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Carolina Lakes is one of if not my favorite public course in the Charlotte area. I find it to be a very visually appealing course, and I usually play pretty well here. Practice area is average and the people in the clubhouse aren’t particularly friendly, but it doesn’t bother me. As other reviews have mentioned, lots of bunkers (every single hole), but particularly on #1, 2, 9, and 11 where some might consider them excessive. All four par 3’s have water in play, but none are overly long. Fairways are wide and fair, but if you miss them you’re going to be in the woods more often than not. Houses come into play on a few holes, but aren’t a big issue. Six other holes also have water, ranging from small creeks across the fairways to lakes along the majority of the hole (par 5 #6th). Rough is not particularly penal in my opinion, usually cut fairly low. Definitely lots of fun risk/reward holes where you can go for birdies or lay up and play for par. Greens vary widely in size and slope. A number of the large ones have two or even three tiers that can be quite difficult.
The par 5 with the lake alongside the left is #13. Apologies for the typo.