Course Architect: Jack Nicklaus
Year Opened: 1999
Location: Harrison, Tennessee
Slope: 132. Rating: 73.8
Par: 72
Yardage: 7,140
Hole-by-Hole: 1 - Par 4 420 Yds    10 - Par 4 417 Yds
                      2 - Par 5 579 Yds    11 - Par 3 173 Yds
                      3 - Par 4 428 Yds    12 - Par 5 559 Yds
                      4 - Par 3 184 Yds    13 - Par 4 416 Yds
                      5 - Par 4 415 Yds    14 - Par 3 176 Yds
                      6 - Par 5 536 Yds    15 - Par 4 374 Yds
                      7 - Par 4 439 Yds    16 - Par 4 420 Yds
                      8 - Par 3 202 Yds    17 - Par 5 534 Yds
                      9 - Par 4 434 Yds    18 - Par 4 434 Yds
                      Par 36  3,637 Yds     Par 36  3,503 Yds

Awards Won: #2 Public Course in Tennessee (GolfWeek, 2004),
            Four stars by Golf Digest (Best places to play, 2004),
            Top 100 under $100 to Play (Travel & Leisure Golf, 2002),
            Honorable Mention Top 10 You Can Play (Golf Magazine, 2000).


HISTORY:  Only  open a  handful of years,  The Bear Trace  at Harrison Bay has
already  received its  own share of accolades.  How about, one of the 100 best
bargain  courses in the country by Maximum Golf or four stars by Golf Digest's
Best  Places  to Play, or, get  the picture. Course architect Jack
Nicklaus  has designed  a group of courses in Tennessee called The Bear Trace,
which  rivals the Robert  Trent Jones Trail in Alabama. Harrison Bay is one of
those  five Nicklaus  venues in the Volunteer State that address the issues of
quality,  affordability and  playability. The  course, which  features Bermuda
fairways and pine and hardwood trees lining the fairways, has been referred to
as  "the  best natural piece of  land for a  golf course." What also makes the
course so beautiful is the views of Harrison Bay (Chickamauga Lake) throughout
the venue.

REVIEW: The course opens up with a solid par four stretching 420 yards, devoid
of  trouble off the tee, as the fairway opens up to 45 yards across. Left side
of the fairway will set up a mid- to short-iron approach to a green flanked by
sand.  Miss  right of  the bunker and  you'll be left  with a difficult uphill
shot,  as the  green slopes down towards Chickamauga Lake. Make anything worse
than  par here is a no-no. The second hole is the longest on the course at 579
yards  from the gold  tees. A wide, receptive fairway awaits your tee ball and
second  shot, as you  set up your short approach to the green. The backdrop of
the  putting  surface is  once again  Chickamauga Lake, so  don't miss long or
right while you admire the beautiful sights. Although lengthy, the second is a
definite  birdie chance.  One of the toughest driving holes on the course, the
third is quite demanding with a pair of fairway bunkers guarding the corner of
the dogleg right. Although the fairway is wide, there is no room for error, as
both  sides are guarded  by tall trees. A mid to short iron is left to a green
guarded  right by sand and water and left by a grassy hill. Par is a real good
score on three. The first of four solid par threes, the fourth is a dandy, set
along  side  of the Lake. A  mid iron is  needed to negotiate the long putting
surface  protected on the  right by a deep bunker. The green slopes from back-
to-front  and  left-to-right, so even if  you bail out left, an up-and-down is
not  automatic. One  of  the easiest  holes  on the  course,  the fifth  still
requires  a properly placed tee shot, as the hole doglegs to the left. A short
iron  will  work wonders from  the right  side of the  fairway to a green that
slopes  severely from back-to-front.  Keep the ball below the hole to set up a
birdie  chance. The snake-like sixth is an outstanding par five that gives the
player  quite a few  options. Driver or fairway metal off the tee is the play.
With the big stick, the player can cut the right corner off the tee in efforts
to  get home in two. Your second shot now must negotiate a large bunker on the
left  side of  the landing area. Play  short and you'll have a seven- to nine-
iron  remaining. Go for  the gusto, and you'll set yourself up for birdie. The
putting  surface  is protected by  two bunkers right  and one, short and left.
Take advantage of the fairly flat green and make birdie, but beware, miss long
and left and double-bogey enters the equation. The seventh will require length
and accuracy off the tee. The longest par four on the course, the hole doglegs
to  the  left and your  tee shot must  favor the left  side, as sand is placed
strategically  on the  right. Your  second  shot will  now play  uphill to  an
elevated  green protected on the right by a pair of parallel bunkers. Bail out
left  of the  putting surface if you  must, otherwise you'll have to take your
medicine if you miss right. If the first six holes didn't grab your attention,
the  seventh certainly  will. The eighth is the only one-shotter on the course
over 200 yards. The hole plays slightly shorter, as its downhill from the tee,
so  club  selection is  key. Two  deep bunkers guard  the putting surface, one
short  and  left  and  the  second, center-right.  The  long  green  is  quite
challenging,  especially with a back-left pin placement. Miss right and you'll
have virtually no shot of getting up and down. Most courses rate par threes as
the  easiest holes on  the scorecard, but the eighth is the rated seventh most
difficult.  The No. 1  handicap hole on the course, the ninth is a dogleg left
par  four that can play as long as 434 yards. You tee shot must favor the left
side, however be wary of the trees guarding the corner of the dogleg. A medium
iron  will remain to  a shallow, uphill green protected on the right by a deep
bunker. There is no shame in making bogey on nine, but par would be nice.

