Verdict Ridge always delivers. Course is in excellent condition everywhere. Great layout. Quick pace of play.
Rock Barn Golf & Spa is located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains about an hour north of Charlotte and features 36 holes of award-winning golf. Both courses are extremely picturesque, yet dramatically challenging. The 18-hole Robert Trent Jones II layout is the more challenging of Rock Barnís courses and is truly a championship course. It takes full advantage of the terrain as well as Lyle Creek, which meanders throughout the property. The Jones Course was awarded best new Course in the state by North Carolina magazine in 2003. It was also chosen by the PGA as an annual stop for the PGA TOURís Champions Tour event the Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn. The Tom Jackson Course is the shorter, less demanding of the two award-winning courses, but still requires precise shotmaking. Built in 1963, it features a number of elevation changes and demands that you put emphasis on positioning the ball in the fairway. This signature course appeals to golfers of all levels and handicaps.
As of May 2016, the Jones course is now private and no longer open to public play. Memberships are available. In addition to world class golf, the club offers both casual and fine dining, a full-service spa, a fitness center, an outdoor swimming complex, a spacious tennis complex and a variety of real estate opportunities. Golf, dining and spa services are open to the public 7 days a week year-round.
First played the Jackson course (which is the one this site will feature reviews on) in April 2020. I absolutely love it -- truly a resort style course given the conditions and the amenities. The Jackson course can play pretty short (~6000yds) unless you hit from the very back ("Tournament") tees -- which means if you can keep your driver in play, you'll have wedges into the par 4's and chances to reach the par 5's in two. Almost all of the par 3's and several of the other holes require carries over water, offering lots of risk-reward choices throughout your round. The Bentgrass greens are typically quick and kept in great shape. There are many great holes on both 9's. Your tee shot on the par 4 5th hole will make or break you -- if you are able to catch the downslope in the fairway you could be right in front of the green, but if you don't... you might have a long iron in to a green that sits at the bottom of the valley with bunkers short and water long. The par 3 6th hole requires a scary shot downhill over water -- tough to get the distance just right. The short downhill, 90-degree dogleg left par 5 10th hole is a big risk-reward hole. If you drive it down the left side of the fairway, you might have less than 200yds into the green but it will be all carry over water. The par 4 15th hole may require less than driver off the tee to ensure you don't run into the pond at the end of the fairway. Don't be too conservative though because your approach will have to carry that pond! Overall this course is a great combination of fun, challenge and great conditions. Add in the low rack rates and the value is unmatched.
My first time at Rock Barn (Jackson course) and my first perfect rating of the year. The course was in immaculate condition tee to green. The layout is fun, challenging and score-able. It only cost $35 for a weekday afternoon with range balls included. And if it weren't for the pandemic I would have enjoyed the restaurant and amenities as well. This is a great resort course that is more than worth the hour's drive from Charlotte. And it is less than 15 minutes from another top 10 course in our area -- River Oaks. So if you want to make a weekend of it or play 36 in one day, pair these two courses together. Of course, Rock Barn has a Robert Trent Jones II course as well, but it is now members only and private since 2016. Look for some photos from the course on my Instagram (@charlottegolfer). I can't wait to go back and play Rock Barn again!Read The Review
FYI - The Jones Course at Rock Barn is private to members only. The Tom Jackson Course, one of the best in the area, is still open for the rest of us.Read More
Played the Jones course on Saturday. about as nice of a day and nice of course that you can play. Greens were spectacular and fast. Course was in great shape overall. Played with three nice gentleman just a very long around. I think we were the only ones on the course and it still took five hours but nonetheless a good round other than my scoreRead The Review
Here's my review of the Jackson Course at Rock Barn. Going to use the "10 scale". Greens: 8-good public golf speed. Fairways:8-they were pretty good except for the 2 holes where it was carts on path. Rough: 1-if you didn't hit the fairway, be ready to go on a hurt. It took this two-some over 3.5 hours to play...not because of bad play or an overcrowded course. The rough hadn't been mowed in weeks!! Bunkers: 0-It was hard for me to believe the level of neglect. Grass in every single bunker. Edges were nonexistent. Extremely disappointing and showed laziness on the part of the super. They were horrible!! Layout: 3-Typical Tom Jackson layout. Great par 3s, decent par 5s, and horrible par 4s. I'm guessing the Jones course is where they spend their time, money, and manpower. One thing is for sure, I'll never play the Jackson course ever again. A poorly maintained Tom Jackson course just isn't worth what we paid!!Read The Review
Played the Jackson course on a very hot Monday afternoon. Course was in average shape with some significant bare spots in the fairways on the back nine. A couple of the women's tee boxes were pretty torn up. The greens were in very good shape for the most part. It would have been nice if there had been a starter and ranger to help with the pace of play. There was a foursome of teenage boys walking ahead of my twosome. It must have taken them twenty minutes to play each of the first four holes. Thank goodness they finally quit after six holes, I think because of the heat. Staff was courteous, patrons were not.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...