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Latest Review

Birkdale Golf Club


"Great course"

12/2/21: Review by KirklandSpecial

The new bigger greens are taking nicely. They roll true and with the reduced tree coverage around the greens and fairway, the course is in great shape. I’ve played 3 of the tee boxes and love the different course from each distance. Pace of play has been solid. 4 hour,...

Emerald Lake Golf Club
1 Tournament Drive
Matthews, NC 28105
(704) 882-7888
www.emeraldlakegolfclub.com
Map & Directions

Review Rating:

3.59 stars - "Worth playing" (17 reviews)

Type:

Semi-Private

Rates:

Weekday $55, Weekend $65

Practice Area:

Driving range with grass tees, putting green, small chipping / bunker area.

Course photo

Description

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.

Notes

All-inclusive memberships are available. 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.

B-Man's Take

This course was once my home course, back in 2011-2012, and I still live only about 5 minutes away. It took some time for me to get comfortable here because the course is definitely challenging. 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've started to have better success here in recent years, as I've 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 I have returned to playing here on a regular basis.

Tee Par Yardage Rating Slope
Championship (Emerald)71682071.2137
Men's (Blue)71645569.9132
Other (White)71596367.4121
Ladies (Red)71512068.7116
View the complete scorecard for this course

Links

Golfholes.com - Offers 18-hole photo tour for this course.

News & Updates

  • 8/29/21 - Review by The B-Man

    "Worth playing"

    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
  • 7/29/21 - Review by JBenn76

    "Great course"

    So just let me preface this review real quick…Emerald Lake has unfortunately been one of my least favorite places to play through the years. From layout to conditions it’s sucked for many, many years. But I got invited to play there last week, so I went. I knew something was up immediately when I saw the maintenance crew topdressing tees. And then when I got to the course I knew things had completely changed out there. Their bent grass greens are 2 feet faster and have much better coverage than Pine Island’s private CC greens. Sure…the first bounce is nonexistent but their green’s speed is much faster than you’d expect from any place in the summer with bent grass greens. Just fix a couple ball marks and any putt is makeable out there. The fairways were flawless. I still can’t believe I’m saying this about EL. Playing it down…I didn’t have the first bad lie. Even the holes that notoriously flood were completely dry and in the same shape as the rest of the course. And the fact that they’re topdressing tees let’s me know somebody gives a hoot out there. Couldn’t have been more surprised by Emerald Lake. Definitely worth playing if you’ve written this course off in the past!!!

    Read The Review
  • 3/11/21 - Forum Posting by The B-Man titled "Emerald Lake and the new 'dynamic pricing' courses are using"

    This article went out on Golf Wire today and describes how Emerald Lake uses "dynamic pricing" with their online tee time rates. Interesting read to understand how this works. The golf industry is becoming more like airlines with fare prices.

    Demand-based pricing and focusing on their most profitable hours drives growth

    Read More
  • 7/10/20 - Review by The B-Man

    "Great course"

    Back at Emerald Lake to use up a raincheck before it expired (and managed to dodge the storms so I didn't get another one). Got what I expected. The bent grass greens are getting close to the edge with unfixed ball marks and bare dirt spots where old locations used to be. You've probably got another couple of weeks before the greens will be in trouble. Today they rolled well as long as you fixed any marks on your line. The rest of the course was in fine shape, no issues. Very pricey, as I've reported for years. Got there as a walkup about 2:40 and the rate was going to be $64. The pro shop suggested I go out at 3:10 when the rate would drop to $45 - so I appreciated that. Still, $45 after 3 on a Friday afternoon for Emerald Lake is... not a deal. I kinda had to use the raincheck or lose it, so... One other note, they have paved the parking lot where the old clubhouse used to be to the right of #18. So that's a different visual now, not to mention dangerous O.B.(better have insurance ;-). Other than that, Emerald Lake is still a fun track to play and I have so much history here that I'll be back when the time and price are right.

    Read The Review
  • 6/15/20 - Forum Posting by The B-Man titled "Emerald Lake drops GolfNow"

    Saw this email come in last week and I've heard many folks complain about TeeOff getting bought by GolfNow:


    "After a long relationship with GolfNow, we have decided to part ways. Emerald Lake Golf Club will no longer have tee times available on any third party website. Some of you may have even noticed that GolfNow.com is showing that our course is closed, which is inaccurate. We are open for play!

    The lowest rates available (including our Daily Deals) can now be found exclusively on our website"


    Courses are finding that they can manage their own tee sheets now. I wonder if that's recency bias though -- with the heightened play due to golf being allowed during the pandemic.
    I still see a need for tee time aggregators, especially for last minute golfers like myself. When you don't care where or how much but just need to quickly see which courses have openings, these aggregators are very helpful. When you have to go to each course's website to check for openings, it might take you 10 minutes to find one.

    Read More


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List of Courses
Latest Review

Birkdale Golf Club


"Great course"

12/2/21: Review by KirklandSpecial

The new bigger greens are taking nicely. They roll true and with the reduced tree coverage around the greens and fairway, the course is in great shape. I’ve played 3 of the tee boxes and love the different course from each distance. Pace of play has been solid. 4 hour,...

Latest Forum Post

doug_riley@bellsouth.net

By IM4DHERD on 8/27/21

Anyone been out to Red Bridge lately? Heard they about lost their greens a while back?

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