The  closing nine holes  begin with a solid par four. Your tee shot must avoid
the  fairway bunker on the right side to set up the best possible angle to the
green. The putting surface is protected on the left-front by a bunker, but any
pin  position other  than  back-left will  provide the  player  with a  simple
approach  to  set up a  birdie attempt. Although  water covers the entire left
side  of the 11th,  it does not come into play. This par three is the shortest
on  the course,  but plays quite difficult with bunkers, left, right and deep.
Not  a hole  to be greedy, just make your  par and move on. The 12th is one of
those  holes  were you can just  rip it off the  tee, as a wide fairway awaits
with  no bunkers  in  site. It's  the  second  shot that  needs  to be  struck
carefully.  Play down the right side of the fairway, over a pair of bunkers to
set up the best approach to a green that's angled off to the left. The putting
surface  slopes left to right, but birdies can be had. A demanding tee shot is
needed  on the 13th. Although not long, the hole bends to the right with trees
guarding  both  sides of the fairway.  Water in front  of the tee box does not
come  into play,  however a bunker in  the landing area on the left side does.
After  negotiating  this narrow  strip, a  low- to mid-iron  awaits to a green
bunkered  only on  the right.  Not a  hole to  fool around  with, play  to the
center-left  of the green and take a par. One of the most picturesque holes on
the  course, the  14th is an outstanding  par three. From the tee, the hole is
all  carry over water  with Chickamauga Lake down the left side. With the wind
blowing  in and  from the left, this hole  can be quite a "Bear". If you must,
there  is plenty of room to bail out on the right, so work on your short game.
The  only  par four under  400 yards, the 15th  requires an accurate tee shot,
thus  setting up a  simple approach to the green. Take a fairway metal or long
iron off the tee, leaving just a wedge to a kidney-shaped green protected by a
trio  of  sand traps. When all  is said and done,  do not leave this hole with
anything  worse than a  par. With all do respect to the No. 1 handicap hole on
the  course (9th), the  16th is by far the most demanding at Bear Trace. A big
draw  is  needed to negotiate  this dogleg left  that slopes downhill past the
landing  area and uphill to the green. Make sure you take enough club to reach
the  putting surface, as  it plays at least one club more than you think. Sand
fronts  the green, making a back-right flag most difficult. Making par here is
a  miracle and  birdie,  well that's  an  act  of god!  Wide  landing area,  a
reachable  par five and  no water, that relates to a possible birdie chance at
the  17th. The shortest  of the four par fives, this hole doglegs to the right
with an elevated tee box. After a successful tee shot, the hole slopes down to
the  right with ample  room to lay up or for the big hitters, taking a shot at
the green. The putting surface is wide open in front, as the two bunkers flank
both  sides.  Here's a chance  to get one  back as you  head to the home hole.
You'll  be  hard pressed to find  a finer finishing  hole in the area and that
includes  The Honors Course or Black Creek. The tee shot is played uphill to a
plateau  that affords an outstanding view of the lake and the putting surface.
Miss left off the tee and you'll need a shovel to recover from the sand, right
and you'll require a chain saw to carve through the trees. Your second shot is
downhill  to  the green, protected  by a  pair of bunkers  on the left side. A
back-left  pin will bring the water into play if you're to aggressive, so play
right, avoid the trouble and bring home your round with a par.

Beautiful  topography,  excellent conditions, forgiving fairways, numerous tee
boxes,  accommodating staff and  a quick pace of play, what more could one ask
for?  The  Bear Trace at Harrison  Bay has all  of that and more. Minutes from
downtown  Chattanooga,  Harrison Bay is a  golfer's dream. From 5,300 to 7,100
yards,  this course can be played by all levels. In a word, playability. Don't
be  misled, this  is also a solid  track for even the most experienced player.
Water  on  a dozen holes,  tree-lined fairways  and undulating greens can make
even  the best  of players struggle. One  item I forgot to mention, the price.
Get  this, peak rates  are just $62.00, and that includes the cart. Getting on
the  aforementioned Honors  or Black Creek courses will be next to impossible,
so book your time at Harrison Bay and you won't be disappointed.