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Re: Biased?   Jamie at 8/19/10 6:47am
B-man your assessment about EL definitely matches what I have experienced, although I have had a few strange situations there. Back in the spring we played on heavily sanded and aerated greens, even though staff informed us when we booked on the phone the exact opposite - we were not pleased. Generally the greens are very good and consistent. I like the course, it's just that EL is not usually a course that offers the discounts that Carolina Trail and several others offer. Nice layout, particularly #5 and #14. The only hole I hate is #9 (old #18) because of the green being constructed backwards, sloping from front to back and toward the water, making it a 3-shot hole for even the longest hitters. I was told several years ago the course had intended to reconstruct it but has not. All in all a very good course even with its quirks.
Re: Biased?   The B-Man at 8/18/10 11:00pm
Karl -- actually, I have indeed given other course GM's the opportunity to respond to negative feedback here on the site -- the most recent example was Birkdale, but before that I've done the same for Charlotte Golf Links and Rocky River, to name a few. And I will always give course staff the opportunity to respond here on the site if they contact me.

If you read one of my recent reviews of EL, I actually said I would not post a review every time I play (since it would be frequently). Most likely I'll only post a new one if conditions change. So watch for my next update because it likely means something's going on (perhaps when they aerate).

As I said before, please post your own reviews of Emerald Lake and other local courses. This site is built on player feedback and opinions. If I post a review that you don't agree with, post a comment. If you think my coverage of Emerald Lake is biased or not accurate, then don't take my word for it.

Let me know if you have a suggestion for how I should handle Emerald Lake reviews and feedback. I couldn't tell from your post what you were expecting me to do differently. And if you want to handle it off the board, feel free to send me a direct email.

B-Man
Re: Biased?   Karl at 8/18/10 10:19pm
i agree that bman has been fair and objective in his reviews. My only issue, and it is not really an issue because i really dont care, is that if someone has a very bad experience at emerald lake, and they post it on here, bman will go to emerald lake and get their side of the story, which of course will refute any negative comments. no other course has that opportunity. i am sure you can email the course gm and let them know about the feedback, but emerald lake now has a direct link to this website while no other course does. again, no big deal, i just thought it seemed sketchy. bman, if the course is in horrible shape and should be avoided at all times, will you post that for all to read, even though you know that the staff at emerald lake reads this site often? if you think that a shop guy is a jerk, will you write that for all of your readers to see even though you will see him the next time you check in to play at your "home course?" tough call.
Re: Biased?   hawk22 at 8/18/10 7:02am
A few things as a long time reader of these forums

1. Emerald Lake is a good course with fantastic staff. I've been going there for years and I've never understood the negative reviews on these boards given my countless positive experiences there. The range is great and the course is always in good shape.

2. BMan has not been biased about his reviews, just honest and objective. I don't think that will change now that he has joined Emerald Lake. I agree with others....keep up the good work!


Re: Biased?   panthersfann55 at 8/17/10 10:55pm
he must have had a bad round. i for one play emerald lake a few times a year and find the staff and course enjoyable. keep up the good work b-man.
Re: Biased?   The B-Man at 8/17/10 7:12pm
Karl -- thanks for the feedback, always welcomed. Let me first say that, sure, you can consider my reviews of Emerald Lake biased -- just as you would anybody's reviews of a course they play frequently and know well. Since I joined on 7/30, I have played there probably 8 or 10 times for at least 9 holes. I also know the staff pretty well.

That said, let me clear up a few other things you mentioned. First, the Featured Course on this site's home page is automatically selected based on the course with the most recent review. So with me having posted 3 reviews since 7/23, there's a good chance when you've visited the site recently that Emerald Lake was the Featured Course -- as it will remain until a more recent review for another course is posted. Please, by all means, if you've played another course recently, post a review and that course will become the featured one. Just note that the selection is based on the date you played not on the date you submit the review.

Secondly, my defense of Emerald Lake over the last 12 months has more to do with me living so close to the course and knowing the staff. I can see for myself whether the reported conditions are as someone describes. I can also get the other side of the story directly from the staff -- which I have posted in fairness and to provide my site visitors with more information so they can judge for themselves. I have never withheld replies from the original reviewer. In the previous cases here on the message board, the reviewers never posted another message or contacted me.

