Fairfield Glade Community Club hosts five golf courses for its retirement community, and the Stonehenge layout is traditionally hailed as its best. Although the course plays less than 6,600 yards from its tips, it cannot be said that Joe Lee intended for those yards to be mild.
Playing along with the slopes of the Cumberland Plateau, the signature par three 14th drops significantly from tee to green, crossing a blanket of exposed rock before arriving at the built-up putting surface. Lick Creek adds both visual wonder and intimidation to the shot. The exposed rock appears elsewhere and provides the namesake for the course.
The course hosts the Tennessee Senior State Open, among other events, on a yearly basis. A bunker renovation program from 2016-’17 means Stonehenge is hardly ancient history, however.
I have played Stonehenge many times over the years. The course has been rated as high as the top 5-10 in the state, but I think the current ranking of 18th on this website is probably correct. Over the years, the course has narrowed as tree growth has occurred, and to me, the course has become less enjoyable to play. Besides the tight driving lines, the course is marked by very soft fairways, small greens, and tenacious fescue rough immediately next to all the greens. The soft fairways often yield beaver-sized pelts for divots.
There are several good holes at Stonehenge but several inferior designs. The par 4 fourth is an awkward sharp dog-leg par 4 where it is challenging to choose an appropriate line off the tee. The two holes around the lake, the precipitous downhill par 3 13th, is really just too severe and constrained. The par 5 14th essentially requires a layup off the tee, then the rest of the hole plays straight uphill. These holes have just never appealed to me.
Overall, Stonehenge is a decent place to play, but I'm sure that several of the holes will leave you scratching your head. I live about an hour away, but I wouldn't make the trip to play unless it was to meet someone who wanted to play there.
Fairfield Glade is a retirement community with 5 courses. Stonehenge is perceived as the crown jewel. Stonehenge has a couple of really fun holes. It is only 6500 yards but plays about 6700. Tees, greens and fairways are bent grass and there will be very limited rollout. You may get disgusted with the amount of mud balls. Also, as this course is embedded in a residential community OB is just about everywhere.
The first hole is welcoming, a straight away slightly uphill par four. Fairway bunker left, OB right with a green protected by three bunkers. The 2nd is a good birdie oppty. Par five dogleg left with three bunkers on the inside elbow. If you can bomb it over the third bunker you should be able to get home in two. If not, favor the right and play it as a three shotter. The green has four compass bunkers. The 3rd is the shortest hole. Slightly uphill, the green has two bunkers front and one back. The fourth is a dogleg left with two bunkers on the outside elbow and the number one handicap hole. Right is dead and left may just be mortal wound. The green is wedged into a ledge with a front right bunker. The 6th is a mid-length valley par three. There are three bunkers, if you are in the front left short bunker, well, frankly, you deserve to be, terrible shot. If you are short right, good luck, it is deep. The back bunker, at least you were smart enough to avoid the front right trap. The 6th and 7th are similar. The 6th leans left, favor the right off the tee, the contour goes left, but there are fairway bunkers on both sides. The green is protected by three bunkers. The 7th leans right and only has a left fairway bunker. The 8th is an uphill par five that leans a little bit right. Favor the left off the tee and most should play this as a three shotter. Greenside bunkers front right and left. The 9th is a dogleg right, there is a bunker past the right elbow. To cut the corner you need to get it high quickly. Better play is to lay up. Greenside bunker left and two back right.
The back starts with a par five that bends left with a fairway bunker on the inside elbow. Green is protected by three bunkers. The 11th is a forgettable mid-length par three. The 12th is a long downhill par four. Favor the right as the contour is left and there is a fairway bunker and rock ledge left, There is a large bunker in front of the green. The 13th is a short dogleg left, fairway bunkers on the outside elbow. Don’t get greedy off the tee, consider laying up and you will still have an attack iron. Now the fun begins, the 14th is the signature hole, mid-length but an even steeper downhill decline than my career. The only place to miss is short, although there is a bunker right, left there is ledge and creek, right ledge, underbrush and trees. Does not sound real attractive. However, if you put the danger and the eye candy aside it is pretty easy. It is at least two clubs shorter than the yardage. The first time I played it, it seemed forever before my ball came down. When I say it plays easier than it may look I have hit the green teeing off with my putter. While it would have been nice to birdie, still pretty cool to use your putter 3 times to par a hole. (I am used to using it three times on way too many greens) The 14th is an uphill par five with a large water hazard left. Do not be surprised to see boaters. I have seen way too many golfers entertain themselves by hitting golf balls at fisherman and party pontoon boats. Shocking! One time I was playing and a party boat drifted over to my drive. They said nice drive and I said thanks. They then asked if I wanted a beer. I think I made the right decision, it was nice and cold. The water hazard sneaks into an inlet on the left side of the fairway and this is reachable, so consider laying up. Also, a brook crosses the fairway about 50 yards out from the green. The 16th and 17th are good birdie oppties. The 16th is a short par four that leans right. Favor the left side to have the best angle to this green that has four bunkers. The 17th leans left with fairway bunkers on the inside and outside elbows. The green has two bunkers left and one rear right. The 18th is a mid-length par four with a water hazard in front of the green that starts about 125 yards out, so big hitters should lay up. Favor the right off the tee and the green has bunkers left and front.
I enjoy Stonehenge but I prefer playing a different course at Fairfield glade, Dorchester.