Photo of golf ball on the edge of the cupPhoto of 14th hole at Quail Hollow Country Club in Charlotte, NC

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Re: Tillery Tradition Status
Posted by: kuehbr
on 10/10/17 11:25am
Thanks for the update! One of my favorite area courses and happy to hear that they are putting in the time/money to make that place great again, looking forward to playing it in the upcoming months

aimtobreak80's Course Reviews


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Skybrook Golf Club Date: 9/21/17 Thu Morning
Overall Rating: Average
Score:
Cost: $
Conditions: Average - isolated issuesPace: 4 Hours
Good news and bad news. The good news is that, now, carts are permitted on Nos. 1 and 6 holes where such access was desperately needed. The bad news is that the course renovation/rejuvenation has apparently stalled, and several issues that had been addressed earlier in the year have regressed somewhat. The biggest disappointment is that there has been no improvement in any of the bunkers contrary to what I was led to believe was in the offing back in June - no evidence of any work whatsoever - and the only improvement was no standing water (but we haven't had rain for over a week, so that's not saying much). Several greens were stressed either with bare spots and/or mower scrapes, and the ball didn't roll exactly true. The fairways were good-to-average, but my biggest complaint remains: too many uneven lies. Finally, I was playing as a single, and soon ran up against another single who was playing behind a foursome which was playing behind a fivesome! This made for an extremely slow second nine that ruined any playing rhythm, or momentum. I likely will not play Skybrook again until next year in order to give the new management one, last chance to make the course worthwhile.
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Skybrook Golf Club Date: 6/7/17 Wed Morning
Overall Rating: Worth playing
Score:
Cost: $25
Conditions: Average - isolated issuesPace: 4 Hours
I last played Skybrook about 9 months ago when it had seriously deteriorated, and was in ghastly shape. I had only had one golf outing so far this year, and decided to give the course a look, because it was under new management and I wanted to see what changes, if any, may have resulted. I am glad that I did. I entered the community from the eastern end, and had a good view of the No. 12 fairway and green – they both appeared lush and green from the road. The parking lot at the clubhouse was moderately full, which was somewhat reassuring, because it suggested that a lot of golfers were playing the course and conditions couldn’t be as bad as they had been in August of 2016. Checking in, I discovered that new management wasn’t exactly entirely “new”, because a former teaching pro was in the partnership that had taken over in February, and we talked at some length about what had already been done to restore the course, and what was in the immediate, future plans to continue the restoration. Those plans include a complete overhaul of the 61 bunkers on the course which were in very poor condition (and, he honestly and readily admitted, had been a big problem throughout the 5 years that I have played the course.) The plans are to start with the green-side bunkers, excavating to remove the clay that currently prevents drainage, and installing what I refer to as “the fluffy white sand” that (in my experience) is sadly absent from most public-access courses in the Charlotte area. He estimates that it may take a month-and-a-half to complete the process. My estimate, maybe naïve, is that it is such a major undertaking, it may not be completed before the end of this golfing season. Now to the playing experience – the green fee was $25 because they had just aerated the greens the day before, but that turned out to be a bonus because they had only punched small holes, and I noticed NO EFFECT upon putting (balls rolled smoothly and true). The fairways and tee bases were in good condition, although there were a few wet areas due to the recent rainstorms. The bunkers are a total disaster (just as we had discussed) and are in critical need of the planned attention. Probably 50% of the bunkers had standing water in them, and those that didn’t were severely caked and eroded (One bunker on the No. 6 hole contributed to a lost ball – I never saw the ball enter the bunker, but I never found the ball outside of it either, and repeated dredging with a rake produced no positive results, but the water was so deep I could not reach the center of the bunker). I read the most recent review by “dad4204” before posting this, and concur with his opinion. The course has rebounded from the disaster of last year. I hope that the bunker restoration will be completed in the foreseeable future. If it is, I believe that Skybrook could be one of the better courses in the Charlotte area. It is limited by topography, and will always have drainage problems, uneven lies, and cart-restricted holes, but good fairways, greens, and bunkers can make for a very enjoyable round in spite of these limitations. I wish them luck.
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Warrior Golf Club Date: 11/25/16 Fri Morning
Overall Rating: Worth playing
Score:
Cost: $
Conditions: Good - normal wear/tearPace: 3 1/2 Hours
Played this course with the B-Man himself. Neither one of us had a particularly good outing, but the course was only partially responsible for the scoring. The fairways were brown, likely due to drought and early winter dormancy. The tee bases were very dry and hard, so much so that it was nearly impossible to insert the tee into several of them. One, or two, of the bunkers were a little ragged, but most were clean, fluffy sand. The two things that affected scoring were the narrow fairways (one of which I believe was only 20 yards wide) and the deep rough. The former, in my opinion, is ridiculous for a public course that caters to amateurs. The narrow fairways aggravated the problem of the rough. It was very difficult to find drives even in the “first cut” and, when trying to play a shot from the rough, it was difficult to get the club face on the ball and the grass grabbed the club face and altered just about every strike. This was my first time playing the course, but the few negatives experienced during this outing will not dissuade me from trying it again, probably next season.
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Dr. Charles L. Sifford Golf Course at Revolution Park Date: 11/10/16 Thu Morning
Overall Rating: Great course
Score:
Cost: $29
Conditions: Good - normal wear/tearPace: 3 1/2 Hours
I finally got around to playing this course on "my dollar" (see 9/22/16 review). The conditions were almost perfect, weather and course, but I don't deal in superlatives, and gave it a "good" condition report. The only, slightly negative aspect was that the greens were very fast and slick,and didn't hold approach shots very well (I assume due to the local drought that is extending beyond 30 days according to the local weather guessers). This is a challenging golf course, especially for us seniors who are losing driving distance. The 9th hole is particularly challenging in that, from the tee, one must carry the ditch some 170 yards away (All three of my group had trouble doing so). It does help that it is a Par 5, so one could lay up on the drive and still have a chance for par. The only other negative is a personal one for me - it is a good distance from my home, and morning traffic is atrocious. The course does make tee times for singles, so that helps - one doesn't have to drive all that distance with a "hope" of getting on.
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Emerald Lake Golf Club Date: 11/2/16 Wed Morning
Overall Rating: Worth playing
Score:
Cost: $29
Conditions: Good - normal wear/tearPace: 3 1/2 Hours
Both good news and bad news. The good news is that the new pro shop is open and operating, and the new clubhouse (currently under construction and scheduled to be completed in one month) shows promise of being quite impressive when finished. The physical layout of the structures is serviceable and the driving range extends from the parking lot to them with dramatic effect. The practice green, driving range, fairways, and greens were all in good condition and very “green”. In my personal opinion, Emerald Lake could soon become one of the top courses in the Charlotte area if they continue on their current track. Now, the bad news. The grounds superintendent evidently is taking the declaration of a drought to heart, to the point of over-watering the course. This was apparent throughout the entire course, but particularly on the back side of the No.1 green and the rough along the fairway and cart path leading uphill to the No. 9 green. With respect to the former, there was no immediate area for relief from casual water, and while “playing it where it lies” I suffered the expected result of soggy ground and my chip didn’t even make the putting surface. On number 9, neither my playing partner nor I was able to get our approach shot anywhere close to the pin because of the “fat” shot induced by the soggy ground. The other bad news is more of a personal issue where, once again, a course does not have a tee base in the middle range of my recommended Play-It-Forward yardage – the red tees are at the low end, and the white tees are at the high end. I chose to play from the latter, and felt further penalized when I discovered that five out of the eighteen tee boxes had the white and blue tee markers exactly coincident with one another. At least the weather and playing companions were pleasant. Otherwise, it would have been a very poor golfing experience.
