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- 3/16/19, Review by brinstone02 - With it being so early in the season and all the rain the last 2 months we were skeptical of the conditions. The fairways were in great conditions and the greens were faster than normal and rolled very true! The only drawback was if you were unfortunate to get in a bunker. They were hard and soggy from all the rain. All in all we were pleasantly surprised at how great of condition the greens were in.
- 2/7/19, Review by BetterThanMost - Hadn't been to Birkdale in quite some time, and it will probably be a while before I go back. Course was not crowded at all on a nearly 80į day, which should've been the first clue. Had a coupon and it's a good thing, as the rack rate of $49 would have been way too much to pay for current conditions. Much of the grass was dormant, as to be expected, but the greens were in really rough shape. Bare patches and uneven patches abound. Low areas of the course are still really wet. Staff was great. Range was mats only. Range balls are a mix of old and new.
- 8/17/18, Review by RJH6 - Not sure why the ratings here are so low. Thought the greens were some of the better greens Iíve played in Charlotte especially for the cost. Some of the bunkers could use some work, but everything else was great. Iíll be back for sure.
- 6/4/18, Review by KyleSmith - Birkdale is the perfect example of why I hate the current state of golf. They charge $65 for a course that is very green, but plays pretty terrible. The course looked great- very green, not many issues in the fairways or tee boxes, and greens looked decent from the fairways. In reality, if you missed a fairway at all, you were probably not finding your ball because of isolated dirt patches that shoot your ball way off line, or thick bermuda rough that wasn't that thick at Quail for the PGA. The greens were incredibly soft and a hair furry (read: slow). I had heard a lot of good stuff about Birkdale, and later this summer I might give it another go, but I am not impressed with the $65 round Sunday.
- 10/13/17, Review by Opow - Six years later and this place is still in bad shape. I wish the would get a real management company in hear to fix the place. Nothing is worse than hit a ball on the first green about ten feet away and when you walk up on green you see that there is no way you can make the putt because of clumps of crabgrass and bear spots in your line. It also looked as if the just cut the rough because the clippings were everywhere and we lost two balls under it. I said six years ago it was crap and I would not be back and I should have stayed away.
- 6/4/16, Review by GolfNiners5 - Some isolated issues on the fairways and greens but overall in great shape. A lot of the tee boxes were chewed up, especially on the Par 3's. Still don't think it is worth the rack rate but if you find a deal on 3rd party site it is definitely worth it
- 4/13/16, Review by Danny V - Played Birkdale today. Course coming around nice after aerification. good roll on putts. Love the layout. Palmer design really fun to play. Great and very friendly staff. Just got brand new golf carts. Can't wait to go back.
- 3/23/16, Review by aimtobreak80 - I last played this course in February 2013 because of the (now) well documented problems. I decided to give it a try to see how it was under new/reorganized management, and to see how "Senior friendly" it is. Some course conditions, and a fairly strong, steady breeze combined for a less than stellar (enjoyable) outing. All of the tee bases are sparse, with no green grass whatsoever. The fairways are brown, but beginning to show signs of greening up following Winter. The greens have been aerated recently, and still have lots of sand on them (Consensus of my threesome: they were slow and bumpy, and made putting quite problematic). I, personally, take issue with the existing sloping of the fairways. It seemed as if, no matter where one hit the ball (fairway, fringe, or rough) the sloping terrain always caused the ball to roll into either a bunker or a hazard. Another inconsistency was that the greens, for being so slow for putting, did not hold approach shots. This was particularly exasperating on the Par 5 fifth hole where my second shot landed in the fairway yet, because of the slope, rolled into the water on the right side , almost 90 degrees from the direction it was traveling when it landed. After retrieving my ball and taking a drop, my wedge shot hit the green just beyond the pin, but continued to roll into the bunker behind the green. In all honesty, I hit three successive shots that were well struck, but ended up with a bogey instead of birdie because of course conditions! I do NOT consider Birkdale to be Senior friendly. First of all, I could not find any marked tees that did not exceed the recommended Play-It-Forward yardage range for my average driving distance (I played the White tees as did my two partners, also seniors). The longer yardages, coupled with the strong breeze severely reduced the number of opportunities for hitting the greens in regulation. Another inconvenience, for seniors, is the inability to drive the cart to one's car to unload after the round. Birkdale does offer a Senior rate of $35, which is not too bad. However, it didn't seem like such a bargain compared to my round last week at Olde Sycamore where, because their greens had been recently aerated, they had a flat rate of $25 for all (and respective course conditions were so much better). Finally, a personal bias - the driving range uses mats instead of grass/sod. That may not be a bother to many golfers, but I absolutely detest hitting off a mat. In summary, it may be another 3 years (if ever) before I return to play at Birkdale.
