Premier Public Course
Designed by Dan Maples, nationally known for creating some of the Carolina’s top courses, Rocky River Golf Club is the premier public course in the Charlotte metropolitan area and is owned by the City of Concord. Managed by the Embassy Suites-Concord, and was voted #1 public facility in the Charlotte market 2017 and 2018 by the North Carolina Golf Rating Panel.
Rocky River is a beautiful golf course that utilizes many of the existing features of the area to provide a great setting for golf. The routing flows through the existing contours of the land, and is bordered by the Rocky River and surrounding wetlands. An existing boulder that was too large to move during construction provides a memorable tee shot on hole #3. There are also various species of wetland grasses along the edges of the fairways adding a touch of ruggedness and links feel.
Rocky River appeals to all skill levels of golfer from beginners to scratch, with 4 sets of tees including PGA Junior tees on the front 9 providing a setup for young players and beginners. The expected pace of play is 4 hours 30 minutes, with starting times scheduled on 10 minute intervals.
When Rocky River Golf Club made the decision to convert to ultra-dwarf Bermuda greens several years ago, they were doing so by necessity since bent grass greens were not only difficult to maintain but were “unsightly” most of the summer. The conversion project not only improved the Dan Maples golf course, but also drew the attention of the North Carolina Golf Panel. Owned by the City of Concord and managed by Embassy Suites, and operated under the watchful eye of the Director of Golf Ryan Brickley, Rocky River has climbed into the Top 100 golf course ratings at #88 in the state, and continues to be acclaimed by the 135 panelists as the “Best Bang for Your Buck” public course in Charlotte. The credit for the course condition goes to Head Superintendent Scott McArthur, a former Superintendent at Cleveland Country Club before joining Rocky River. Rocky River is classified as a Certified Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. The certification places the course on a list with more than 150,000 habitats across the country. “It allows us to maintain a habitat for animals in our natural areas and keeps us moving in the right direction for sustainability,” Ryan Brickley explains. “There will always be 120 acres on the course where there won’t be any development, so it serves as a sanctuary for wildlife.”
Located in the shadow of Lowes Motor Speedway, the par-72 Rocky River layout measures 6,970 yards from the tips, down to a comfortable 4,754 yards from the front tees. Opening in 1997, Rocky River utilizes many of the existing features of the area, including beautiful rock outcroppings and various species of native wetland grasses.
It’s a challenging golf course that has not been tricked-up for show, but plays well with no sharp doglegs or hidden problems. With the resurfacing of the greens, some severe slopes were reduced providing true rolls on what could be considered large greens. With the size of the greens, golfers still need to concentrate on accurate iron play to avoid being on the wrong side of the green and having long challenging putts. Well-placed bunkers will also test your mental-approach of attacking a short-sided pin, or playing it safe in the middle of the green.
The Rocky River practice facilities was a joint effort between UNCC and Rocky River and features a state-of-the-art teaching studio, and private instruction area that includes a grass practice tee with 30 stations and target greens. Open during normal golf shop operating hours, the practice facilities offers right hand, left hand and ladies rental clubs. Private and group golf lessons are available from the PGA professional staff with rates listed online. Rocky River will be offering clinics that utilize the private teaching facility and are developing video instruction packages.
The PGA teaching staff includes: Ryan Brickley, Floyd Gragg, Bryan Porro and Kennedy Ramsey. For more information on memberships, tee times, lessons, clinics or tournaments contact the Rocky River Pro Shop at 704-455-1200 or log-on at www.rockyrivergolf.com
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