With a name like Mount Mitchell Golf Club and a location in the mountainous terrain of Western North Carolina, you’d expect the golf course to have a tremendous amount of elevation change. Although this is not the case, the Mount Mitchell Golf Club is a fantastic facility with wonderful views. The course is located just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, about an hour from Asheville and has remained a favorite among locals and visitors since 1975. The Mount Mitchell Golf Club opens for play in April and closes sometime during the month of November, depending on the weather. The course has received a 4 ½ star rating by Golf Digest’s “Places to Play.” Golfweek Magazine ranked Mount Mitchell Golf Club #11 in 2016 – NC “Best in State.”
The golf course is the only U.S. property designed by English golf architect Fred Hawtree. The design takes advantage of a relatively flat piece of property located near the bottom of the mountain and is surrounded on three sides by the Pisgah National Forest. It is Bentgrass from tee to green with no blind shots and mountain views that are tough to beat. The South Toe River meanders its way throughout the course and can come into play on about 11 holes. The river also offers some of the best trout fishing in the state. No matter your skill level, you will find your time at the Mount Mitchell Golf Club challenging, fun and memorable.
Although there isn’t a whole lot of elevation change on the front nine, it’s not without its share of trouble. Many of the holes are tree lined, placing a premium n accuracy, especially off the tee. There’s a lot more movement on the back nine, starting with the short (330 yards from the White tees) par 4 10th hole, which plays uphill, followed by the short (125 yard) par 3 11th, which plays downhill and at least a half-club shorter.
The next three holes are the three toughest holes on the inward nine. The long par 5, 12th hole is the second-best hole on the course. This tree lined dogleg left requires straight tee and layup shots, followed by a precise approach shot over two front bunkers to a long narrow green. Thirteen is a 410-yard, par 4 with a slight dogleg left. Play it down the right side and avoid the fairway bunker and you’ll have the best angle in to a well-protected and deep green. This gets you ready for the toughest hole on the entire layout, a 420-yard par 4 that doglegs to the left and requires an approach shot over the South Toe River, which crosses the fairway about 100 yards shy of the green. The putting surface is protected in front on either side by sand as well. It takes two strong shots as well as a good putter to score well on this hole.
As you cross the bridge to the green on the par 3, 15th hole, look over the side and you’ll probably see several trophy-worthy trout. Fish food is available at the snack bar and when you throw a little to them, you’ll witness a feeding frenzy similar to a Best Buy sale on Black Friday. Guests and residents are welcome to purchase a fishing license and take their luck at catching one of these lunkers. Just don’t set your hopes on taking it home and fixing it for dinner; everything is catch and release. Instead, save your appetite for a savory entrée at Hawtree’s Pub.
Named in reverence of the course’s designer, Hawtree’s Pub is open Tuesday – Saturday for dinner. Chef Stuart Jensen and his staff serve up a menu that is not your typical clubhouse fare; it’s more of a full-blown, fine dining restaurant, with all kinds of steak, poultry and seafood dishes. Prime Rib is served on Friday and Saturday nights. Stuart even puts his personal touch on such dishes as his famous Taco Salad. You can dine under the stars and enjoy live entertainment on certain weekends and by request.
There’s plenty to do at Mount Mitchell Golf Club besides golf. The stream that meanders through the course has some of the best trout fishing in North Carolina. There are also hiking trails that offer some magnificent views within the Pisgah National Forest as well as horseback riding nearby. Mount Mitchell has become much more than a golf club, as can be seen by the new line of hats for sale in the pro shop, proclaiming the facility “Mt. Mitchell Golf and Fish Club.” The pro shop is well stocked with a lot of stylish golf attire and the fishing guides are a phone call away and ready and willing to help you in your fishing endeavors.
Mount Mitchell Golf Club offers some incredible stay and play packages for 2019. Two or more golfers can arrive on Sunday – Thursday, play that day, spend the night in one of Mount Mitchell’s condo rentals and play a second round the following day for $125; $139 if you want to do it over a weekend. You can add a second night in the condo for around $35 if you’re too tired or just don’t want to leave. Three-day golf and two-night packages start at $189.
If you’re looking to get away for a great golf vacation with limited interruptions, consider the Mount Mitchell Golf Resort. It’s located in a remote part of Yancey County, about an hour northeast of Asheville. The golf is spectacular and it’s one of the best courses in Western North Carolina that is available to the public.
For more information or to book your next golf vacation, give them a call at (828) 675-5454 or visit them online at www.mountmitchellgolf.com.