Verdict Ridge always delivers. Course is in excellent condition everywhere. Great layout. Quick pace of play.
This course -- known for years as Fox Den Country Club -- north of Charlotte off I-77 has Crenshaw bent grass greens and Bermuda fairways. It was designed by renowned architect Clyde Johnston with beautiful rolling terrain and scenic views. Stonebridge Golf Club purchased Fox Den in May of 2014 and renamed the course Larkin Golf Club. It is a well rounded course with lots of variety that will test your shot making abilities. The course length varies from 7005 yards from the gold tees down to 5300 yards from the red. The first few holes offer a parkland feel, set on mildly undulating land. The next six holes will remind you of mountain golf and the last six will make you feel like you're on a beach course.
The course winds through a nice residential community and features a two-story brick clubhouse, pool and tennis courts.
I finally played this course in December 2019. I was impressed! The bent grass greens were in great shape and rolled true -- hard to find better public greens with bent grass in Charlotte. And the layout is fantastic - great mix of challenges, with long and short holes, uphill and downhill shots, strategically placed water hazards that offer risk/reward opportunities, and reachable par 5's. The greens are mostly flat but the groundskeeper tends to hide pins near the edges. For the price, the greens conditions and the fun layout, this course would be on my regular rotation if I lived closer (it's a 45+ min drive from my place in Union Co).
Played Larkin today. They were observing some social distancing rules (max 5 people in the clubhouse at any one time, no pencils on the carts), but at the same time they still had bunker rakes out and divot bottles on the carts. Construction continues along 11, 12 and 15. It's a shame, as the 12-15 stretch down in the valley used to be a neat little secluded part of the course, but the houses are now encroaching on that. We were sent off the back as they were doing some maintenance on the front. They were topdressing the greens on the front, but the sand didn't affect the greens at all. Greens were in fairly good shape, not the best I've seen around this spring, but certainly acceptable. Fairways were in great shape, as were most teeboxes. A couple of boxes in shady areas were a little thin. The bunkers were probably the worst aspect of the course. The sand was hard packed in most of them. Pace of play was good; our twosome made it around in 3:10.Read The Review
My first time at Larkin (used to be Fox Den CC), finally. The first thing you notice is the laughable "driving" range -- it's about 125 yards long and only allows wedges. So if you need to warm up with irons and woods, you'll have to hit into a single hitting net they have set up next to the putting green. Once you get over that and actually get onto the course though, you'll love it. The greens are bent grass and were in great shape. One of only a handful of decent public courses around Charlotte that hasn't switched over to Bermuda greens. The greens are mostly flat but at least on this day, the greenskeeper made up for that by hiding the pins on the edges of the greens. I'd say about 1/3 to 1/2 of them were within 10 feet of either the front or back edge of the green -- which made short-sided chips and putts from off the green rather treacherous. The tees, fairways, and rough were all in fine shape -- though I saw several bunkers with standing water. The fairways and rough are all Bermuda so of course they were dormant. No issues to report however. I really enjoyed the layout. Great mix of challenges with strategically placed hazards requiring risk/reward decisions, daunting elevation changes and reachable par 5's. I was playing in a 2 man scramble but I could see being able to shoot a good individual score here. Though this course is a long haul for me (almost to Statesville on I-77), I'll be back at least once or twice a season. I'd love to see it in the Spring when it's greened up.Read The Review
Larkin is in great shape. They aerated a coupla weeks ago so the greens are a bit slower than normal but should be perfect in about a week. Quantum leap in conditions since being acquired by the Stonebridge/Edgewater group, whatever they are called. Three of the best-condition courses in the area.Read The Review
Larkin is aerating greens Monday-Wednesday this week.Read The Review
The good, the bad, and the ugly. The good - Course is in excellent shape, perhaps in part due to lack of play because for what seems like forever they have had #10 either totally closed or at least shortened due to neighborhood construction. #11 was shortened for some time too due to rebuilding of tee-boxes. I know I avoided it for more than a year. Sister course to Stonebridge and Edgewater and it shows in it's condition. Greens are fantastic. Hardly a blemish. The fairways near perfect except for some approach areas with multiple divots that haven't grown in, maybe due to the recent lack of rain? Bunkers look to have been recently re-done and are in great shape. Tee to green as nice as anywhere around, or better. Best $25 conditions out there, for sure. Holes 5-11 are like playing a mountain course with elevation changes seldom seen around here. The bad - Afore-mentioned construction. Not on the tees, fairways or greens but they are building a surrounding neighborhood. Just a bit distracting. Have to follow a maze to get to #1 and #10. Really only affects #s 11 and 12. Didn't see any marks/designations for penalty areas. No red or yellow stakes or lines anywhere. There are a number of holes with areas of very thick vegetation just off a short area of rough that could/should be designated a penalty area to allow for a drop rather than stroke and distance for a lost ball. Or just hit it in the fairway, I suppose. The ugly - 12 on a par five with 5 penalty strokes.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...