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This was my first visit to Carolina Lakes, and I will most definitely be back. The cold Spring and resulting winter kill have affected just about every course in the Charlotte area this year, but Carolina Lakes was in phenomenal shape. Greens were excellent, as were the fairways. An occasional tee box had some thin spots, but those were few and far between. Each of the numerous bunkers on the course were well maintained and had plenty of soft white sand in them. Every sprinkler head had yardages on them and there were markers in the fairways and on cart paths. The cart paths are also well maintained.
The layout of the course is outstanding as well. The course is inside of the Sun City retirement community, and winds it way through it. There is a mix of short and long holes, straight holes and doglegs. You will hit clubs other than driver off of several tees and that helps to provide great variety to the course. The four par 3’s all demand carries over water or natural areas. There is a good bit of elevation change, particularly on the back nine. Perhaps the signature hole is #9, a dogleg right par 4 that features 7 bunkers that the tee shot must be threaded through. This is not a course that you can walk, as there are a few lengthy rides between holes.
The fleet of carts is new and full of features, including the best GPS system I’ve ever seen in a cart. The GPS touch screen gives you a flyover of each hole, in addition to the distances to the front, back, and that day’s hole location.
I did not go into the clubhouse, but those amenities seem top class as well. Staff was pleasant and helpful. Pace of play was great. Our twosome got around in less than 3.5 hours on the Friday afternoon of a holiday weekend.
As I mentioned above, Carolina Lakes is in about the best shape of any course in the Charlotte area currently. The conditions and layout make this one a must play for anyone.