Thanks to some of the highest elevation on the east coast, western North Carolina, anchored by the popular resort town of Asheville, provides a comfortable summer escape void of the sticky humidity you might find elsewhere in the Carolinas. Western North Carolina is one of the better destinations for fall foliage thanks to the 469-mile-ling Blue Ridge Parkway, of which Asheville is in the heart of. Pairing tee times with some leisurely drives help make it a popular couples destination in particular.
Asheville's golf scene is far less renowned compared to N.C.'s Pinehurst-Southern Pines-Aberdeen triangle, which is arguably the east coast's best hotspot - but it is still attractive thanks to some beautiful scenery and good value. Asheville also has some of its own history. Donald Ross laid out the Omni Grove Park Inn course, one of his better resort courses you can play. He also designed Asheville Municipal Golf Course which can be played for under $30.
So when is the best time for an Asheville golf vacation? We took a sample size of about 2,000 reviews of top area courses dating back to 2012 to find out. Here is what your reviews tell us about the golf scene month-by-month:
The first observation is that value is the highest score of the categories we're looking at. This is a destination where your money can stretch a little further, especially once you venture beyond Omni Grove Park Inn, the highest-end of the resort golf options (high season green fees are $130-150). Other Asheville golf resorts in the area include Rumbling Bald, Etowah Valley and Maggie Valley, all of which feature courses originally dating to the 1960s and have pretty economical green fees between $40-80. Conditions lag the overall score each month, an indication that golfers are satisfied with the money spent more than conditions.
Asheville golfer ratings dip in April as courses prepare for the summer peak season. But they rebound incredibly in May. It is the highest month for value while conditions and overall scores are rising fast. This is different than its neighbor to the west, Knoxville, Tennessee, whose courses peak in July and then stay high through the rest of the year (click here for our analysis). As for Asheville's neighbor to the east and at lower altitude, Pinehurst, May is not as strong of a month for ratings (here's our detailed month-by-month report for the Sandhills).
Despite the higher altitude, courses will stay open in the winter and highs in January are 47 degrees. Based on NOAA forecast reporting, there is no real change between dry and wet months, though the driest season comes in the fall with just 5-6 wet days on average in October or November, and October receives just 2.13 inches on average.
The Verdict on the best season for an Asheville golf trip?
The high May ratings from Golf Advisor reviews make Asheville a great pick for getting a head start on your summer golf trip. You'll enjoy a little better value but slightly worse conditions at this time than further into the calendar in June. But if you enjoy golf in a sweater and love the sights of fall foliage - not to mention the best chance of dry weather - October around the Blue Ridge Mountains is irresistible.
As for you shoulder season enthusiasts, according to our reviews, November, while a little riskier in terms of catching a cold snap, remains pretty strong option as golfers enjoy off-season green fees.