Lastly, I would encourage you to post a full review if you had a bad experience at Emerald Lake. Other players can then comment. I, for one, as biased as I may be, don't know what courses you are comparing Emerald Lake to that you would consider it a "cow pasture." As I've noted, the only issues I have seen are ball marks on the greens from lots of recent play, a few greens with small bare spots requiring a top dressing of sand and a few tee boxes that are thin. The greens roll very true, the fairways are lush and weed-free and the bunkers have been kept in good shape. There are only a few courses in the Charlotte area I would consider a "cow pasture" -- due to weeds in the fairways, greens not mowed, bare dirt spots around the course, grass in the bunkers, etc -- and one of them closed a few years ago (Crystal Creek).

I encourage other readers to weigh on and comment on my recent reviews.

Thanks,

B-Man
Biased?   Karl Markham at 8/17/10 5:49pm
Just an observation and you do not have to post this if you feel as though it shouldn't be, but it just seemes a bit biased that you joined Emerald Lake a few weeks ago and now they have been the "Featured Course" on your home page for weeks now. There are coupons posted all over your website now for this course. Also, going back over the message board, it seems as though you have defended Emerald Lake against bad reviews. How do we know that all reviews are being posted about your "home course?" I know that there has to be negative reviews out there because I played there last Friday and thought the place was a cow pasture. Just an observation.
Olde Sycamore/Oak Hills   DrSchteeve at 8/17/10 4:23pm
Sadly heard that Olde Sycamore's greens are going the way of everyone elses - not horrible, but not good.

On a bright note, played Oak Hills in Columbia - a great track with Bermuda greens and fairways in great shape. I definitely recommend if you are in the area.
HeartBright Golf Invitational September 17, 2010   Whitney Urschel at 8/10/10 2:04pm
The HeartBright Foundation makes an enormous impact on its surrounding community by filling the gaps for chronic care patients. This is done through resourcing individuals by increasing their awareness of their chronic care issues and helping them to reach health goals through consistent care and access to providers. When you donate to HeartBright you sustain programs that educate all ages in cardiovascular health, from teaching children battling obesity better nutrition and exercise, to the elderly new ways to self-advocate. HeartBright reaches over 4,500 men, women, and children weekly in the Greater Charlotte Area and with your support we can continue to improve the health of our community.

On September 17, 2010, at the Golf Club at Ballantyne, we are going to hit the ball for HeartBright! The HeartBright Foundation is holding an invitational golf tournament and we wouldn’t want you to miss the opportunity to play and/or sponsor the event. The sponsorship options are numerous and the benefits to the Foundation will continue long after the final shots are made. This is going to be a fantastic day for HeartBright starting with an 11:00am registration; 1:00pm shot gun start/scramble format, and a 5:00pm after party. Please visit our web site at: www.heartbright.org/golf for more information and various sponsorship opportunities.

Come out and have some fun for HeartBright! Friday, September 17th, HeartBright Golf Invitational! We look forward to seeing you at what will prove to be a great fundraiser for the HeartBright Foundation. This will be one tee time you will not want to miss!
Charlotte National   egolfer at 8/8/10 10:51am
Charlotte National's greens are pretty much gone. There were a couple that were still in good shape but most were burnt up with sand patching dead spots. Rest of course is ok but like others, their greens are dying.
Columbia, SC   DrSchteeve at 8/5/10 3:14pm
Going to be playing there next Sunday, August 15. Looking for recommendations for best public course - right now it looks like Oak Hills. Any other suggestions? Thanks for any info.
Cleghorn Plantation   DrSchteeve at 7/31/10 8:15pm
Played today. The bad news: 40 minute delay from tee time for no excusable reason (it certainly wasn't a frost delay!). Fairly slow round as well - apparently the course was packed, perhaps because of a $25 dollar special (included cart & range balls). The good news: gorgeous course, in the best conditions I've played all year. Champion Bermuda greens were perfect. Fairways perfect. Rough was punishing but fair. Worth the drive but it is a hike (about an hour and 20 minutes from downtown Charlotte).
Update course conditions from local GM's   The B-Man at 7/30/10 2:31pm
Spurred by the article in yesterday's paper, I polled several GM's by email and got these responses:

Skybrook: "We have been very fortunate, we are in great shape! Even with the extreme heat our crenshaw greens are outstanding!"

Tradition: "Things are doing pretty well here. The heat has been tough on everyone. The greens are good and fairways are great."

