Below, you’ll find a list of courses near Chattanooga, TN.
There are 20 courses within a 15-mile radius of Chattanooga,
11 of which are public courses and 8 are private courses.
There are 18 18-hole courses and 2 nine-hole layouts.
The above has been curated through Golf Digest’s Places to Play course database,
where we have collected star ratings and reviews from our 1,900 course-ranking panelists.
Join our community by signing up for Golf Digest+ and rate the courses you’ve visited recently.
Brian Silva deserves recognition for being one of the first architects to rediscover, restore and popularize the architecture of Seth Raynor. At Black Creek Club, Silva was able to build his versions of Raynor and C.B. Macdonald’s “ideal holes” like the Short and the Biarritz, but the most remarkable one here, or almost anywhere else, is a Silva original. The par-5 sixth (above) plays across mostly open space, though drives must contend with bunkers jutting into the fairway from the left. The real engagement begins on the second and third shots. Golfers cannot see the green ahead, only a tall, fortress-like embankment of long grass and bunkers. At some point the rampart must be breached, and on the other side awaits a punchbowl arena of more than 55,000 square feet that would make Raynor blush, with sloping banks that funnel shots toward a large, square green perched against a creek. It was ranked by Golf Digest as one of the best holes in America designed after 2000. —Derek Duncan
For decades, Lookout Mountain Club was viewed by architecture buffs and historians as one of the country’s great renovation opportunities.
Seth Raynor laid out the course in 1925 on a high, tilting property near Lookout Mountain’s northeastern flank, just outside of Chattanooga. Raynor, who came into the profession over a decade earlier as a surveyor and construction specialist helping celebrated architect C.B. Macdonald build courses like National Golf Links of America, Piping Rock and the extinct Lido Club, had by this time become one of the most active and sought-after designers in the United States. At each of his commissions, including Lookout Mountain, he used variations of the “ideal holes” Macdonald first developed at NGLA (based on original holes from the U.K.), including the Redan, Eden, Road Hole, Alps (below), etc.
These Raynor/Macdonald hole templates have always been present at Lookout Mountain, though few golfers would have recognized them. The course was never finished to Raynor’s plans or standards because he died in 1926 before construction began, and budget constraints and the difficulty of building on the mountain’s solid granite prevented his associate Charles Banks from executing the details. At the time, it was believed to be the second-most expensive golf course ever built, after Yale, another Raynor/Macdonald design.
The subsequent years were no kinder. The club never had the resources to properly invest in preserving the Raynor architecture that did get built, and over the decades the greens shrunk, the bunkers dulled and tree-planting crowded the holes. Despite the memorable elevated setting, Lookout Mountain resembled a Raynor course only in glancing angles, a great “what if” considering that the architect's best-preserved work includes four courses—Fishers Island, Chicago Golf Club, Camargo and Shoreacres—in Golf Digest’s top 50.
Until recently. Like so many clubs nationally, increased golf demand has allowed Lookout Mountain to at last raise the funds necessary to bring Raynor’s original vision into form. Architects Tyler Rae and Kyle Franz, who work independently but have partnered on several historical renovations over the past few years, were hired to rebuild the golf course, and construction began in Summer 2022.
About 30 minutes north of Chattanooga, this Jack Nicklaus layout plays out on a peninsula on Chickamauga Lake, which surrounds the property on three sides. Despite the lake setting, water does not come into play on many holes—instead the defense comes from tall stately pines. With few forced carries, wide fairways, and the ability to run the ball up onto most greens, the course is playable for all golfers. In the warmer months, it’s common to see boats populating the surrounding lake.
This Donald Ross design dates back to the 1920s and today is owned by the City of Chattanooga. Though the conditioning of the fairways can vary, our panelists note that the greens often roll well. At under 6,500 yards from the tips, the historic tree-lined course is playable for the average golfer.