Sapphire Valley is appropriately named, as it’s a gem of a course that’s enveloped in blue. For one, this course is located within the Blue Ridge Mountain Range of western North Carolina (its primary appeal during season is its skiing offerings), however — as the title suggests — the course is set within a valley, so it remains walkable.
Secondly, the signature holes at this George Cobb design bring blue water into play. Many fairways are divided by creeks, requiring players to measure either their tee shots or whether their second can get across. One such hole, perhaps the most picturesque, is the shorter par five No. 6. Although not a challenge for those with a strong tee shot, the location of the curiously-named Horsepasture River will force those playing from the second cut to think carefully about attempting to carry the trough.
Cobb is perhaps best known as the designer behind the Augusta National Par 3 course, but No. 16 may prove more daunting than any of the holes on that nine. Although there are no bunkers to defend the putting surface, players must launch a 205-yard dart at one of the property’s smallest greens.