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The Tradition Golf Club Date: 10/13/16 Thu Morning
Overall Rating: Worth playing
Score:
Cost: $25
Conditions: Average - isolated issuesPace: 4 Hours
Hadn't played in over a month, so I was not dissuaded from trying The Tradition even after having been warned that their greens were still in poor condition (seems they have not recovered from the summer heat and dry spell). But course management is up front about it, and are currently offering discounted rates to encourage play. Not all, but a good number, of the greens are affected, and they did present real problems for putting, especially for my playing partners who experienced obviously bumpy rolls and one, 45-degree angle carom. Players are invited to deal with the situation by limiting recorded putting strokes to a maximum of 2, re-positioning balls on the green when a significantly poor putting surface becomes an issue, or whatever accommodation you and your playing partners consider appropriate. The conditions did NOT spoil my outing. There was one, unusual hazard on the 17th - a coyote, that ambled off after we all had hit our tee shots, one of which carried right over the animal's head while it was stretched out in front of the fairway bunker. The only discouraging thing from my round was the fact that I did not achieve my goal of breaking 80 (didn't expect to after the layoff and the condition of the greens), but had insult added to injury when my 14-year old playing partner shot under par!
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Dr. Charles L. Sifford Golf Course at Revolution Park Date: 9/22/16 Thu Morning
Overall Rating: Great course
Score:
Cost: $
Conditions: Good - normal wear/tearPace: 3 1/2 Hours
Let me start off with a disclaimer. I was invited to play a round, for free, at this course in exchange for posting a review of my experience on this website. I have made every effort to ensure that the following comments reflect an honest, objective assessment of the course condition and offerings, but I emphasize that they are my personal opinions from the point of view of a senior golfer with a handicap currently in the mid-to-upper teens. I started off talking to Wesley Jones, the General Manager, about the course, and I was greatly impressed by two things – the man truly knows his golf course and he, himself, actually plays the course on a regular basis. He believes that the course has the nicest practice facilities of any public course in the Charlotte area. I am unable, personally, to confirm or deny that, but the course does have two large putting greens (and a third, smaller green adjacent to the first tee), a driving range, and a newly installed pitching/chipping green that has large, over-sized holes to enhance the practice experience. The course is only 9 holes, but there is no short-changing the golfing experience. Personally, I often enjoy such courses because it gives me a real incentive, and truly objective measure thereof, for improving on the “second” nine holes of a round. This was true, for me, today, when armed with a little more knowledge of the layout, I scored 4 strokes better than my opening nine holes. There is a Course Guide (yardage book) available that offers good, strategic advice for managing play. The cart was a very energetic electric vehicle that operated smoothly and quietly. All teeboxes, fairways, and greens were, indeed, “green”. The greens were very good, although I never quite mastered their speed (maybe because of intermittent rain showers). The rough can best be described as short-to-moderate in length. Wesley told me his philosophy is that one should be able to see the golf ball from 50 yards away, and that certainly seemed to be true. The Pro Shop area is neat and clean, and even the on-course restroom was immaculately clean and fresh. This is not an EASY course, by any means, in spite of being only 9 holes and having relatively shorter yardage available. It is a good, challenging course that, currently, is in very good playing condition, and offers competitive rates ($29 for seniors for 18 holes and a cart). Geographically, it is a little out of the way for me, and the stop-and-go traffic on I-77 this morning made me question my desire of an early morning tee time, but I fully intend on returning to play the course “on my own dollar” (hopefully when it is a little sunnier and drier). I would heartily recommend the course to any who work in downtown Charlotte, and want to get in a quick nine either before, or after.
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Olde Sycamore Golf Plantation Date: 9/15/16 Thu Morning
Overall Rating: Average
Score:
Cost: $
Conditions: Poor - significant issuesPace: > 5 Hours
I didn't actually play this course. I just wanted to post a complaint about the course being closed to the public today because of a tournament, and that information NOT being posted on their website. What is the sense in having such a "communication vehicle" if they do not regularly update the site with useful information??? Luckily, I called before making the ~30 mile trip to the course.
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Charlotte National Golf Club Date: 9/15/16 Thu Morning
Overall Rating: Average
Score:
Cost: $
Conditions: Poor - significant issuesPace: > 5 Hours
I didn't actually play this course. I just wanted to post a complaint about the course being closed to the public today because of a tournament, and that information NOT being posted on their website. What is the sense in having such a "communication vehicle" if they do not regularly update the site with useful information??? Luckily, I called before making the ~30 mile trip to the course. I couldn't believe this happened with two courses on the same day (see Olde Sycamore review)!
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Highland Creek Golf Club Date: 9/15/16 Thu Morning
Overall Rating: Average
Score:
Cost: $25
Conditions: Poor - significant issuesPace: 4 Hours
I didn’t intend to play this course – it was fourth on my list of possibilities for the day. But, my first two choices quickly fell through (see my reviews for Olde Sycamore and Charlotte National), and my third option, The Tradition, had greens under repair (pro shop very upfront when I called, saying that I probably wouldn’t enjoy my outing because of it). So, I was “stuck” with Highland Creek, and wouldn’t be able to start until 9 AM, or later, due to a seniors’ event that appears to be a regular occurrence on Thursdays. Imagine my surprise when, after having paid my greens fee, a gentleman in the pro shop indicated that their greens had also been “plugged and sanded”. The greens were absolutely TERRIBLE! For example, on the first four holes on the back nine, I had putts of 3, 5, 4, and 4 feet respectively, and took two putts on each to hole out – the putts just did not roll smoothly, or true. I will repeat my one basic complaint of Highland Creek – there are no teeboxes commensurate with my “play it forward” distance, and I struggle to hit greens in regulation because of it (78% of fairways hit, 22% of greens in regulation, and half of the latter on Par 3 holes). So, I will likely not play the course in the future. Others, who are comfortable with the existing tees and distances, would be well advised to avoid playing Highland Creek for a couple of weeks, or more, to allow the greens to recover such that their impact upon scoring will be minimized.
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Larkhaven Golf Club Date: 9/8/16 Thu Morning
Overall Rating: Average
Score:
Cost: $25
Conditions: Average - isolated issuesPace: 4 Hours
I haven’t played this course in almost 3 years, but decided to give it a try in spite of the somewhat less than stellar review posted by GinMillDJ on July 31. Unfortunately, the course condition hasn’t changed since his review. Tee boxes were ragged and sparse, and the fairways were so-so (and noticeably narrow). Most of the bunkers were damp and firm, and almost all of them had weeds in the lips (and even a few had weeds growing in the near-center area). The greens are in good shape, but VERY fast and DO NOT hold approach shots at all. This presented a real problem for all in my group – it was impossible to hit a normal approach shot with any hope of the ball staying on the green, and we all started to try to land the ball just short of the green such that it could softly/slowly roll to the hole. The latter strategy was unsuccessful, and most attempts landed short and stayed short of the green! I also agree that the price ($25 Senior rate) was very reasonable, and helped to assuage some of the irritation about the greens. Bottom line opinion: there are worse courses in the Charlotte area, and there are many that are better, right now. If you want good opportunities for scoring go elsewhere, but if you enjoy a reasonably pleasant outing on a warm summer day for less than $30, try Larkhaven.
