After playing 36 great holes of golf on the previous day, we met up with Marc (Trout Bum) at Sequoyah National Golf Club. We were hoping it could stand up to the great golf we played at Waynesville, and man did it exceed expectations. All three of us were gushing with enthusiasm for how great this course was after the round. Sequoyah is owned by the Eastern band of Cherokee Indians, which makes the whole feel of the place pretty unique. A Troon golf course, Sequoyah was designed by Robert Trent Jones II. Located in the Great Smokey Mountains of Western NC, Sequoyah isn’t an easy course to travel to, but it was well worth the trip for our group. This track was unbelievably beautiful, so I apologize in advance for the amount of pictures that I am about to post. Before I even get started I have to thank Marc for these pictures, he brought along a high dollar camera that takes much better pictures than my cell phone.
After your trek through the mountains, you are greeted into the parking lot by a surprisingly small “clubhouse”, which is just a well stocked proshop and small snack bar. After getting checked in, you walk through the rear door to a beautiful sight, the range and scenery behind it is just gorgeous. The range is pretty large with multiple tee areas, but due to the late time in the season, is matts only for the remainder of the year. It was still a wonderful experience warming up on such a great looking range. The short game area was small but got the job accomplished, it didn’t take many putts to realize these were going to be some quick greens and were rolling very differently than the Bermuda I am used to in Florida.
After dealing with the extremely friendly staff, and getting warmed up on the practice area, it was on the first tee. The view off the 1st was just breathtaking, we already knew we were in for a great day of golf. Many courses give you a bit of a warmup hole to start the round, not Sequoyah, you jump right in to the deep end with a 543 yard Par 5 with a demanding tee shot, tight fairway and demanding green complex. We all walked away with big scores from this one, oops.
The 2nd is a short, yet intimidating par 3 with a seemingly endless ravine between you and the green, and the great wall of china staring at you off the back edge of the green. The green was no easier, there were some interesting putts missed by the 3 of us.
The 3rd is a particularly interesting par 5. From tee to green it is all down hill, big time. I hit a beautiful 260 yard 4 iron off the tee (yeah that is fun to do), to leave me with a great shot at the green. I tried to hit another 4 iron down to the green but caught it a little chunky leaving me 15 yards off the right side of the green. My dad rarely reaches 5’s in 2, but even he nearly did so… by going hybrid then 3 iron, very cool.
The 4th is a tough par 4 that honestly looked tougher from the forward tees. From tee to green the hole is actually flat from the back two tees, but the hole drops straight off after the tees then goes straight back uphill after that. We were all dumbfounded with what shot to hit off the tee box. Marc decided to play it safe and go iron off the tee and then play back uphill towards the green… he regretted this decision. My dad blocked his driver off the tee box and was left with a tough hole. I decided to gamble that I couldn’t hit my driver all the way up the hill to that big intimidating bunker. I was wrong, I had the length to get there but luckily it faded just enough to avoid that beast. I was left with a short uphill chip, that proved to much as I came up short… tough bogey to take.
The 5th is a short downhill par 4 that moves towards the left slightly. If you play a draw it would be a very cool hole to go after. I can’t control a draw, so it was 5 Iron off the tee for me, which even though it was pushed out to the right, still left me with a wedge in.
The 6th is a long tough par 3. Playing from as far back as 234, we were lucky and our tees were pushed up to 188. With hazard running up the left side and a forced carry, short or left is death, and as I learned, right isn’t all that attractive of an option either. I think Marc walked away with a par, but me and my dad had our feelings hurt by this hole.
The 7th is a slightly uphill well bunkered par 4 that moves to the left around a hazard, letting your cut off as much as you are comfortable with. All 3 of us hit nice drives between the bunkered and were hitting wedges in off the short grass. The green was not so nice to me, and I walked off with a frustrating bogey after a nice shot to get a stroke back.
The 8th may be the hardest 160 yard par 3 you will encounter. With a creek left and woods right, there aren’t a whole lot of options other than on the green. I hit the creek and my dad managed to have 3 chip shots, these par 3’s were kicking out butt.
The closing hole of the front is the shortest of the 5 par 5’s on the course. My dad took advantage of it with his best drive of the day which once again left him with a great shot at getting there in two. I didn’t take advantage and pulled my drive into a fairway bunker on the adjoining hole.
The best quote of the day was as we walked off the 9th green from my dad “you know it’s a great course when you can shoot a 50 and have the time of your life”.
The back 9 is continued in the next post.