- 11/21/15, Review by dmait45 - Course played great, fairways, bunkers and tee boxes were in good shape.. bunkers had plenty of sand and were well raked...Greens were in good shape, the only knock I have is that I repaired quite a few divots on the green that were just left there...pace of play was ok, just a very slow playing group in front of us
- 9/25/15, Review by scotth - I live in Huntersville and was a bogeys to birdies member at BGC. I usually only play 9 hole rounds due to other committments. The only complaint I have is that the greens were recently aerated which I don't have a problem with, but they never told me before I played and they were in really bad shape. The pro shop for the most part is very accomodating to me and my family. I would recommend this course to other golfers in the area.
- 5/11/15, Review by Bogey-Golf - Had a good time playing Birkdale. Greens were very good. Fairways were aerated but already filling in. A few dead areas in two fairways that they are working on. All in all, a nice facility considering the shape it was in over the past few years
- 9/1/14 - Course being aerated this week (9/1).
- 8/10/14, Review by dmbjr7 - Played Birkdale last weekend and WOW!! They have made great improvements to the whole course including the bunkers, they still have a few more to do but looks and played great. It has always been a great layout and I will go back again for sure.
- 8/9/14, Review by Sleeve - Played Birkdale this past Saturday...highly recommend getting out and playing here...new management is really putting their best foot forward to bring the golf course back around...good to see progress being made to the bunkers and conditions remain on the upswing!!
- 7/13/14, Review by Cozmike - I have played Birkdale a few times recently and the course is in very good shape. Whoever is running the course now has made great strides to get the course back into the condition most of us grew accustom to when it first opened. Fairways and Greens are great. I noticed an upgrade or improvement each time. I've put in about 4 rounds in the last 2 1/2 months due to my proximity to the course and the improvements they have made. It is worth it. I heard they've started work on the bunkers as well which was the only thing I saw (on a few holes) that needed some attention, but I know bunkers take months to rebuild correctly. PS - Customer Service at the course was excellent as well. Each round my buddies and I finished off with a beer in the bar and their staff is probably the best I've come across this season. I'm very happy to see Birkdale getting back into form.
- 7/7/14, Review by Bogey-Golf - Greens and fairways in very good shape. Most bunkers are still unplayable but still a good layout. If you can get the right price it's a good play.
- 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
- 7/23/13, Review by SmitteyB - This is my first time back to Birkdale since the closure for back taxes. I got a great rate of $25 if that is any indication of how poorly they are doing. The range balls are junk again the "NEW" ones are already beat up. Many people like myself get a large bucket and just set aside the crap balls. Which are most of them. The range grass was cut, which was nice. The fairways are NOT greening up, maybe due to the rain, but they look like Muirfield. The greens are still in bad shape from punch marks. The greens on the front are actually pretty darn nice minus the softness and the ballmarks. No one out there cares. Its in such bad condition that no one thinks it would help to repair the punch marks. The course was surprisingly dry, balls were rolling out. EVERY person I spoke to said they haven't been getting paid. I spoke to 4 individuals. I will not spend more than $25 to play here. I feel so bad for the workers there - because they are trying, there is just NO money being put back into the golf course. I MEAN ZERO! Also- ZERO playable bunkers on the golf course. I hit the ball in there and had to rake and replace my ball.
- 7/18/13 - Msg Board Posting
RE: The Carolina Trail Seran The fat lady is warming up her vocals....
