Resort at a Glance - The Grove Park Inn Resort
Outside of Pinehurst, the Grove Park Inn Resort may be the most venerable, sought-after stay in the Carolinas. The resort opened in February of 1999, and has hosted a veritable "who's who" of guests over the years ranging from F. Scott Fitzgerald to George Bush. Located in Asheville, the Grove Park in is set at the base of the Smokey and Blue Ridge Mountains.
The edifices of the resort resemble (for better or worse) the hotel in used in the movie The Shining, and are a striking site perched on the hillsides above the golf course. There are plenty of great places to stay in Asheville, but when you truly want to paper yourself with world class traditional golf, fine restaurants and elegant rooms, the Grove Park Inn is the only clear choice.
This website is about golf, after all, and there are few courses in the U.S. much less the mountains of North Carolina that offer up as fun and traditionally elegant layout as the Grove Park Inn's golf course. Designed by Donald Ross (who else!), Willie Park Jr., Herbert Baker, and Russell Breeden, the Grove Park's course is located at the base of the Inn and is so convenient, it is hard not to stay at the Inn if you plan to play the course.
A traditional parkland course, with holes running parallel to each other, the golf course is situated on only 80 acres of land - a number that would make Sierra Club members happy even by today's standards. But in no way does the layout feel tight or suffocating, and Ross has even seen fit to abandon his epic quest for tortoise shell greens at Grove Park - perhaps because the resort is all about rest and relaxation, and three putts don't fit into that category.
The front nine plays through some relatively flat terrain, but the back nine (which plays closer to the Inn) takes full advantage of the properties hills, and features a few tee shots that look straight out towards the Appalachian Mountains.
The Grove Park Inn has all the little pleasantries you would expect of a luxury resort: fine dining, exquisite rooms, head over heels service, you name it. It is not, however, an eco-tourists paradise, unless the setting itself is good enough for you - which for most it is. That is to say, there are not bike paths, and prescribed nature walks etc., but there is that Ross golf course.
The golf course offers a practice green, rental clubs, locker room, bar, snack bar, restaurant, beverage cart, and a pro shop that has to be one of the best in the state in terms of gear and apparel.
You've Got to be Kidding Me
Not only has the Grove Park Inn housed some famous writers and politicians, the Ross course has hosted a number of famous golfers including Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Fuzzy Zoeller. From the 1920's to the 1950's, the course was home to a PGA Tour stop.
May 7, 2000