Golfweek’s Best is willing to buck tradition when it comes to the top public-access layouts in Tennessee, as two of the three highest ranked layouts are just nine holes.
Sweetens Cove, which has built a loyal following online and on its untraditional tee sheet, comes in at No. 1. Located about halfway between Nashville and Atlanta in tiny South Pittsburg, the design by the firm of King-Collins offers fresh twists on classic architectural features across its nine holes. It has created massive interest in a flat floodplain between mountains, proving that golfers are more than willing to travel to find a good time.
Likewise, the Gil Hanse-redesigned Course at Sewanee is a can’t miss in Tennessee despite being just nine holes. Perched atop a mountain at the University of the South, several holes feature long views over a valley while various tees allow the nine holes to play entirely differently on subsequent loops. Sewanee comes in at No. 3 on Golfweek’s Best 2022 public-access list for Tennessee.
Golfweek’s Best offers many lists of course rankings, with that of top public-access courses in each state among the most popular. All the courses on this list allow public access in some fashion, be it standard daily green fees, through a resort or by staying at an affiliated hotel. If there’s a will, there’s a tee time.
Also popular are the Golfweek’s Best rankings of top private courses in each state, and that list for Tennessee’s private offerings is likewise included below.
(m): Modern course, built in or after 1960
(c): Classic course, built before 1960
Note: If there is a number in the parenthesis with the m or c, that indicates where that course ranks among Golfweek’s Best top 200 modern or classic courses.