Charlotte is a good scene for the bargain golfer
- By Brandon Tucker
- May 2, 2011 2:33 PM ET
The Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club has become a favorite PGA Tour stop for the world's best.
Charlotte, on the other hand, doesn't boast that same kind of cache for the golf traveler compared to regions like the Carolina Sandhills 90 miles to the east. Around the city, there are some premier private golf courses like Quail Hollow and TPC Piper Glen.
The good news for public golfers, however, is that bargain hunters can play on the cheap. It's all too easy to book a tee time on an area course like Carolina Crossing, Renaissance Park, Deer Brook Golf Club or Edgewater Golf Club for less than $50 at GolfNow.com, even on the weekends.
A step above these plays, the top, pro-worthy venue you can play in the area is Rock Barn Golf & Spa's Robert Trent Jones Jr. Course. Opened in 2004, it's now host to the greater Hickory Classic on the Champions Tour, which will be staged in June. Also at Rock Barn is the original, Tom Jackson Course, making this the best place to play 36.
Another top area play for low-handicappers is Highland Creek Golf Club, which features bentgrass greens, 7,000-plus yards, and water on 13 holes.
You may not be able to get on a private Charlotte-area club, but semi-private Olde Sycamore Golf Plantation, another Jackson design opened in 1997, has a private-worthy setting amongst old hardwood trees, and is a good bet for some of the area's better public-access conditions and facilities.
Also, one new way to see some of the area's top private courses is through the McConnell Golf Trail. It's a cooperative of seven private courses in the Carolinas that offer limited public play, including the Tom Fazio-designed Old North State Club just east of Charlotte.
Historic golf may be to the east in Pinehurst, and the best courses may require a membership, but the middle ground is well served in Charlotte.
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