Known as the “Lakeway to the Smokies” with its spectacular mountain views and abundance of pristine lakes, among golfers it is also known as a prime destination to stay and play while enjoying all this east Tennessee destination has to offer. Conveniently located off of both Interstates I-75 and I-40 East, Loudon County is just a short drive from Knoxville and Chattanooga. It is home to some prominent golf communities, and they are known to open their doors to visiting players all year long. Winter here offers plenty of days fit for golf and as the pages of the calendar turn, the excitement on the courses heats up.
Loudon County has long been popular with golfers as the courses here offer challenging rounds in an extraordinary landscape. Both public and semi-private courses offer golfers excellent quality golf along with a dose of Tennessee hospitality.
Tellico Village (202 Chota Road, Loudon, Tennessee 37774; 1-865-804-6630) is home to three of the most challenging and beautiful courses in the Southeast. These world-class golf courses designed by Ault, Clark & Associates offer both member and guest rates. The Links at Kahite is a true links-style course featuring bent grass greens and Bermuda fairways. The course meanders through a beautiful natural setting and showcases spectacular panoramic views of the Great Smoky Mountains. The Tanasi Golf Course offers an open layout and large greens, set alongside the beautiful Tellico Lake. The Toqua course features a classic design which takes advantage of a gorgeous natural setting. Several holes play along Tellico Lake and others wind through hills and valleys of the village landscape.
Rarity Bay (403 Rarity Bay Parkway, Vonore, Tennessee 37885; 423-884-3020) is a par-72, 18-hole scenic golf course designed by DJ DeVictor and Peter Langham. Its 150 acres of rolling hills has beautiful views of Tellico Lake and the Great Smoky Mountains. The well-groomed fairways and greens offer a challenge to golfers of any skill level in a welcoming country club atmosphere.
WindRiver Golf Course (1800 Oakum Court, Lenoir City, Tennessee 37772; 865-988-0370) also overlooks Tellico Lake, with a scenic backdrop of the Great Smoky Mountains. Each hole of the par-72 course features a challenging combination of rolling fairways and undulating greens.
Situated on some of the most breathtaking countrysides East Tennessee has to offer, the Joseph L. Lee designed Avalon Golf Course (700 Turnberry Circle, Lenoir City, Tennessee 37772;
865-986-4653) features 18 holes amid challenging terrain, with varying elevations and slopes. The course has earned “4-Star” Golf Digest rating.
Where to eat
Each of these courses sits in the midst of a gracious golf community and, in addition to Tennessee hospitality, serves up dining options for golfers. From casual covered, outdoor grill menus to chef-driven fine dining experiences, players can enjoy an amazing variety of culinary adventures to complement their time on the course.
Tellico Village Yacht Club’s Blue Heron Restaurant (100 Sequoyah Road, Loudon Tennessee 37774; 865-458-4363) offers exceptional brunches, lunches and dinners in a picturesque lakeside setting. Citico’s Restaurant at WindRiver is open for walk-ins at lunch and takes reservations for dinner. The menu includes soups, salads, sandwiches, pizza, small plates, burgers, pasta, entrées and daily dessert specials, all with a lakeside view. The Grille at Avalon serves soups, salads, sandwiches and elegant entrees and they are accompanied by a wine and spirits list second to none.
Beyond the courses, Loudon County has plenty more options, sure to satisfy:
Calhoun’s (4550 City Park Drive, Lenoir City, Tennessee 37772; 865-988-9838) at Fort Loudon Marina is a favorite for casual burger lunches as well as evening meals with atmosphere. Calhoun’s also has options for dockside dining with views of the marina and Fort Loudoun Lake.
Carmichael Inn (600 Hackberry Street, Loudon, Tennessee 37774; 865-657-6603) serves Southern comfort food in a unique setting. Housed in an 1821 home, the Carmichael is a favorite for fried catfish, shrimp and grits or meatloaf. Patrons can dine on the front deck or in the historic dining room and enjoy live music on weekends.
Sons of Smoke (304 Cedar Street, Loudon, Tennessee 37774; 865-657-3332) is a barbecue restaurant located in historic downtown Loudon. The menu features pulled pork, ribs, piggy potatoes, nachos and much more.