The Yellow Brick Road is a fictional road invented by L. Frank Baum, author and creator of the Oz legacy. This particular road is a very special one and can only be found in the magical Land of Oz, but it reminds me of the Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway that I wrote about last month. And, right in the middle of this highway and the South Carolina part of the Blue Ridge Mountains is The Rock Golf Course and Resort (www.therockgolfclub.com).
Before being granted to Captain William Lynch for his service in the American Revolution in 1780, this beautiful tract of land had been a Cherokee Indian village. Throughout the years, this property has changed hands many times, but was finally bought by Tommy Biershank and Anthony Anders in 2017. They went into their golf partnership through a mutual love of golf and joy of creating recreational venues for all to enjoy. Tommy is a former All-American golfer at Clemson who spent 15 years as a professional golfer playing on the PGA Tour. Anthony is a two-time NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National Champion and member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Since the pair purchased The Rock Golf Club & Resort in May of 2017, they have installed TifEagle Bermuda greens, completely redone the course and renovated the Pro Shop and The Rock Restaurant and Bar. Both the Pro Shop and the restaurant feature fantastic burgers with angus beef, house salads and great service.
The Rock now boasts the best greens in upstate South Carolina … with the facilities and views to match. The golf course comprises 18 challenging holes on 112 acres with breathtaking vistas and the signature #8 tee box overlooking Gauley Falls, which is one of the loveliest waterfalls in the area. Gauley Falls was once used as the power source for a corn mill that was used to grind the people’s corn, rye, barley and malts for their distilleries.
Also connected to the golf course and restaurant is the Table Rock Resort (www.tablerock-resort.com) that offers condos with magnificent views of the surrounding mountains and golf course fairways. These beautifully appointed townhome-style condos are located right on The Rock Golf Course. Even if you are not a golfer, this resort is the perfect place to stay in the middle of all the South Carolina’s highest and most picturesque mountains!
Almost within walking distance is Table Rock State Park named after a towering mountain that is a backdrop for the 3,000-acre park and its facilities. Hiking trails in the park serve as an access point for the 80-mile Foothills Trail that takes hikers past mountain streams and waterfalls when going to the tops of Pinnacle and Table Rock mountains.
The best view in this area is from the top of Sassafras Mountain which is also the highest point in the state. Actually, the summit is crossed by the North Carolina/South Carolina state line, and is crowned with a new observation tower that enables a 360-degree view of the surrounding protected landscape.
Nearby Caesars Head State Park is named for a dramatic stone outcropping perched atop the Blue Ridge Escarpment. This outcropping gives visitors an easily accessible, panoramic view of this natural wonder, as well as the 13,000 acres of pristine mountain woodland that is the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area.
Just a slight detour from South Carolina Highway 11 (The Yellow Brick Road or the Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway) is a true mountain paradise in a perfect setting! It is an unforgettable destination for golfers, families or couples!
Photos: by Bill Vanderford