The Golf Club at Ballantyne

The Golf Club at Ballantyne – Played 2015

  • Rankings: None of the four lists
  • Location: 10000 Ballantyne Commons, Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Year: 1997
  • Architect: Land Design & Shape Makers
  • Course Access: Resort
  • Walking Rules: Carts Available

Score Card Information:

  • Blue: 6,740 yards, Par 71, 71.7 Rating/132 Slope
  • White: 6,125 yards, Par 71, 69.1 Rating/128 Slope (Men), 75.3 Rating/140 Slope (Women)
  • Green: 5,400 yards, Par 71, 66.1 Rating/121 Slope (Men), 71.2 Rating/130 Slope (Women)
  • Red: 4,760 yards, Par 71, 62.8 Rating/110 Slope (Men), 66.9 Rating/117 Slope (Women)

In case you missed it, the Clemson Tigers had quite the season on the football field in 2015!  The boys came up just short against Alabama and I am not over it yet.  They won the ACC Championship in Charlotte on the first weekend of December.  The wife and I took advantage of the proximity and took Friday off of work.  That allowed us to play The Golf Club at Ballantyne with her brother.  It turned out to be a great day weather-wise and a great warm-up for the Clemson win the next day.

I couldn’t find a ton of information about the course from their website.  I wish more courses would give detailed histories that are easy to find.  It would really make it easier on me!  I did find that the course is Audubon certified.  Also, the course is home to the Dana Rader Golf School.  Rader is annually listed as one of if not the best teacher n North Carolina.

BALLOn to the course tour.  All distances are from the white tees.

Hole 1 – 400 yards – Par 4

The opening tee shot requires you to hit one solidly.  On this chilly day I knew I would be hitting a longer second shot.  The left edge of the distant building is a good line.

GCB 1-1The second shot is straightaway to a green guarded by a bunker front and right.

GCB 1-2The green is also surrounded by mounds as you can see below.  It is quite flat.

GCB 1-3Hole 2 – 415 yards – Par 4

The second hole was playing shorter than the listed yardage.  The hole bends to the right as you can see.  A fade plays well here.  If you don’t have that shot it’s okay since there is more than enough room in the fairway for other shot shapes.

GCB 2-1I ended up in the left rough and had the angle you see below.  Everything on the green funnels to the middle.

GCB 2-2Here is a closer view of the putting surface.

GCB 2-3Hole 3 – 375 yards – Par 4

You have options on this tee.  You can bomb one for a shorter second shot or dial it back for safety.  The fairway narrows the farther you go.  A slight draw plays best.  Beware the hill with trees on the right as your ball may get stuck there.  It is no picnic from there.

GCB 3-1There is plenty of sand to traverse on the second shot.  A miss to the left makes for a difficult chip.

GCB 3-2This is a smallish green so you must be accurate.  It is wavy in its contouring.

GCB 3-3Hole 4 – 160 yards – Par 3

The first short hole is a pretty one.  I like the look of green grass against the dormant brown grass.  Deep bunkers front the green providing the protection on this shot.  The creek is only in play on poorly struck shots.

GCB 4-1This hole features another small green.  If you manage to hit it you will have a good shot at a birdie.  The slope is subtle, but present.

GCB 4-2Hole 5 – 495 yards – Par 5

This one is reachable, but requires an accurate shot.  The fairway drops off on the left and with trees present it will be difficult to get home from there.  If you can play a power fade here it will set up a good chance to get on in two.

GCB 5-1Here is your view on the second shot if you hit the fairway.

GCB 5-2We had something funny happen here.  My wife was in the front bunker and caught her shot thin.  Well she rocketed the ball over the pond and into the building you see below on one hop.  I am sure the people inside working and outside on their smoke break were quite startled.  We were all cracking up about it for most of the next hole.  Needless to say, she didn’t attempt to retrieve her ball as she was doubled over laughing in the bunker.

