Sequoyah National undergoes mountainous renovation

Sequoyah National Golf Club always had the stunning views of the Smoky Mountains in western North Carolina, and thanks to a $2.7-million renovation in the summer of 2020, the course now features more pristine playing conditions to match those mountain panoramas. 

Workers at the Robert Trent Jones Jr. layout – ranked No. 38 among Golfweek’s Best Casino Courses in the U.S. – removed dozens of bunkers and added capillary concrete liners to those still in play, then re-grassed the previously bent grass fairways, tees and green surrounds with Zeon Zoysia. With 30 acres of new turf, the course is better able to provide ideal conditions year-round. 

“The summers can be quite warm,” Sequoyah National general manager Brad Adams said. “Traditionally, in late summer, the bent grass and bluegrass started to struggle a little bit, and we were using quite a bit of water and some sprays to go along with that. In an effort to conserve water and also provide a superior playing surface through the second half of the season, that drove us to make the change.”

Owned by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and operated in conjunction with Harrah’s Cherokee Casino, the 6,517-yard, par-72 layout is one of the steepest tracks in North Carolina. Several shorter par 4s challenge a player to attempt aggressive drives downhill, but plenty of native scrub and ridge edges await offline tee balls. 

Located about an hour’s drive west of Asheville, North Carolina, the course plays down into and through a valley, and the surrounding mountains include Clingmans Dome, which at 6,643 feet is the highest point in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

This story originally appeared in Issue 5 of Golfweek magazine.

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