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- 4/14/18, Review by GolfNiners5 - Posting this review for a friend. I did not play but wanted to keep everyone updated. He stated there are still significant issues with the course which now has gone into the fairways. Greens are awful and the course rarely gets mowed. Fairways have weeds growing in them and also needs to be mowed. He said they almost thought about quitting after 7 holes because the course was that bad. I am not sure what is going on there but the last 3-4 reviews have not been good and it doesn't seem as if they are making any changes to better the course
- 7/4/17, Review by GolfNiners5 - I know I posted on this course about 3 weeks ago and said it would take a lot to get me back but unfortunately I was asked to be a 4th and after I committed I found out they booked here. Not much has changed. Rough hasn't been cut in weeks, weeds growing everywhere including the greens and fairways. Bunkers weren't raked and had grass coming through. On top of all this, the starter was a complete jerk. We had a 835 tee time and he tried to push us out at 820 when our entire group was just arriving. He told us to stop talking to the other group on the first tee as "someone needs to tee off." Then after 9 when we let a 2-some play through he again yelled at us for being slow when we were doing them a favor. I have played here a lot of the last couple of years and have never seen this guy before. The course was pretty much dead other than the group behind us and the 2 some we let through yet he still told us we were moving slow. I will not return to this course until I see a better review
- 6/25/17, Review by wesleyhieghtshacker - The golf course was atrocious. Greens were furry and seemed like they haven't been cut in days. Almost unputtable. The whole course is just poorly maintained. Clumps of clover and weeds intermittently throughout most fairways. Some holes there was no way to tell when the fairway ended and the rough began. Fairways and rough seemed like they hadn't been cut in days as well. Bunkers had grass growing in them on most of the holes. The layout is nice, but just not a great experience. It would take a lot for my group to go back.
- 6/11/17, Review by GolfNiners5 - Course needs some significant work. Bunkers were atrocious and some have grass growing in them. It seems as if they haven't mowed in a while, the greens were hairy and very slow. The rough behind greens, off the fairways and off the tee boxes have weeds and bushes coming in. Fairways and tee boxes are about the only thing in good shape. I normally play here monthly but will be looking to change that up after this experience.
- 4/15/17, Review by GolfNiners5 - Greens rolled well but everyone in our group felt the majority of them were hard. We couldn't get the ball to stop on the green from the fairway or even chip shots. Fairways were in great shape and most of the bunkers were fine. Bunkers were a little inconsistent with the amount of sand in them but no real issues. Tee boxes were the main concern, playing from the blues we felt most of them were chewed up or had minimal grass.
- 3/19/17, Review by jscum13 - Where to begin. 3 hour front 9 so I walked off. From what I could tell they had just punched the greens and sanded over them as they were in horrific shape. There was no Marshall or ranger out there to enforce pace of play, the groups in front of us were playing to a snails pace. They were covered in denim too which is a terrible sight to see. We waited 5-10 minutes between each shot. It's kind of a nice layout and a positional golf course, too bad the slow play and lack of rangers on the course makes it easy not to go back.
- 11/5/16, Review by MGOBLUE - Highland Creek used to be my favorite course in the Charlotte area but the last time I played there was in 2013 and the condition of the course was pretty bad. I Thought I would give it another try even after the bad September 2016 review. The course looked wide open on their website when I booked my tee time on Thursday but the front 9 took 2 1/2 hours where we waited on every hole. My threesome skipped the snack bar at the turn in hopes of getting in front of the threesome we had been playing behind but when we arrived at the 10th tee we found a foursome letting that threesome play through. I called the pro shop and they were very courteous and understanding and said the front 9 was wide open and we could play it again. We took them up on the offer and played the front 9 a second time in 2 hours and we let a single play through on #4 and ended up catching him on just about every hole after that. This course could definitely use a ranger especially on a Saturday morning. That being said I was pleasantly surprised by the course conditions. The greens were in pretty good shape except for #7 which I think has too many shade trees around it and had some bare spots and a bunker on #8 was being "worked on" . The rough was a little too deep and made finding errant shots difficult and time consuming. All in all I thought the front 9 was in good shape.
- 9/15/16, Review by aimtobreak80 - I didn’t intend to play this course – it was fourth on my list of possibilities for the day. But, my first two choices quickly fell through (see my reviews for Olde Sycamore and Charlotte National), and my third option, The Tradition, had greens under repair (pro shop very upfront when I called, saying that I probably wouldn’t enjoy my outing because of it). So, I was “stuck” with Highland Creek, and wouldn’t be able to start until 9 AM, or later, due to a seniors’ event that appears to be a regular occurrence on Thursdays. Imagine my surprise when, after having paid my greens fee, a gentleman in the pro shop indicated that their greens had also been “plugged and sanded”. The greens were absolutely TERRIBLE! For example, on the first four holes on the back nine, I had putts of 3, 5, 4, and 4 feet respectively, and took two putts on each to hole out – the putts just did not roll smoothly, or true. I will repeat my one basic complaint of Highland Creek – there are no teeboxes commensurate with my “play it forward” distance, and I struggle to hit greens in regulation because of it (78% of fairways hit, 22% of greens in regulation, and half of the latter on Par 3 holes). So, I will likely not play the course in the future. Others, who are comfortable with the existing tees and distances, would be well advised to avoid playing Highland Creek for a couple of weeks, or more, to allow the greens to recover such that their impact upon scoring will be minimized.
