Best public golf courses in Charlotte

Charlotte is a vibrant city located in the Piedmont region of North Carolina. Founded in 1768, it has a rich history that spans centuries. Queen City is famous today for its southern charm, diverse culture, and economic growth.

In recent years, Charlotte has also become a hub for golf enthusiasts. It’s home to several world-class golf courses that attract pro and amateur golfers worldwide. The history of golf in the city dates back to the early 1900s when the city’s first golf course, Charlotte Country Club, was established.

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Over the years, Charlotte has continued to develop its golfing scene, with several public courses and private clubs opening up in the area. Today, Charlotte is known for its excellent public golf courses, top-notch facilities, and beautiful scenery, making it a popular destination for golfers of all levels.

Let’s dive deep to see what Charlotte has to offer.

Top public golf courses in Charlotte

Rocky River Golf Club

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Rocky River Golf Club is a public golf course in Concord, North Carolina, about 30 minutes from Charlotte. It was designed by a popular American golf course architect Dan Maples alongside Michael Gleason, in 1997.

The course flows through natural contours, is surrounded by wetlands, and has the Rocky River on the border. A large boulder on the green proved difficult to move during construction, so they left it there as an obstacle for shots on hole 3.

Rocky River Golf Club has received several accolades, including being named one of Golf Advisor’s “Top Courses in North Carolina” in 2022 and ‘Top 25 Most Improved U.S. Golf Courses’ in 2016. If you’re looking for a challenging and memorable round of golf near Charlotte, Rocky River Golf Club is worth a visit.

Rock Barn Country Club and Spa

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The Jackson Course at Rock Barn Country Club & Spa is a semi-private golf course in Conover, North Carolina, approximately an hour’s drive from Charlotte. Designed by Tom Jackson in 1969, the course is popular for its beautiful scenery and challenging layout. Even better, it’s open all year round.

The Rock Barn Country Club & Spa course has 18 holes with rolling fairways, water hazards, and fairway bunkers, providing a challenging yet enjoyable experience for golfers of all levels. The course offers multiple tee boxes to cater to players of different skill levels. The greens are well-maintained, providing a true roll and a fair test of putting ability.

Note: There’s also the Jones Course at Rock Barn Country Club & Spa. The Jones course is private and was designed and built in 2003 by Robert Trent Jones II.

The Tom Jackson course has regularly received the ‘Best Places to Play’ award from Golf Digest, a testimony to the beauty, facilities, and level of service they offer.

Verdict Ridge Golf & Country Club

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Technically, Verdict Ridge Golf & Country Club is a semi-private course in Denver, North Carolina. However, this is only 30 miles north of Charlotte. This course offers players a quality golfing experience in a residential community. The 18-hole course was opened in 1998, and features forced carries elevation changes and a rich history. It sits on the land that, in the 1800s, was a resort that politicians frequented over the holidays.

Aside from the breathtaking scenery, small statues on the course overlook the green. History has it that the current course owners, Frances and Eddie Knox, brought these golden statues from their home during their move 15 years ago. The best statues are placed above a waterfall overlooking the signature hole.

Speaking of which, the 9th hole is the signature hole. The hole is a short par 4, but Iron is the smartest play. On the other hand, the final hole is the most intimidating. You have a chance at the green with a good shot, but it’s too narrow, and you risk ending up on the bunker or the marsh.

Warrior Golf Club

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Warrior Golf Club is a premier semi-private golf facility on Highway 152 between China Grove and Mooresville, approximately 35 miles northeast of Charlotte. It’s an 18-hole masterpiece by Stan Gentry with rolling terrain, strategically placed bunkers, and water hazards, providing a challenging yet enjoyable experience for golfers of all levels.

Since 1999, this golf club has received numerous accolades, including a high rating for layout, amenities, conditions, customer service, and pricing from Golf Digest. The course has six tees to accommodate every player, ranging from 6609 yards to 4423 yards on the black and red tees.

Skybrook Golf Club

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Skybrook Golf Club is a public golf course in Huntersville, North Carolina, approximately 15 miles north of Charlotte. It was designed by JohnLaFoy and opened its doors to the public in the summer of 2000.

The 18-hole championship golf course sports rolling hills, water hazards, and bunkers, providing a challenging yet enjoyable experience for golfers of all levels. The multiple tee boxes also cater to players of different skill levels. The tees vary in length from 6998 yards on the championship to 5405 yards on the forward.

