If golf in the Carolinas was given a yellow flag in March and April, to borrow a NASCAR term, May and the months ahead are starting to look more and more like green. More than 97% of golf courses are open across North and South Carolina, and across the U.S. the percentage of open courses has jumped from under 50% in early April to 95% as of May 17.
What’s more, our vacation rental condos and homes have also been allowed to “unlock their doors,” so to speak, and carefully and safely welcome our late spring and early summer guests. And while many golfers aren’t quite ready to return to the friendly skies, they’re not hesitating to jump in their respective vehicles for a golf buddy or couples road trip.
“We want golfers to get here, unplug, play 18 or 36 holes and shed the stress of the past couple months,” says Rumbling Bald General Manager Jeff Geisler. “Post round, they can relax with a cold beverage and a cigar on the deck of their vacation rental.”
Here are three reasons to grab your travel bag, golf shoes, and a couple of kindred spirits and head to Rumbling Bald Resort on Lake Lure.
1. Location, Location, Location
In the southeast, many of us haven’t necessarily been locked inside for the past two months during the gorgeous spring weather. Yet, when we did get outside, it was almost always for exercising or making short trips near home. In other words, we’re ready to get out of Dodge. That stated, sitting in the car for a full-day doesn’t sound like much fun, either. Rumbling Bald’s secluded location belies how convenient it is to get to the resort in under half a day’s drive.
The Charlotte metro area is less than two hours away, Winston-Salem, Greensboro and Raleigh are all between three and four hours and even Nashville is just over five hours. And as the weather starts to heat up in the Palmetto State to the south, Greenville, Spartanburg, Columbia and even Charleston are all between 1.5 and four hours from the cooler climes of Lake Lure.
2. Mountain Golf Memories
Since the days of Donald Ross and Ellis Maples, golfers have been drawn to western North Carolina “mountain golf.” The connection is powerful and visceral; mountain golf is a way to escape the pace of today’s hurry-up, always-on lifestyle. Local golf writer Chuck Werle once said Bald Mountain golf course architect W.B. Lewis was “part man, part mountain goat.”
“Bald Mountain is what most golfers would refer to as a classic mountain course,” says Adam Bowles, Head of Golf Operations at Rumbling Bald. “The back nine especially offers a mix of uphill and downhill holes that require adjustments in club selection, trajectory and spin.”
Bald Mountain, at 6,300 yards, is renowned for its unique configuration of five par 5s and five par 3s. Movie buffs appreciate the 16th green, the backdrop of a scene from the movie “Dirty Dancing.” A protégé of golf course architect George Cobb, Lewis is known for his traditional approach to course design. This philosophy is reflected in Bald Mountain’s playability from tee to green. While Apple Valley is closed, Rumbling Bald has partnered with the Cleghorn Golf and Sports Club in nearby Rutherfordton to provide guests with a two-course experience. The highly regarded George Cobb design features a mix of gently rolling and steep terrain and is a nice complement to Bald Mountain.
3. Outdoor Activities Abound
With more than 14 hours of daylight, there are plenty of hours in the day to play golf and pursue the myriad of outdoor activities available at Rumbling Bald and around Lake Lure. Kayak, canoe, pontoon boat and stand-up paddleboard rentals are available at the North Shore Beach Cabana. Hiking, biking and walking trails abound, including a private trailhead to Buffalo Creek Park Trail.
North Carolina State Parks, such as neighboring Chimney Rock State Park, are open and are a wonderful way to experience the southern section of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Asheville and all its amazing offerings are less than an hour away. The famed Biltmore reopened its 8,000 estate on May 9 on a limited basis. Restaurants are beginning to reopen, so a trip to downtown Asheville to walk its pedestrian-friendly streets is a nice afternoon sojourn.
The resort’s 150 sparkling clean vacation rental homes, condos and studios are ideal for social distancing and feature golf course and mountain views. Golfers and guests at large can grab to-go meals from Legends on the Lake, the resort’s casual dining restaurant on Lake Lure.
To get started creating your Rumbling Bald vacation, click here, or call (828) 694.3016. For the Memorial Day weekend, enjoy 20% off lodging and no resort fee with the code MEMORIAL.