“The best golf course West of Asheville”
About the Club
I’m sure many of us have heard of Harrah’s Cherokee Casino, as it’s one of the few casinos in North Carolina and only 3 hours from Charlotte, NC. Makes for the perfect weekend getaway or a quick trip to go try and win enough money for next weeks golf round. But what is a weekend away if you don’t treat yourself to a round of golf, and let me tell you Sequoyah National Golf Club is one of the top golf courses in North Carolina to add to your bucket list.
Sequoyah National Golf Club is located about 45 minutes west of Asheville, NC in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains. It’s owned by the Eastern Band of the Cherokee, and designed by Robert Trent Jones II. This golf course will give you the true mountain golf experience with some of the best views around. I’ve played a lot of golf in Colorado, and I cannot think of a golf course with better views than this one.
Sequoyah has gone through a few different managers before they decided to partner with Kemper Sports in 2018 to manage the golf course. Kemper Sports builds, owns, leases and manages golf courses & resorts all across the U.S. and Caribbean. They have an award-winning portfolio of golf courses – some of the more well-known courses being Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, Streamsong Resort, and Chambers Bay.
Back in 2020, Sequoyah National Golf Club completed a massive renovation of the golf course, specifically on the bunkers and converting the fairways to Zeon Zoysia, which were previously bluegrass. This change has helped them to keep the conditions perfect throughout the year, but the biggest improvement is seen in the summer months when it’s hot and gets a lot of play.
What to expect when you play Sequoyah National Golf Club.
You’ll want to arrive early and spend some time on the practice facility. The driving range is elevated overlooking the mountains. You may not be able to gauge distances all that well, but the view and watching your golf ball travel forever will certainly make up for it. They have a putting green by the clubhouse and another one by the 1st tee, and a chipping area with bunkers to get a feel of the short game and green speeds.
The golf course isn’t too long, as it plays 6600 yards from the tips with elevation changes on almost every hole. The front 9 consists of 3 par 5s, 3 par 3s, and 3 par 4s, with the back being more traditional with 2 par 5s, 2 par 3s, and 5 par 4s. There’s a great stretch of golf holes between 9-12 where there are 3 par 5s and 1 par 4. This will give you a great chance at scoring and starting off the back nine with some momentum.
The key at Sequoyah National is finding fairways. If you manage to find fairways, you could score pretty low. That’s a big if. Especially if it’s your first time playing there, it could be tough to navigate the golf course. You’ll want to have a range finder that has slope capabilities otherwise it’s pretty much a guessing game in terms of distance and club selection.
There are a lot of chances at birdies or eagles if you find the fairway, and you can cut a lot of corners with the right club selection and knowing where to aim. Long hitters can make a go at a few par 4s, making you weigh the risk and reward. If you miss a fairway, there’s a good chance you won’t be able to find your ball. It will either be in fescue or down the mountain where you won’t even go look for it.
The greens aren’t too fast so you can give it a go on the uphill putts, but don’t be surprised if you fly past the hole on a downhill putt. There’s a bunch of ungulated greens they move pretty quick on the downslope, so be careful and get a feel of the greens before the round. The greens grab some when chipping so you can get aggressive on certain chips, but be careful with the slopes.
They have quite a few members from the Cherokee tribe, but have seen an increase in other members over the last few years. The membership is very reasonable and worth it if you could get out about once a month.
We had the chance to play with the GM Brad Adams and Travis Erickson who is head of Retail and Group Sales. It was helpful having someone to lean on when trying to navigate the golf course, but was even better to learn about the golf course, what they have done to improve the conditions, and what they have planned.
Sequoyah National has been buying up land around the course, and sitting on about 45 acres of land. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see another golf course down the road, or at least 9 holes. The goal is also to build a hotel on the golf course, turning this into a true resort golf course.
Kemper Sports has done a great job with this golf course, and you can expect the course to continue to improve and be a top destination for golfers all over the Carolinas. If you haven’t had a chance to play the course yet, I would strongly encourage you to do so. It won’t be long before you find yourself back at the golf course and Harrah’s Casino.