Golf at Deer Brook provides you with a country atmosphere, set among the rolling landscape and natural seclusion of northern Cleveland County. Deer Brook is located in Shelby, NC about an hour's drive due west of Charlotte via I-85 and US 74. Opened in 1999, the club prides itself on having no "gimmicks" on its natural layout and serving all levels of golfers from amateur to pro. The clubhouse restaurant, Mulligan's, serves a full lunch and dinner menu with steak, salmon, chicken, pork chops, pasta and salads.
The club offers affordable memberships ranging from $85 to $140 per month plus cart fees. The course does not provide online booking for tee times, either through their web site or the popular booking sites. So you will have to call to get your tee time.
Finally played (March 2022) this hidden gem in Shelby and came away very impressed. This course has some beautiful stretches of holes on both the front and back 9's. I love courses that have elevated tees or greens where you can see 3 or 4 holes from one vantage point. Deer Brook has several spots like this on both nines, notably #1 green, #3 tee / #6 green, #11 green, #12 green, and #14 green / #17 fairway. I also like courses that finish right in front of the clubhouse so your buddies in other groups can watch you play 18 (and win or lose your bet!). This course is reasonably priced and has a nice big clubhouse with a restaurant and covered outdoor patio bar. The layout feels wide open off the tee with a few exceptions (#2, #8 and #10 have narrow landing areas with trouble on one or both sides). The greens can be difficult due to tiers and slopes, especially if the Bentgrass is rolling quick. The round starts with a nearly drivable par 4 as the second half of the fairway runs down towards the green. Holes 3-6 take you downhill, uphill, downhill, downhill. The front 9 closes with a tough dogleg right with a pond guarding the approach on the left. #10 is a tough par 5 with that narrow landing area off the tee, then all uphill to a tricky tiered green. Speaking of tiered greens, watch for right-side pins on #11. There is a small perch on that side where anything short or left of the perch rolls down to a swale on the left half of the green. And if you play it safe on your approach by aiming for the left side, don't overdo it! There's a bunker and water guarding the left side. Speaking of water, it comes into play on 3 of the last 5 holes, including the long par 3 #14, the risk-reward par 5 #17 and the difficult closing par 4 #18. All in all, this is a scenic, very challenging course and it is a definite must-play when you can make the trip out to Shelby.
My first time out at Deer Brook and I loved the layout. It's scenic, with several elevated spots where you can see several holes at once (I love courses like that, a la Eagle Chase). It's challenging with elevation changes, fast, tiered greens, and water in play on 3 of the last 5 holes. For my round, the greens were in good shape and rolling great. It was crazy windy (30-40mph gusts at times) so that made the course play harder – though it allowed me to nearly drive the first green with the wind at my back. The aesthetics take a minor hit with lots of holes framed by power lines but at least they don't buzz like the ones at Birkdale. Otherwise, I loved the layout. It felt very wide open and straightforward with only a few exceptions where the landing areas were narrow and bordered by OB or hazards. The par 3's are all tricky with most requiring a long carry. The closing 2 holes offer great risk-reward with the short par 5 17th requiring a 2nd or 3rd shot to carry a large pond and the long par 4 18th requiring a similar carry over water for your approach. Even though I suffered from some difficult putts due to the slopes, I enjoyed the challenging greens and I am sure they are even tougher when the green speeds are ratcheted up. Speaking of the greens, Deer Brook is one of the last public courses in the area with Bentgrass greens. So if you prefer them over Bermuda, Deer Brook is a great course for you. I had lunch and drinks at Mulligan's on the covered patio watching March Madness before my round. It's a great spot with a wide variety of menu items. Overall, I had a great first visit and will be back a few times a year now that I know what I'm missing.Read The Review
Deer Brook is a very nice, great value. Worth the drive from Fort Mill. I belong to a club and course, my home course is penalizing if you get crooked. I played White Tees which is about 6400-6500 yards. On almost every hole, you can be a little crooked and still have reasonable play to green. Other than 18, even longer par 4's did not seem to play long. Greens were bit slow but in excellent shape. Nice fairways. Would definitely play at Deer Brook again. I played front with another guy then back by myself. Was easily on pace for round under 3 hours until I ran into slow threesome on 15 :-)Read The Review
One of Charlotte's hidden gems. For $45 on the weekend you will be hard pressed to find a better course for the price. It is in my top 5 public courses to play. Only downside is the drive. One hour from Charlotte. Maybe more depending on where you live. Driving range: Average Chipping area: Sloping/great condition. Putting green: Right next to tee #1. Big enough. Course: You will use every club in your bag. Elevations, doglegs, good mix of big fairways and narrow as well. Tree lined and very beautiful. This course never disappoints. Depending on where pins are located, this course can present many challenges on the greens. Bring your A game putting. Clubhouse: Very friendly staff. Good size dining area and has a wrap-around balcony that overlooks the 18th green for a 19th hole beverage and entertainment. Highly recommend.Read The Review
This is always one of my favorite courses, great layout with a good variety of holes. Tees, fairways and the one bunker I was in were all in very good shape, but the big surprise to me was the greens. Not that they weren't good, but it seems a lot of the people who play there must all have back problems. The greens had tons of unfixed ball marks, especially on the front portions of the greens. Had a few putts that bounced off the marks, and that is not the fault of the superintendent let me make that clear. Putts that did not hit any marks rolled very smoothly, I just had a little difficulty reading them but that's just me. Again, always an enjoyable round there.Read The Review
Deer Brook is a real gem. Some maintenance work going on this Monday (aerating some fairways and teeboxes) but overall a great experience. This one is well worth the drive from CLT. The only thing that I do not like, and this is one of my huge pet peeves, is marking of hazards and areas which should be, and now can, be marked "penalty areas" to speed up play and so players can know what their options are.Read The Review