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The Tradition Golf Club Date: 8/31/16 Wed Morning
Overall Rating: Worth playing
Score:
Cost: $25
Conditions: Average - isolated issuesPace: 3 1/2 Hours
The greens are in distress (heat), but the pro shop was up front about it when I called for a tee time, and they discounted the green fees accordingly. I wish that I could say that the abundance of near misses and lip-out putts that I experienced were due to the conditions, but I'm not sure that is completely true. For the most part, balls rolled true even on the most affected greens. The fairways had been cut recently, and some of them had obviously clumps/collections of clippings. The worst part of the course was the rough wherein even the first cut was a little long and made finding the ball rather difficult (I played through a couple of foursomes who shared that same sentiment, and apologized for their resultant slower play). Unfortunately, I found a couple of bunkers in my round, but the clean, fluffy sand allowed me to look like a pro in getting the ball out (bunker conditions are one of my usual gripes, and in my opinion, The Tradition course is currently one of the better ones in this regard). All in all, the round was definitely a good deal/bargain for the reduced rate.
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Highland Creek Golf Club Date: 8/18/16 Thu Morning
Overall Rating: Worth playing
Score:
Cost: $25
Conditions: Good - normal wear/tearPace: 4 1/2 Hours
I found the course to be a little better than that posted last week. Four of the greens had been aerated yesterday (with the remainder scheduled for next week), and it definitely affected putting on at least one of them. The good news is that the greens fee was reduced accordingly, and I believe the round was worth the $25. Pace of play was an issue due to a Seniors event. I'm not sure that the foursome of seniors ahead of me were involved in the event, but they didn't allow me to play through, and were inordinately slow in EVERYTHING that they did whether it be finding their ball in the rough (one player seemed to hit all of his shots either into the rough or a bunker), lining up their putts, walking off the green, etc. This was my return visit to Highland Creek (see earlier review), and this time I obtained a yardage book which helped immensely in navigating the course compared to the previous round played with no clue whatsoever. My one criticism of the course remains: No Senior/Play-It-Forward tee for my driving distance. This meant that I was constantly hitting longer irons to the greens. The numbers speak for themselves: 12 fairways hit, but only two greens in regulation. If pristine greens are important to you, you may want to skip Highland Creek for a week or two until the aeration is complete and the greens recovered. If you enjoy a bargain in greens fee while suffering some putting irregularities then, by all means, give it a try.
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Skybrook Golf Club Date: 8/10/16 Wed Morning
Overall Rating: Below average
Score:
Cost: $30
Conditions: Poor - significant issuesPace: 3 1/2 Hours
“What happened?” Those of you familiar with the movie, ‘The Sand Pebbles’, will remember these to be the dying words of the protagonist, played by Steve McQueen. In the movie, the character, Jake, has just suffered a mortal gunshot wound while effecting the rescue of a Christian missionary from the hands of Chinese Communists, and has sat down with his back to a wall as the full realization of the events sinks in. He repeats that phrase once more, in disbelief, just before a second bullet, the coup de grace, ends his life (and the movie). But that is what I kept repeating to myself when playing the Skybrook course – WHAT HAPPENED??? I had seen the reviews posted in July, and couldn’t believe the course could be in as poor condition as was described. Sad to say (very sad for me, personally, because I had repeatedly praised the improvements and general course conditions during the previous year), it is true! I found the course conditions to be almost exactly as described by MrSlims in his review posted about a month ago. Even the practice green had several, large bare spots, and it is probably a tie between No. 1 (estimated at most to be 40% “green”) and No. 12 (of which I have photos) as to which of the greens is the worst. Another poor condition reported in July was the lack of mowing, in particular, the rough. The same was still true, today, and indeed, it caused a lost ball when I was unable to find mine in the “short” rough around the greenside bunkers on the Par 5 No. 4 hole. The copious amounts of lengthy, cut, (dead) grass around some of the tees are testimony to infrequent mowing. I did see one mower in operation during my round, but the amount of wet clumps in the fairways made me wonder if it weren’t a rare appearance. Finally, we have had sporadic, heavy rainfall in the area recently, and it has taken its toll on the bunkers – generally wet, some standing water, and a few bunkers that were more gravel than sand. I have reached out to the course Superintendent for his explanation, or reasons, for the sorry conditions of the course, and what steps are being taken to restore it. I will post any comments here when I receive them. The bottom line – I cannot recommend playing the course at this time. Sad, so very sad, compared to previous days.
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Highland Creek Golf Club Date: 7/20/16 Wed Morning
Overall Rating: Great course
Score:
Cost: $30
Conditions: Good - normal wear/tearPace: 3 1/2 Hours
This will be a longer than normal review. I haven’t played Highland Creek for 3 years due to the Carolina Trail fiasco even though the course is only 6 miles from my house. I checked this website, and the most recent reviews (April) were mixed with one expressing the sentiment that it was the first, and probably last, time that he would play the course. I resolved to give the course a try with the intent of providing as thorough and honest review as possible. I easily made a tee time by calling the Pro Shop the day before. Highland Creek is to be commended for scheduling tee times for singles – not every course in the Charlotte area does. I was cheerfully greeted upon arrival at the bag drop, and found the other staff to be very pleasant and congenial. The Senior Rate of $30 is competitive with other, similar courses in the area. Carts are powered by internal combustion engine, and that is my, personal preference – I have never had one of those fail me on the course, but have had several “dead battery” experiences with the electrics. The practice green was cut long, and was very slow (overnight rain/thunderstorm may have had something to do with that). The on-course greens were equally slow, but rolled true in spite of some patchiness and an abundance of un-repaired ball marks. Of course, the latter is more of an indictment of the clientele than of course management. The conditions put a premium on hitting the hole in the center with good pacing – putts would not “fall” no matter how closely they came to, or skimmed, the edges. The fairways and tee bases were green, and in generally good condition with only isolated spare, or patchy, areas. The rough was moderately thick, and balls that did not find the fairway sank into it and were hard to find (I actually found someone else’s lost ball by stepping upon it while searching for mine.) Many areas surrounding the tees and greens need to be cut/weeded if for nothing other than aesthetic reasons. The bunkers are the one area that do need work – all seemed to be a roughly 50:50 mix of sand and clay, and one bunker had severe erosion. The concrete cart paths were in good condition (Reviews of other courses have been rather critical of respective cart paths.) My complaints with the course are really minor. First, there are no, real Senior tees available. The White tees are 600 yards longer than the upper limit recommended by the “Play It Forward” guidelines for my driving distance. Second, I would like to have better course/hole pictorials on the scorecard (I failed to check for a yardage book if, indeed, one exists – my bad). I generally play with a tracking app on my iPhone that includes satellite views and yardages, and that information is useful/critical to strategic round navigation and course management. Unfortunately, Highland Creek is not in the app’s inventory of courses, and lack of knowledge of the course made for a difficult round especially on the Par 5 12th hole where not knowing the layout of the hole, or the available lay-up distances/yardage was penalizing. Third, the #15 green (play started on the back nine) was being watered at 10 AM and, although I was able to dodge the sprinkler stream, the water made the green even SLOWER and I missed my sand save. Finally, the on-course restrooms are locked, and there was no key on my cart. This was easily rectified at the turn, but the situation did result in increased pressure and tension during the first nine holes of play. All in all, I was very pleased with the course. It’s a challenging course, but I believe a fair one. Current physical conditions are generally good, and did not affect scoring. I genuinely enjoyed my outing, and will return in the very near future. I would encourage the dissatisfied April reviewer to give the course another try – I think that he would be pleasantly surprised.
