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Grove Park Inn - Asheville, NC


HardcoreLooper
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We don't go on golf vacations as a family, but we always do try to play at least once, and play someplace nice.  Asheville isn't really known for a ton of great golf, but the course at the Grove Park Inn sounded like it was one of the nicer places to play in the area, and it was priced as such.  I paid $140 a piece for my older daughter and myself and another $55 for the younger one.  So it was a bit of an investment, but considering they play so much golf at the local First Tee course (the younger one is a participant, the older one is a camp counselor for the summer, and I'm a volunteer coach) for next to nothing, I wanted to splurge.

The GPI is an old Donald Ross course, and I'm a sucker for DR.  The design was fairly classic Ross, pushed up greens and good use of the movement of the land.  Being in the mountains, there were plenty of hills and valleys to be traversed, with a couple of really great tees perched on hilltops.  I love the feeling of being able to hit the ball forever down the hill off the tee.  Another DR speciality, the approach off a downhill lie to an uphill green, comes into play a couple of times.  The 18th there is a great example of it; after a chunky drive I had 180 into that green off a pretty steep downhill lie and punched a little 6 iron onto the front of the green.

Unlike most of the DR courses I've played, this place was very squishy, but that was really due to the amount of rain they'd gotten recently.  They also grew the rough around the greens rather than shaving down the banks, so balls that missed the greens stayed close by.  You don't usually get that on a Ross course, but it makes things much easier on the resort guests.  The greens are huge and full of slopes.  Lots of double-breaking putts.

The backdrop is gorgeous.  It's hard to make an ugly golf course with those mountains in the background.  And you get lots of long looks to mountains in the distance.  The girls both had a wonderful time, and I was thrilled to get to treat them to it.  Is it really a $140/round golf course?  That's tough to say.  If it were anywhere else and I'd played by myself, I'd probably say no.  I liked it, but I've definitely played better courses.  But with the girls and the mountains, I wouldn't have traded it for anything.  If you can catch a GolfNow Hot Deal (we needed to play early to have the rest of the day for eating and shopping), it's worth it.

 

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What's in the bag:
Driver - :cobra-small: F8 - Aldila NV Blue 60 ( S )
3 Wood (16*) - :cobra-small: F8 - Aldila NV Blue 60 ( S )
3 Hybrid (19*) - :taylormade-small: RBZ
4i - PW - :wilson_staff_small: D7 Forged - Recoil 760 ( S )
GW - LW - :cobra-small: F8 - N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour105 ( S )
Putter - :ping-small: Craz-e
Bag - :1590477705_SunMountain: 2.5 (Black)
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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for the review.  I once stayed at the Grove Park Inn for a work conference.  I was supposed to play the course one afternoon during the conference, but work got in the way and I had to just stare at the course from a window.  Would love to play the course.

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  • 1 year later...

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I just got back this week from a weekend away at Grove Park Inn. Thought I'd give a brief review of the course, conditions and some interesting holes at The Golf Course at the Omni Grove Park Inn. The course is a par 70, 6055 yards from the tips, Donald Ross design. I played 18 holes with my wife and another couple played the first 9 holes with us. Since they were beginners, I played the front 9 holes from the white tees and the back 9 from the tips since its barely over 6k yards. 

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The course was on the higher end of what I normally pay to play (around $150) but when on vacation with the wife I usually splurge a bit.  The clubhouse was very dated with visible exterior repairs needed but it gave an "old school" feeling that was kind of enjoyable. The practice area was just a small green behind the #9 green and one range mat with a net to warm up with. It was crowded when we arrived but when I went to roll a few putts I had the entire area to myself. 

I could tell from the practice green the course was going to be in exceptional shape and the first several holes didn't disappoint. Since it was a short and tight course with not much warm up I hit an iron off the first tee and managed to find the fairway. I actually hit the ball pretty well the entire round, hitting 56% greens and 46% fairways (which are good numbers for me). 


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I enjoyed how Donald Ross used the rolling hills landscape to place his tee boxes and greens. Even holes that seemed flatter would have elevation changes in the fairway or give you interesting lies to navigate. I would say the course was on the "tighter" end of courses I've played, even holes that ran beside other holes had landing areas that could get you into trouble, of course the tightness is a product of the short length. 

What I enjoyed most about the course was the large greens and tough pin locations. I consider myself a much improved putter but 34 putts and 2 three putts were tough to stomach. A couple holes had some sharp break right at the hole, both of those 2 three putts were short 3'-4' misses that broke outside the hole. While that's kind of frustrating it's also a lot of fun to test your skills on those short putts, and it wasn't every hole just one or two scattered here and there. 

Overall, it was a fun experience, great course even though on the shorter, tighter end. If you're visiting Grove Park I strongly recommend getting in a round. 

 

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