- 8/18/16, Review by aimtobreak80 - I found the course to be a little better than that posted last week. Four of the greens had been aerated yesterday (with the remainder scheduled for next week), and it definitely affected putting on at least one of them. The good news is that the greens fee was reduced accordingly, and I believe the round was worth the $25. Pace of play was an issue due to a Seniors event. I'm not sure that the foursome of seniors ahead of me were involved in the event, but they didn't allow me to play through, and were inordinately slow in EVERYTHING that they did whether it be finding their ball in the rough (one player seemed to hit all of his shots either into the rough or a bunker), lining up their putts, walking off the green, etc. This was my return visit to Highland Creek (see earlier review), and this time I obtained a yardage book which helped immensely in navigating the course compared to the previous round played with no clue whatsoever. My one criticism of the course remains: No Senior/Play-It-Forward tee for my driving distance. This meant that I was constantly hitting longer irons to the greens. The numbers speak for themselves: 12 fairways hit, but only two greens in regulation. If pristine greens are important to you, you may want to skip Highland Creek for a week or two until the aeration is complete and the greens recovered. If you enjoy a bargain in greens fee while suffering some putting irregularities then, by all means, give it a try.
- 8/14/16, Review by metallikviper - Very disappointed with the course! Every since the new management took over the course had made some great progress and different problem areas were being worked on. I've played this course the most as I really like the layout and is challenging. Unfortunately it looks like they seem to be going backwards. Greens on front were in really bad shape, covered with weeds. They weren't mowed in the while and were slow and bumpy. Tee boxes were in bad shape and more than a third of the bunkers were unplayable. Fairways and rough hadn't been moved. I didn't know if this was intentional. It was almost impossible to find your ball if you ended up in the rough. All the employees were courteous and very helpful though. Don't think I'll be coming back till I hear some better reviews. However, even though it doesn't concern this course the other courses like The Divide, Waterford and The Tradition all seem to be doing really well.
- 8/11/16, Review by TPX - Greens slow, cut long. Fairways pretty fluffy also, but no bare spots or problems to really jump on. Tee boxes need some work and a few bunkers. Overall, decent shape and I would go back.
- 7/20/16, Review by aimtobreak80 - This will be a longer than normal review. I haven’t played Highland Creek for 3 years due to the Carolina Trail fiasco even though the course is only 6 miles from my house. I checked this website, and the most recent reviews (April) were mixed with one expressing the sentiment that it was the first, and probably last, time that he would play the course. I resolved to give the course a try with the intent of providing as thorough and honest review as possible. I easily made a tee time by calling the Pro Shop the day before. Highland Creek is to be commended for scheduling tee times for singles – not every course in the Charlotte area does. I was cheerfully greeted upon arrival at the bag drop, and found the other staff to be very pleasant and congenial. The Senior Rate of $30 is competitive with other, similar courses in the area. Carts are powered by internal combustion engine, and that is my, personal preference – I have never had one of those fail me on the course, but have had several “dead battery” experiences with the electrics. The practice green was cut long, and was very slow (overnight rain/thunderstorm may have had something to do with that). The on-course greens were equally slow, but rolled true in spite of some patchiness and an abundance of un-repaired ball marks. Of course, the latter is more of an indictment of the clientele than of course management. The conditions put a premium on hitting the hole in the center with good pacing – putts would not “fall” no matter how closely they came to, or skimmed, the edges. The fairways and tee bases were green, and in generally good condition with only isolated spare, or patchy, areas. The rough was moderately thick, and balls that did not find the fairway sank into it and were hard to find (I actually found someone else’s lost ball by stepping upon it while searching for mine.) Many areas surrounding the tees and greens need to be cut/weeded if for nothing other than aesthetic reasons. The bunkers are the one area that do need work – all seemed to be a roughly 50:50 mix of sand and clay, and one bunker had severe erosion. The concrete cart paths were in good condition (Reviews of other courses have been rather critical of respective cart paths.) My complaints with the course are really minor. First, there are no, real Senior tees available. The White tees are 600 yards longer than the upper limit recommended by the “Play It Forward” guidelines for my driving distance. Second, I would like to have better course/hole pictorials on the scorecard (I failed to check for a yardage book if, indeed, one exists – my bad). I generally play with a tracking app on my iPhone that includes satellite views and yardages, and that information is useful/critical to strategic round navigation and course management. Unfortunately, Highland Creek is not in the app’s inventory of courses, and lack of knowledge of the course made for a difficult round especially on the Par 5 12th hole where not knowing the layout of the hole, or the available lay-up distances/yardage was penalizing. Third, the #15 green (play started on the back nine) was being watered at 10 AM and, although I was able to dodge the sprinkler stream, the water made the green even SLOWER and I missed my sand save. Finally, the on-course restrooms are locked, and there was no key on my cart. This was easily rectified at the turn, but the situation did result in increased pressure and tension during the first nine holes of play. All in all, I was very pleased with the course. It’s a challenging course, but I believe a fair one. Current physical conditions are generally good, and did not affect scoring. I genuinely enjoyed my outing, and will return in the very near future. I would encourage the dissatisfied April reviewer to give the course another try – I think that he would be pleasantly surprised.
- 4/12/16 - I received this update from Kyle on 4/11: "Greens were sloooow, fairways are covered in patches of crab grass that make it impossible to get an even lie, and tons of GUR. First time playing, and probably the last. What a bummer."
- 4/11/16, Review by HML 02 - Great layout and the greens have improved now that they have cut them down. There is POA annua in them, but when they are cut down, they roll real well. Need some work in the fairways and tees, but they are playable. Very good test of golf and once the fairways and tees improve a great value for the layout that this is. Pro shop staff very attentive as well as restaurant staff.
- 4/7/16, Review by ncgolfdog - played day after CGA qualifier (scores were still posted).greens had poa but rolled really good. an employee said they lowered mower height and double cut. give it two weeks of hot wet weather and this course will be awesome.
- 10/17/15, Review by GolfNiners5 - Tee boxes and fairways were in decent shape but greens were in rough shape. I would say about half of the greens need significant work, they are either burned out or have sand spots all over them. These spots affected all putts and a lot of shots into the greens. I would have rated lower but we were able to get a deal of $35 (which is still high for the conditions). $55 for a regular tee time is not even close to worth it right now.