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Skybrook Golf Club Date: 6/22/16 Wed Morning
Overall Rating: Great course
Score:
Cost: $30
Conditions: Good - normal wear/tearPace: 3 1/2 Hours
I hadn't played this course up to this point of the season, and noticed that no one else had posted a review in a very long time, so decided to give it a try. Talked to the course superintendent before playing, and he indicated that it would be dry because of the mini-drought in spite of watering every evening. Truth be told, other than the actual greens being a little faster than the practice green, and the tees being a little narrow (probably to restrict wear and tear?) I didn't notice any detriment to play - the fairways were green and didn't obviously contribute to a disturbing number of errant shots. The latter may have more to do with my, one real grievance with the course - an abundance of uneven lies, even in the middle of the fairways. I realize that there is not much that can be done to address this situation at this point in time, and any alterations would likely change the course's "persona" and challenge. However, personally, it does become a little tiresome and irritating to have to constantly deal with it. Beyond this, minor pet peeve, I heartily recommend the course as a good golfing value. The greens fee ($30 Senior rate, $39 standard) includes a lunch from their "Turn Menu" - sandwich, chips, and fountain drink (posted $7.50 value, and they don't skimp on the amount of sandwich meat). I challenge anyone to find a better deal in the Charlotte area.
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Rocky River Golf Club Date: 4/27/16 Wed Morning
Overall Rating: Worth playing
Score:
Cost: $35
Conditions: Good - normal wear/tearPace: 4 Hours
The course was in pretty good condition with green fairways and tee bases, and the greens were relatively smooth and true. All members of the foursome had problems with putts sliding by the hole rather than dropping - don't know whether or not there was unseen crowning, but few putts fell that were not pretty much dead center. Rocky River continues to be somewhat unfriendly to singles with respect to putting complete strangers in carts, together (I don't know whether this is their standing policy, or it was because, once again, there was a tournament scheduled later in the day and the carts were reserved). Good news, perhaps(?) - rumor has it that GPS units are to be installed in the carts in the near future (bracket hardware was in place, and conversation at the bag drop confirmed the plan.)
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Charlotte National Golf Club Date: 3/30/16 Wed Morning
Overall Rating: Worth playing
Score:
Cost: $25
Conditions: Average - isolated issuesPace: 4 Hours
This is not really a review, but more of a "heads up" to those for whom it might be a problem. The Pro shop had a sign posted at their register to the effect that they do not accept Amex or Discover charge cards. Regarding the golfing experience: it was a little difficult getting on the course, and fitting into the playing rotation as a single, but it eventually worked out; I believe that this difficulty contributed to the 4-hour playing time that seemed OH SO MUCH LONGER on the second nine. The tee bases on the back nine were rather scruffy (apparently hadn't been mowed recently), and several of the bunkers had standing water in them (both fairway and green-side), but these conditions may have been due to the rain over the preceding Easter weekend; and the greens were noticeably slow, but balls rolled true.
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Birkdale Golf Club Date: 3/23/16 Wed Morning
Overall Rating: Average
Score:
Cost: $35
Conditions: Average - isolated issuesPace: 3 1/2 Hours
I last played this course in February 2013 because of the (now) well documented problems. I decided to give it a try to see how it was under new/reorganized management, and to see how "Senior friendly" it is. Some course conditions, and a fairly strong, steady breeze combined for a less than stellar (enjoyable) outing. All of the tee bases are sparse, with no green grass whatsoever. The fairways are brown, but beginning to show signs of greening up following Winter. The greens have been aerated recently, and still have lots of sand on them (Consensus of my threesome: they were slow and bumpy, and made putting quite problematic). I, personally, take issue with the existing sloping of the fairways. It seemed as if, no matter where one hit the ball (fairway, fringe, or rough) the sloping terrain always caused the ball to roll into either a bunker or a hazard. Another inconsistency was that the greens, for being so slow for putting, did not hold approach shots. This was particularly exasperating on the Par 5 fifth hole where my second shot landed in the fairway yet, because of the slope, rolled into the water on the right side , almost 90 degrees from the direction it was traveling when it landed. After retrieving my ball and taking a drop, my wedge shot hit the green just beyond the pin, but continued to roll into the bunker behind the green. In all honesty, I hit three successive shots that were well struck, but ended up with a bogey instead of birdie because of course conditions! I do NOT consider Birkdale to be Senior friendly. First of all, I could not find any marked tees that did not exceed the recommended Play-It-Forward yardage range for my average driving distance (I played the White tees as did my two partners, also seniors). The longer yardages, coupled with the strong breeze severely reduced the number of opportunities for hitting the greens in regulation. Another inconvenience, for seniors, is the inability to drive the cart to one's car to unload after the round. Birkdale does offer a Senior rate of $35, which is not too bad. However, it didn't seem like such a bargain compared to my round last week at Olde Sycamore where, because their greens had been recently aerated, they had a flat rate of $25 for all (and respective course conditions were so much better). Finally, a personal bias - the driving range uses mats instead of grass/sod. That may not be a bother to many golfers, but I absolutely detest hitting off a mat. In summary, it may be another 3 years (if ever) before I return to play at Birkdale.
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Olde Sycamore Golf Plantation Date: 3/16/16 Wed Morning
Overall Rating: Great course
Score:
Cost: $25
Conditions: Good - normal wear/tearPace: 3 1/2 Hours
First outing of the 2016 season. The flags in front of the clubhouse were flapping rather vigorously when I arrived, and the breezy conditions continued throughout the round. Temperatures reached low-to-mid 80's by the time I had finished so, all in all, a great day to be out on the course. The greens had been aerated recently (the reason they were only charging $25 for the round), but there were only a few greens where that really hurt me. Most of the aeration holes were nearly filled in, and the covering sand (stones included) were the bigger problem. The fairways are definitely "greening up", but tee bases are still a sparse. The bunkers were damp and firm (perhaps as a result of the Sunday night-Monday afternoon showers). My round was definitely up and down - ball striking surprisingly good for the first time out, but decision making was more than iffy (Birdied the opening Par 5 with three excellent shots ending with a 6' putt. The next hole, I didn't check yardage, drove through the end of the fairway, and lost the ball.) The front nine results really tell the story: 3 birdies, 2 triple bogies, and 2 lost balls! Even so, it was great to be on the course, especially for only $25.
