Warriors’ Path Golf Course (Kingsport, TN on 09/02/13)

The final round of my trip was at Warriors’ Path Golf Course near the I-26 and I-81 interchange. The course is state owned and part of the Tennessee Golf Trail. From what I have gathered looking online, many states have started a “golf trail” to try to compete with the famed Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Alabama. Tennessee’s trail consists of 8 or 9 courses throughout the state and this is the first that I have played. The course is part of the Warriors’ Path State Park so if someone does not want to golf there is still plenty to do. While driving through the park to get to the course I saw signs for camping, boating, hiking, and horseback riding so there are activities for the whole family here.

Like most of Eastern Tennessee the land where the course is located is hilly and tree lined so I was surprised that the layout is very open. From the higher points on the course many of the holes are visible so it allowed me to sneak a peak at the upcoming holes. The theme to the course is uphill and downhill holes with the challenge coming on the approaches. I played the blue tees at 6601/71.5/123 and while the course was not tough off the tee (because it was shorter with elevated tees) I struggled trying to get my approaches pin high. Many times I had a short iron in but could only see the top half of the flag and in a couple spots it was completely blind from 100 yards in the center of the fairway. Most of the time I don’t like blind shots, but because I had short irons in most of the time it didn’t bother me as much as normal. It is possible here to have the same yardage on different holes and hit three different clubs because of the elevation changes so it is a place where creativity is rewarded. A couple holes were on the side of hills with wild slopes to the fairway. The back nine was my favorite as the holes there were a bit flatter and more separated than the front nine.

The course had some strong holes including the 365 yard par 4 5th which dropped close to three clubs from the tee to the green. The 8th and 9th are par 4’s that  drop from the tee to the fairway and then rise back up to the green. I liked the fairway on the 9th which sloped like a bowl to the center of the fairway. The 12th is a 373 yard downhill, dogleg right par 4 with a blind fairway. If the tee ball is placed properly it becomes a birdie hole as the green is clearly visible from the fairway. The 18th is a strong par 5 that plays back up a hill. A couple criticisms of the course include the 3rd hole which is a long par 5 with a fairway that runs out at 230 yards and that all the par 3’s were a long iron for me (203, 186, 200, & 200 yards). I think the par 3’s were a good test and fair for being long, but I just like to see a short iron par 3 on a course. Finally, power lines ran through at least a third of the holes so it took a bit of luck to avoid hitting them throughout the round.

The course was in good shape especially for $36 to ride on a holiday. The tees, greens, and fairways were in consistent shape with no bare spots. However, the greens were a bit furry and therefore slower than the other courses that I played this trip. I’d recommend the course as I found it fun to play even with a few quirky holes. In addition, the course has some birdie holes because it plays so short and I always like the chance to put up a decent score.

#1:

1-1

#3:

2-1

#3 from the fairway:

3-1

#4 green:

4-1

#6:

6-1

#8:

7-1

#9:

9-1

#10:

10-1

#11 green:

11-1

#12:

12-1

#12 approach:

12-3

#13:

13-1

#15:

15-1

#15 green:

15-2

#17:

17-2

#17 green:

17-3

#18 approach:

18-1

 

 

 

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