Graysburg Hills Golf Course (Chuckey, TN on 09/01/13)

Besides RedTail Mountain, Graysburg Hills was the course that I was looking forward to playing the most on the trip. I cannot put my finger on the exact reason but the website gave me an impression that the course was open and inviting. The course allows singles to book times directly through the website and I found an 8:30am time for $40. Many times courses don’t allow singles to make times so it was a bit of a surprise when I saw that was an option. I am not sure if a course would rather take a gamble that a foursome would bite and take the slot or what, but not allowing singles to make a time is what steered me to Golfnow a few years ago. Seems it would beneficial to at least allow singles to reserve a spot during certain periods of the day. Refocusing now, it took me about a half hour to get to the course as I went back to I-81 and then south for a few miles. I don’t think the course is more than 5 to 10 miles from the interstate so it would be a good stop for someone looking to take a break from the road on a trip. About a half mile before getting to the clubhouse I started passing by some of the holes and I always love this situation. It gets me excited to start playing and it gets me thinking about where to hit it.

The course has three nines called Fodder Stack, Chimney Top, and Knobs. I cannot comment on the Knobs Nine because I played the other two which played 6922/73.0/134 from the blue tees. I started out on the Fodder Stack Nine which had a pastoral setting to it. The holes were parallel to each other with wide fairways and played up and down gently rolling hills. Many of the holes were separated by domestically planted trees and allowed for at least a pitch out if offline. If I was on the West Coast I would have bet that John Fought designed this nine because it was forgiving off the tee and the approaches required precise shots. Missing the green resulted in a tough chip to get close as it seemed that I was always chipping up and over a mound in the green. On this nine it was easy to make a bogey without being sharp, but a decent player isn’t going to make too many big numbers. There was not a standout hole, just a group of well laid out and fun to play holes. The approach to #1 rose to the green and the 2nd had a blind fairway that was very wide. The 5th, a 215 yard par 3, was my favorite hole of the nine. It played downhill to a green that was circled by round bunkers. The 9th hole needed a draw off the tee and played to another raised green. My one criticism of this nine is that all the par 4’s were a similar length (395, 394, 416, 406, and 413 yards) so it didn’t vary the approach distances much.

The first few holes of the Chimney Top nine run up against the hill overlooking Fodder Stack before #4 ducks around the hill and into woods. Holes #4 and #5 play in the woods before #6 through #9 open up again a bit. When I got over to my back nine I figured I might squeeze in a couple holes before a line of storms hit. After finishing up on #2 I ended up waiting about 45 minutes at a low point on the course while the thunder, lightning, and heavy rain blew through. Spending most of my years on the West Coast comes at a cost because I am not the best at figuring out when severe weather is on the way. I kept an eye on the radar app on my phone so I knew it was close, but I probably would have stopped playing a bit sooner to head to the car if I knew that there were not any lightning shelters on the course. It ended up working out and surprisingly it is my only time getting pushed off the course by rain since I moved to Virginia last year. Compared to Fodder Stack, Chimney Top has more interesting and involved holes. The first couple holes are nothing special, but from #3 on it starts to get interesting. Hole #3 is a 179 yard par 3 that plays uphill to a blind green. There is a big slope in the green creating a top level and a bottom level so it important to know where the pin is located. The 4th is a tree lined 529 yard par 5 that plays downhill to a green over a pond. The 5th is a shorter par 4 where it is important to try to get the tee shot to a flat part in the fairway and then the 6th and 7th are back to back long par 4’s. The 6th is straight away, but has a blind tee shot and the 7th is a big dogleg left which I didn’t realize until I got out to my drive. The 7th approach is played over another pond to a wide green that isn’t very deep. The 8th plays through a chute of trees off the tee and the 9th is a pretty par 3 that drops a couple clubs.

The course was in great shape for $40 and the greens were a pleasure to putt. Many greens had ridges so judging the speed was challenge especially when combined with their speed. In the fairways the ball sat up for a great lie and they drained well after all the rain that fell. The rough had some bare spots, but nothing of concern. The tees, while cut a good height, were the worst part of the course as many tees had different types of grasses growing on them. Graysburg Hills is a course that is certainly worth a stop while in Eastern Tennessee.

Fodder Stack #1:

Fodder Stack 1-1

Fodder Stack #2 green:

Fodder Stack 2-5

Fodder Stack #3 approach:

Fodder Stack 3-3

Fodder Stack #4:

Fodder Stack 4-1

Fodder Stack #5:

Fodder Stack 5-3

Fodder Stack #6:

Fodder Stack 6-1

Fodder Stack #7:

Fodder Stack 7-2

Fodder Stack #7 green:

Fodder Stack 7-3

Fodder Stack #8:

Fodder Stack 8-1

Chimney Top #1 green:

Chimney Top 1-2

Chimney Top #2:

Chimney Top 2-1

Chimney Top #3 green:

Chimney Top 3-3

Chimney Top #4:

Chimney Top 4-1

Chimney Top #4 approach:

Chimney Top 4-3

Chimney Top #5:

Chimney Top 5-2

Chimney Top #6 green:

Chimney Top 6-3

Chimney Top #7 approach:

Chimney Top 7-1

Chimney Top #8:

Chimney Top 8-2

Chimney Top #9:

Chimney Top 9-1


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