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Skybrook Golf Club Date: 12/16/15 Wed Afternoon
Overall Rating: Great course
Score:
Cost: $30
Conditions: Good - normal wear/tearPace: 3 1/2 Hours
Skybrook continues to provide good/great golfing value, so I encourage you to take advantage of the next bit of unusually good winter weather and play this course. Their Winter Rate Special for Seniors was $30, and included a sandwich/chips/soda lunch (Normally $7.50 over the counter base rate, and the turkey-cheese sandwich was of generous proportion with lettuce and tomato included) and complimentary replay. If you're not into all of that, there apparently are even lower rates available through on-line booking (or so I was told by a couple of Fort Mill residents whom I caught up with on the course and finished the round). The course was a little wet in places - 90 degree rule - because of rain on Monday, and that did affect a few iron shots but, all-in-all, the course was in good condition. If you are tempted by anything contained herein, you may wish to check out their Christmas Eve Special - temperatures are forecast in the 70's (with a chance of rain)!
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Skybrook Golf Club Date: 10/21/15 Wed Morning
Overall Rating: Great course
Score:
Cost: $45
Conditions: Good - normal wear/tearPace: 3 1/2 Hours
Another week - another Wednesday Marathon at Skybrook, which continues to be a good golfing value. Course conditions were not quite as good as last week due to the lack of recent rainfall -fairways were obviously dry, but nowhere near parched - but tee bases and greens were in excellent condition. Discussions with course personnel confirmed that the 10 days-to-two weeks of rainfall at the beginning of the month had really helped to combat the effects of the summer drought. I was told that the recent low, overnight temperatures are beneficial to the greens, and that must be true, because I found them to be unusually fast even with a heavy dew upon them at 9 AM in the morning (my scoring suffered because I never figured out the right combination of speed and break). I voiced my personal wish that the bunkers be made better/fluffier, and was told that such is on the "to do" list, but that it would require a significantly large investment to improve drainage, and is currently considered as a lower priority by the managing partners. In the meantime, stop-gap measures will be taken during the winter season to address the issue. Perhaps an increase in the number of players enjoying the course (I had the course virtually to myself in the morning) might sway senior management to elevate that priority, and Skybrook can evolve from a good, challenging golf course to a great one.
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Skybrook Golf Club Date: 10/14/15 Wed Afternoon
Overall Rating: Great course
Score:
Cost: $45
Conditions: PerfectPace: 3 1/2 Hours
I think the B-Man needs one more rating category for the course conditions - I don't deal in superlatives, and am uncomfortable in giving the "perfect" rating to anything, but Skybrook's current course conditions are certainly better than "good", if not truly perfect. First of all, I must, once again, highly recommend the 'Wednesday Marathon' fee special that allows one to play essentially all day for just $45 - I played one round in the morning, stopped for a leisurely lunch in the clubhouse, and played a second round in the afternoon - that is a very good golfing value. The course apparently escaped flooding from the recent, extended, heavy rainfall, and possibly benefited from it to overcome the summer drought conditions. To put it succinctly, the tee bases are lush and green, the fairways good and green, and the putting greens are not only "green", but almost carpet-like in texture and uniformity. I would recommend to anyone who wants to enjoy the best course conditions that Skybrook has had in (my) 3-year experience to rush out and take advantage of the current situation.
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Olde Sycamore Golf Plantation Date: 8/12/15 Wed Afternoon
Overall Rating: Great course
Score:
Cost: $32
Conditions: Good - normal wear/tearPace: 3 1/2 Hours
Another week - another golf course. Fairways, greens, and tees were all green. Bunkers were quite firm and slightly damp (possibly from Tuesday evening thunderstorm that ravaged the area). There was a sign posted advising that some greens were being watered by hand, and that golfers should be accommodating when encountering such. The results were that balls were holding very well, similar to Charlotte National, last week, coming to rest within inches (1 foot at most) of the ball mark. The only complaint is the abundance of poorly repaired/poorly recovered ball marks on virtually every green that contributed to somewhat bumpy rolling to the hole. The $32 Senior rate made for a good golfing value.
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Charlotte National Golf Club Date: 8/5/15 Wed Afternoon
Overall Rating: Worth playing
Score:
Cost: $25
Conditions: Good - normal wear/tearPace: 3 1/2 Hours
It was probably a mistake to begin play ~ 1:30 PM when temperatures were starting to peak in the high 90's but, truth to tell, it didn't really seem that bad at the time. Only later, after the round, did the fatigue and energy drain sink in. Fairways and tee boxes were a little brown, but not objectionably so considering the drought that the Charlotte area is experiencing. The grounds crew appeared to be watering each green just before my approach shot which led to several balls coming to rest within inches of the ball mark. The greens were a little bumpy due to isolated sprigs of weed/other grass and poorly dressed and/or unattended ball marks (see my review of the Emerald Lake course last week where similar conditions had little effect upon putting). The playing conditions and overall experience made the $25 greens fee an exceptional value.
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Emerald Lake Golf Club Date: 7/30/15 Thu Afternoon
Overall Rating: Great course
Score:
Cost: $29
Conditions: Good - normal wear/tearPace: 3 1/2 Hours
After reading less than stellar recent reviews of Rocky River and Skybrook, I chose to travel ~ 20 miles further, and chose Emerald Lake and a tee time of 11:30 AM. The heat and humidity, especially after noon, conspired to make for an energy draining experience that was salved by the Senior Rate green fee and leisurely round. The course is undergoing grounds modification/repair (most notably along the driving range and No. 1 fairway), but that had no significant impact upon play. The only criticism of course conditions is the greens - almost all of them have extensive invasion of small weed sprigs/splotches. I would like to see the sand in the bunkers improved/replaced - one can get spoiled by the fluffy white stuff one encounters at resort courses, and begins to expect the same at all courses.
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Skybrook Golf Club Date: 4/22/15 Wed Morning
Overall Rating: Worth playing
Score:
Cost: $45
Conditions: Poor - significant issuesPace: 3 1/2 Hours
The main reason for posting this review is to advise potential players to wait at least one more day to play Skybrook. The course really suffered from 2+ inches of rain on Sunday, and several heavy showers the following Monday, and play is "cart path only" and likely to continue that way through Thursday. There were isolated fairways with standing water, and almost all of the bunkers had water in them. The greens were fine, and seem to have grown in fully following the aeration several weeks ago. If you are up to the extra walking necessitated by the cart path only restriction, then go ahead and enjoy, but it was very tiring while taking advantage of their Marathon Wednesday special.
