Hillbilly Golf is definitely an “I’ve been to Gatlinburg” checklist item. If you haven’t been there, have you really been to Gatlinburg?
Admit it, even the most high-brow among you have curiously looked at the incline as it climbs the mountain, wondering what exactly was on top.
Go ahead and hop on – you’re on vacation! It’s okay to do something a little outside your normal entertainment standards. You can always blame it on the kids – or the moonshine samples.
Locals may think it plays up our Appalachian heritage in the wrong way, but Hillbilly Golf is my favorite outing when my out-of-town relatives visit.
There may be lots of places to play mini golf in Gatlinburg, but Hillbilly Golf offers a unique adventure with its mountaintop experience.
When did Hillbilly Golf open?
Hillbilly Golf is a classic mini golf course in Gatlinburg that opened more than 50 years ago.
But what makes it stand out from the other mini golf courses in the area is the location and the method of transportation.
An incline railway transports guests “up a mountain” to the attraction.
You may think that “mountain” might be an overstatement, but “up” is not. If this was any steeper, you might blast off into space at the end.
But don’t worry, it’s a smooth and steady ride up. The trip is short. You won’t have time to be nervous about the ride.
Each cart holds about 6-9 people. At the top of the hill, there are two 18-hole courses to choose from.
Along the courses, you’ll see many Appalachian stereotypes and obstacles. For example, the courses feature moonshine stills, farm equipment, wagons and decoration outhouses. My aunt once compared it to visiting the set of “Hee Haw”.
If you do have a serious fear of heights, you might want to choose a more grounded mini golf course in the area. Both courses start on top of the mountain and are completely outside.
Even though you’re on top of a mountain, help is never far away. There are signs posted throughout to call a staff member if you see a bear or if you need additional golf balls.
Did Hillbilly Golf in Gatlinburg burn down?
Hillbilly Golf almost burned completely during the 2016 fire, and the incline was replaced. We are happy to say that it is still open and operating in Gatlinburg.
Owners wisely worked some of the damage into the landscaping for the course. For example, the root of a downed tree has been integrated into the course.
How much does Hillbilly Golf cost?
The cost of admission for Hillbilly Golf is $13.50 per person for adults. Children 4-12 are $9.50, and children under 3 are free. These prices do not include tax, and prices are subject to change.
Discounts are offered for:
- Seniors (60 and older)
- Military and first responders (with ID)
- Local residents (with ID)
- Groups (15 people or more, one transaction)
Spectators are charged the same price as players. Strollers and pets are not allowed.
Guests who play a second game can also do so for only $5.99, which is good for three days after the first visit if you keep your scorecard.
Is Hillbilly Golf open year round?
Hillbilly Golf is open from March through November from 9 am-10 pm, weather permitting.
During the early spring and fall months, the ride is dark and the course is lit. Visitors are treated to a view of the Gatlinburg lights that can’t be topped.
If Hillbilly Golf ever closes due to weather, guests will receive a raincheck.
Parking is available for golfers for free, but space can be limited.
There is additional parking near the restrooms, but for a fee. The last time we parked in that lot, it was only $2.
Plan on spending at least an hour for one course and 90 minutes to two hours for both courses.
Snacks are available, but don’t arrive super hungry – offerings are limited.
Hillbilly Golf is located at 340 Parkway, Gatlinburg TN 37738.
Have you been to Hillbilly Golf in the Smokies? Let us know in the comments!