- 10/5/15, Review by willeah611 - This course is an awesome layout, clubhouse staff and outside personnel are great, food and beverage has a great view, clean, well kept, professional. Tee boxes and fairways are some of the best around (especially with all the rain lately). Greens are the only thing keeping it from a 5. They are coming in after the aerification, they need some more time to get right. Some of the greens are fantastic, others need some work. As good as this course is, it would regain its status as one of the best public facilities in the area with some new greens. Almost everyone has switched over to the championship bermuda, man would this place rock!
- 9/23/15, Review by ncgolfdog - Customer golf round at one of my favorite public courses. As always the fairways and tee boxes were great. I played pretty well so rough wasn't to challenging. The couple of times I missed fairways the rough was mowed and down from cart traffic. Greens are coming back from aerifying. Could still see holes. They must still have bent grass greens b/c they were stressed from summer heat. i love this layout. I don't know they designer but it's a great course.
- 9/6/15, Review by TheClaw - The course itself was in good shape. The greens are beaten up from a long summer, but were still rolling well enough, just a tad slow and showing lots of wear and tear. Traps were great, fairways ok (lots of unfilled divots) but tee boxes were not very good. Fortunately we get to use tees, so who cares. No big problems with the course conditions. What we did have a big problem with is the guy in the pro shop. We played on the sunday before labor day, we showed up to a course that was very quiet, my friend had the 4 for 3 clickitgolf coupon that is valid on weekends, and the guy in the pro shop told him he could not use it because "holiday rates" were in effect. Again, we played on sunday, before the holiday. Come on dude, the course was completely quiet, there were plenty of gaps on the tee sheet, yet this guy wanted to risk turning customers away because the course is being greedy, and wants to milk its customers when the course conditions are not even up to scratch to charge premium rates. To be fair though, in the end the manager was called, and he ok'ed it. But beware when using coupons on a "holiday weekend".
- 8/9/15, Review by The B-Man - Finally got back to Highland Creek after many years. I had let it fall off my play list when the Carolina Trail went downhill and then came under new management. It definitely has come back and is in good playable shape. Still one of the toughest and well designed tracks around town. Tees, fairways and bunkers in fine shape. The rough is not only thick and tough on most holes, but a bit weedy and overgrown on some holes. There were maybe a handful of holes where even the fairways had some trouble and there were spots marked as ground under repair. The greens were pretty good. Similar to Emerald Lake, a few had some weed sprigs and bare spots, but they rolled just fine. So, overall, the course doesn't have any major issues and is very playable. I used to enjoy the challenge of this course and will play it again soon. A few things I wasn't as happy with. We had a 1:30 tee time as a twosome that was only a few holes behind several groups playing in an Inter Club championship. So once we caught them on about the 6th tee, we were stuck behind them for the next 3.5 hours - just brutally slow, waiting on them on every hole. We actually had chipping and putting contests on the greens to pass the time. Might have been better if the staff had spaced it out a little further or at least given us a heads up when we made the tee time. Also, there were no Gold tee boxes. We were playing the Blues, which were supposed to be the next one inside the tips. Since there were no Golds, the Blues were on the Gold box most holes (perhaps because of the Inter Club). At any rate, that made an already difficult course that much harder. One of the par 4's on the back played 430+. Anyway, still a great track and I'm glad it's playable once again.
- 6/21/15, Review by metallikviper - I have always like this course and its layout, very interesting and challenging. Very pleased to see that a lot of work has been done to bring this course back to what it used to be. There is still a lot of work being done and it is very encouraging. Course should be in even better condition is a couple of months. They had a storm the night before we played and the maintenance crew did a great job getting it ready. Greens in great shape, fairways were mostly good and bunkers were being worked on. Tee boxes need work like the other trail courses, but not a major issue. Good value if you have the Queen City Passport. I will be coming back for sure.
- 4/27/15, Review by BetterThanMost - As with most other former CT courses, I've avoided playing Highland Creek for quite some time. Recent reviews have talked about how the course is coming back, so I decided I'd give it a try for the $29 twilight rate online. You can tell that the new management is working on improving the course, but it will take some time. Most of the fairways and greens are very, very thin. The fairways were all running very fast, as I got good roll on every tee shot. The only exception was #2 fairway, which may be the lowest point on the course. The greens need more uniform grass growth on them. The slopes on HC greens are too severe for as bumpy as they are currently. You can't get a putt started online and have it hold because of the thinness of the grass. Some teeboxes have had extensive work done to them, while others need more attention. I think the course is going to need another full growing season to get to where it needs to be. They also need to repair/replace steps/walkways to some of the tees and greens. All of the bunkers did have nice, white sand in them. Highland Creek is definitely a work in progress and should improve as the year goes on.
- 1/31/15, Review by chrisburnette81 - I haven't played this course in quite a few years. I have heard of how the course was a year ago and I have read on this site by a few people about the turn around the course has made. I was NOT disappointed at all!!! I love the track by how some holes take my driver out of my hand and makes me play all types of shots. Greens were more receptive then I thought they would be. Everyone says they were fast leading up to the round, but they weren't as fast as they were saying. The greens rolled true, but playing behind a few groups some of them wasn't fixing ball marks and dragging their feet along the green. We just fixed it and moved on. The one thing that I would like to see is that the club house do would be to eventually upgrade from the gas carts. I will be back again especially after spring starts, I want to see how the course is when the grass isn't in a dormant state. Great job turning the place around.
