Verdict Ridge always delivers. Course is in excellent condition everywhere. Great layout. Quick pace of play.
This is a younger course (2007) south of the Ballantyne area off Hwy 521 and just across the NC-SC border. It runs through a retirement community and offers discounts for residents. With natural streams and several ponds, the course is a challenging but fair championship golf course designed by Golf Course Architect Tim Freeland. It features Bermuda fairways and G2 Bent Grass greens. Five sets of tees allow golfers of all ages and abilities to enjoy the championship layout at Carolina Lakes. The course also includes a sixth or family tee which turns the layout into a par 55 course, with 17 par 3's and one par 4, sort of a course inside a course.
The course offers regular memberships and annual pre-paid green fees and cart fees that can significantly reduce the cost the more rounds you buy.
I play this course about once or twice a season. It is truly a gem and lives up to its billing (and price). I would definitely describe the layout as "well-bunkered." Every hole features strategically placed traps and they affect your shot choices. There aren't too many surprises, even for first-time players. Pretty straightforward. The course includes some reachable par 5's and nearly driveable par 4's. I especially liked the 297-yd (from the Whites) par 4 11th hole and the 313-yd par 4 15th hole. Lots of risk and reward opportunities. I found the par 5 6th hole to be pretty difficult, with a creek at the end of the fairway affecting your tee shot, then uphill approaches with plenty of bunkers. Overall, this course is a great treat if you can afford it -- one of the nicest, well-kept courses in the area.
One of the best values in the area, especially if you live in south Charlotte. The greens were aerated around 10 days ago but are already at 95% and were rolling fine. Staff is friendly as always, and we got around in around 4:45 hours, but the course was packed (not a single space in parking lot) and really the flow was fine so it didn't feel like 5 hours (no long waiting). My ONLY complaint and I am probably nit-picking here. This course has a TON of bunkers, which I don't mind. But they keep the fairway bunkers fluffy and thick just like a green-side bunker, versus the traditional firmer sand of most courses. Makes it pretty difficult to hit a fairway bunker shot effectively (if you hit down, ball goes nowhere). This easily cost me several strokes and was annoying. Add this up with no rakes and you drew some pretty crap breaks.Read The Review
My second perfect rating of the year. Carolina Lakes is in fabulous shape. The Bentgrass greens were immaculate and rolling true (and quick). Tees, fairways, bunkers were all good. I couldn't find a thing to nitpick all day. Everything was in great condition. The layout is challenging yet scoreable and it includes several picturesque and memorable holes, including the par 5 13th (reachable in two if you challenge the water on the left with your approach), par 4 14th that follows it going up the hill and the short (driveable if you risk the water on the right) par 4 15th. Then there's the murderous par 3 16th with a long water hazard carry to a green guarded by a huge bunker (it looks like a series of bunkers but it's one continuous "trap"). Few courses have such an indelible layout like this - where you will remember so many of the holes. I love this course and the facilities are also top-notch with a great practice/learning area as well as a huge clubhouse / restaurant. Look for deals through GolfNow to book your tee times, though. I went through the course website and would have paid twice what I did through GN ($73 vs $37 for a weekday afternoon). Carolina Lakes is in my local Charlotte Top 3. Go play it!Read The Review
I really enjoy the golf course layout. Wife range of holes with nice elevation changes and generous fairways. Beautiful bent grass greens and lots of bunkers allows you to use all the clubs in the bag. Great value for the price too.Read The Review
Love playing Carolina Lakes as it is a great layout that is always in good condition. The bent grass greens were a little tired from the long hot summer with a few pock marks, but still rolled great and were very receptive. My only beef with this course is that the brakes on the carts are terrible and lock up every time you touch them. Just a matter of time before someone gets seriously hurt in one of these carts on one of the many steep winding downhill paths.Read The Review
Overall in very good shape. Greens were a little slower than they looked, but with all the rain we got in May and dry conditions that followed, they might have been giving them a break. Putted true and looked great. Fairways and tee boxes in great shape but oddly enough, some fairways had what looked to be ground up hardwood mulch spread on them. Maybe to hold moisture? Maybe to add alkaline? Didn't affect play at all. Some thin areas by the cart path. Now the sand traps...Looked great and you could tell there was plenty of sand in them but it was pretty compacted. Maybe they never fluffed them back up after May rain. Great for hitting out of fairway bunkers but my club would bounce and I'd skull the ball around the greens.Read The Review
By The B-Man on 6/19/20
This is an interesting concept for a golf tournament being played on multiple courses - including Red Bridge and Pinehurst Resort - on multiple days to give participants the flexibility to pick their course and day. Check it out: THREE RIVERS LAND TRUST SWING INTO SUMMER...