Located 20 minutes north of Chattanooga, Tenn., the Bear Trace at Harrison Bay is home to 18 holes designed by Jack Nicklaus and two bald eagles named Elliott and Eloise.
Due to the course’s environmental best practices, the couple built a nest in a tall pine tree near the 10th green and gave birth to six baby bald eaglets.
The Bear Trace Golf Course at Harrison Bay has been designated a “Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary” by Audubon International and earned the Golf Course Superintendents Association (GCSAA) 2013 Environmental Leaders in Golf Award. It is also certified by the Golf Environment Organization (GEO) and received awards from Golf Digest, Governor’s Environmental Stewardship and is considered a Groundwater Guardian Green Site.
Recently, the Bear Trace Golf Course moved to electric-powered mowers and saved about 9,000 gallons of fuel per year and $30,000 in maintenance costs while greatly reducing emissions.
Paul L. Carter, GCSAA Certified golf course superintendent, is considered a golf course environmental stewardship pioneer.
The Bear Trace has allowed 50 acres around the course to return to their natural state, saving more than seven million gallons of water per year.
On April 22, 2014, the Bear Trace at Harrison Bay hosted a “celebration of sustainable golf” during Earth Day with representatives from the GCSAA, GEO, Sports Turf Managers Association, Tennessee Department of Environmental Conservation, and the University of Tennessee.