Verdict Ridge always delivers. Course is in excellent condition everywhere. Great layout. Quick pace of play.
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 bent grass greens.
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.
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. I don't play here as often anymore because the bent grass greens sometimes suffer in the summer heat and lots of play (read: un-repaired ball marks!). The course also thinks rather highly of itself and has become one of the more overpriced courses for its conditions. Check for a recent review before heading out.
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.
Emerald Lake used to be my home course and so I played it a ton over the years. Wasn't particularly happy with my experience this time back for 3 reasons -- they have raised the hole cups, they've added a $7 surcharge for single cart usage and their rate for a Tuesday morning round 3 weeks after aeration was $55 (!). The fairways were in good shape and the greens rolled well considering you could still see the aeration holes and some of the sand. But come on, the raised cups do not feel like golf. Put a foam filler in, turn them upside down, but don't raise the cups. Every thing within about 8-10 feet was a virtual gimme. No fear at all. At least my two birdies on #6 and #10 were gimmes under normal conditions (less than 3 feet), but I had a few pars that were no sweat at all from within 10 feet. And I made a dubious "bogey" on 7 with a chip that hit the raised cup. So it was a great round (75) but was probably a 78 with normal cups. This is the first course I've played that's using raised cups and I'll wait to come back until they go back to normal and wipe out that ridiculous $7 surcharge. $62 for a weekday morning round!Read The Review
Course being aerated on 3/25 and 3/26. Only 9 holes will be open both days and then discounted fees will be in effect for 1-2 weeks.Read More
Love the layout but the bent grass greens were soft and hairy. Could not get enough of a consistent roll to make any significant putts. I've gotten so spoiled by all the Bermuda grass courses around town that coming back to Emerald Lake was a bit disappointing. Several of the greens had issues with old ball marks or thin dirt spots, but they didn't necessarily affect putting as much as the slow speed and natural bumpiness of the bent grass. Fairways, rough, bunkers and tees were all just fine. The rate was good for a weekday afternoon but $5 for a Stella was pretty steep.Read The Review
As said earlier, the greens are severely pockmarked. I tried to repair several marks each hole, but it's a lesson in frustration as there are thousands. Fairways good, bunkers mostly good, but unraked, not sure why that was. I ran out of sand in 4 holes so the new carts will hopefully have 2 carriers. I didn't see a place on the course to acquire new sand, so played the last 14 holes without it. Obviously I'm obsessed with that. I love this course, but it kicked me this time. Tees were hard as a rock, maybe they could put a hammer in each cart. Should be good now with the rain.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...