Complaints of unpaid wages persist at Carolina Trail golf courses
- 7/3/13 - Msg Board Posting
Re: Birkdale The B-Man Update: Birkdale will supposedly reopen tomorrow on July 4th:
Birkdale Golf Club has paid back taxes
This article includes a lot more detail on the legal and financial problems for the Carolina Trail courses, including a suggestion that the county has considered foreclosing on them -- though Waterford and The Divide are not mentioned.
- 7/2/13 - Msg Board Posting
Birkdale golf course shut down for not paying taxes HateSlowPlay I wouldn't give the Carolina Trail a cent after this:
WSOC TV Report
Charlotte Observer article
- 5/21/13, Review by SmitteyB - The amount of rain received lately has made the bunker maintenance difficult, so that didn't affect my rating. The greens are coming back slowly, but that is expected. This is what has to be done to keep the greens rolling. So if they are junk for a couple of weeks, then so be it. The course needs a solid couple of weeks of warm, dry weather to get itself back to into shape. It needs more time now than anything. The worst part is the ball marks. Guys just aren't fixing them out there, and that is unfortunate. I'll be back next week.
- 5/16/13, Review by jtaylor6699 - I am new to this site and really liked the premise of it. I decided for my first review i would discuss my last round of golf. I used to play birkdale all of the time back when Johnny Harris owned it. WOW has this course really gone down over the years. Greens were just punched and rolled horribly( to be expected i guess.) The worst thing were all the weeds on the course. Areas appeared to not have been mowed in weeks. Bunkers were so inconsistent. Some were good others were horrible. I just dont understand how a course with so much traffic can not afford to put money back into the course. After reading some other reviews i guess thats the common theme on all of the carolina trail courses. Its a shame that some of the best layouts in charlotte seem to be under such poor management. Guess i will be playing more at Old Sycamore.
- 5/13/13, Review by glassman59 - the greens have just been plugged and sanded
- 5/9/13, Review by SmitteyB - Greens were punched on 5/6 so those are what you would expect. Best news is though that they have all new range balls! Like another poster mentioned, the mats are gone and its all turf surface. As soon as the greens come back I'm sure it will be in good shape again.
- 4/22/13, Review by SmitteyB - I review Birkdale often due to its convenient location to my house. This is my third time playing the golf course in the last month and the course continues to wake up from this past winter. The tee boxes are greening up, fairways are looking good, and greens although hard - were rolling nicely. My issue here is the practice area at Birkdale and its poor condition. They are still hitting of mats which are torn up- I mean they are just horrible. Holes, rips, tears, gashes...you name it these mats have it. The range a balls are tired- VERY TIRED. Very little paint left on them and they don't fly true. I hit a driver and thought I dented the club face, only to watch the ball shoot out weaving left and right about 10 feet off the ground. I had to make sure it wasn't my swing so I pulled out an old XL2000 and sure as can be, it flew like my normal ball flight. These things are bad. Really bad. The chipping green is in good shape, but the bunker it just compacted sand. Like hitting off of dry dirt. It needs sand. Hell if you give me free golf I will spend a week there getting that practice area in better shape. The putting green is good though, just a few spots of poa. After my 4/1/13 review I got an personal email from the CT Regional Superintendent describing what they were trying to do with the course and I can honestly say that it is working. The course is improving.
- 4/9/13, Review by SmitteyB - Played Birkdale again after getting a good deal on the tee time website. In 1 week the course has really begun to green up and the greens were rolling even better than before. The tee boxes are still needing a little bit warmer weather, but the golf course in general is waking up quite nicely. I had a great round and really enjoyed the conditions of the greens. Very pleased, will be back.
- 4/1/13, Review by SmitteyB - Booked online for $23 for a 2pm start time. Upon check-in the kid in the pro shop tried upping the price to $39- I called bull and he changed his tune. The course was cart path only which did slow down play. I ended up only going 9 holes and that was 3 hours! The putting green is almost half engulfed with crabgrass, so that is borderline unacceptable. Course conditions were a little wet in spots with mostly dormant grass, but bunkers were raked and greens were certainly playable- they were rolling surprisingly fast and smooth for the season. So 4 stars on the greens. Tee boxes have new fresh grass starting to poke through, but look like crap. Huge GUR area short of 3rd green which isn't too pretty. For $23 I think it was a good deal and would be worth it. Leaps and bounds better than Skybrook.