- 1/15/15, Review by NC49er - If you have played Highland Creek in the past couple of years, then you probable still have a bitter memory of your last experience. Course conditions were poor from tee to green, with exception of the fairways, and the cost of play exceeded the conditions. Bunkers were left to wastelands and the cart path was equivalent to an off-road adventure in a 4x4. It is only through sheer boredom and decent weather that I decided to stop by for a round and see how things had been since my last round which was in the spring of 2013. To say that I was shocked would be a slight stretch of truth, however I would be fully willing to admit to being pleasant surprised. I would honestly say that the upgraded course conditions were obvious from the very first tee. Nice, fluffy sand in bunkers that were edged and visibly well maintained. Greens were surprisingly firm and quick, given the recent precipitation and time of year. Tee boxes had defined borders and much flatter hitting surface than in my personal recent memory. Cart path had also received some fresh concrete and offers a pleasant ride. If there is one course that I believe deserves a second chance this coming season, I would say that Highland Creek is it. It is an undeniably excellent track that challenges a wide skill set, and with the return of conditions that made it stand out as one of the best public courses in charlotte for years, I personally think it is taking the initial steps needed to reclaim its right to be called one of the best public courses in Charlotte.
- 10/12/14, Review by phatdba - Highland Creek deserves another look, for those who, like me, have avoided it past couple of years. It has moved from my Do Not Play list to Worth Playing. The challenging layout will both hook you and madden you. The greens are not great like Springfield or Ballantyne Resort, but good. Fairways are very good, refurbished bunkers have lovely fluffy sand (some are still under repair), rough is tough, tee boxes are average, staff is friendly, clubhouse is excellent. It's a bit high on the price/value curve for me to play there more often, but if you find a good discount, go for it, you won't be disappointed!
- 8/15/14, Review by TPX - I played here for the first time in 7-8 years probably. I had heard the course was really turning a corner, so I wanted to check it out. To be honest, I wasn't that impressed with the course. The greens have just recently been punched, so they're very bumpy. There were a few tee boxes that if I had been hitting iron, the ball would have been sitting down...not mowed recently. A few greens had some disease showing and one of the pins was right in the middle of it when there was a whole other corner of the green that was in good shape, so I'm not sure why you wouldn't put the pin there. The bunkers were in pretty good shape and the sand looks fresh. The rough was a little unkept in places. The absolute worst thing though was I stopped to use the bathroom on the back at one of the on course bathrooms and it was so NASTY. There were spider webs everywhere, toilet paper all over the place, the top of the toilet was missing, etc. Luckily I only had to pee. I can live a little with places on the course being less than ideal, but the bathrooms were atrocious. While it may be better than it was, it's pricey in my opinion for the course condition.
- 8/5/14, Review by IntheFairway - 4 Stars, shocker I know but I might have gone 3.5 but had to give an extra .5 just because of how bad Highland Creek was a year ago and where it is now. I was almost shocked. Tee to Green I would say 4to4.5. We played it down and never got a lie to complain about (3 players). The fairways are nearly perfect, all the bunkers are rebuilt and excellent except 2 still under construction and almost finished. the rough is pretty consistent and there are a few areas of bad spots, not many and a few weeds here and there but nothing terrible. The greens rolled fantastic yet the only bad part of the course still is maybe 5 or 6 greens have some bare dirt spots on the edge of the green. The greens are maybe a 3 or 3.5 out of 5 due to the bad spots but 95% was beautiful bent that rolled great. These are bent greens in summer after all. Obviously the pens don't go in those areas. All 3 of us are very experienced players and we all liked it and said we would play there any time. Tee to green and the views were beautiful actually. I have pictures, hopefully I can post here or you can see them at findagolfer.com on the Blog. You will be surprised. Oh yea, cart paths are better, new signage and tee markers and the course was well marked.
- 7/27/14, Review by slowmofo - So I never played this course in the Trail days as I heard it was trash. Well my friend and I played it and has a great time. The layout wasn't as bad as people said and the course was in good condition. The only problem we ran into was that they just bought a crap ton of new sand. ( allegedly $25,000 worth). Well they just dumped the sand in and it was like playing out of a beach where you step into and the sand rises to your ankles. This made some bunkers almost unplayable. Though with the rain we had and the couple weeks that went by I imagine these sand traps are now in good condition. Go check it out
- 5/26/14 - Msg Board Posting
firstname.lastname@example.org DrSchteeve More good news on Highland Creek. Massive sand has been delivered to redo the bunkers, and plans in place to fix the cart paths.
- 5/24/14, Review by DrSchteeve - A bit sad when okay conditions are a good thing, but things are definitely looking up. Greens quite good - a few bumpy patches - tee boxes good, traps raked and most with decent sand. Fairways were iffy - I know it is still early, but it is frustrating to be in the middle of the fairway and have a marginal lie (more than once). They still have a long way to go here - cart paths are very torn up in spots, traps need new sand, fairways need overseeding or something, probably need to switch to Bermuda greens. But still, it is a great layout and appears to be on the way back.
- 4/26/14 - Msg Board Posting
Statement from the new owners of the CT courses The B-Man In case you are not on Clickit's mailing list, they sent out this statement from the new management company of the Carolina Trail courses. I'm not sure why it doesn't mention Waterford. We already know Charlotte Golf Links is closed for good and Skybrook has got a new owner.
"As you have probably heard, a foreclosure process was recently completed with respect to Birkdale Golf Club, The Divide Golf Club, Highland Creek Golf Club and Tradition Golf Club. As a result of that process, effective April 8, 2014, Romspen Birkdale LLC / Romspen Divide LLC / Romspen Highland Creek LLC / Romspen, The Tradition LLC is now the owner of the respective courses.
The new owners are committed to returning the golf courses to their r! ightful place as some of the best daily fee facilities in the Charlotte area and have retained the services of Traditional Golf Management to operate the day to day business. We understand that this has been a very volatile environment and we are confident that the new ownership and management will provide the much needed stability that these clubs need. We are currently working on both operating and capital plans that will allow us to show continuous improvement in the facilities and service levels at the clubs.
New membership programs are in place and special considerations are being given to those that held memberships under the previous ownership. Please contact the respective golf club for more information on the membership details (including the revised pricing for weekday sports members).