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Skybrook Golf Club Date: 4/1/15 Wed Afternoon
Overall Rating: Great course
Score: 79
Cost: $45
Conditions: Good - normal wear/tearPace: 3 1/2 Hours
Mission accomplished! I broke 80 on the afternoon round of Skybrook's Marathon Wednesday wherein one can play all day for $45. At my age, 36 holes is sufficient, and I still consider the special a good golfing value. The greens have just about grown in from the aeration on March 16 with some holes still noticeable, but the ball rolled pretty evenly on every green, and the speed was consistent throughout. The fairways are still brown, but were in good condition otherwise. I believe the bunkers still require some work, because each and every one I encountered was damp (I realize that it rained Monday morning, but the sun came out by noon, and Tuesday was sunny all day, so I believe that should have been sufficient to dry out the sand by Wednesday.) I get the impression that poor drainage may be the issue, but it might also help to replace the existing sand-clay mix with the white, fluffy sand extant at many other local courses. Still and all, Skybrook is a challenging course that can provide enjoyable rounds at economical prices.
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Skybrook Golf Club Date: 3/17/15 Tue Afternoon
Overall Rating: Worth playing
Score:
Cost: $30
Conditions: Good - normal wear/tearPace: 3 1/2 Hours
The sunshine and temperatures were great, the wind a little less so. The fairways are still Winter-brown, and the one bunker that I found was damp/wet, but I somehow managed a very good shot to have the opportunity of a sand-save. Such was not to be the case because of the greens - they had been aerated yesterday and were covered with sand. I am not complaining - I had been warned when calling to make the tee time, and was intent upon playing regardless of course conditions - I just want to alert potential players for whom it might be an important consideration. The greens fee was a good bargain because it included a drink and hot dog when making the turn. Today's weather was a very welcomed foretaste of things to come (Spring officially begins on Friday).
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Skybrook Golf Club Date: 12/17/14 Wed Morning
Overall Rating: Great course
Score:
Cost: $35
Conditions: Good - normal wear/tearPace: 3 1/2 Hours
I chose a 9 AM tee time thinking that the sun would have been up for 2 hours warming things up for play - WRONG! The temperature was in the high 30's, and there was considerable frost on all of the fairways when I teed off. However, the course conditions were good in spite of the weather (excepting bunkers - see earlier reviews). The greens rolled very true - I made five putts from outside of 10 feet including a 36-footer to score my first birdie ever on the Par 4 9th hole, a much more difficult hole than even its No. 7 handicap would suggest. The Winter Rate green's fee of $35 includes a complimentary replay option which makes it a very good golfing value.
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Emerald Lake Golf Club Date: 12/11/14 Thu Afternoon
Overall Rating: Worth playing
Score:
Cost: $29
Conditions: Good - normal wear/tearPace: 3 1/2 Hours
Temperature never got out of the 40's, and occasional wind gusts almost mandated a jacket, but I did manage with just a sweater. The greens were "green" and the fairways "brown", but both were in pretty good condition. The condition of the bunkers was poor - all were wet with too little fluffy sand as opposed to sandy mud. The bunker conditions affected all 3 players in our threesome. All in all, a good outing that started off well with a free bucket of range balls provided to kill time while waiting to squeeze into a starting time.
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Skybrook Golf Club Date: 10/22/14 Wed Morning
Overall Rating: Great course
Score:
Cost: $45
Conditions: Good - normal wear/tearPace: 3 1/2 Hours
Skybrook management continues to improve the overall course condition, however the bunkers are not all in equally good condition - some lacking fluffy sand and good drainage. The greens were very fast - early on I decided that, under the conditions of starting temperatures in the 40's, what I assumed to be dew on the greens was actually ice! I was later informed that the greens had been intentionally speeded up for the Member-Guest Tournament the previous weekend. Hopefully, they will return to "normal" in the next week or so, but be aware and be advised! I still consider the Marathon Wednesday special (all day for $45) a good, golfing value, and easily completed 36 holes in less than 8 hours time including a sit-down lunch break.
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The Revival Golf Club at the Crescent Date: 10/16/14 Thu Morning
Overall Rating: Worth playing
Score:
Cost: $22
Conditions: Average - isolated issuesPace: 3 1/2 Hours
I played this course in April of this year, and had some reservations about recommending it to others. I indicated in my review for that round that I intended to try it again in the summer “when (hopefully) fairways and tee boxes will be green and lush …” It’s my mistake for waiting past summer’s end to try it again. My previous criticisms still apply, namely that cart paths are limited to the vicinity of tees and greens and there are no relief stations on the course. In addition, today, there was no drinking water available and very few ball washers. Of the latter, none of them had any towel/cloth to wipe and dry the ball. This presented a problem because the course was still wet from the storm system that went through on Tuesday and Wednesday. The greens were in pretty good condition save for several that suffered scalping by the mowers. They were slightly fast, but the ball rolled true and evenly. One thing, good or bad depending upon your playing style, was that the greens were very receptive to approach shots – almost all of my ball marks were within 1 foot of where the ball came to rest. I could not find any “sand” in any of the bunkers, only clay and dirt, and the wet conditions made for very difficult play from them. In addition, on #16, my one blow-up hole, there was an exposed drain pipe IN THE BUNKER that my ball just missed entering, never to be found had it done so. The fairways and tee boxes were in nominally good condition for the early Fall season. My biggest criticism is that two holes were closed for the day, and I wasn’t made aware of that fact until preparing to tee off on the first one to be encountered. I had called the day before, but no mention was made, nor did the attendant in the Pro Shop say anything while he was taking my greens fee. This was a MAJOR disappointment since I was on pace to achieve my goal of breaking 80 only to have it wiped out for not “completing” the round (I was granted the option of replaying two holes to make a total of 18, but that was too artificial for my scorekeeping purposes). The Senior rate of $22 made for a relatively good golfing value in spite of the problems. The course layout is such that it is challenging, but fair. I’m going to try it one more time, next year, in the summer, before rendering a final opinion. Maybe, by then, the bunkers will be sandy, cart paths complete, and other amenities in place (I can only hope ...)
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Skybrook Golf Club Date: 7/30/14 Wed Morning
Overall Rating: Great course
Score:
Cost: $45
Conditions: Good - normal wear/tearPace: 3 1/2 Hours
Don't be shocked at the green fee - $45 was for a "Marathon Wednesday" (play all day) promotional offering. My goal was to do just that - play all day - so I started at 7:20 in the morning. I learned many things from this experience, some of which are: (1) my stamina is not what it once was, and I could only make it through 45 holes (2) as the B-Man has recently noted, Skybrook is a very challenging course, and (3) the new management appears to be intent upon making this a first rate course, paying attention to many details both on and off the course. Course conditions were near excellent. Greens started out rather slow due to a heavy dew, but quickly dried and became quite fast - balls rolled very true under both conditions. Almost all of the bunkers (at least the several that I visited) were fluffy sand, but too many "golfers" (I use that term loosely and begrudgingly)that preceded me neglected to rake them. The one, poor course condition was that about half of the fairways had been recently aerated (primarily on the back nine), and I was frequently penalized, rather than being rewarded, for hitting the fairway. I stopped for lunch after 27 holes, and enjoyed a tasty sandwich platter with chips and fountain drink for $7.50. I heartily recommend the course and promotion to all who are interested in a good golfing value. I just hope that not many will take advantage of it such that it will become difficult for me to get a tee time.
