Verdict Ridge always delivers. Course is in excellent condition everywhere. Great layout. Quick pace of play.
This 60+ year old course sits near the base of Crowders Mountain in Gaston County. As you might expect, the course offers beautiful views of the mountain on most holes. Lots of elevation changes tee to green, both downhill and uphill (sometimes on the same hole). The bent grass greens are mostly small and flat but there are several sloped and tiered ones that will challenge you. The course is home to the par 5 14th hole called "Young's Revenge" - which is billed as the "Hardest Par 5 in the World" according to a sign in the clubhouse. Each hole has a signature name on the scorecard and most were very appropriate.
No coolers on the carts and no beer in the clubhouse - so it's BYOB. There are no tee ratings or slopes listed on the card. I had to find them through my GHIN handicap service.
This course is fun to play -- with many short holes that are scoreable. The elevation changes will challenge your club selection and iron game off of uneven lies. The greens are kept in good shape, but the tee boxes and fairways may be hit or miss -- and not necessarily cut. The yardages on the scorecard are all round numbers (and there was a math error on the front 9) -- so take them as "estimates". I found the course played much shorter than the card indicated. The rates are some of the most reasonable in the Charlotte area and the course gets a ton of local play. The course is not big on amenities -- no driving range, no beer, no bathrooms on the course -- but still remains a good value. The mountain views are really nice and worth the trip on their own merits. The fabled "Young's Revenge" par 5 14th is definitely a test, but seems to be enhanced by its own legend. It requires a carefully placed tee shot (likely not a driver), then another target golf second shot that will likely leave you a 140-160 yard third shot that will play 3 clubs longer because of the uphill slope. The green was peanut shaped front to back and pretty sloped as well. There are three par 3's that require carry over water -- including the tough 210 yd #3 hole and the short 135 yd #5, both holes playing significantly downhill. I've played this course only once, but loved it and will be back any chance I get.
My first time at Crowders and I loved it. Great fun and great views and a great price. I had low expectations for course conditions because of the price and the lack of amenities, but the key was that the bent grass greens were in good shape. A few collars had issues but the greens themselves rolled well and didn't have any issues - save one. Apparently a vandal took a 3-wheeler to the 17th green creating some nasty tire track damage. However, the green was big enough to put the pin away from the damage. Fairways were cut high so they were slow -- which helped on a few holes with sidehill slopes. The tee boxes were not manicured at all either -- a few were even cut in random spots that didn't look like a tee box (#6 and #11). That was kinda what I expected for the price and the rural location. Those course condition gripes aside, this was a ton of fun to play. It plays much shorter than the yardage on the card and many of the greens are flat and easy to read. The elevation changes provide much of the challenge. Almost every hole offers views of the namesake mountain. It's a very picturesque layout. My first meeting with "Young's Revenge" - the fabled "hardest par 5 in the world" - resulted in a double bogey, even though I was only about 15 yards off the green in 3. It is predictably overhyped, but does require 3 really good shots to get to the green. I look forward to getting my revenge the next time I play it. Take note that there is no driving range and the clubhouse doesn't sell beer. So bring your own cooler. I will be back again soon.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...