We are excited to begin the process of restoring these courses to the quality that was enjoyed years ago. We look forward to earn! ing back your business and seeing you on the golf course."%3! Cbr />
-Traditional Golf Management
- 4/8/14 - Msg Board Posting
Carolina Trail Has New Owner Wulfpack A Canadian lender has taken ownership of four Charlotte-area golf courses that were part of the troubled Carolina Trail group, according to letters from the company.
After the foreclosure process, Toronto-based Romspen is the new owner of the Birkdale, Highland Creek, The Divide and The Tradition golf clubs, the letters say. The new ownership is effective as of Tuesday.
Carolina Trail golf courses have new owner
- 8/24/13, Review by metallikviper - I was very surprised after I was done playing this course. I was expecting it to be in worse shape based on what the reviews have described. Just to put things in perspective we purchased the $100 for 6 rounds at the trail, so I wasn't expecting much for $17/round. Yes, the course has severe issues. Almost every bunker is washed out and has bushes growing in it. Greens were fairly decent, but seemed to have a lot of Poa annua. At least they were mowed to the same height. I guess people have just stopped fixing divots. Roughs needed a good mow and the tee boxes were a bit hairy. However, fairways were in much better shape than I can remember. Driving range seemed to be in good shape, but the balls definitely need replacing. The beverage girl made her rounds about every 5 holes and so did the Marshals. This course has great potential and I really like the layout of this course.
- 7/9/13, Review by 4amigos - What a crime that such a beautiful and challenging course is it this condition. Bunkers are in terrible shape with grass and weeds more prevalent than sand. Tee boxes unmowed with grass almost as long as the rough. Apparently no one repairs ball marks and the greens are suffering. The crew was finally mowing the fairway and significant cuttings piled up on the fairway. As the green screw mowed and cleared the greens they fail to put the pin back in on one hole. Just left it lipping in the grass. Also on the tee boxes they do not move the markers so the teeing area is chewed up and you need to move back a yd to find grass. The greens were very slow. Putting green had only three holes jand no pins. Got to pay for $20 because I bought the pass for all the tail course. Would not pay a dime more. Only upside was a friendly staff
- 5/9/13, Review by MGOBLUE - The greens on the front 9 were in pretty bad shape with some almost being unplayable, especially hole # 1. The back 9 surprisingly was in pretty good shape with #18 being almost perfect. Hard to explain the difference . The course also seems to send out people on the back as we had the first tee time of the day and while making the turn we noticed a foursome on #18. This is one of our favorite tracks in the area and we hope the condition of the greens is due the weather we have had in the winter and spring.
- 4/21/13, Review by GolfNiners5 - Worth playing for 29 bucks. This is my home course as I live about 7 minutes from it. I played it 3 weeks ago and the course has greatly improved. Fairways are still a little beat up and but it is starting to green up. Greens were awful 3 weeks ago and almost unplayable. They still have some little spots but are decent to play on now. Tee boxes need help on Par 3's and short Par 4's. A couple days of rain and this course will be back in great shape.
- 4/20/13, Review by carp24000 - Greens are in rough shape right now. The combination of bare spots, crabgrass, and hardness makes it nearly impossible to score well. The tee boxes were also full of weeds, and they seemed like they havent been cut in a week or two. The fairways had some weeds and bare spots, but nothing major. I will not be back to this course anytime soon, since it wasnt even worth the money and pace of play.
- 3/15/13, Review by aimtobreak80 - The Senior Rate of $29 is hard to beat - the course itself is extremely hard to beat. The course was in generally good condition, especially under 90 degree cart rule. The greens were problematic - couldn't identify any particular problem other than they didn't seem to roll true. The course played much tougher than its Rating/Slope figures AND from what it appears from each tee (I wonder when the slope and rating were last checked). I attribute this to three factors: (1) brutal pin placements, (2) "hidden" hazards, and (3) steeply banked greens that were compounded by the pin placements. No. 18 pin was on the upper left side about 5 yds from the edge of the steeply sloped green - there was no way to get your approach shot to stop near the hole. There is no yardage book available, and hidden hazards came into play all too frequently (I was actually fortunate to mishit and come up short a couple of times, otherwise I would have been in the hazard without knowing that it was there). The banked greens ALWAYS made the ball roll into trouble (very discouraging to see the ball land just off the green, almost stop, but then roll steadily into a creek never to be found). I think that my statistics reflect these observations: I hit 14 of 14 fairways, but only 2 of 18 greens in regulation (many of those actually hit the green, but would not hold due to the slope). Summary opinion: good value, but penalizing course.
- 1/6/13, Review by itsindahole - This will be a mixed review... but I'll start off with the positive. While the greens didn't look to great in most spots, they were rolling true and were fast. I would say probably a 10-11 on the stimpmeter. The negative is that the rest of the course isn't in great shape.. especially the sandtraps. Almost all if not all of them had rocks everywhere and many had weeds. The fairways and tee boxes had weeds as well. The carts were pretty dirty too which I found to be odd. To sum it up, if you are looking for some good greens then I don't think you'll be dissapointed in that regard. However, everything else surely needs some work.
- 9/24/12, Review by Zunojoe - Conditions are typical of the CT courses I have played this year on my "gift of golf" card. But all things considered the price was still a good deal. The tee boxes were only fair because most were not level and the greens had a bad case of the poa annua "chicken pox". However, lush bermuda fairways and rough make me overlook a lot of flaws. It is a nice layout and piece of land that seems to have a creek in play on every shot which could take some enjoyment from high handicappers. As with most CT courses the design is there, they just need some TLC and probably $$.
- 8/20/12 - Msg Board Posting
Highland Creek Conditions John I played in a tournament there on Saturday morning 8/18. The greens (especially on the front 9) had large amounts of crabgrass. Instead of the weeds being pulled, they were simply mowed over. The greens improved on the back 9.