- 2/21/13, Review by aimtobreak80 - The fairways were in pretty good shape considering the season and the fact that we had 3 inches of snow the preceding Saturday. 90 degree cart rule was in effect, and was no problem (However, some of the tees are more than a few steps from the cart path, and what may have been saved by driving to your ball in the fairway was offset by walking to the tee.) The round did not get off to a good start. The practice green was closed, and the chipping green was a poor substitute. I had a decent drive on No. 1 only to wait for about five minutes for a groundskeeper to finish mowing the green. He eventually stopped, and yelled back to me that I was supposed to have started on the back nine. It surely would have been nice if the attendant in the pro shop had informed me of such when I checked in. Play was somewhat slow (I had been warned that they were running about 15-20 minutes behind), and I was soon joined by another single using a pull-cart. We made up time on the second nine where we almost had the course to ourselves. My primary complaint about the course conditions is that the greens were very bumpy. My playing partner, who claimed to be a 5-year contract Carolina Trail member, and regular patron of the course, indicated that this was standard and attributed it to lack of maintenance and caretaking due to the financial problems of the Carolina Trail enterprise. However, he did indicate that the latter situation was reportedly improving, and he was hopeful that course conditions might also improve before the end of the year. Bottom line assessment: A challenging course with fair value greens fee for seniors. I will likely try it again in the spring and/or summer months.
- 11/10/12, Review by TheClaw - Very sad to see Birkdale in its current condition. The practice balls are so old most of them don't have dimples, the practice bunker was unplayable due to the lack of sand. The practice putting green, as well as every green on the course were saturated with leaves. The bunkers looked like they had not been raked in weeks. Course was packed, but no ranger and the shop at the turn was closed. Round took 5 hours. The disappointing thing is that it appears that little or NO effort is being put into this course. I mean come on, it doesn't take a lot to have someone blowing the leaves off the green. A buddy I played with said he played a muni course in Gastonia the day before and even there they had a guy blowing the leaves off the greens. Apart from the lack of care, the greens were ok. Pace of play torturous with no ranger in sight. NOT coming back here for a long time. Just not worth it. Sad though as I have always loved this layout.
- 10/24/12, Review by IM4DHERD - Gotta give 'em props...Best condition this course has been in in a long time. Except for two, greens are in great shape and faster than I ever remember for Birkdale. Fairways in excellent shape. Many traps still need work, but many more are full of new sand. Maybe they are taking the money they aren't spending on other courses and spending it here?
- 9/29/12, Review by metallikviper - Probably the best kept course on the Carolina Trail. I really hope they don't go south. The layout is very interesting and the course plays challenging from the back tees. Greens were in decent shape considering the fact that they were Bent. #10 had some serious issues on the greens, but the rest were OK. Bunkers were spotty, some were decent and some were nothing more than just holes filled with stones. I would come back if they kept up the course as it is.
- 9/23/12, Review by BallStriker - The Carolina Trail strikes again. Played Birkdale on Sunday and the round took 5 hours and 15 minutes. To be fair the course was in pretty good condition however some of the blue tees were placed at the white placements. The biggest issue was my twosome was (unwillingly) paired with a SLOW playing twosome that consistently kept us behind. To make matters worse when this was explained to a ranger he responded with a dismissive attitude. Bottom line is I am staying away from Carolina Trail courses altogether going forward. They just don't get it.
- 9/15/12, Review by _mk70 - I thought Birkdale was in very good shape overall. The greens were in good shape with a few spots here and there but enjoyable to putt on. I really enjoyed our round. The course is in much better shape than the other sister Carolina Trail courses from what I've seen this summer.
- 9/1/12, Review by Russell - I got a great deal and decided to,give Birkdale another shot. The greens have improved from midsummer but there are still problem spots. They have lost almost all of the 10th green. I was paired with a Birkdale resident and he said the course is having problems paying its staff like other Carolina trail courses. Too bad because with a little care this could be a really nice course.