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The Revival Golf Club at the Crescent Date: 4/11/14 Fri Morning
Overall Rating: Worth playing
Score:
Cost: $22
Conditions: Average - isolated issuesPace: 3 1/2 Hours
The back cover of the yardage book claimed that GolfCarolina.com had rated this course No. 4 on their Top 10 best Values of Charlotte in 2001. That might be a little bit of a stretch in 2014, but I did receive good value for the $22 green fee. The very strong winds (blew the ball off the tee several times) played havoc with scoring, but did not entirely ruin the outing. Course conditions were generally similar to those described in the March 14 review posted on this site with the exception of the greens which had been aerated since then. The little pock marks were still rather prominent, but didn't affect putting as much as the wind (moved the ball by at least 1 foot, on one occasion). A couple of considerations for those who have never played the course: (1) the fairways are rather narrow, however almost all of them are relatively straight with no major trouble (2) the cart paths may be best described as "rustic" ranging from concrete surfaces around the greens and tee boxes, to dirt and gravel (or no defined path at all)everywhere else, and (3) there are no relief stations, Port-a-Potty or otherwise, on the course and since it is located within an established community no "good" trees or the like are available either. As B-Man notes in his description of the course, it is somewhat remote for Charlotte golfers, and it is about a 35-minute drive for me, but I intend to try it again, in the summer, when (hopefully) fairways and tee boxes will be green and lush before I decide whether or not it is a good golfing value course.
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Emerald Lake Golf Club Date: 1/17/14 Fri Morning
Overall Rating: Worth playing
Score:
Cost: $
Conditions: Good - normal wear/tearPace: 4 Hours
I believe I have established the lower limit of my "comfort zone" for playing golf - temperatures were in the high 30's to lower 40's when I arrived at the course at 10:30 AM, and there was an almost steady, brisk breeze blowing. I doubt that the temperature ever exceeded 45, and I kept a jacket on during the entire round. The course was suffering from recent rainfall (indeed, we started on the back nine to give the front a chance to drain/dry)and it was "cart path only". All of the bunkers were damp, and a few had isolated, small puddles. Fairways were wet with isolated boggy areas. Most of the tee boxes were moderately sparse. These conditions were all likely due to the winter weather, and not the lack of course maintenance. My intent in mentioning the conditions is to alert those considering an outing in the next few days - scoring is likely to suffer (mine did, amounting to 3 more strokes on the second, wetter, nine.)
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Emerald Lake Golf Club Date: 10/31/13 Thu Morning
Overall Rating: Great course
Score:
Cost: $29
Conditions: Good - normal wear/tearPace: 3 1/2 Hours
The course is recovering from the effects of the fire that destroyed the clubhouse/pro shop. Part of that recovery is restructuring - reversing front and back nines - but that had no practical effect upon play. The speed of the greens continue to plague me , with two 3-putts on the first four holes, but I attribute that to not spending enough time on the practice green (rushing to get off). The greens were in fine condition - soft and receptive. The pace of play was nominal, but seemed much longer due to a slow foursome three groups ahead. Again, a Senior rate of $29 is hard to beat, and I heartily endorse and recommend the course.
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Olde Sycamore Golf Plantation Date: 10/18/13 Fri Morning
Overall Rating: Great course
Score:
Cost: $38
Conditions: PerfectPace: 4 Hours
The course was in near perfect condition. The only issue - not a complaint - was the rough. It was cut short everywhere, but the grass really grabbed the club head making it difficult to recover even when just a few feet off the fairway. The best way to handle it is to not be in it (My hitting 10 of 14 fairways didn't completely solve the problem). The greens were very good, although getting the right speed was a continual challenge, and led to more than one 3 putt performance by everyone in the threesome. I was very impressed by the tee set-ups. Out of our threesome, one hit from the Gold tees, one from the Blues, and one from the Whites. It was quite remarkable to see all three balls in relatively close proximity to one another following the respective drives. The entire staff was friendly and courteous, and truly made one feel welcomed to play there. All in all, a very enjoyable outing.
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Rocky River Golf Club Date: 10/3/13 Thu Morning
Overall Rating: Worth playing
Score:
Cost: $30
Conditions: Good - normal wear/tearPace: 4 1/2 Hours
The course was in good condition - tee bases, fairways, greens, and bunkers - all fine. The price was very good - $30 for a senior, Concord resident - hard to beat. The course management, and especially the marshal - a little irritating. The foursome (a twosome and two singles) was thrown together to fill the tee time. That's not entirely unusual, but it is the first time in my nearly 60 years of playing that I shared a cart with a total stranger, and I was not entirely comfortable riding with someone whose driving skills and comportment were completely unknown to me. Apparently, management was limiting carts because of a tournament scheduled for just after noon. The tournament was also the reason for the marshal to repeatedly ask us to speed up play even though we were NOT being pushed by players following behind us. I believe that the constant badgering by the marshal led to exactly the opposite of the desired result, causing mishits by all in our foursome, and leading to slower play, not faster. Two members of the foursome were particularly upset by the constant, and repeated, visitations by the marshal. Finally, one of the members of the foursome, who had never played the course before, was somewhat critical of the number of forced carries over marshy areas, especially off the tees. I would add that the fact that the reeds and marsh grass immediately adjacent to the tee bases had not been cut, and it increased the difficulty significantly, demanding an elevated, arcing trajectory to clear them but sacrificing some distance/carry in the process. Still, not a bad round, but I wish we had been advised of the tournament, and its potential impact upon play, when calling for a tee time such that we might have considered playing elsewhere.
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Skybrook Golf Club Date: 9/19/13 Thu Morning
Overall Rating: Average
Score:
Cost: $25
Conditions: Poor - significant issuesPace: 3 1/2 Hours
The course is reportedly under new management, and is offering limited time specials on green fees, so I gave it another shot. The fairways were a little sparse, probably due to the lack of rain in the past two weeks, or more. The rough was recently cut (in fact, still in progress during the round), and clumps of cuttings were widely distributed. Even after cutting, the rough was thick and VERY penalizing, severely grabbing the club head and making it quite difficult to advance the ball. This was true even when in the rough immediately adjacent to the fairway. The greens were ratty, and heavily dimpled/pockmarked due to slow/poor recovery from aeration. I'm not sure that the conditions were solely responsible for poor putting (only two 1-putt greens and four 3-putt greens), but I will claim it as an excuse. A few of the bunkers appeared to be more hard, dry clay as opposed to fluffy sand. The course is in obvious need of extensive TLC for grounds keeping, and I hope the new management is offering the fee specials to encourage play and build cash reserves to be applied thereto. The recent, widely reported financial problems have obviously cut patronage - I only saw one twosome playing in addition to myself. However, I can't complain about the value ($25 senior special), and would encourage anyone for whom inexpensive greens fees are a priority to consider playing the course. Consider it to be an "investment" in the future of local golf.
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Charlotte National Golf Club Date: 7/18/13 Thu Morning
Overall Rating: Worth playing
Score:
Cost: $29
Conditions: Average - isolated issuesPace: 4 Hours
Evidently the "monsoon season" we have been experiencing prevented mowing on a regular basis - fairways were longer, with significant clippings everywhere, and the rough was ridiculous (not as thick as at the U.S. Open, but definitely difficult to play from.) The latter was true even only 5 feet off the fairway which made finding balls difficult, if not impossible, for even the most minor miscues (I never did find my ball on the first hole after what I considered a good drive that started off down the middle, and only kicked to the right after landing). The 90 degree rule was in effect which exacerbated trying to find the ball since you couldn't drive right to the location and had to guess at the proper spot to turn in. In spite of this, the greens were in good condition, although just a tad slow, and balls seemed to roll true. I was surprised to find that the new club house was not finished. In fact, it didn't appear as if there were any change, or progress, since early Spring. I hope this doesn't indicate/imply financial problems for the course and consequent deterioration.