As stated in a previous review, the liners are showing in some bunkers. Even if they are not showing, the amount of sand is very minimal.
The third issue is the lack of carts. There were no carts available as of 10:30 in the morning. The one employee at the cart barn and 2 small chidren were taxing players back and forth from the driving range.
On the positive end, the fairways are still in good shape as they usually are.
It all appears to add up to confirming all the discussion about the financial problems on the Trail courses.
- 8/11/12, Review by metallikviper - This course was in better shape than what I expected. I would say it was priced just right for the course conditions. Tee Boxes and fairways were in great shape and that was about the only good thing with this course. Greens on the front 9 were almost diseased, heavy poa anna and the unfixed divot marks tearing up these greens. Could not play out of a single bunker. Most of them didn't even have any sand left in there. If you're looking for a cheap round of golf and don't expect good condition I would suggest this course.
- 8/1/12, Review by DrSchteeve - How sad. I live at Highland Creek, but usually play elsewhere for many reasons. Reminded today of the biggest one: the decline of this course from it's original place as "The Crown Jewel of Charlotte" . A lot of people don't know that HC was the first high-end daily fee course in Charlotte - opened in 1993, when the only choices were expensive private clubs or goat tracks. In the early years, HC had immaculate conditions, flowers on the ladies teeboxes, and, yes, prices to match - $65 on a weekend - but boy was it worth it. Today: pock-marked greens with tons of poa anna issues and bunkers with no sand, even with the base bunker netting pulled up. The only positives were good fairways and a great pace of play - probably because nobody wants to play the course.
- 7/31/12 - Msg Board Posting
carolina trail panthersfann55 Article on Highland Creek on wsoctv.com today (7/31)
- 6/24/12, Review by weedwhacker3 - I am not sure if the rain Saturday had something to do with it but we teed off at 7:55 AM on Sunday and I was really impressed. Greens were really soft. Forget ball marks I was leaving craters. Also the fairways were very soft. Taking a divot with an iron was like a hot knife through butter. I didn't know how much I missed these two things since everywhere I go seems to have rock hard fairways and/or greens. Tee boxes were good although a couple were hard. The greens were normal speed and rolled smoothly. Again I am not sure if the rain played a huge factor because we weren't cart path only and it wasn't that wet but either way I was really impressed overall.
- 5/5/12, Review by metallikviper - Last time I played this course was about 2 years ago and I decided to never play it again. Now that we got theCcarolina trail deal we had to play this course. I'm surprised to say I was impressed. Last time around the greens were absolutely horrendous, but they have obviously taken care of that issue and probably some of best greens around. Tons of divot marks from lazy people obviously not caring about others. Fairways however could use some help and weed killer. There was no sand in bunkers on the few holes just a collection of mud and pebbles. I really like the layout of the this course and it can very challenging. I wish they would put more effort into this course and bring it back. Doesn't looks like the greens are going to survive the summer. Play it now while it lasts.
- 5/4/12, Review by malamute - one of the better more challenging trail courses that seems to be sitting on the fence about where it wants to go - greens were not too bad / some bunkers not even being maintained / fairways and tee boxes good
- 4/13/12, Review by magriff1 - First time playing Highland Creek. Love the layout of this course. conditions were pretty good. Greens ok, you could still see the punch marks but rolled pretty well. Tee boxes were mostly hard as a rock and fairways were in good shape. Definitely would play this course again.
- 9/14/11 - Msg Board Posting
highland creek 1in2out What happened? This used to be a great course. Played it 9/13/11. Greens had some kind of clumps growing into them along with bare spots. Bunkers were washed out and full of rocks. Tee boxes were thin. Only positive were the fairways. Very disappointed after bragging to my playing partner about the course. I've played there maybe ten times but not in the last three years.
- 8/13/11, Review by Russell - First time playing this course. It is definitely a step up from some of the other Carolina trail courses. (Tradition, Divide, Links) I enjoyed the layout. Not many flat lies. Conditions were ok. The tees and fairways were above average. The greens were typical of what I have seen from other bent greens in town - soft and torn up. Very bumpy from ball marks. The traps are a disaster - washed out, water filled and rocky. And then there was the pace of play. Granted it was cart paths only but almost 6 hours for the round? There were rangers out but I am not sure what they were doing. One told us that they are trying their best to maintain conditions with less money - and it is noticeable throughout the course.
- 6/21/11, Review by Ironcitybrewery - The course is in the best shape I've seen over the last 3-4 years. The greens have some spots where people aren't fixing their marks, but besides that they look good. The fairways are in good shape too. I played here 3 times so far in the month of June. One day it took a loooooonnnnnnnggggg time, but the other 2 days I flew through it.
- 6/18/11 - Msg Board Posting
Highland Creek DrSchteeve I didn't play, but someone I know said that the greens are starting to come back from the "mini-punch" they did in May, and overall conditions not bad. Unraked traps are something Highland Creek has had an issue with for a while (I mean that the overall condition of the bunkers is often suspect, not just that people don't rake the traps after their shots).
- 6/18/11, Review by outliar - Sorry forgot to post this. Greens were a pleasant surprise. Way too many un-repaired ball marks, but except for being just a bit slower than fast they were smoother and greener than advertised. Generally speaking the Carolina trail folks have "dumbed-down" their holdings in ways obviously targeted at cash-flow (less maintenance / easier, faster-to-play / less interesting). I will cautiously state the Highland Creek seems to be an exception. They seem to generally (not totally) be committed to providing a really nice golf course that retains it's architectural interest and above average conditioning.
- 6/17/11, Review by El Supremo - Course is in great shape. Tees, fairways, greens all in excellent shape. Bunkers are hit and miss but they are saying all of them are getting new sand. The greens are very soft and since no one seems to know how to fix a ball mark they are getting marked up. Combine that with The Trail offering discounts and they will get bad very quickly. Play it now if you're going to play it.
