Location: Concord, N.C.
Course architect: Dan Maples
Tee — Yardage | Rating / Slope:
Gold — 6,970 | 73.5 / 137
Green — 6,450 | 70.9 / 130
White — 6,028 | 69.0 / 125
Burgundy — 4,754 | 68.4 / 119
Saturday morning green fee: $$ [$50-$99]
Caddie Service: No
Walker friendly: Yes
Greens: Mini Verde Bermudagrass
Starter: Owned by the City of Concord, Rocky River Golf Club is located in the shadow of Charlotte Motor Speedway, which will host the Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day weekend. And, ZMax Dragway is virtually next door to Rocky River. There are days when NASCAR teams are practicing at CMS that you can hear the roar of stock car engines from anywhere on the golf course.
Play because ...: Rocky River was designed by Dan Maples, son of the great N.C. designer Ellis Maples. The younger Maples has a number of highly-regarded courses in the Myrtle Beach area. At Rocky River, Maples fit the holes into a rolling, heavily wooded terrain that resulted in a layout that is natural and not contrived. At the par-5 third hole, a huge boulder that couldn’t be moved during construction, sits in the middle of the fairway. You won’t find that anywhere else.
Takeaway: Rocky River is the only municipally-owned course to be ranked in North Carolina’s Top 100 courses, produced by Business North Carolina magazine. And it is managed by the nearby Embassy Suites, Concord Golf Resort and Spa, which offers stay-and-play packages for any time of the year.
RATINGS [1 to 10 scale, 10 being the highest]
Food | Beverage: 8.5
Pro shop: 9.0
Pace of play: 8.5
THE COURSE | Scorecard
Best par 3: No. 15 [170 | 140 | 128 | 68 yards]
One of only three par-3s at Rocky River, the 15th is the most dangerous. It is bordered with a big pond on the left and two bunkers on the right, which gets your attention immediately. It’s not a long hole but the tee shot better be precise. Birdies are available for the brave, but most players are happy to walk away with par on this short hole.
Best par 4: No. 2 [437 | 416 | 351 | 310 yards]
You get the toughest par-4 on the course right out of the gate. A big dogleg left, the second is guarded by two big bunkers on the left in the crook of the dogleg. And a small pond sits to the left of the bunkers, which can catch tee shots that try to cut the corner. The green sits downhill from the top of the fairway and there’s a cross-bunker just short of the green that can catch shots that come from the fairway bunkers.
Best par 5: No. 12 [548 | 534 | 512 | 405 yards]
It’s not the longest par-5 at Rocky River but it takes the most precision. Two fairway bunkers on the right can be a magnet off the tee and if you can’t get home in two, bunkers left and right can catch wayward layup shots. If you do hit a big tee shot and try to reach the green in two, a bunker about 30 yards short and left of the green comes into play.