Tricky Hole 10


Red Apple Inn Country Club:

A Charming Stay & Play in Heber Springs.

Posted by: Rick Parnham


The Ozark Mountains have a storied lore in American culture. Stretching from St. Louis in the north to the middle regions of Arkansas, these highlands are filled with breathtaking views, a laid back way of life and a series of man-made lakes that are nothing short of immense. One of these liquid behemoths is Greer's Ferry Lake.  Created in the early 1960's when the Little Red River was damned as a flood control measure, the lake is now a recreational wonderland located an hour north of Little Rock. The city of Heber Springs is located at the eastern shore of the lake and is the largest community in this part of the Ozark foothills. One of the city's more prestigious neighborhoods is found to the west on Eden Isle.


The Stay: The Red Apple Inn & Country Club is the centerpiece of the upscale community built on the Eden isle. Opened in 1963 and rebuilt in 1965 following a fire, The Inn is perched high on one of the island's many hilltops providing  gorgeous views of the lake. The dark stone and thick timber textures of the main lodge offer a warm, charming old-world feel. One of the unique pieces in the Inn is an impressive 16th Century iron gate which graces the entrance to the Inn's Lounge. A diverse and delicious menu is found  in the dining room which features local and traditional favorites for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Superb service compliments the food and surrounding perfectly and as an added perk the Inn is one of the only places to enjoy a libation in this dry county.


The rooms have a cottage feel with exposed trusses and wood grain textures. Luxury linens and refurbished bathrooms add a refined touch to the stay. As a guest you have access to the plentiful amenities. Two outdoor pools,  tennis courts, an extensive fitness complex, complete with workout studio, steam bath, whirlpool and massage rooms, all provide something for every guest. Nearby Eden Isle Marina will give you access to the numerous fishing, cruising and swimming opportunities the lake has to offer.  For those with a passion for golf, the Red Apple Golf Club is only a few steps from your hotel room.


The Golf: The peninsula's rolling landscape offers a varied canvas for the Red Apple Inn Golf Club. The challenging parkland style course was designed by Gary Panks and opened in 1969 and is a member of the Natural State Golf Trail. The layout winds through beautiful neighbourhoods and over undulating tree lined hillsides, many with stunning vistas of the lake. Characterized by receptive, bigger than average greens, the targets aren't necessarily the sternest challenge; getting to them is. Playing to 6450 yards from the tips the course might not strike fear in most, but take note that the routing plays longer than what is published. Most greens are either severely or subtly elevated, while many of the fairways feature plenty of uphill for your drives.


The par 3 second is regarded as one of the prettiest in the state and for good reason. The dramatic downhill tee shot offers a stunning view of the lake in the distance. Holes 3 - 5 wind around a pair of ponds and creeks adding enough challenge to take notice. The short par 5 eighth hole Is a great chance at birdie or better with 2 perfectly struck shots, while the beastly uphill par 4 dogleg left ninth may offer up a bogey or worse to balance it all out.


The back side begins with a wonderful downhill par 3 adjacent to the charming hotel and the wooded trails beneath its stone terrace. The superb 11th is a slinging par 5 bending right the entire way to the green. A collection of trees lines the right and home sites frame the left. From the back tees the fairway looks like a piano string and requires a very high launch on the drive to avoid the unforgiving oak tree that needs a thorough haircut. The 12th through 18th take you back to the tableland holes that opened the round. All play relatively straight forward but challenge with subtle slopes on the greens.


A stay and play at Red Apple provides a great experience for both the stay and the play. The top-notch service and old-world charm of the Inn was relaxing and inviting. The hilltop setting with wooded slopes lined with walking trails provides a secluded mountain top feel. The golf was a gentle parkland design, straightforward in most aspects, but with enough challenge in places to make the experience a memorable one. A couple of the par 3 holes are worth the price of admission alone.


Related Editorial: Natural State Golf Trail


Red Apple Inn Golf Club

1000 Club Road

Heber Springs, AR


(800) 773-2775































Red Apple Inn: Par 72

Tees Yards Rating Slope

















Beautiful Second Hole






Photography is Courtesy of:

Red Apple Inn &

The Natural State Golf Trail