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As you can imagine, people flock to vacation in the Western North Carolina mountains for the abundance of outdoor activities there are to choose from. Hiking, fishing, biking, skiing, the mountains are an outdoor lovers’ oasis. When it comes to golf, there is no exception. People love to visit golf courses in North Carolina, because you get a wide range of landscape and gorgeous views.

The Highlands-Cashiers plateau and surrounding areas are especially popular for golfing. With approximately 16 public and private golf courses, this is a golfer’s paradise.

So where can you golf on the Highlands-Cashiers plateau, whether you are visiting for a brief time or planning to stay forever? Let’s dive in.

Best Public Golf Courses in North Carolina

Golf clubs that are completely open to the public are not as common, but there are a couple that you can visit here in the mountains.

Red Bird Golf Links

With so many few public courses in the area, Red Bird Golf Links is a good golf course to give you a small taste of what golf courses in North Carolina have to offer. Red Bird Golf Links is a nine-hole course designed by Reid Horne and in 2020, this course will have been open for 19 years. While it’s a smaller course, Red Bird offers a 15-tee driving range to practice. There is also a full pro shop. So if you are only in town for a day, or maybe even just a week, this would be a great course for you, especially if you have people in your group who are beginners. Red Bird is located within the Sapphire Valley community.

Sapphire Valley National Golf Course

sapphire valley national golf course

Everyone who lives in Sapphire Valley or has an amenity card to Sapphire Valley absolutely loves it there. Since Sapphire Valley is home to the only public golf courses in the area, you’ll get a rare opportunity to see why. Sapphire Valley boasts a 4.5 star rating from Golf Digest, and for this they give partial credit to the variety of landscape that is situated on the course. This full 18-hole course was designed by award-winning designer, Ron Garl to accommodate the natural landscape that embodies the course.

Various rates for 9/18 hole games are subject to change by year and season, but you can find rates for you, your family and your corporate family on Sapphire Valley Golf Course’s website. They offer special discounts for students and members of the military, fire department, and police force.

While open to the public, Sapphire Valley still requires that visitors, whether they are residents, amenity card holders, or guests for the day, abide by the dress code. Denim, tank-tops, and gym apparel are a few of the clothing items that are prohibited on the course. For a full description of the dress code of the Sapphire Valley National Golf Course, check out the rate page on their website.

Sky Valley Country Club Golf Course

Sky Valley Country Club is a short drive from Highlands, NC, right near the Georgia-North Carolina border. Sky Valley is the highest elevated golf course in Georgia, and lucky for you, it’s open to the public! Opened over 40 years ago, with a course renovation in 2007, Sky Valley’s golf course is now considered a championship course with approximately 6,900 square feet of yards of green to enjoy. Rates vary, and those interested in golfing at Sky Valley will need to inquire about booking a round of golf.

Private Golf Courses in North Carolina

private golf courses in North Carolina

Here is the most important thing to take away from learning about our golf courses: Many golf courses in North Carolina are private. Each golf course and community they are located within have their own rules about membership, and they are subject to change. Some clubs change their membership rules frequently. If you are an avid golf player and a frequent visitor to the mountains, it would be worth it to look into purchasing some type of membership so you have a familiar place to come and play every time you visit the mountains.

If you are not looking to purchase real estate and you are solely looking for a golf membership, there are still plenty of options for you, though they are narrowed down. Below are just some of the communities that offer golf memberships to people who don’t own property in that given community:

  • Cullasaja Club – Highlands, NC
  • Wildcat Cliffs – Highlands, NC
  • Burlingame Country Club – Sapphire, NC
  • Trillium Links – Cashiers, NC

You’ll find that a few communities are very exclusive. The golf club is only open to those who own homes or property in that community. If that kind of exclusivity and privacy is what you are looking for, Landmark Realty Group can help you find the perfect community for you to purchase your next home in. Some of the communities that reserve their golf courses exclusively for property owners as of February 2020 are:

  • Wade Hampton – Cashiers, NC
  • Mountaintop Golf – Cashiers, NC
  • Lake Toxaway Estates (with exceptions, inquire if interested) – Toxaway, NC

 To sum it up, all golf courses and country clubs have their own rules and regulations. It can be overwhelming to try and explore them all and stay current on what is required, since it can change. At Landmark, we are happy to explore these courses with you and find one that fits your lifestyle.

Landmark Vacation Rentals Has Rental Homes on Golf Courses in North Carolina

landmark vacation rentals has rental homes on golf courses in North Carolina

When you decide to rent a vacation home in Western North Carolina, you don’t make that decision lightly. You want it to be perfect for you. For some, their definition of perfect includes either staying on a golf course, or having the easiest access possible to a golf course within the community. If spending your days playing your favorite sport and then easily walking home sounds like your thing, we have homes that are perfect for you. We have a variety of rental properties to choose from that overlook golf courses or are located within golfing communities. We’d love to give you a tour of any of our private courses, and the communities they are nestled in. Get in touch with us today so we can help you find the perfect golfing community for you to stay in during your next vacation to Western North Carolina.