Red Bridge Golf Club
(1) The Pace: We played in 5 hours on a busy Saturday morning.
(2) Mini Verde Greens: Best public course greens I’ve played in the Charlotte area. Decent speed and firmness, good condition. Always call before you play to check the courses maintenance schedule. Red Bridge aerated the week of July 13th.
(3) Take a Cart: It is not walker friendly. The distance between four and five is a serious hike, maybe longest I’ve ever seen.
(4) Food & Drink: This is not the place for a meal and beers after the round. They currently operate out of a temporary facility (trailer) and do not have a grill or restaurant yet. Hot dogs, beers, and snacks are available. There is a little shopping center inside the Villages at Red Bridge if you don’t want to make the drive home hungry. I stopped at Andy’s Burgers, it isn’t Bang Bang or Bad Daddy’s but it’s serviceable.
- Architect: David Postlethwait
- Back Tee: 6,735 yards
- Ladies Tee: 4,913 yards
- Minutes from Uptown: 38 (East on NC 24/27 until you see the entrance on the left – just like you are going Pinehurst.)
- Rack Rate: $39.00; +$5.00 Friday; +$14.00 weekend & holiday
- Reservations: (704) 781-5231
Tour of a few holes
The First – #1 – 443 yard Par 4
Hope you warmed up because the opener plays as the longest Par 4 on the course. Out of bounds runs down the right with dense brush and trees on the left, a common theme at Red Bridge. Trouble is everywhere and very few holes offer a room for a bail out. Bring plenty of balls!
Rocky River Vineyards sits to the right of the first green. On a warm day you may want to try one of their wine slushies before you head to # 2.
The vineyard does not offer formal tours, however sit down tastings ($8.00 + tax) are available on a first come, first serve basis and the staff will answer any questions you have about their process. There is also a small gift shop featuring local artists and crafters, as well as wine related merchandise. (Hours 10am-6pm Tuesday-Saturday).
The Last – #18 – 639 yard Par 5
You won’t find many Par 5’s around Charlotte stretching over 600 yards and the finishing hole requires three really solid shots if you want a look at birdie. Fortunately the fairway is fairly wide so let it loose off the tee and then just make sure you avoid the large bunker on the left protecting the lay up area.
One You’ll Enjoy – #10 – 370 yard Par 4
The backside begins with one of the best holes on the course. You can be aggressive off the tee and hammer it down the right leaving a short iron approach, or take the conservative route left, using an iron or fairway wood. Large mounds lay down the entire left side, funneling shots back down into the fairway, so may want use the terrain. The narrow green sitting off to the right from the tee will make your eyes drift that way, and very easy to hit in the creek like I did…BOGEY.
More images of the course
#2 – 211 yard Par 3
#13 – 525 yard Par 5
#17 – 304 yard Par 4
Tip: Shot you’ll need and how to hit it
As mentioned, you’ll find trouble down both sides of almost every hole and driving it straight is going to make your day at Red Bridge a lot more enjoyable. Whenever I see a tee shot that makes me a little uncomfortable there are a few things I’ve found help the ball find the fairway more consistently.
- Choke down on the grip, making the club shorter.
- Tee the ball lower than normal.
- Everyone has a favorite hole, maybe one you always play well or at least can remember a time you hit a really good drive. I’ll call on one of those moments to release any tension or doubt before playing a tough hole.
- Stand behind the ball and actually visualize hitting the tee shot on your favorite hole, completely forgetting about the hole in front of you. The more detailed you are the better the result will be. I picture the hole or time I hit a really good one, see myself walking up to it, hitting it, feel the ball hitting the center of the face, see the flight, and do my best to remember exactly what it felt like. You would be amazed at how much it can free you up when you are thinking about the trouble in front of you.
- Watch Jason Day one weekend and you’ll see him actually close his eyes before every shot. I imagine he’s doing something very similar. Your buddies will probably give you a lot of grief for it for it but when you roast it by them you’ll be the one laughing. With a little practice you’ll be able to do it fairly quickly.
Jack Nicklaus said he never hit a shot until he had already played it in his mind…he was pretty good.
If you don’t mind a little drive, I think Red Bridge Golf Club is a place you will want to visit this summer.