Charlotte, North Carolina is one of my favorite cities on the East Coast. There’s a lot to do, both indoors and out. From food, music, and culture, to fun in the sun, there’s something for everyone.
Every time I find myself in Charlotte, my clubs are in tow. I’ve played a decent amount of golf here, but it’s been a while.
Many of our readers have a lot more experience with golf in Charlotte than I do. That’s why I sought their help to come up with a comprehensive list of the best public courses.
Rocky River Golf Club
Dan Maples designed the layout at Rocky River Golf Club, one of the premier daily fee facilities in the Charlotte area.
Bordered by the Rocky River, there are plenty of wetlands that come into out here. If you start hitting it crooked, you’d better have plenty of balls in your bag.
Once you get to the greens, you’ll have the treat of putting on surfaces that roll fast and true. Even though there’s plenty of undulation, you can get it going if you’re seeing the line.
Great golf at a great price, I have nothing but positive things to say about Rocky River.
Olde Sycamore Golf Plantation
Since 1997 Olde Sycamore has been a favorite for both Charlotte locals and area visitors alike.
The course was designed by the hall-of-fame architect, Tom Jackson.
Bermuda fairways and greens are immaculately kept and are like playing off carpet.
Even though Old Sycamore has a reputation for being quite a test from all the way back, plenty of different tee options are suitable for everyone.
Conveniently located and a great value, Old Sycamore won’t disappoint.
Fort Mill Golf Club
Fort Mill Golf Club sits just over the state line in South Carolina. With that said, it’s less than 20 miles from downtown Charlotte.
This old school layout opened in 1948. Even though improvements have been made over the years, the course retains many of its original features and all its character.
Tree lined fairways, small greens, and numerous dog legs make you think your way around.
You’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time when you play at Fort Mill. A must play if you appreciate classic designs.
Carolina Lakes Golf Club
If you’re a fan of short holes, you need to play Carolina Lakes. This track’s par threes are said to be the toughest in the area.
The other 14 holes are memorable too. Unlike a lot of courses in the Charlotte area, Carolina Lakes has some elevation changes that can make for interesting club selection.
Bent Grass greens make for some excellent putting surfaces as well. Unlike Bermuda greens, you won’t find much grain out here.
When you visit Carolina Lakes, make time for a meal too. The menu is inspired by local fare and the prices are reasonable.
Red Bridge Golf Club
If you’re looking to get away from the concrete jungle and escape for a round in the country, make the trip to Red Bridge Golf Club.
Set on more than 500 acres in the foothills of the Uwharrie Mountains, this course is alive with character.
Frequent elevation changes keep you on your toes and excellent greens round out this experience.
The 650-yard par five 18th hole makes for a memorable finish. If you make par or birdie here, you’ve accomplished something.
A fun round that’s unlike anything else in the area.
Springfield Golf Club
Beginning in 2001, Springfield has continually made a name for itself for golfers in Charlotte.
In 2010, the course underwent a substantial renovation where the greens were updated with MiniVerde grass. Today, they’re a dream to putt on.
The layout is heavily forested and sits on the side of a hill. Plan on having some uneven lies that can make for some interesting shots.
If you just want to work on your game, you’ve come to the right spot. The short game area is huge, and the driving range has enough targets for every club in your bag.
Great golf at a great value.
Paradise Valley Golf Club
You know I’m a sucker for a good executive course. That’s exactly what you’ll find at Paradise Valley.
With 18 holes that all measure less than 100 yards, this is a great spot to come dial in your wedges.
What golfers love most about Paradise Valley is that it doesn’t take long to play and it’s a great value. You can expect to get done in only a couple hours.
Always in surprisingly good shape, and a great spot for the family, it’s hard to beat Paradise Valley.
Harry L. Jones Sr. Golf Course
You’d never know it, but Harry L. Jones Sr. Golf Course sits on the site of an old landfill.
Designed by Michael Hurzdan, this track is considered one of the best munis in Charlotte. While the facilities aren’t anything fancy, they serve their purpose.
What makes this course special is the layout. A unique blend of holes asks you to hit every club in your bag.
For a complete experience at a price that’s more than fair, it’s no wonder golfers keep coming back to Harry L. Jones Sr. Golf Course.
Sunset Hills Golf Course
At Sunset Hills, the belief is that golf should be accessible to everyone. For that reason, this is one of the least expensive rounds you’ll find anywhere.
The “Old Course” features 18 holes with a design that’s minimal. You won’t find many hazards or difficult surprises. Instead, this is golf meant for all players, regardless of ability.
As this course can be a little crowded, it’s best to get a morning tee time if you can.
Charles T. Myers Golf Course
Beautiful views, stunning bent grass greens, and a fun mix of short and long holes make up Charles T. Myers Golf Course.
For a municipal course that gets as much play as it does, it’s remarkable how well manicured this track is.
Whether you’re a beginner or have been playing for years, you’re sure to find Charles T. Myers both fun and challenging.
A course you’ll enjoy if you give it a chance.
It’s been a minute since I’ve been to Charlotte, but my memories are fond to say the least.
After writing this guide and reading all the insightful feedback I received, I’m again reminded just how good the public golf in this fine city is.
I’ll be back again soon.
If you have additional thoughts about golf in Charlotte, we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.