GolfLink's Guide to Memphis

By Ryan Watson

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Memphis is one of America's most vibrant cities, with a huge legacy in food, music, and sports. Memphis also has a long golf history, and continues to host the annual WGC-St. Jude Classic, one of the highest paying and most prestigious events outside the majors. The following is GolfLink's guide to Memphis.

Memphis Attractions

Memphis is an area known for its music and many of the area’s attractions reflect that. A Tour of Elvis Presley's famous Graceland mansion is at the top of many Memphis visitors’ lists. Or go see where it all began by touring the famous Sun Studio where musical pioneers Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash all cut their first records, completely redefining music as we know it. Other music attractions include the Gibson Guitar factory, the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum and the Blues Foundation’s Blues Hall of Fame.

For those travelling with kids, a trip the Children’s Museum of Memphis is sure to bring a smile to their face. The hands on exhibits will allow the children to burn off energy while parents relax in the air conditioned facilities. Then enjoy the hippos at the Memphis Zoo or visit the outdoor ropes course at Shelby Farms, a public park five times the size of New York City’s Central Park and located in east Memphis.

The food in Memphis is almost as legendary as the music and any trip to the city must involve some local favorites. And first on that list is barbecue. Memphis loves its barbecue so much that don’t be surprised to see things like barbecue spaghetti on the menu at the Bar-B-Q Shop or a barbecue bologna sandwich at Payne’s BBQ. Or stick to the classics and enjoy Central BBQ’s pulled pork sandwiches or the ribs at Charlie Vergos’ Rendezvous that have been filling up Memphians for generations. Don’t skimp on the fried okra or banana pudding either. After you’ve recovered from the meat sweats, be sure and check out world-famous Gus’s Fried Chicken or the soul food at the Soul Fish Cafe.

For nightlife, look no further than Beale Street. Half the fun of Beale Street is just walking around enjoying the laid back atmosphere that encompasses Memphis. Wander over to W.C. Handy park to enjoy free concerts when the weather is nice. For more music, check out the duel venue of the Blues Hall for more stripped down sets or venture further inside to the louder Rum Boogie Cafe. Local drinks include Silky O’Sullivan’s signature Diver, a gallon sized drink served in a bucket with a multitude of straws for you to enjoy with your closest friends or the ubiquitous Walk Me Down, a blue frozen cocktail featuring seven different alcohols. In the morning, head to the Arcade, Memphis’ oldest cafe, for simple and filling breakfast items before you head out for a round or two of golf.

Memphis Courses

There are several options for a quick round of golf in the Memphis area. The following are the best courses you can play during your visit to Memphis.

Tunica National Golf & Tennis Club

1 Champions Ln.
Robinsonville, MS 38664
(662) 357-0777

Tunica National features a public 18-hole golf course designed by Mark McCumber. While Tunica is at the edge of the greater Memphis area, and is a tourist destination in its own right. But away from the famed casinos, this course provides a stern challenge with its numerous hazards. Water is the most common factor, as all but 2 holes feature the wet stuff. The closing hole is a great example of the challenge of the course; a 443 yarder with water bordering the left side of the course and a 50 yard fairway bunker, only to set golfers up for a second shot crossing water onto a heavily bunkered green.

Cherokee Valley Golf Club

6635 Crumpler Blvd.
Olive Branch, MS 38654
(662) 893-4444

Crossing over into Mississippi yields an excellent (and more forgiving) course at Cherokee Valley Golf Club. The course is known for wide zoysia fairways and elevation changes, a rarity for the Mississippi River Delta. The course still has many risk/reward shots but remains forgiving enough that even beginners can find some joy on the course. The course is well maintained and the variety on hand makes it an excellent addition to your Memphis trip.

Mirimichi Golf Course

6195 Woodstock Cuba Rd.
Millington, TN 38053
(901) 259-3800

Mirmichi Golf has enjoyed a colorful recent past, as it was formally owned by Justin Timberlake. After parting with the property in 2014, the course has only grown in stature throughout the region. The course is well known for its eco-friendly approach and natural look and feel. The course is full of trees and is known for some of its large greens, such as the 120 yard green on the 10th hole bordered by a creek. The course is well maintained, and the large greens can run higher that 13 on the stimpmeter. The course is difficult but fair, and doesn’t feel overly punitive. The course is located in the Memphis suburbs, making it a course you can spend the day at and still have time to hit Beale Street.

About the Author

Ryan Watson is a freelance sportswriter and history professor. He has been an avid fan of golf since his father signed him up for golf camp as a young child. Ryan enjoys following the professional game and learning about new equipment and gadgets.