Located 20 minutes north of Chattanooga, Tenn., the Bear Trace at Harrison Bay is home 18 holes designed by Jack Nicklaus as well as 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 have since given birth to six baby bald eaglets.
The Bear Trace Golf Course at Harrison Bay has been designated as a “Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary” by Audubon International and also 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 considered a Groundwater Guardian Green Site.
Recently, the Bear Trace Golf Course moved to electric-powered mowers and save about 9,000 gallons of fuels per year and $30,000 in maintenance costs while greatly reducing emissions.
Paul L. Carter, GCSAA Certified golf course superintendent, is a considered a pioneer in golf course environmental stewardship. The Bear Trace has allowed 50 acres around the course to return to its 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 University of Tennessee.