Eagle Chase: "We have had problems with our greens due to August heat starting in June. They are still VERY PLAYABLE. They just do not look as good as normal. People have become accustomed to our greens and all the other courses greens looking green and plush. Unfortunately the early extreme heat makes that almost impossible for bent grass. The ma! jority of our regular players seem to think it has not affected there game. They are still scoring around there handicap. If you hit the putt solid and on line the ball still will go in the hole. I think people judge greens based on appearance more than any thing else. What players have to realize is the cost of a golf course increases in times like this due to applications of chemicals to the greens at a cost of about $1000 per wk. I would plead with golfers to continue to support their local golf courses thru this very difficult summer."

Waterford: "We are on pace to open September 3. The sprigs are growing in nicely."
Charlotte Observer article about local courses losing greens   The B-Man at 7/29/10 10:56am
The Charlotte Observer has an article about the summer heat has ruined greens at several local courses. It also includes official word that Springfield and Waterford have closed for ~2 months to fix them. Here's the link:

Heat is toasting local golf course greens

Please let me know if you hear of other courses closing due to green conditions.
Cleghorn Plantation Golf Club   DrSchteeve at 7/28/10 11:14am
Anyone play there recently? I read a recent review that suggested they are having the same green issues that a lot of courses are having. Same review said they aren't honoring the low prices their website advertises. Anyone with any recent info? I just don't want to travel an hour and 1/2 to be disappointed.
red bridge   randy whitley at 7/26/10 1:50pm
Played the course Sunday the 23rd July. I'm a 2 handicap. I have to say the greens are in the best shape of any that I've played this year. The mini verde greens and the heat that we have had have made them great
Eagle Chase   t2green2 at 7/21/10 2:19pm
Played on Sunday 7/18.

Fairways in good shape but the greens are the worst I have seen. Several burnt out and there is no consistent speed to any of the greens.

I really do like the layout of the course but just cannot recommend it until it recovers

Re: RED BRIDGE   snake at 7/18/10 3:05pm
randy,
not to hurt you feelings, but red bridge is not a pete dye design. it is a david postalwait (sp?) design. now david did work with dye for over 20 years and you can see his influence, however, much tamer than courses i have have experienced that are pure dye.
Cramer mountain   Dr schteeve at 7/9/10 8:14pm
Played for the first time today. Stunningly beautiful setting with some great holes. Condtions were great, too. Vaults into contention for favorite courses.
Olde sycamore   Drschteeve at 7/9/10 8:09pm
I think all those apply, except occasionally the pro shop staff is a bit stuffy. With a lot of courses suffering this year due to the heat, they have done a very good job with course conditions so far.
Olde Sycamore touts its conditions and service - do you agree?   The B-Man at 7/9/10 4:50pm
I am on the email list for Olde Sycamore and this week's specials came with a big intro hyping their conditions and service. I thought it was a great list that all courses could aspire to, but I was skeptical about how much OS lives up to them. I'm curious about others' opinions on this and whether other courses do a better / worse job with this list. Post your feedback here.

So why do Charlotte golfers continue to choose Olde Sycamore over other area courses?
  • Bag drop loading and unloading services.
  • Clean carts stocked with comfort towels and tees.
  • Well groomed fairways and general playing conditions.
  • Smooth, fast greens.
  • Well groomed sand traps.
  • On-course beverage and snack service.
  • Clean clubhouse and on-course restrooms.
  • Upscale practice facility.
  • Well maintained landscaping throughout the grounds.
  • Convenient outside water stations.
  • Friendly registration staff.
  • Full service Bar and Grill.
  • Professional, polite service.
  • The ability to enjoy a hassle free round of golf.

At Olde Sycamore Golf Plantation we focus on our players and our product. We promise to maintain the level of excellent course conditions and service you have come to expect and we thank you for your support and business.

@Wade Re: Warrior   t2green2 at 7/9/10 9:04am
We played Warrior July 4th and could not have been happier with the condition of the greens. There is still some poana in the greens but they are well water and roll very true. Other than the occasional issue with ball marks not being fixed the greens are in great shape.

The Fairways are a bit hard but considering how little rain we have had of late I can over look that. The Tee boxes for the middle tees were not in very good shape at all. They appear to have killed off some tee boxes and are trying to grow new grass.

