For the traveling golfer, Charlotte isn't necessarily worth that kind of commitment. As you might expect from a city that's grown on bank money from the likes of Bank of America and Wachovia, the best golf courses in Charlotte, like Quail Hollow, are private.
For public-access golf, New Rock Barn Golf & Spa boasts a Robert Trent Jones Jr. course that has received very high marks in the latest issue of reader-rated Zagat's and asks $59-79 for tee times this time of year. It's also host to a Champions Tour event, the Greater Hickory Classic. Highland Creek Golf Club and Olde Sycamore Golf Plantation are two other public and affordable favorites around town.
Charlotte doesn’t boast much in the form of top-end public golf the visitor should experience. But the Carolina Sandhills and historic
golf triangle of Pinehurst, Aberdeen and Southern Pines are just two hours to the east. A good golf trip combining both the action at Quail Hollow and your own trip would be checking out some of Pinehurst Resort's eight courses, nearby Pine Needles and Mid Pines Inn & Golf Club – or if you want modern-designed, showy golf, Mike Strantz' wild Tobacco Road Golf Club.