The facilities at Skybrook Golf Club, including a driving range, putting green, and a pro shop, are top-notch. There are also golf lessons and clinics for those looking to improve their game.

You can enjoy a round of golf on the course for $44 -$67 during the day or $30 if you’re willing to carry your own bag.

Mooresville Golf Course

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Mooresville Golf Club is in Mooresville, North Carolina, approximately 25 miles north of Charlotte. It’s the only links-style golf course in the area and is next to Lake Norman. The links-style guarantees you’ll have to work through the windy condition and perfect your golf club selection skill. The course was built in 1949 by Donald Ross and underwent renovations in 1977, managed by Porter Gibson and in 2016 by Kris Spence.

This 18-hole par-72 course has a large practice facility and impressive amenities. Despite being a challenging course, you’ll have many opportunities to score with 3 par 3s and 3 par 5s at the front. Speaking of the green, it’s covered in Bermuda grass that’s always in shape and rolls true.

Eagle Chase Golf Club

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Eagle Chase Golf Club is in Marshville, North Carolina, approximately 35 miles southeast of Charlotte. It is highly recommended, and the 40-minute drive from the city isn’t a deal breaker. Unfortunately, there aren’t many road signs, so once Google says you’ve arrived, drive for another half a mile to reach your destination.

This 18-hole course was built by Tom Jackson in 1994 and is playable all year round. The clubhouse is somewhat basic but has all the golfing essentials. There’s even a driving range and a putting green to get your groove on before a round.

The track’s layout is impressive with dramatic elevation changes, especially on par 3s before hole 9. Water is an obstacle on seven holes, so you’ll need accuracy. That said, most holes on the course could be signature holes, but the one that stood out was the second hole. Although it’s a beautiful hole, it’s one of the most intimidating as the tee box is elevated, and the landing area is narrow. There’s water on the left and a marsh just before the water.

You’ll love that the course is well priced at $32 on the weekdays and $49 on the weekends.

Carolina Lakes Golf Club

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Carolina Lakes Golf Club is in Indian Land, South Carolina, approximately 20 miles south of Charlotte. The course was designed by Tim Freeland in 2006 and offers 18 holes of championship golf with a challenging yet enjoyable experience for golfers of all levels.

The course features rolling hills, strategically placed bunkers, and water hazards that provide a challenging layout, making for an exciting round of golf. Multiple tee boxes are available to cater to players of different skill levels, ranging from 5065 yards to over 7,000 yards from the back tees. The greens are well-maintained, providing a true roll and a fair test of putting ability.

The 9th hole is the signature hole offering a good shot off the tee, but it’s easy to land in the bunker. You can cut the corner and land close to the green if you’re a long hitter. On the other hand, the 16th hole is intimidating with its 175-yard carry-over bunkers and water.

Deer Brook Golf Club

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Deer Brook Golf Club is in Shelby, North Carolina, approximately 50 miles west of Charlotte. It’s a 72-par 18-hole parkland-style golf course built in 1999 by Rick Robbins and Brian Lussier.

It has four sets of tees gold, white, black, and green (W). The longest tee is 6950 yards with a 139 slope, and the shortest is 5034 yards with a 123 slope. These variations allow the course to accommodate golfers of different levels.

Aside from regular golfing facilities, the course has banquet and meeting facilities, plus a clubhouse. Other sports available in the facility include swimming, billiards, and tennis.

Edgewater Golf Club

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Edgewater Golf Club is in Lancaster, South Carolina, about 30 miles south of Charlotte. Designed by Bruce Brodsky in 2008, the 18-hole course is in a peaceful, secluded setting. The course layout has rolling hills with blankets of beautiful trees.

Aside from its beauty, it’s also challenging with drastic elevation changes, bunkers, and lots of water. With all nature around, it’s common to see turkeys and deer roaming the course.

The most memorable and toughest hole is the seventh, given that it forces you to drive through the center of the fairway and then approach the green on the bank above Fishing Lake Creek bank.

Bottom line

Charlotte boasts many fantastic public golf courses for golfers of all skill levels. From the challenging layouts and scenic views of Skybrook Golf Club and Edgewater Golf Club to the historic and acclaimed Rocky River Golf Club, there’s no shortage of options for golfers looking to tee it up in the area. With excellent facilities and beautiful settings, these public courses are a must-play for any golfer visiting the Charlotte area.

Be sure to check out some of our other popular golf courses from around the United States including:

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