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B-Man’s Review of Rock Barn Golf & Spa on 5/9/23

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  • Rock Barn Golf & Spa

    Course photo
    Date: 5/9/23 Tue Morning
    Overall Rating:

    "Best of the best"
    Conditions: Good - normal wear/tear
    Pace: 3 1/2 Hours
    Cost: $65
    Username: B-Man
    Profile: Golf Addict (more than once a week)
    Handicap: 6
    Today's Score: 87
    See All Reviews by this user

    Rock Barn continues to be my favorite course within an hour of Charlotte – and it stretches that radius to the max as it’s located in Conover just west of Statesville. The course is well worth the drive, however, and the price. At $65 for a weekday round and $75 on weekends, Rock Barn is still a great value for what you get.

    The Tom Jackson course is the public track but the resort also has a private Robert Trent Jones, Jr. course for members only. Both courses share the same clubhouse and practice area, which are resort quality. The practice putting green is by far the largest I know of in the Carolinas and it allows you to practice those 200-foot putts if you want a fun challenge.

    The Jackson course is a par-71 layout that tips out at only 6427 yards. So you may feel it plays short, but your first shot will have to carry 180-200 yards uphill across a hazard to reach the short grass. Several holes feature dramatic elevation changes, both downhill and uphill on tee shots and approaches.

    With the shorter length, you get some fun risk-reward choices throughout the round, none more exciting than the 10th hole. This downhill then dogleg left par 5 is one of my favorite public course holes in the area. If you hit a good drive, you should only have 200 or less yards to reach the green. However, that shot will be 90% carry over water! I didn’t trust my 210-yard carry and so I laid up to about 80 yards during my round to give myself a birdie putt.

    One of the signature stretches is Nos. 5 and 6. No. 5 is a narrow par 4 tee shot with a severely downhill approach to a green that falls off the back into a pond. That same pond surrounds the front and right side of the par 3 No. 6 hole that plays dramatically downhill. And speaking of dramatically downhill, the par 3 9th hole is another long tee shot over a hazard with a 100-foot drop from tee to green.

    The back nine closes with a fun stretch from Nos. 15 to 18, again with elevation changes and ponds in play. The closing hole requires an uphill approach shot to one of the largest greens on the course that protects par with a two-tiered, back-to-front steep slope.

    Overall, this layout is very memorable and fun to play, which is one of my criteria for the Top 10 list. The course is part of the Rock Barn Resort & Spa and so the amenities (which include a very nice public bar/bistro and a members-only restaurant) are top-notch. Your range balls are included in your round, making the price even better by comparison to other Charlotte courses that charge another $6-$8 for a bucket.

    Not to give too much away (the new Top 10 list will be out in a few weeks) but Rock Barn was No. 1 last year for good reasons and not much has changed.

    NOTE: the course will be aerated next week. So give it a few weeks to recover.

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I've launched this year's version of the Charlotte Golf Survey where you get to rate all of the public golf courses within an hour of Charlotte. And just like last year, if you submit the survey, you will be entered into a drawing to win a round of golf with me a The Club...

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2024 Charlotte Golf Survey

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I've launched this year's version of the Charlotte Golf Survey where you get to rate all of the public golf courses within an hour of Charlotte. And just like last year, if you submit the survey, you will be entered into a drawing to win a round of golf with me a The Club...

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