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story from   panthersfann55 at 8/18/12 8:26pm
Dept. of Labor opens investigation into some golf courses

There are new developments in a Nine Investigates report, in which employees at local golf courses said they had not been paid for several weeks. Eyewitness News has learned the Department of Labor has opened an investigation into some of the courses. The department could not confirm specifics of the investigation, but did acknowledge that courses were being investigated. Since May, Nine Investigates has detailed complaints by employees at some of the seven courses in the Charlotte area run by the Carolina Trail.

We also have new information about one of those courses, The Tradition Golf Club, which is located on Prosperity Church Road and owned by Mecklenburg County. The Parks and Rec Department said after seeing previous stories by Channel 9 detailing alleged financial problems at the course and complaints by citizens, they inspected the course and found violations.

"It's severe in the eyes of the golfer, it is severe in the eyes of the county as well," said James Alsop.

One of the main problems: a fungus growing on a couple of the greens that was expected to get worse.

"With the severe heat and mid-afternoon thunderstorms and humid conditions, it does cause the fungus to multiply quickly," Alsop said.

Alsop also said he sent a letter to Jeff Silverstein, whose company runs the course. He said since then the fungus, and most of the other problems noted, have been fixed.

Silverstein is the head of the seven golf courses in the Charlotte area run by the Carolina Trail. Earlier this month, after employees at several of the courses told us their paychecks were weeks late, he assured us they had been paid. Several employees then emailed Channel 9 saying that was not the case, including one woman who agreed to speak with us if we didn't show her face and altered her voice.

"No one is being paid. It's against the law and there's got to be justice somewhere for these people," she said.

Some employees said they did get paychecks, but they bounced. Others said they were told if they talked to the media, they'd be fired.

We called and emailed Jeff Silverstein on Friday but did not hear back from him by news time.
Re: Rock Barn   The B-Man at 8/18/12 3:50pm
Thanks for the recommendation. I've never played there and their web site did not have scorecard information. If someone has a scorecard scan and can send it to me along with the usual sections I list for each course, I can add it.

If I've never played a course, it's hard for me to add it to the site if the course doesn't have good info on their web site.
Rock Barn   Hackarama at 8/18/12 3:48pm
B-Man, you should add these to the list. Both sides are great tracks and a 'should play' for the area.
Re: Deer Brook - Shelby   IM4DHERD at 8/16/12 9:55pm
Addendum: These were (or seemed to be) the fastest greens I've played in a while. Fast is a good quality in good greens. These were not punitive, but if like me you shoot to be a foot long rather than a foot short, you will wind up as often as not 6-8 feet past. I lost 8-10 strokes to putting...Can "blame" myself for 3-4 of those and the rest to the greens being faster than I am used to.
Rocky River and Verdict Ridge Set To Open With New Greens   Wulfpack at 8/16/12 8:31pm
Check out the Charlotte Observer post below. Rocky River opens on the 20th with special rates and Verdict Ridge follows on the 25th. Good stuff.
Deer Brook - Shelby   IM4DHERD at 8/16/12 6:22pm
Have to shout out to Deer Brook in Shelby. Play there once a quarter or so and have never been disappointed. Played this afternoon (18 holes - 2 hours) on a $22 deal. I put these fairways, teeboxes and greens right up there with Glen Oaks as the best in the area. Looks like they have recently re-done their sand traps as well. All full and fluffy.

