You might be confused reading “Beech Mountain” and “summer” in the same sentence. But General Manager Brian Barnes hopes to change your perception of Beech Mountain Club as only a ski destination with a guarantee that no other golf course offers.
For those who are unfamiliar with the North Carolina mountain areas near Boone and Banner Elk, they are perhaps the state’s greatest year-round playground. Tourists flock there in winter for skiing, summer for hiking, golf and relief from the heat, fall for the foliage and spring for the abundance of flowering plants.
Yet Beech Mountain is not often thought of as one of the great golf destinations. With Beech Mountain Club’s Summer of 79 Package, officials at the course hope perception will soon change. The Summer of 79 at Beech Mountain is not a movie title, but it may cause you to fall in love this summer.
The Summer of 79 Package provides a money-back guarantee if the temperature exceeds 79 degrees while you’re playing golf. It’s that simple. The official weather station resides in Fred’s Mercantile just up the road, where if you want ANYTHING you can just about find it there – including breakfast, lunch or dinner. Fred’s Mercantile has recorded temps above 79 a mere seven times since 1992. In fact, the temp is typically 15 degrees cooler than the Triad and the Triangle on any given day. This means that golfing weather is nearly perfect most any summer day.
Most skiers know that the roads leading to Beech Mountain’s slopes wind so tortuously that you can see your own taillights on many of the switch-backs. Golfers will find the route similarly adventurous yet with a twist. When the trees are leafed out, the flame azaleas and rhododendrons in bloom, all of which frame spectacular views of the rolling Appalachians you feel as if you are driving into Shangri-La. Few road tours in all of North Carolina compare with the drive to Beech Mountain Club.
A visitor to the Beech Mountain Club will find all the facilities typical of a first-class club: a well-stocked pro shop, indoor and outdoor seating with 50-mile views for enjoying world-class food, 10 clay tennis courts, a full-sized pool and a golf course that will challenge any player. With a well-run recreation program providing dozens of physical and intellectual activities, members can stay busy.
The golf course is the real centerpiece. Rumor has it that when LPGA World Golf Hall of Famer Carol Mann (UNCG, ’60) was a member of Beech Mountain Club, she would bring her LPGA pals up to play the course that stretches to 6,225 yards from the tips. She would issue a challenge that if any of them broke 80, she would pay them $100. No one ever collected.
This is a way of saying that there is more to this course than is revealed by reading the scorecard. At elevations between 4,200 and 4,700 feet, your ball flies farther, but you will need to hit it straighter as the sloping fairways and greens can quickly change the intended direction.
Designed by Willard Byrd, with recent reworking by Carolina Hall of Fame architect Tom Jackson, Beech Mountain Club provides an excellent variety of golfing challenges. Just reading the yardage of the par-3s, where the longest is within 29 yards of the shortest, it may appear on the surface that there is little diversity. Yet the 164-yard downhill 12th hole is far more difficult than the relatively flat 175-yard fifth hole. Or compare two of the par-5s. It is the rare golfer that can make the 430-yard uphill 13th hole in two shots, yet many golfers can reach the downhill 451-yard 18th in two. In short, it is the variance in elevation that defines the play of this course.
Golfers staying in one of Beech Mountain Club’s approved lodging options and taking advantage of their Summer of 79 guarantee will find it to be the peak of their summer vacation. Challenging golf and cool temperatures prevail at this mountain paradise. And you’ll not break a sweat making reservations.
For more information call 800-468-5506 or visit beechmtn.com/summerof79.