- 8/11/12, Review by watusi - From tee to green it was perfect minus the bunkers. Fairways a 10 Rough 8 Bunkers 3 Greens look 6 but putt an 8 I went in expecting the worst looking at recent reviews but its in great shape considering the stress the greens are under. They don't look good put put better than most in the area. The rest of the course is great. Just under a 5 hour round on a Saturday, I'm a happy camper.
- 7/28/12, Review by Russell - First time playing at Birkdale. Used an ezlinks tee time so it was very reasonable. Arrived to find tee times delayed 40 minutes becuase of an earlier shotgun tournament followed by a large group outing. Understandable for a Saturday - I guess. It was a terribly slow start (two groups waiting on #2) but slowly picked up. I really liked the layout but conditions were poor. The biggest problem were the bent greens. They appeared to have been aerated awhile ago but were not coming back. Most were bad - some terrible. I know bent greens struggle this time of year but bunkers were washed out, areas of the course were overgrown, downed trees were adjacent to greens, etc. Unfortunately, this seems to be the level of care typical at Carolina Trail courses. I had heard that Birkdale used to be in great condition under its previous owner and I hope it gets back to that level someday because I like the layout.
- 6/10/12, Review by ISlayMySelf - I have never been unhappy with the overall condition of this course. They aerated the greens a couple weeks ago so you will run into some punches that haven't recovered yet but that should not be an issue in a week or 2. Some sand traps were in bad shape. Not sure if they are doing maintenance or not because there is different sand on some holes. But again all issues were isolated. The 18th green was the worse of the bunch but that was because the geese turned it into there own personal toilet itís a shame that nothing can be done with the geese. I definitely recommend this course to anyone. Just watch where you step on the 18th.
- 5/11/12, Review by malamute - course is in good shape / greens nice and fast / pace of play was a little slow / range in good shape - need better quality range balls for upscale course
- 3/14/12, Review by Taylan - Birkdale was not supposed to aerate their greens until May but the greens were pin-aerated recently. We had no problems putting and the greens are still good except for isolated bad patches here and there. Bring your own GPS since most carts had their GPS unit ripped out (not sure why). The pace of play was good (4 hours) once the women in front of us quit after 9 holes.
- 12/10/11, Review by ncdentist - I've never had a bad experience at this club. Wonderfully designed and well maintained course, friendly staff and members. Just a great value!
- 9/17/11, Review by metallikviper - Course is in great shape for this time of year. It was nice to play in 60* weather for a change. Greens are well maintained and were cut a bit fast. Roughs were cut a tad bit high. Staff was very friendly, but would have appreciated the marshals to push some of the slower moving groups. I guess 4.5-5 hrs is expected on weekends.
- 9/4/11, Review by ISlayMySelf - New favorite course in Charlotte only made better by a great price on EZLinks. Fairways were in great condition, greens a little beat up but still good and the tee boxes showed a little wear and tear. The sand traps were in good shape and that is a real plus compared to other courses in Charlotte that I have played. If you have never played it I strongly recommend you do.
- 9/3/11, Review by ThatDudeP - My first time at Birkdale. Here's My confessional impression. Enjoy. Being that it's an Arnold Palmie design, you can say it's a players, players course. Everyone wants to play here; players and noobs like myself alike. Was it worth the hype? Oh it's not too shabby. I don't think it quite compares to Tot Hill Farms up in Asheboro (Why is that course not on here btw?), but it's a beautifully designed course with large, open rolling fairways and a few water hazards. Speaking of, #18 was my favorite hole. You will drive through neighborhoods, roll across streets and might even get the chance to indulge your eyes in a hot milf, possibly cougar jogging through the streets. While offering carts with GPS was a biiiiiig perk, 80% of the carts didn't have them. But if you ask and tip nicely, they'll take care of ya. Greens were punched, but they didn't affect roll too much. Strangely, for a course of this caliber, the bathrooms were still pretty filthy. In short, I wouldn't pay the $69 rack rate, but if you can book a Tee time though EZLinks, it's worth the 40 bucks.
