Nashville is known for a lot of things like its world famous music scene, an ever-emerging food scene and as a great sports town for both professional and college sports fans alike. What many visitors and local overlook though, is the golf destination Nashville is becoming. The mid-state area has dozens of courses within a half hour drive of downtown that present a fun challenge for golfers of all skill levels.
Throughout the summer, we here at S&E Nashville, are going to take you on a tour of some of the Nashville area’s top public golf courses. With each we will explore the playability of the course, value of the green fees, history of the course and what makes it a special place to tee it up.
We begin our summer golf tour with Harpeth Hills Golf Course, which is one of seven golf courses owned by Metro Nashville. For many, local municipal courses have a reputation of being slightly run down and poorly kept tracts. Nothing could be further from the truth with any of the Nashville Fairways courses, and of the seven Harpeth Hills may just be the crown jewel.
Situated adjacent to Percy Warner Park in West Nashville since 1965, Harpeth Hills allows you escape the congestion of downtown Nashville and experience 18 holes among the trees and rolling hills. It is also a wildlife sanctuary and as it was being reconfigured in 1991 by Ed Conners to make it more playable; he was intentional about incorporating the natural areas around the course. During a round it is not uncommon to see deer and other local wildlife along the way.
The par 72 course allows for beginners and weekend warriors to have a fun experience from the forward tees which play at roughly 6,000 yards, while experienced players can challenge themselves from the nearly 7,000 yard back tees.
The abundance of trees on the course could provide trouble to players who struggle to control their tee shots on some holes, but in general Harpeth Hills is a very open course with lots of forgiving landing areas. Long hitters can take advantage of the wide fairways, but it also comes at a big risk on a number of holes that feature tree-lined dog legs.
There is virtually no water on this hillside course, but strategically placed bunkers will require you to be accurate around the greens.
For the purist and exercise seekers looking to walk a round of 18, the course sets up very nicely and is very walker friendly. There are water coolers every few holes and a beverage cart circles around the course regularly. The only “long” walk between green to tee box is between Nos. 17 & 18.
A round of 18 holes at Harpeth Hills will only set you back $26.00 during the week, or $28.00 on weekends. If you wish to ride, cart rentals are only $12.00. For the incredibly quality of the course, which features greens and fairways in excellent condition, the rates at Harpeth Hills are one of the best values you are going to find in Nashville.
Harpeth Hills has been the home to a number of tournaments with both local and national significance. Nationally it was a qualifier site for the USGA’s Amateur Public Links championship beginning in 1991. Locally it has hosted a number of Tennessee Golf Association championships for both amateur and junior golfers, and will serve as home to this year’s Music City Invitational which is the season finale of the Music City Golf Association’s tour.
Harpeth Hills has also hosted some of the top names in golf, from the likes of Lee Trevino in the 70s to PGA TOUR stars of today like Brandt Snedeker. Snedeker’s story of growing up on the public courses around Nashville is well known and in the clubhouse you can visit the trophy cases and see all the previous winners of the city championship, including the Snedeker dynasty where either Brandt or his brother Haymes won six times in a seven year stretch.
What makes Harpeth Hills special
The amazing views, true test of golf for all skill levels and value all combine to make Harpeth Hills one of the truly special places to play in Nashville. As you putt on the No. 13 green, you look down over the Steeplechase track in Percy Warner Park and throughout the course you have incredibly scenic views of the rolling hills around Nashville. The views allow you truly put out of mind that you are in a major city, while the course setup allows you to make your round as easy or challenging as you want – giving players at all skill levels a chance to have a great day out on the course.