A bit further out, but consider that it is not much further for someone in, say, Ballantyne than Red Bridge is for someone in Gastonia.
Emerald Lake   DrSchteeve at 8/16/12 3:03pm
Played about 2 weeks ago - greens definitely were starting to go. Lots of ballmarks, quite a bit of invasive grasses on the greens. Other conditions were pretty good, however (fairways, tees, bunkers).
Emerald Lake   ISlayMySelf at 8/16/12 1:51pm
Thinking of playing Emerald Lake this weekend. I have played it a few times before but never in late summer. Does anyone have an update on the current conditions?
Re: Pinetuck   Hackarama at 8/15/12 10:04pm
Goat Ranch...
Pinetuck   slowmofo at 8/15/12 2:22pm
Has anyone played this course in Rock Hill? I always see deals and its cheap online at like $25 online.
Play Carolina Lakes Sat Aug 18 $35!   phatdba at 8/13/12 7:31pm
I am looking for up to 3 people to play with me at Carolina Lakes this Sat Aug 18. I have a players club which for August gets me and up to 3 guests for $35 any day any time! It is a great deal for a very good course. I played there last Sat but the guys I usually play with have other commitments this Sat. Any takers? I am flexible on tee time but would like to go out 7-9 a.m. or so.
New Greens at The Links   Calvin Roth at 8/10/12 10:54pm
I played today at The Golf Links. The course re-opened today after being closed for only 1 month. For brand new greens, they look really good. They were slow today, but that is expected with brand new greens. The rest of the course was in great shape. No one has played on the course in a month and it looked great. I cant believe I read a negative post on here about the new greens. They just opened! Ballantyne kept their new bermuda greens rolling at 7.5 for months after they opened. I love the ignorance of the Charlotte Golfer.
Course Conditions   DrSchteeve at 8/10/12 11:38am
Not sure where I went wrong with my comments. No slight intended at the folks who work at the courses. Although I agree that in many cases (IRI) the course owners are the problem, I also think the overall state of the economy has made it difficult for courses to put up the money needed to keep course conditions where we would all like to see them. I am happy to pay more for good conditions, and did give my due to courses that have maintained good conditions despite the economy.
DrSchtupid   phore! at 8/9/12 1:19pm
Let's sub in "wrong grass" for poa annua and DrSchtupid in for DrSchteeve...the doc has played golf a long long time and he may have gotten a wee bit daft...maybe too much time in the sun?...maybe he's gone batty from hearing the squeak of his tight wallet when he prys it open to get out his $35 bucks to play the Augusta National conditions which are rightfully his by God!!...why beat up the guys that work on golf courses when it's the owners you should take your concerns to?...oh yeah that's right....those are the guys which keep Schteeve's cost per round down in the basement!!
Poa annua   DrSchteeve at 8/8/12 6:30pm
Poa annua?!? I called it poa anna! And yes, I was wrong. Please replace all my "poa anna" comments with "wrong grass" or "bad grass". As for those hardworking greens keepers, where are they? The state of public golf is sad, there just aren't enough courses with real course superintendents who are paying attention to the overall course conditions. Let's give credit to the courses that seem to be really trying and/or willing or able to spend the money. The top of that list for me is Glen Oaks, Verdict Ridge, Red Bridge.
Re: Ballantyne   The B-Man at 8/5/12 6:06pm
It's there under its formal name, "The Golf Club at Ballantyne."
Ballantyne   Hackarama at 8/5/12 6:00pm
WOW... Great shape tee to green, $80 but worth every cent.

Wondering why it isn't available to in the review list?
Lancaster Golf Course   bakes1121 at 8/3/12 2:19pm
Has anyone played Lancaster Golf Course since they reopend from moving to miniverde greens?
Poa Annua***   kstevenson at 8/2/12 7:38am
I wish all of us golfers would just simply state the conditions of the course rather than try to act like we are experts in the turfgrass field. I see all too many times people make comments that couldnt be more false. Recently there have been two posts about courses greens being overtaken by "Poa Annua", this seems very unlikely considering it is a winter season grass. Sure we all know carolina trail courses are garbage, but I highly doubt it has poa annua. Lets leave the turf diagnostics up to the experts who work their a**es off to keep our courses looking great
Re: carolina trail   The B-Man at 7/31/12 8:00pm
And here's one I missed along the same lines about Birkdale 2 weeks ago:

Employees Seek Help After Delayed Pay Days, Bounced Checks Become The Norm
carolina trail   panthersfann55 at 7/31/12 7:46pm
Article on Highland Creek on today (7/31)
Ballantyne Resort   estanwick at 7/17/12 8:15am
FYI, Ballantyne Resort is running a special till the end of July. $40 for Sunday thru Thursday play. (after 3pm I believe).