- 5/18/11 - Msg Board Posting
More aeration! DrSchteeve At least these 3 Carolina Trail courses are doing "light aeration" - 1/2" holes instead of 1", still top dressing with sand - apparently to try to avoid the fungus issues they had last summer and fall
Highland Creek 5/18
- 11/17/10, Review by DrSchteeve - Greens still quite iffy - many marginal at best. Some are fine. Otherwise, fairways, other conditions fine.
- 8/28/10 - Msg Board Posting
Greens update 08/28/2010 DrSchteeve Personally checked or played (except where noted):
Verdict Ridge: punched "about 2 weeks ago" - still quite bumpy, along with some bare spots that haven't responded to the punching
Olde Sycamore: punched about a month ago, unfortunately divots from poorly repaired ballmarks mar the surfaces significantly - in other words, they look ok, and in general are in good rolling condition, but there are just too many ballmarks so almost any putt is likely to hit a ballmark (or 2)
Emerald Lake: punched about 10 days ago, still top dressed with a lot of sand, along with other issues certainly not rolling true
Skybrook: some really nice smooth areas on many greens, but also bare spots and many plugs of (presumably) poa anna, overall not bad
Highland Creek: very spotty, bare areas galore, one green (#15) gone by report
Red Bridge: mostly in very good condition, only a few greens with some isolated issues (Red Bridge greens are mini verde per clubhouse); definitely the best greens of all these (except Cleghorn, see below)
Cleghorn (this from a month ago) - in Rutherfordton, a hike, but perfect Bermuda greens (and fairways), best overall conditions I've played in all year (and maybe ever)
Hope that helps somebody...
- 7/10/10, Review by BallStriker - Highland Creek is in ROUGH shape. Probably the worst I've ever seen the greens. Greens are very spotty and bumpy (bare spots everywhere) and there seems to be maintenance all over the place. The practice green was even closed the morning of July 10th. The green complex on number 15 (short dogleg left par 4) is completely torn up and virtually unplayable. To be fair, the fairways were great in spots. Glad I had a coupon because their regular rate of $59 on the weekend is inexcusable. I would give it some time to recover. A lot of courses around are taking a beating from the heat.
- 7/9/10, Review by malamute - greens are in poor shape on back 9 / better on front course not worth playing now
- 7/2/10, Review by metallikviper - Used the summer special $109 for 4 play. For $27.50 a person it was a good deal. Some of the greens had weeds and were poorly maintained. Apart from the heat taking its toll (like on most courses) it was a good course. Fairways were beat up in some places. Hopefully it will get back up in shape.
- 6/25/10, Review by malamute - course in good shape 15th is bad fairway torned up short of green fun course to play
- 4/11/10, Review by Junglist - Course looks better than this time last year. Greens are firm but fair,things are greening up nicely. Looks like there's bunker work being done( back green side no. 10) which is good. Besides golfers themselves not picking up their own broken tees or fixing their ball marks I think the place looks good. It has the potential to be one of the best public courses in Charlotte.
- 4/10/10 - Msg Board Posting
Re: April Golf EA Love the site and knowledge B-Man
Yes - I have played Skybrook, Highland Crk and Rocky River within last two weeks. I play Highland Crk, Skybrook, Rocky River and Tradition often because I live up here. I am not positive how they are comparing to other courses in the area as I stick to northern trail and this area usually.
However with these courses - Rocky River had some serious issues with their greens last year but they seem to be much better now. Some of the greens were totally gone last year but they are back nicely, I heard they made some changes with the superintendent staff. Highland Creek I like because it is challenging, tough but fair course, relatively easy to get on, and people have a nice attitude. Highland Crk was in not so good shape last year but it seems like ownership was not investing in any of these courses last year much. It looks better this year. They recently aerated the greens but they are back to normal now. I like Skybrook the best but it is overpriced for what you get. They have had and have brown and bare spots in fairways. Rocky River does not have GPS / yardages on the carts which is odd in this day and age but I like the course, and it is typically in good shape - minus the green issue from last year.
I am down on Tradition because it is over crowded, slow, and the staff have borderline rude attitude often. But I have not played there recently. I like Birkdale, the only down side is the electrical lines. It is a nice course in good shape.
EA ratings of Northern Trail area courses below -
Skybrook and Birkdale T1
HCGC and Rocky River T3
- 8/16/09 - Msg Board Posting
Highland Creek review B-Man Received this update from James:
"Played Highland Creek yesterday, and echo everything B-man stated a few weeks back. On the positive side, the course was in immaculate shape, and the wasp problem had been solved. The greens ran very smooth (much more so than Birkdale), and the traps were well-maintained.
HOWEVER, the pin placements were ridiculous. There was one hole in particular, #6 I believe, where three of the four in our group hit the green with short chips and rolled back off the green. Not only does that reduce the fun factor, but it slows down play. We're not out there to play a tournament... Additionally, the GPS was to the center of the green. Why even have it?"
He also added this comment:
F>"B-man, I wonder if there is a way to share this blog with course supers or head pros so they can get the real story. I think it could be a powerful tool to improve the golfing experience around Charlotte."
If anyone of you here are friendly with course supers or pros, send them my way. I have talked to a few and sent some of the feedback posted here in the past, but it's not a regular thing. I would love to get them more involved in the discussion here.
