Golf Courses Near Athens, TN
Athens, a small city in southeast Tennessee halfway between Knoxville and Chattanooga, occupies ground that was the historic homeland of the Cherokee Indians. The predominantly rural surroundings in the Tennessee Valley make for enticing golf grounds that should please anyone looking to make a tee time. Thanks to a renovation project in 2020, Ridgewood Golf Course, which rambles amidst forests and wildlife, became the only course within 50 miles to feature Bermuda greens (according to Ridgewood). Mouse Creek Golf Course (formerly Rock Springs Golf Club), is a pretty and hilly par-64 family-run executive course that weaves around trees and ponds. White Oaks Golf Course has a few hills but it is a predominantly flat playing field with lots of water. While you can come out and play, tees are only given to groups of 12 or more. The best-known golf facility in the region is Rarity Bay Golf Course, a hilly layout that anchors a residential community. Set on Lake Tellico and surrounded by the Smoky Mountains, Rarity Bay is one of most scenic golf courses in East Tennessee.
Athens has earned the nickname “the Friendly City” thanks to its folksy, hometown ambiance. The McGinn County Living Heritage Museum provides a window into the local culture and history from the 1700s to the 1940s. For a slice of aviation history, visit the Swift Museum, where you’ll find the world’s best collection of the light, low-wing, two-seat Swift aircraft that were produced for just five years right after WWII ended. Another favorite local attraction is the Gardens of Sunshine Hollow, one of the largest private gardens in East Tennessee. The Gardens, which also feature eight miles of trails through pristine forest land, are open for touring from mid-April to mid-July. Finally, if you visit Mayfield Dairy Farm you’ll not only be able to see how a 110-year-old though modern family-run dairy farm operates, you’ll also be able to pick up some fresh dairy products, including what locals call “the world’s best ice cream.”