handicapped #5.

Number 12 is the (supposedly) easiest par 3 on the course, coming in with a handicap of #16. From the White Tees, the hole plays 150 yards. It’s all carry over a deep valley; you can’t see the bottom of it from the tee. Out of bounds lurks on either side and the road behind the green is out of bounds as well. There’s a sand trap in the front right and a large oak tree back left that has blocked out many shots from that side. The green slopes severely from back to front so anything over the green is a tough up and down. It’s hard to stop the ball once it starts rolling. Because of the size and slope of the green, three-putts are fairly common.

Although it’s not reflected on the scorecard a lot of the golfers I play with feel that Number 15 is the toughest par 3 out here. From the White Tees, the hole plays 160 yards with a deep bunker short right and another back left. Out of bounds comes up quickly on the left; anything that side of the cart path spells trouble. The green has two distinct tiers so if you have to chip onto the green, it’s important to be on the right level.

If you find yourself in the area and are looking for a great, well-conditioned golf course that will challenge you and not empty your wallet, be sure to consider playing a round at the Lake Tansi Golf Course. Better yet, book one of their fantastic stay and play packages and make a weekend out of it. You can get more information or even book your round online at

David Theoret

David Theoret has been in the golf and golf travel industry for over 12 years, primarily selling online advertising. For the past seven years, he has also been a golf writer, reviewing golf courses, resorts, destinations, equipment, golf apparel, and training aids – the latter of which never seems to help. What started as a dream years ago, by God’s grace, became a reality in 2015 when The Golfin’ Guy editorial marketing company was founded. Working together with golf course designer Ron Garl; David’s articles and reviews have been posted on many golf travel, equipment, and apparel websites.

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