Rocky River Golf Club in Concord, NC
Concord, NC 28027
(18 miles, 24 minutes from Charlotte)
Date: Tuesday, April 14th, 2020
Rocky River is one of the most popular golf courses in Charlotte, and for good reason. Aside from being one of the closest courses to the city, you’ll always find it in perfect condition and a great layout. The staff is always friendly, and it all starts with Ryan Brickley, who is the PGA Director of Golf and GM of the course.
It was our first time playing Rocky River this year, and as soon as we started warming up on the putting green, we knew the course was going to be in good shape. There is a practice green, driving range and a chipping area to practice or take lessons.
The greens were the fastest that we have seen at this course. It was in one of the best shapes from any course we have seen so far this year. It’s just a fun course overall and always an enjoyable round. It’s one of those courses you can just play and never get tired of. It could be a scoreable round if you play it smart, but also has a fair amount of hazards and trouble. There are only three par 5s and three par 3s, so make sure to take advantage when you can.
Side note: We got paired up with Jason Erick, who is the Assistant Golf Pro at Ballantyne Country Club. He shared some tips and drills to work on and was very helpful!
#3 Par 5, 509yds, Handicap: 5 – After a hard 2nd hole, you’ll approach the 3rd tee and see a massive boulder in the middle of the fairway. Long hitters can carry it, but the play is left of that. If you find your way behind the boulder, it’ll force a layup and brings bogey into play. With a good tee shot, you can get there in 2 with a long iron. Club selection on the approach is key as a few feet long of the green, you’ll be forced to take a drop. The miss is short and right, and still have a good opportunity to get up and down for birdie. This is the only Par 5 on the front 9 and can put you in position for a good front 9.
#12 Par 5, 534yds, Handicap: 2 – This long par 5 is a tough hole tee to green. Starting with an intimidating tee shot, there is out of bounds both left and right, with 2 strategically placed bunkers on the right. It is better to stay left on this hole, as everything slopes slightly right and will have more room for error. If you miss right, you can bounce right into the woods. This most likely will be a 3 shot hole. On the approach, you want to stay left as well as the woods come out to the right. Lay up to a favorable distance, and you will have a nice approach in to a big undulated green. A par is a good score here.
#18 Par 5, 501yds, Handicap: 4 – This tee shot is one of the more intimating tee shots, especially if you’re brave enough to play from the tips (plus you’ll be tired from the hike up there). Regardless which tees you play from, it’s a very narrow fairway. A good drive is aimed toward the tree on the right and it should put you in a good spot. If you miss left, you’ll end up having to punch out or take a drop. Not what you want to do to finish up the round. You’ll have a blind second shot, which makes laying up the smarter option. Going for green in 2 brings water in play long right, which is where the layout will naturally have you lined up. Get on in 3, 2 putt for par and head to the bar!
- Hole #5 Par 3 156yds – Aim to the middle of the green. A miss in any direction will be OB and looking at a double. You may think there is room on the left, but it’s extremely deceiving. This hole could kill your round (it has for us many times). Par is a GREAT score here.
- Hole #14 Par 4 305yds – As tempting as it is, just do not go for green. Hit it 200 yds in the fairway and you should end up with at least a par.
- You can get away with a long iron or 3 wood on a lot of the Par 4s. Driver could bring in trouble at that in between distance that nobody likes. Check out our blog post on Course Management for more info on this!