Located off Lawyer's Road in the Matthews / Indian Trail area, this course lives up to the 'lake' in its name, with water coming into play on many holes, including the signature par 5 14th hole -- with 2 shots over the 12-acre lake. It is a semi-private course and one of the few Charlotte area public courses with Crenshaw bent grass greens.
Memberships are available. They also have season passes where you can buy a bundle of weekend or weekday rounds. If you plan to regularly play here, they are a good deal, giving you $10 off the typical rack rate. The original clubhouse burned down on the 4th of July back in 2012 -- I was one of the last people to leave the clubhouse that day when I still had my membership. A new one was finished in 2016 and now includes an event facility that can host weddings and banquets. The Lakeview Grille looks over the 14th tee and 18th green and has shaded outdoor seating.
This course was once my home course, back in 2011-2012, and for over two decades I lived only about 5 minutes away. I still get out to play here frequently with friends who are members and I know the nuances of this course better than almost any other in the Charlotte area. Between the tree-lined tight fairways on some holes, the water hazards / sand bunkers on others, and the slick, sloped, undulating greens, your swing needs to be under control to keep the ball in play and your score down. I started to have better success here in recent years, once I learned to stay away from trouble and not hit driver on every par 4. Some holes can still get me, though, including #12, a very long, narrow par 4, and #9, another long par 4 with an approach over a creek, uphill to the toughest green on the course. My favorite holes are the exciting par 5's #14 and #18 with water in play for more than one shot. In the summer of 2020, the course hired a new superintendent (Mike Stell formerly the asst. super at Quail Hollow Club) and rededicated itself to keeping the Crenshaw bent grass greens in great shape year round. They have done a great job bringing Emerald Lake back to the upper echelon of public courses in Charlotte and have added great event hosting capabilities. One final note: the course uses dynamic pricing so the rack rates are fluid based on demand. Your price may vary from round to round.
Clubhouse is nice. And that's the end of positive things to say Course is in awful shape. Greens are running a 2. Bare spots on several holes. Weeds all throughout greens. Group in front of us took almost 5 hours. Ranger came by once but didn't improve anything.Read The Review
Greens - inconsistent, bare, infiltrated with patches of unwanted grasses, and tons of unrepaired pitch markes. Greenside - deep bermuda very close to greens, sprinkler head areas with standing water, inconsistent. Fairways - good Sandtraps - poorly maintained, clientele seems to refuse to rake Tee box - good on most, a few bare areas Staff - good, courteous Amenities - no beverage cart, water on course Pace of Play - My group was slow and our pace was not good - had to let two groups through during round and haven't had to do that in many years. In fairness, there appeared to be a tournament played in the morning and seemed to be a charity event which brings in a wide variety of players so not surprised to see the sand and greens in such bad repair. That being said, bare spots and overall quality was expected to be better.Read The Review
It's been 4 or 5 years since I played here. 7 or 8 of the Greens were in need of repair in some spots. (Bare patches on the edge and general wear and tear from golfers not fixing their ball marks. Fairways in very good shape. Tee boxes had normal wear and tear. Bunkers in pretty good shape as well. Distances on the score card and the placards on the tee box were off on most of the holes.....by a good 30-40 yards each hole. Would play there againRead The Review
Tee boxes and fairways are in good/great shape. But the greens are the worst in the area I have seen all year. A combination of weed and crabgrass infested PLUS dead and dirt patches. And at $70 (plus a fuel surcharge?!? that makes it $75), it will be off my list for a while. We showed up a bit early to our 10am Sunday tee time to hit a few range balls. If you know the course, you know that one tee is just next to the range. We should have known when no groups went off the tee between our 9:15a arrival and our tee... on a Sunday.Read The Review
Back at Emerald Lake for the first time since Memorial Day weekend. The greens are starting to get their late summer softness, which leads to many, many ballmarks and sometimes bumpy putts. So they are not as good as they were in early summer. However, I'd say they are in much better shape for this time of year than in years' past. The speed was decent but not fast at all. The tees and fairways were fine, no issues to note. The disappointing aspect of the course conditions right now are the bunkers. Several -- especially the ones on the par 5 5th hole -- were overgrown with grass and weeds. I was shocked. My playing partner lost a ball in a fairway bunker on that hole due to the overgrowth. Just a severe lack of attention and care to a basic aspect of course maintenance. There were a few more bunkers on other holes with grass (e.g. par 3 16th greenside bunker) and some that just had not been raked or maintained. Given the price ($72) and the condition of the rest of the course, I don't understand why these bunkers were neglected. I did see the GM and the superintendent riding around the course but did not get a chance to ask them about the bunkers. While Emerald Lake has made great strides from previous seasons with their Bent grass greens and course improvements, I was disappointed with this round.Read The Review