- 7/26/09 - Played Sunday morning. My first time back here in awhile. It has always been one of the more difficult courses in the area, from any tee box. You have to drive the ball straight and hit the right spots on the greens. You should be comfortable playing from the sand traps. So, you don't need the course setup to be any more difficult. Unfortunately, this time out at Highland Creek several things made this round even harder. First off, they tucked pins no more than 10 feet off the back edge on about one third of the holes. Several were on slopes that were just plain unfair. That was bad. Several of the greens have wasps burrowing holes in them and buzzing around while you putt (#1 and #5, in particular). Several bunkers had been untouched despite rain a few days ago. The bunker on #10 was a literal water hazard -- my partner lost his ball, are you kidding? HC, like the other Trail courses, has on-cart GPS. Today on screen, the pin positions were all marked in the middle -- despite many being tucked in the back. If you couldn't see exactly where the pin was, you were hosed by at least a club. Took us several holes to realize they had them all wrong on the GPS. We teed off at 7:05 and the round went fine, pace-wise (4:30 total), but we didn't see the beverage cart until the 17th hole (11:15). Now that all said, the fairways were lush and the greens (other than the wasps) were quick and mostly smooth, despite many ballmarks. But, overall, this was not a fun round and it seemed like the course managers were careless with the pins and conditions.
- 4/8/09 - Msg Board Posting
Highland Creek Randy Just got back from Highland Creek and am quite happy. With the course, not my game. But compared to most courses I have been playing, it was in great shape. You could really see the green starting to grow in. It was nice to have a little grass to hit off of in the fairways. Tees were goood. Bunkers were great, minus 2 being in terrible shape. Not bad considering how many there are. And the greens were in good shape. Could still see the holes from aereating, but rolled true, no bouncing. Plus they would hold shots. Not in mid-season form by any means, but better than most around right now.
- 8/8/08 - Msg Board Posting
Highland Creek George Played HCGC today, and boy--were the greens in bad shape. Quick, but cut up and pocked all over, and on pretty much every green.
Another annoying thing is that the bunkers are: 1) of differing types of sand; 2) either all rocky and pebbly; or 3) rock hard since no one's working on them (or most of them anyway. Why that is, is just unbelievable. It's a common thread on this board...poor bunker maintenance. The old saw about not being in them is no excuse--they should at least be raked at the start of each day, and not have big rocks, plastic sheeting, and other crap sticking up out of them.
- 6/25/08 - Msg Board Posting
3 Courses this past weekend Elsupremo Played three courses this past weekend:
20th - Rocky River - I hadn't played this course since last July. Course was in pretty good shape but the greens were sloooowww, slowest I've played here in Charlotte.
21st - Eagle Chase - First time here. Course is in pretty good shape. Very hilly fairways but no "bowls" to hit into like many mountain courses. No frills in the clubhouse but that doesn't matter to me. Well worht the drive from Huntersville.
22nd - Highland Creek - Very dissapointing. Fairways are OK. Tee boxes need some work. The greens are horrendous. I'm pretty sure that there is a local rule that forbids fixing your ball mark on the green. They were the worst I've ever seen them.
- 6/16/08 - Msg Board Posting
Highland Creek J.D. Played this weekend to see if this course lives up to the hype as "the best on the Carolina Trail." It doesn't.
It's a decent layout (reminds me a bit like Regent Park), the fairways were in decent shape and the bunkers were soft. But the greens were just so-so. It appears nobody fixes ball marks here and in a few spots there were medium chunks of dead spots in the middle of the greens. My biggest gripe -- the GPS system was way, way off in several spots on the course. (Once it told me I had only 150 yards to clear some fairway bunkers. I blasted a solid drive that landed in them...some 250 yards out. If my eyes were younger I would have noticed!)
I continue to be under-enthused by the Carolina Trail course maintenance. It seems the management team is more interested in getting frequent play on these courses than they are about adding a little polish. A shame, because Highland Creek, Charlotte Links and Waterford could be spectacular courses, with a little more care.
- 7/6/07 - Played on 7/6. Like most courses, the Creek is in fine shape with the rain over the past several weeks. Everything was nice and green. Played the White tees and several tee boxes were up for some reason, making the course play even shorter and changing club selection off the tee. The sand bunkers (I played many of them) were in so-so shape. They could use better sand and a little more upkeep.
- 4/18/06 - Played 4/18. Challenging layout as always. A few tee boxes were being worked so the Blue's were up on several holes. The greens were aerated only 3 weeks or so ago, but I putted them well. So I can't complain. They are definitely slow and bumpy by Highland Creek standards, but that will change soon. Overall good shape as the season kicks in.
- 7/13/05 - Played on 7/8. No problems. Greens and fairways were in good shape and played well. Tee boxes were fluffy and needed to be mowed or better kept on many holes. Didn't really affect play. The course has awesome email coupon specials available through August. Check their web site to sign up.
- 2/20/04 - Msg Board Posting
Re: Moving to Charlotte Jamie Archie The course you play depends on what type of course you prefer. Down here you will have a lot of choices. I have played them all, and here are my favorites:
1) The Tradition - my favorite course layout, tight fairways, very wooded, good greens, solid overall course, accurate tee shots critical.
2) Highland Creek - well maintained, wider fairways, excellent greens, a little pricier, but worth it.
3) The Divide - bigger greens, comfortable fairways, not as tight off the tees.
4) Springfield, Waterford (south of state line)- great layouts, a little tougher in terms of approach shots. Waterford's greens are about the fastest around.
5) Fox Den (35 miles north) - one of my favorites since I shot 69 my first time there. Great diversity of holes.
6) Verdict Ridge - the toughest course I have played in this area. Bring your A game, or you are in trouble.
There are about two dozen solid courses within a reasonable driving distance of downtown Charlotte, so take your time in picking. Just check out the yellow pages when you get here. B-man web site is a good reference too. All of the ones I listed are semi-private, so the public can usually play anytime. Good luck, and welcome to Charlotte!
- 7/29/03 - Nice and green as always. Fairways are rolling almost as fast as the greens. The rough, though mowed relatively short, is very thick and balls can get nestled down, making for difficult recovery shots. Everything was in fine shape and the cart GPS worked great.
- 1/1/03 - Course is in great shape for this time of year. Tee boxes and fairways are green and holding up well under the recent weather. Greens are rolling true and only medium fast (for this course).