- 8/27/11, Review by Hackerama - Some small holes punched, otherwise, good shape, played less than 4hrs and greens were rolling. They will be perfect in SEPT.
- 7/13/11, Review by IM4DHERD - The Club Pro had a playing lesson for a 10-12 year old boy and just jumped around from hole to hole, seemingly ending up in front of me every third hole or so. I'd pull up to the blue tees, they would be on the front tee with no one in front of us and go ahead and play, making me wait while the kid slapped it around. Also, informed the pro shop that their water hazards are improperly marked in a couple of places (red stakes where there should be yellow) and they just brushed it off, even commenting that the stakes don't make any difference in the type of relief one takes. All the Carolina Trail courses dropped off dramatically in maintenance once they came under their management. Weeds, thin spots, unmarked GUR, poorly if at all marked hazards, etc. Ask me how I feel.
- 7/7/11, Review by Ironcitybrewery - I went(even though I said I wouldn't) back because a guy told me "Birkdale is in great shape now". If he thinks that is great shape, he must be a member at Sunset Hills. Pace of Play= A Fairways= B Bunkers= C Green= D One green is nice and that's hole #9. I came across 3 bunkers that didn't have rakes so they were filled with footprints.
- 6/11/11, Review by Opow - This could be the best course in Charlotte if the greens were not always in bad shape.I have played here more then I should because it's close to home but they will not get another dime of my money as long as the greens stay so bad. The rest of the place is great and it has one of the best clubhouse bars in NC. So until they learn how to keep the greens in good shape I will go to fox den or highland creek.
- 6/7/11, Review by Ironcitybrewery - I hate this place and I live a half mile from it. The people and members I've come across think it's a status symbol to be part of this course. I've seen nicer greens at Charles T. than here. The greens have gone downhill every year. I will never play this course again. I would rather play 36 at a course for the same price as this rip-off.
- 4/18/11, Review by manu775 - While my score was horrible, the course was just ok. We have gotten a good amount of rain so it was cart path only. The sand traps didnt' hold the water well and we might as well been playing in concrete. Also, they just aerated the greens on Wednesday so they were pretty bad. The one good thing I will say is that we said something to the pro shop and they gave us a $20 off coupon for our next round. Hopefully the condition and my play will be better the next time!
- 2/27/11, Review by estanwick - Tee boxes: B; greens: C+ (good roll, decent speed but looked like they had some type of disease). Fairways: B (still not greened up yet and they were hard with lots of roll). Overall: B-
- 1/6/11, Review by malamute - good course, however mon - fri you have to hit off of mats at the range (wth?) no good!!! / greens faster on back 9 than front 9 / course is in good shape / not sure how staff got a bad rep -they have always been nice and professional
- 8/6/10, Review by outliar - B-man you are being too polite regarding the slow play issue. In my opinion the BIGGEST IMPAIRMENT to playing more rounds is the pace of play. It is downright RUDE and arrogant for some hack shooting 105 to wait until the green clears (from 280 away) before hitting a shot. AND THEN circling a putt for 8 minutes from 45 feet for triple bogey. I REALLY WISH folks would understand THEY are not on tour and we do not have 6 hours to devote to playing a round. I don't advocate rushing folks, BUT a REALITY CHECK IS CERTAINLY IN ORDER for folks who think it is OK to take 5+ hours for a casual round.
- 6/11/10 - Msg Board Posting
Re: Don't Go to Birkdale The B-Man I posted this comment on the review and I'll repost it here. I got in touch with Wes Jones about this one and received a quick response.
Thank you for bringing this to my attention. At Birkdale our goal is to have all players enjoy themselves and feel they have received a good value. It is difficult to please all the people all the time and unfortunately we were not able to do that with Mr. Looney's group... a group teed off at 8:23 and then the first of Mr. Looney's three foursomes teed off at 8:35, 12 minutes later... his group played the front nine in 2:38. His group had been warned for slow play twice in the first seven holes. This forced me to make the difficult decision of asking his group to skip the 10th hole. We ! want our guests to enjoy themselves but not at the expense of our other guests... the two groups following Mr. Looney's group played the front nine in 2 1/2 hours and well under two hours on the back nine after his group left.