I played this past Sunday and they had a record amount of people on the course according to a few staff members. Needless to say, it was a 5+ hour round.

Course in good shape. Greens were in good shape as well.
Staff was excellent. Only downfall...speed of play. Brutal.
Re: Carolina Trail - Christmas in July sale   Wulfpack at 7/13/12 3:09pm
For $130, I'd rather play 2 rounds at a course that is worth it than 7 at at Carolina Trail course. That pretty much tells you what I think of the Carolina Trail. They are obviously hurting pretty bad.
Carolina Trail - Christmas in July sale   The B-Man at 7/13/12 1:32pm
This gave me a laugh today. Such bogus advertising but I guess it's typical for all courses doing pre-packaged rounds:

"$129: For a limited time exclusively from the Carolina Trail, purchase the Gift of Golf in July. Offer good for 1 ROUND OF GOLF at each *Carolina Trail golf course including cart fee. Valid ANYTIME Monday-Friday. Valid AFTER 11AM on Saturday-Sunday. Not valid when holiday rates in effect. Rounds expire October 31, 2012. Must purchase online. Total value at $450."

It's that last line -- total value for 7 rounds of golf = $450??? That's $64 and change per round. The current rack rates for Weekend mornings at the Divide are $57 and the fine print even says only after 11am on weekends -! - so how much will you use it under the weekend rack rate? Fridays it's $47 -- again if you play in the morning. On top of that, really, if you are going to play a Carolina Trail, are you ever paying rack rate? You better be getting a Clickit coupon -- which right now for the Divide is $37 for a Friday round, $52 on the weekend. Birkdale and Skybrook are higher, of course, but this deal is only for 1 round at each course. Even if you assume you will play on the weekend (after 11) at each course, I don't see how you get to a $450 total. And if you factor in when you will actually play and what the rate will be then, I don't see how you get to more than $300 total value if you use all 7 rounds.

Looking for Local Tournament   tntplayer at 7/10/12 7:40pm
I am looking for a local 2-man tournament that I can play with my father. Does anyone have any ideas?
Charity Golf Tournament @ Red Bridge 8/14/2012   Jon at 7/9/12 11:02am
If anyone would like to play or can help in anyway possible I am doing a golf tournament for a friend of mine whose son just got diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. We will have lunch provided and prizes including cash prize for par 3 closest to pin. We still need more prizes and players so if you can play or donate anything towards the cause it would be greatly appreciated. You can see more info here: about the little boy and tourney or you can reach me at 704-918-5661 or Thanks
Re: Fire Destroys Emerald Lake Clubhouse   The B-Man at 7/6/12 8:06pm
They indeed reopened for play this afternoon. I went out and played 18. Course is still in fine shape. They will have a limited set of carts (15-20) until mid-next week when they should also have a new trailer clubhouse.

The pro said it will likely take a year to rebuild the clubhouse. He also mentioned that while there's still no official cause for the fire, they said that it started on the roof. So those fireworks theories will live on.

I posted a couple of pics on my Twitter account here:

It was definitely weird driving up #9, but it ! was also good to be back out there.
Re: River Oaks in Statesville   Wulfpack at 7/6/12 12:02pm
Thanks! Hope to get out there soon and will post a review.
Re: Fire Destroys Emerald Lake Clubhouse   Wulfpack at 7/6/12 12:01pm
Thanks for keeping us updated. What a crazy story. Hope to get out there soon as I love this course.
Re: Fire Destroys Emerald Lake Clubhouse   The B-Man at 7/6/12 11:53am
I talked to the pro today and he reiterated plans to re-open as soon as possible, hopefully by tomorrow (Saturday). They lost all but about 20 carts -- those were in a maintenance shed. Until the backup fleet arrives, they may be running at reduced capacity. They should have a trailer clubhouse up and running within a week. Due to the extensive damage, chances for determining the cause of the fire appear to be low.

I plan to call again later today and will try to get out to the course as soon as they re-open.

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