Tennessee is assumed, at least by Smokey Mountain tourists, to be crawling with black bears. However the “bear” in “Bear Trace” is none other than the “Golden Bear,” Jack Nicklaus. The icon designed a trio of public-access courses for the Tennessee State Park System, all named “Bear Trace” (which of those is the best of the three is an argument typically waged between the Bear Trace at Cumberland Mountain and Bear Trace at Harrison Bay).
Although “mountain” is built into the property’s name, the land is moderate in its roll. Players will more likely need to be concerned with water hazards rather than gravity, as creek and marsh crossings incur across the front nine.
If you’re a fan of Jack’s work at Valhalla Golf Club but don’t have the access, you’ll find two strong replicas of his famous “Island” par four, both requiring shots over a marsh to a green built up on walls built atop roughly-hewn boulders. No. 7, one example, is considered the course’s signature hole.