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Cherokee

Knoxville, Tennessee
Knoxville, Tennessee
Rankings
  • Address5138 Lyons View Pike, Knoxville, TN 37919, USA

Founded in 1907, Cherokee Country Club started out – as was the case at many centurion clubs – with a 9-hole course. The layout was expanded to 18 holes in 1910. Today’s course is an unusual and rather hilly track that features no fewer than six par threes and back-to-back par fives at holes 4 and 5.

Marketed by the club as “a classic 18-hole Donald Ross links style course,” Cherokee was originally located four miles outside the city of Knoxville, but urban expansion has since engulfed the club.

A press clipping from the Daily Arkansas Gazette (uncovered by Richard Smith who hails from Knoxville) dating back to 1916, reported: “Little Rock golfers have been invited to participate in an invitation golf tournament to be held at the Cherokee Country Club at Knoxville. The club has recently opened a new course of regulation length, which was laid out by H. H. Barker, the English golf architect.”

In 1919, Donald Ross was commissioned to suggest improvements to the greens and this work was completed in 1920. The course was remodelled down the years, first by Alex McKay in 1950 and Dan Maples made further revisions in 1985.

In the new millennium, Ron Prichard (Donald Ross restoration architect) was hired to return the course back to its origins. Prichard used old aerial photos and the restored course opened for play in 2008.

With commanding views over the Tennessee River, the compact, 80-acre, undulating and treed course in play today bears no resemblance to a traditional links, but its modest length (just less than 6,400 yards) represents a fine test. The club has hosted U.S. Open Qualifying and the Tennessee State Amateur, so its challenge should not be underestimated.

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Course Architect

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Donald Ross

Donald Ross worked with Old Tom Morris at St Andrews in 1893 then spent part of the following season at Carnoustie before returning to serve under the Dornoch club secretary John Sutherland.

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