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Rocky River Golf Club Date: 6/29/13 Sat Afternoon
Overall Rating: Great course
Score:
Cost: $35
Conditions: Poor - significant issuesPace: 3 1/2 Hours
The good news is that I broke 80. The bad news is that it was for 14 holes. The "slow moving" thunderstorms of last night really did a number on the course, and a significant number of greens and fairways were closed/under water. The staff did a great job of salvaging the day by picking 7 holes that were playable and playing them twice (Holes 1,2,3,6,7,8, and 9). Holes 6 and 9 were using the Red tees, so one had a very good chance of driving the green on No. 6 I want to emphasize that I consider the round and course conditions to have been excellent considering the weather of the previous night. If anyone is uncomfortable with the above described arrangements, I would recommend, and encourage, you to wait a week before trying to play the course - give it a chance for the water to recede, and the fairways to recover.
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Larkhaven Golf Club Date: 4/9/13 Tue Morning
Overall Rating: Great course
Score:
Cost: $29
Conditions: PerfectPace: 4 1/2 Hours
As others have noted, the greens and fairways were great, but the pace of play not so great. The 4-1/2 hours seemed much longer. The course was crowded what with this being a truly great, Spring day, and that contributed to the slowdown (However, it extended to the pro shop activities as well, and it took 4 phone calls over the space of an hour to get anyone, or anything, to answer the phone). A yardage book was a good deal at $2, but playing with experienced, long-time patrons obviated the need for one. A good, and fair, course that rewards good shots and does not unnecessarily penalize for not so good shots. I will definitely play it again.
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The Tradition Golf Club Date: 3/20/13 Wed Morning
Overall Rating: Worth playing
Score:
Cost: $29
Conditions: Average - isolated issuesPace: 3 1/2 Hours
I agree with 4amigos review for the same day of play with respect to conditions. I found the greens to be bumpy and pock-marked but, in all honesty, don't believe that affected scoring as putts seemed to roll true. The greatest challenge, as other's have noted (and as an employee in the pro shop opined, "The course is very tight".) is to hit it straight. That was my, personal, problem - hit 10 of 14 fairways, but hit too many erratic shots after leaving the tee. Hopefully, with the first day of Spring now gone by, course conditions will improve. I'm willing to give it another shot. The Yardage Guide is a good value ($1.86), but is not all that necessary for this relatively straightforward course.
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Highland Creek Golf Club Date: 3/15/13 Fri Morning
Overall Rating: Worth playing
Score:
Cost: $29
Conditions: Good - normal wear/tearPace: 3 1/2 Hours
The Senior Rate of $29 is hard to beat - the course itself is extremely hard to beat. The course was in generally good condition, especially under 90 degree cart rule. The greens were problematic - couldn't identify any particular problem other than they didn't seem to roll true. The course played much tougher than its Rating/Slope figures AND from what it appears from each tee (I wonder when the slope and rating were last checked). I attribute this to three factors: (1) brutal pin placements, (2) "hidden" hazards, and (3) steeply banked greens that were compounded by the pin placements. No. 18 pin was on the upper left side about 5 yds from the edge of the steeply sloped green - there was no way to get your approach shot to stop near the hole. There is no yardage book available, and hidden hazards came into play all too frequently (I was actually fortunate to mishit and come up short a couple of times, otherwise I would have been in the hazard without knowing that it was there). The banked greens ALWAYS made the ball roll into trouble (very discouraging to see the ball land just off the green, almost stop, but then roll steadily into a creek never to be found). I think that my statistics reflect these observations: I hit 14 of 14 fairways, but only 2 of 18 greens in regulation (many of those actually hit the green, but would not hold due to the slope). Summary opinion: good value, but penalizing course.
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Birkdale Golf Club Date: 2/21/13 Thu Morning
Overall Rating: Worth playing
Score:
Cost: $34
Conditions: Average - isolated issuesPace: 4 1/2 Hours
The fairways were in pretty good shape considering the season and the fact that we had 3 inches of snow the preceding Saturday. 90 degree cart rule was in effect, and was no problem (However, some of the tees are more than a few steps from the cart path, and what may have been saved by driving to your ball in the fairway was offset by walking to the tee.) The round did not get off to a good start. The practice green was closed, and the chipping green was a poor substitute. I had a decent drive on No. 1 only to wait for about five minutes for a groundskeeper to finish mowing the green. He eventually stopped, and yelled back to me that I was supposed to have started on the back nine. It surely would have been nice if the attendant in the pro shop had informed me of such when I checked in. Play was somewhat slow (I had been warned that they were running about 15-20 minutes behind), and I was soon joined by another single using a pull-cart. We made up time on the second nine where we almost had the course to ourselves. My primary complaint about the course conditions is that the greens were very bumpy. My playing partner, who claimed to be a 5-year contract Carolina Trail member, and regular patron of the course, indicated that this was standard and attributed it to lack of maintenance and caretaking due to the financial problems of the Carolina Trail enterprise. However, he did indicate that the latter situation was reportedly improving, and he was hopeful that course conditions might also improve before the end of the year. Bottom line assessment: A challenging course with fair value greens fee for seniors. I will likely try it again in the spring and/or summer months.
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Rocky River Golf Club Date: 2/5/13 Tue Morning
Overall Rating: Great course
Score:
Cost: $27
Conditions: Good - normal wear/tearPace: 4 Hours
Continuing to explore the courses north-northeast of Charlotte. The morning was overcast and in the 40's with a moderate breeze contributing to wind chill. The Senior rate greens fee was definitely a bargain for this course, on this day. Being new, I purchased the yardage book ($5)which may be a little pricey considering the amount of advertising that is included. However, I would definitely recommend it to anyone unfamiliar with the course. The greens were like a carpet with only poorly recovering ball marks marring the surface. I don't believe that the latter had any effect on putting - just like Bman's assessment, they rolled sure and true. The fairways were all brown, but in very good condition. Only a few tee boxes exhibited obvious wear and tear. The afternoon weather improved to sunny and near 60 degrees, and I believe that improved my play on the back nine (3 over for a 39). I will definitely play this course again, and I wholeheartedly recommend it.
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Skybrook Golf Club Date: 1/29/13 Tue Morning
Overall Rating: Worth playing
Score:
Cost: $34
Conditions: Average - isolated issuesPace: 4 Hours
I chose this course to play based upon Bman's recommendation and the fact that it is about 4 miles from the house. I went out on the only day of the week with decent weather forecast (66 deg and partly cloudy) and definitely enjoyed the outing. The only complaint is the greens were VERY slow and ratty which had a definite impact upon scoring. I intend to try it again in the spring, or summer, months and hope that the greens will have improved.
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