By Dan Vukelich

Looking for a late summer, early fall golf getaway? Look no farther than the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina and the Rumbling Bald Resort on Lake Lure.

A drive of less than six hours from Birmingham puts you on the first tee of either of the resort’s two 18-hole championship courses, Bald Mountain or Apple Valley. Both courses saw significant renovations in late 2020 and 2021 and are in peak condition in 2022.

Lake Lure is a man-made lake created in 1927 when a developer dammed the Rocky Broad River, filling the Hickory Nut Gorge about 20 miles southeast of Asheville, North Carolina. The lake is about three miles long, with a private beach for guests of the Rumbling Bald resort on its north shore.

Lake activities include pontoon boat rentals, kayaking and paddle boarding. Also offered by the resort are an outdoor swimming pool, lakeside cabanas, tennis, pickleball, miniature golf and hiking on established trails. Spa treatments at the resort’s wellness center include massages and hair, nails and skin treatments.

The main attraction for late summer and early fall guests, though, is the cool mountain air of the Blue Ridge Mountains, a welcome change from Alabama’s late summer heat.

The resort’s Bald Mountain course, designed by W. B. Reid, opened in 1968. The tighter of the two courses, it plays to a par of 72, with a course rating of 69.6 and slope of 129 from the white tees, from which it plays 5,868 yards.

Uniquely, the Bald Mountain course features five par 3s and five par 5s. It twice was rated by Golf Advisor as one of the top 20 courses in North Carolina.

The Apple Valley course, designed by Dan Maples, opened in 1986. Although more wide open, it is a stiffer test for the bogey player, with a par of 72, course rating of 69.4 and slope of 134  from the white tees, from which it plays 6,100 yards.