On June 4th we had 182 rounds played and 144 players after Mr. Looney's group at 8:35. If I had allowed his group to continue on their pace we would have had our other rounds in the 5 1/2 hour range or worse. I do not want Birkdale to have a slow play reputation. In short, we would like people to play Birkdale. You will find the course conditions very nice, we take pace of play seriously and as Mr. Looney said, we have a friendly staff.
Birkdale Golf Club
Pace of play is a touchy subject. Obviously, you hate to be playing fast and easy, then get caught up in a logjam where you are waiting on every shot. On the other hand, if you are having fun but get behind because of a few stray shots where you lose time trying to find a lost ball or get back in play, it can be nearly impossible to catch up and get back on time with other groups on the course. So it is indeed a tough situation for the general manager. It's a bit of a Catch-22 -- which is worse: disappointing one or two groups by having them skip a hole to keep up pace of play or angering half a day's worth of groups that play 5 hour rounds?
I think in this situation you've got to be 100% sure that groups are truly backing up and tee times are running late before you ask a group to skip holes. If the groups behind are not complaining, not waiting, then there shouldn't be an issue. I'm not sure whether the GM made the right decision in this case, but it does seem like he carefully considered everything before speaking to the group.
I can certainly understand why you guys left. This has only happened to me once or twice in my 11 years of playing and I was very angry. I'm glad you had a good experience over at Fox Den. I've yet to play it, but keep hearing great things.
Thanks for the feedback.
- 6/4/10, Review by geoirv - The bad rating is due to the General Manager and not the course itself. The front nine was very nice. Our group of 12 didn't get the opportunity to play the back nine. Wes Jones, the GM met us at hole 10 and asked us to skip that hole and move on to hole 11 because we were 25 minutes behind his GPS schedule. I pointed out the next party in our group was 1-1/2 holes behind us. He said that didn't matter because we were two holes behind the group in front of us. I again pointed out the group in front of us was not in our party and I watched them tee off 36 minutes before us; we had actually gained roughly 2 holes on them. Mr. Jones walked to my cart and began rudely pecking on the GPS time indicator to show me we were 25 minutes behind. At that point, I asked for a refund for nine holes, and our 12 party group left and went to Fox Den. The Fox Den people appreciated our business and we had a great time there. I would be remiss not to point out that the rest of the Birkdale staff was very friendly to us. Before I left the course, I asked one of the guys how it was that everyone was so nice but their leader was such a horse's patute. He replied, "they get asked that question a lot". We were scheduled for lunch and an 18 hole replay so you decide who lost out on this deal. Just for the record, I later asked the last group in our party if they were being pushed and they replied "no". Irv Looney
- 4/18/10, Review by The B-Man - Enjoyed my round here today. The staff was friendly as always and we moved around the course at a good pace. Although the greens weren't pretty to look at (looks like they had to treat some areas and there were light splotches on many greens) and still a bit on the slow side (aerated last month), they rolled true and were consistent. The fairways and tees were in good shape and more lush than most courses this early in the season. A few of the bunkers needed to be raked, not just from earlier play, but because they were wet or muddy. Overall, this is a fun course, with many challenging holes but also some short par 4's and reachable par 5's where you can be aggressive. It also has a great short game practice area. If I lived closer, this would be a regular stop for me.
- 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
- 10/14/09 - Update from Chuck: Played Birkdale yesterday, in the Susan G. Komen benefit tournament. The course overall was in pretty decent condition. Fairways were nice and green with pretty decent lies for the most part. Greens were in good condition, some greens look like they have been bombarded with ball marks, but that is to be expected when a course gets alot of play, such as this one. The greens were pretty quick which I like. Hopefully with the cooler weather coming some of the greens with alot of ball marks will have time to heal. Overall, not too bad. Definitely should go play it, if you haven't.
- 7/30/09 - Msg Board Posting
Birkdale Jamie Played Birkdale today (7/30). Course was in good shape, although wet because of recent rains. Only negative is that all the pin placements were tucked at the edges of the greens. Seems to be a popular trend lately.
