Golf courses in Tennessee have a lot to offer: Mild winter weather, a variety of grass surfaces, and lots of elevation changes. The Tennessee River Golf Club is an embodiment of that.
Tennessee River Golf Club is an 18-hole championship golf course located next to the Tennessee River in the rolling hills of Decaturville, in Decatur County TN. The course was originally named the Fisherdale Golf Resort. General Manager and Superintendent Chad Smith’s parents Clare and Dianne Smith purchased the course in 1997 and over the years they have rebuilt and revamped the golf course. In fact, if it wasn’t for his parents working every day and investing in the property, there probably would not be a course. As Smith tells it, “The course was established in 1993, as a 9-hole layout. The other nine had been planned out but never built. The back nine was added in 1998, and holes were redesigned and rerouted; in fact, only 3 of the original holes are part of the current layout.
The Tennessee River Golf Club offers golfers four sets of tees. From the back tees, the course plays to 6,455 yards with a course rating of 69.7 and a slope of 119. I found that the White tees (6,035/68.1/117) provided a good challenge a let me leave with a little dignity still intact. Seniors typically play from the Yellows (5,328/64.6/105) and ladies from the Reds (4,792/68.4/108). Par for everyone is 72.
As you play your way around the course, you’ll encounter is 18 uniquely different holes; each with a character and flavor all its own. Lush Bermuda fairways lead to pristine bent grass greens, the only bent grass greens in the area. Some holes are wide open, with a minimal amount of trouble, several have tree-lined fairways; there are uphill and downhill elevation changes, and water hazards that come into play on at least 10 holes. What I’m getting at is that there is a lot here to keep your interest.
Number 1 is an interesting and challenging par 4 that plays 370 yards from the White tees. Climbing up to the elevated tee box, you’ll see a pond in front of you and seemingly nowhere to hit the golf ball. Upon further inspection, you’ll find that there’s a lot of room in the fairway left of the pond. A good drive will still leave a mid to long iron uphill into a large green that slopes back to front. Par is a great way to get started.
Number 2 is ranked the easiest par 4 on the course. This 330-yard, dogleg right requires a blind tee shot (aim at the grey house in the distance). A good tee shot down the left side will leave a short pitch shot extremely downhill into a very small green with a bunker front right. Short, but by no means a pushover.
Number 3 is another blind tee shot that plays downhill. It’s a short hole – 275 yards – and favoring the right side will leave the best angle into another small green.
At 422 yards from the White tees, Number 4 is handicapped the hardest hole on the entire layout. It’s long and dead straight; there’s a pond on the left side that can catch an errant drive. A good drive followed by a well-struck approach shot will go a long way in taming this beast. Bunkers guard either side of the green. The green is big enough that it could be a two-club difference between a front and back pin placement.
The next 4 holes provide a little bit of a break. Number 5 is a 186-yard par-three that plays over water into a green protected on either side by large bunkers. Number 6 is a dogleg left par 4 that plays 359 yards. A good drive will leave a short pitch shot into a large green surrounded by sand.
Number 7 plays 500 yards from the White Tees and is the only par 5 on the front nine. This dogleg right starts from an elevated tee box and plays downhill with a pond on the left at the bottom that should not come into play. Number 8 is a scenic 152-yard par-three that plays over water with woods on the right if you shank it.
Number 9 requires a well-struck tee shot to make it to the corner of the dogleg. Do that and the hole gets a lot easier. Anything short of the dogleg will force you to play a big fade if you want to find the green.
The back nine starts with a good-looking par 4. The 10th hole once again starts from an elevated tee box and features a lake down the entire left side. It presents somewhat of a risk/reward scenario from the tee; the more of the lake you cut off with your drive, the shorter your approach shot will be. At 390 yards, it will take two well-struck shots to find the green.
Number 11 is a straightaway par 4 that plays 363 yards. Do your best to avoid the tree on the left side along the cart path. There’s also a small pond on the left side that has seen its share of errant tee shots. Avoid these pitfalls and things get a lot easier!
Number 15 is a fun little par 3 that plays considerably downhill and far less than its stated yardage of 100 yards. The woods on either side of the green provide the only hazards on this hole. It’s a great chance to boost your ego.
Number 17 is probably Tennessee River Golf Club’s signature hole. It’s a picturesque par 3 that plays 155 yards over water into a very wide, shallow green.
Tennessee River Golf Club ends with a good-looking and challenging par 5 that plays 486 yards. You start from an elevated tee box and play around the lake on the left. The hole is best played down the right side as much as possible. The green slopes subtly from back right to front left towards the water. Par is a great way to end your round.
Are you part of a group that likes to get out of town for the weekend and go play golf? Tennessee River Golf Club has a 2-story, 3-bedroom home that comfortably sleeps up to 12 people. There’s a fully equipped kitchen, so bring food and beverages, upstairs and downstairs living room areas with large, flat-screen TVs, a screened-in patio area, and a gas grill. Rentals are available on a first-come-first-served basis. Call the pro shop for the latest rental deals!
The Tennessee River Golf Club offers golfers a little bit of everything: weekly golf games, golf leagues, tournaments, stay and play rates, public play, memberships, private golf instruction, and a full practice facility. Give them a call at (731) 852-2582 or visit their website at www.tennesseerivergolfclub.com