Explore This Course
The second Bear Trace course to open, Harrison Bay is destined to become a true classic in this collection designed by Jack Nicklaus. Located approximately 20 minutes north of downtown Chattanooga, the Bear Trace at Harrison Bay is surrounded by both water and heavily-wooded land, making an ideal setting for the course.
Referred to as "the best natural piece of land for a golf course," the Bear Trace at Harrison Bay features Bermuda fairways lined with soaring pine and hardwood trees. Although water touches 12 fairways, there is more than sufficient room to hit safely. Most greens are open in front, which makes the course more user-friendly for high-handicap players and allows run-up shots. Fairway and green side bunkers are designed in the traditional Nicklaus fashion and add notable character to the overall integrity of the course. Like other courses in the collection, the emphasis on playability is clearly evident. The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay stretches from 7,140 yards (gold tees) to just under 5,300 yards (red tees).
For further information about the Bear Trace at Harrison Bay, call 877-611-2327.
AccommodationsHarrison Bay State Park offers 128 RV campsites with water and electrical hookups and a limited number that can accomodate RV's up to 65 ft. The park's group camp consists of 24 rustic cabins that can accommodate up to 144 persons.
AccoladesOne of the 100 Best Bargain Courses in the United States (Maximum Golf, 2000)
Rated in the 100 Best Fairways for Women (Golf for Women, 2000)
Honorable Mention Top 10 You Can Play (Golf Magazine, 2000)
America's Best Public Courses (Golf Week, 2002)
Top 100 under $100 to Play (T&L Golf, 2002)
Number 3 Public Course in Tennessee (Golfweek, 2003)
Number 2 Public Course in Tennessee (Golfweek, 2004)
The Bear Trace Golf Course at Harrison Bay State Park received the 2009 Governor's Environmental Stewardship Award for Excellence in Parks and Recreation. Harrison Bay prevailed in this very competitive category due to making many improvements in water conservation, water quality management, wildlife and habitat management, chemical use reduction and safety, and outreach and education. The course has installed 45 nesting houses, created a large plant bed comprised of 218 plants native to Tennessee, and renovated the golf course's chemical storage facility. With all of these improvements in practice, Bear Trace at Harrison Bay ranks one out of 765 golf courses certified by Audubon International and one of only ten in the state of Tennessee. In addition, 40 acres of the course have been naturalized to minimize maintenance and the turf grass has been changed from "bent grass" to Champion Ultradwarf Bermuda grass - reducing the course's chemical use and budget from $39,000 to $8,000 annually. Click here for more information on the Governor's Environmental Stewardship Awards.
The Bear Trace Golf Course at Harrison Bay has been designated as a “Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary” by Audubon International. The course is the seventh in Tennessee and the second within the Tennessee State Parks system to receive this honor. The course at Paris Landing State Park has also achieved this certification. Only 674 golf courses worldwide have been designated as Audubon Cooperative Sanctuaries.
Paul L. Carter, course superintendent, led the effort to obtain sanctuary status on this course and has been recognized for environmental stewardship by Audubon International. The environmental program he helped to initiate already has garnered positive results for both staff and golfers at the Bear Trace at Harrison Bay. Members, guests and staff have a greater appreciation for the natural beauty of the golf course and better understand how our actions – both direct and indirect – impact wildlife, waterways and other aspects of the environment.
To achieve Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary certification, a golf course must demonstrate that it meets specific criteria in the areas of environmental planning; wildlife and habitat management; outreach and education; chemical use reduction and safety; water conservation; and water quality management. The Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program, which is endorsed by the U.S. Golf Association, provides information and guidance to help golf courses preserve and enhance wildlife habitat and protect natural resources. Golf courses throughout North and Central America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia have achieved certification through this program.
The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay is designated as a Groundwater Guardian Green Site as a result of the groundwater-friendly practices implemented at the golf course. The golf course is actively protecting local water supplies by optimizing fertilizer applications, applying natural organic products when possible and creating vegetative buffer areas around wetlands and shorelines. In an effort to protect surrounding waterways and groundwater supplies, The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay has also utilized native plants in their landscaping and converted more than 40 acres of highly maintained turfgrass to a natural state. These decisions have reduced fertilizer and chemical inputs into the environment and also decreased the amount of water required to irrigate these areas. Groundwater Guardian Green Sites is a program administered by The Groundwater Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Lincoln, Nebraska, with a mission to educate and motivate the public to care about and for groundwater.