Golf Course Abuts Great Smoky Mountains National Park

By Ken Mink

When you have a golf course that bumps up against the expansive Great Smoky Mountains National Park you are bound to have a setting of which Mother Nature would be proud.

And Wild Laurel fills that bill perfectly, providing fantastic views of tree-covered emerald mountains and provide golfers a chance to see a bevy of forest animals up close and personal.

It is not unusual for golfers to see deer, groups of wild turkeys, coyotes and black bears on WIld Laurel.  The area is a black bear habitat. Even elk show up occasionally.

The national park covers about 520,000 acres (Tennessee and North Carolina) and overflows of animals into the golf course is common.

“We have about a 500-pound black bear that shows up around the 13th hole. So we tell golfers if they happen to come upon him just let him play through,” said a Wild Laurel groundskeeper. More