Hope this helps,
Todd
Courses in Charlotte   DrSchteeve at 7/8/10 3:48pm
Right now, Olde Sycamore, Verdict Ridge, and Eagle Chase are in the best shape of the courses I've played - and they also happen to be my 3 favorite courses in Charlotte (VR #1, EC #2, OS #3). Emerald Lake and Tradition are good courses, but both had greens not the best, last played about 6/25/10.
Questions on some courses   Wade at 7/6/10 11:46am
I am not familiar with courses in the Charlotte area. Can anyone tell me if Emerald Lake and Warrior or good tracks. I have played Olde Sycamore, plan on playing it again, and was looking for another course to play. I have read the most recent update from bman on Emerald Lake and it sounds like a very nice course. Thanks for the info.
Ri Ra Charity Golf Classic   Ri Ra Irish Pub at 7/5/10 5:46pm
Ri Ra Irish Pub would like to welcome all interested parties in joining us for our 3rd annual Charity Golf Classic: Wednesday, August 25th 2010 10 AM Shotgun, 9 AM registration, Rocky River GC. All proceeds will benefit the NC Fire Fighters Burned Childrens Fund. Cost is $100 Per/$400 foursome. There will be breakfast, lunch and beverages (including beer) provided along with lots of prizes, raffle items and giveaways. One lucky foursome will win a golf trip to play in Ireland! To register please go to www.rira.com and follow the links to the registration page. CHEERS!
Re: rocky River   AC at 6/15/10 3:44pm
Rocky River's greens have vastly improved over the past year there was a stretch for about 2 years when they were very bad. Of late they have gotten better, they are not perfect but are definately getting better.
rocky River   Phil McGroin at 6/13/10 11:02pm
Hello,

I am going to play Rocky River for fathers day and was wondering if the greens are good. I have heard mixed reviews on them. Has anyone played it lately?

Thanks and Happy fathers day to all the great dad's and as my dad used to say "TAKE It easy but Take it."

Re: Don't Go to Birkdale   The B-Man at 6/11/10 8:57pm
I posted this comment on the review and I'll repost it here. I got in touch with Wes Jones about this one and received a quick response.

Paraphrasing:

Thank you for bringing this to my attention. At Birkdale our goal is to have all players enjoy themselves and feel they have received a good value. It is difficult to please all the people all the time and unfortunately we were not able to do that with Mr. Looney's group... a group teed off at 8:23 and then the first of Mr. Looney's three foursomes teed off at 8:35, 12 minutes later... his group played the front nine in 2:38. His group had been warned for slow play twice in the first seven holes. This forced me to make the difficult decision of asking his group to skip the 10th hole. We ! want our guests to enjoy themselves but not at the expense of our other guests... the two groups following Mr. Looney's group played the front nine in 2 1/2 hours and well under two hours on the back nine after his group left.

On June 4th we had 182 rounds played and 144 players after Mr. Looney's group at 8:35. If I had allowed his group to continue on their pace we would have had our other rounds in the 5 1/2 hour range or worse. I do not want Birkdale to have a slow play reputation. In short, we would like people to play Birkdale. You will find the course conditions very nice, we take pace of play seriously and as Mr. Looney said, we have a friendly staff.

Sincerely,

Wesley Jones
Birkdale Golf Club
General Manager


Pace of play is a touchy subject. Obviously, you hate to be playing fast and easy, then get caught up in a logjam where you are waiting on every shot. On the other hand, if you are having fun but get behind because of a few stray shots where you lose time trying to find a lost ball or get back in play, it can be nearly impossible to catch up and get back on time with other groups on the course. So it is indeed a tough situation for the general manager. It's a bit of a Catch-22 -- which is worse: disappointing one or two groups by having them skip a hole to keep up pace of play or angering half a day's worth of groups that play 5 hour rounds?

I think in this situation you've got to be 100% sure that groups are truly backing up and tee times are running late before you ask a group to skip holes. If the groups behind are not complaining, not waiting, then there shouldn't be an issue. I'm not sure whether the GM made the right decision in this case, but it does seem like he carefully considered everything before speaking to the group.

I can certainly understand why you guys left. This has only happened to me once or twice in my 11 years of playing and I was very angry. I'm glad you had a good experience over at Fox Den. I've yet to play it, but keep hearing great things.

Thanks for the feedback.
Don't Go to Birkdale   David Looney at 6/11/10 8:12pm
The superintendent there is a real trip. He will make you want to leave like our group of 12 did. This is the first time I left a golf course in 35 years of playing golf without finishing. We got a little behind, no fault of ours and he wanted us to start skipping holes. I felt like I was at work and trying to meet a schedule. What happen to enjoying golf, telling stories and cutting up. He made us feel like we were not welcome and got very rude with us. I recommend taking your business somewhere else. There were other nice golf courses in Charlotte that we played, like Fox Den and Sky Brook.
Re: Lancaster Golf Club   The B-Man at 5/18/10 6:48pm
Ask and you shall receive.

Lancaster Golf Club

has now been added. Go ahead and post your reviews.


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