- 7/11/09 - Played 7/11. My first regular round here in quite a while -- usually I only get to play here in tournaments. I was frustrated with the greens. Inconsistent roll and a gazillion ballmarks (many fresh and not fixed). It was nearly impossible to make any putts of significant length (over 5 or 10 ft) because your ball would hit something and knock offline. It was late in the day and the greens were a little hairy and moist towards the end. The bunkers were also inconsistent, again mostly due to careless play (not raking). The rest of the course, tees and fairways, was in very good shape. I would say this course gets too much play for its own good. It's definitely a fun layout, but I expected better greens.
- 3/14/09 - Msg Board Posting
birkdale Trace Mannig I played birkdale on tuesday the 10th, and the only two things where the driving range is getting some work done so we had to hit off those damn mats, which get your clubs all green! Then there were the greens... just re-airated. Made your puts almost impossable. Your chips had to be rolled on, if not they bounced everywhere. other then that, had a lot of fun, and thats what it is all about right.
- 10/19/08 - Msg Board Posting
Birkdale Rob Pappalardo Played today 10/18/08..Course was in good condition (Alot better than my swing..lol)..Greens were nice and fast ..The rough was ROUGH tho,we lost several balls that should have been easy to find!..Still it was pretty much top-notch for this time of year..can't go wrong here!
- 10/11/08 - Msg Board Posting
Birkdale Golf Club Jin Played today at 1 and finished around 5:20. The first nine was fast, no one in front of us or behind. Second nine slowed down a lot... waited about 5 mins on each tee box. Course was a little wet here and there. The right greenside bunker on #1 was gunky. Tee box on the par 3 #6 was pretty long, really long actually. There are a few short par 4's, only one I can get close to getting on the green (#7). MOst of the greens were in great condition, rolling pretty fast.
Fairways were a bit soft. Course in general was in great condition.
- 6/26/08 - Played on 6/25. My company has an event here every summer and the course puts on a great tournament. The conditions were good. Fairways were in great shape. The greens were pretty good but very soft. A few wedge approach shots plugged in the green and you pretty much had to hit your shots on the number since there was little roll. A few bunkers had standing water from the recent rains. I don't understand why courses don't have a maintenance routine to pull the water out and rake all the bunkers each morning. Maybe it's more difficult than I think. Also, on several holes, the GPS on the carts had the pins in the wrong location and my group was only saved by the fact that in most cases we could clearly see the flag on the green and make our own adjustments to the yardage. Still, it seemed a little careless. Overall, this course is typically kept in very good shape and is probably the best of the Carolina Trail group of courses.
- 2/24/08 - Msg Board Posting
Charlotte courses Earl I have been coming to South Carolina for every year for about ten years with a group of eight. We have an "unwritten rule": Always play Birkdale in Huntersville, north of Charlotte. It is an Arnold Palmer course with lots of neat/challenging holes - and the pub is great with good menu. We usually end our week of golf with the golf at Birkdale and lunch. I would also give high marks for Regent Park and Waterford.
- 6/20/07 - Played on 6/20. Course was in great shape overall, lush fairways and greens. There was a good 10-20 minute rain shower before we started, but it only left a few wet areas or puddles here and there and carts were still 90 degrees. Greens were very smooth and rolled well with good speed, not super-fast. I enjoy the layout here and it's a well-kept course with a very good practice area. It's also now a part of the Carolina Trail and Click-it offers some great rates.
- 5/21/07 - Msg Board Posting
Birkdale Sandy Played Birkdale today and it was in good shape. #10 green was a little beat up, but that was the only issue. All greens rolled true. The range was pretty packed, but the course played pretty quickly.
- 8/16/06 - Msg Board Posting
re: courses pete Played Birkdale this past weekend and the greens were really a mess. We got stuck behind a real slow group and ended up spending five hours out there... won't be going back any time soon.
Played Verdict Ridge the previous weekend and enjoyed the round. Conditions are among the best I've played in the area recently. Pricey at $74 though.
Heading to Ballantyne on Saturday morning...