Thursday, March 31, 2011

Rees Jones' New Carmel South Course Is Big Time

   After an 18-month wait, the redesigned South Course at Carmel Country Club opens today, giving the Charlotte golf community another outstanding layout.

   The membership was given a hole-by-hole guide to the changes Wednesday night by designer Rees Jones, who took the best of what existed on the original Ellis Maples design, tweaked what was there and added a handful of new holes. The result is a layout capable of hosting a major event.

   The first and 18th holes are new as are the fifth and sixth holes, carved out of what was once the edge of a forest. The sixth hole, a muscular and intimidating par-4 with water along the right side, will have everyone talking.

   Jones, who had done some relatively minor modifications to the course over the years, designed flexibility into the new layout. It can play a comfortable 6,200 yards and it can stretch to 7,500 yards for any new-age bombers who want to show off their length.

   Most of the greens have openings in the front to allow players to use the ground, aided by sand-plating beneath the approach areas to help keep the turf firm. A number of trees have been removed, giving the layout a more open, airy feel and its watery four-hole finish is sure to keep the outcome of friendly games in doubt.

   It's the finishing touch to a massive project to upgrade the club that has included clubhouse improvements and the creation of a small waterpark. An impressive club just got better.


Anonymous said...

This course always had WAY too many trees on it. Where does this fall in the echelon of Charlotte golf courses now? Considering this course wasn't in the top 10 prior, I would assume it's about the fifth best now?