GCB 5-3Hole 6 – 405 yards – Par 4

The landing area is semi-blind on this tee shot.  Misses to the right can go down a hill into the previous hole.  A drive up the left side if the preferred play.

GCB 6-1When you crest the hill you catch a glimpse of the green.  The second shot plays downhill over a dip in the land.  There is a big hill of the right side of the green that will filter mishits quite far away from the putting surface.

GCB 6-2I thought this green was pretty small for being a longer hole.  At this time of year I would imagine many players are hitting mid to long irons which makes for a difficult shot.  You can see the hump on the left front of the green.

GCB 6-3Hole 7 – 170 yards – Par 3

The second par three on the front plays downhill and a bit shorter than its yardage.  There is not much room behind the green.  We got waved through on the next tee so I didn’t get any pictures of the eighth.

GCB 7-1Hole 9 – 380 yards – Par 4

The closer on the front plays to another blind landing area.  Overall the hole bends to the right.  There is more room out there than it looks.

GCB 9-1The second shot plays slightly downhill.  The green is guarded by two large bunkers.  Carry distance is crucial.

GCB 9-2The green has rippling slope seen below.  This is a good hole to know where the flag is located so you can avoid having to putt to different levels.

GCB 9-3Hole 10 – 145 yards – Par 3

The back nine starts with a short hole over the water.  There is room to bail out left if you have to, but you will be faced with a tough up and down.

GCB 10-1Here is a look from behind the green.

GCB 10-2Hole 11 – 345 yards – Par 4

This shorter par four provides a legitimate birdie opportunity.  You can go through the fairway so play a draw if you can.

GCB 11-1The approach plays to an undulating green.  You will want to hit the proper tier to have a make-able putt.  The bunker is a difficult shot, but also beware of the bush behind the flag seen here.  It is just off the putting surface.

GCB 11-2See what I mean about that lurking bush.  You can also get a good look at the slope in the green in this photo.

GCB 11-3Hole 12 – 445 yards – Par 5

While the yardage is short, the hole plays entirely uphill.  The way the tee is angled you will want to play a draw.  You will be blocked out if you miss to the right.

GCB 12-1I missed photos of the rest of the hole, but here is the view from behind the green and back down the hole.

GCB 12-3Hole 13 – 155 yards – Par 3

This hole continues from the last hole with the theme of elevation change.  Due to the downhill the shot plays less that the listed yardage.  The two bunkers guard the green closely.

GCB 13-1The green is quite small and has plenty of backside slope as you can see.

GCB 13-2Hole 14 – 505 yards – Par 5

The tee shot here is pinched in by trees and the fairway falling off.  The hole fits a fade, but gives you other options.  The shadows were starting to set in here.

GCB 14-1The approach shot here is a beauty.  It is slightly downhill and above the pond.  The miss must be left.

GCB 14-2Here is a closer look that lets you see the bunkering.  It also demonstrates the proximity of the water in the bottom right.  Misses to the left will be among the grassy hills and provide some challenge.

GCB 14-3Hole 15 – 362 yards – Par 4

This hole didn’t fit my eye as much.  The woods are tight on the right side.  The hill on the left will filter pulled shots back to the fairway.  You don’t need driver here depending on wind and conditions.

GCB 15-1The second shot is a bit up the hill.  The bunker on the right is a deep, nasty little thing.

GCB 15-2The putting surface is seen below.

GCB 15-3Hole 16 – 195 yards – Par 3

We have a longer par three here, but you are helped out by the downslope.  I played this maybe half a club shorter than the yardage.  The bunkers on the left are the main defense other than the length.

GCB 16-1Here is a little closer look at what you face.

GCB 16-2For a long iron shot the green is not overly large.  Accuracy is paramount, but it you have to miss I would say right is better.  The up and down is easier from the rough and the green isn’t running away from you.

GCB 16-3Hole 17 – 445 yards – Par 5

Birdie time!  From our tees this is definitely go time.  The water to the left is apparent, but if you can put a good drive out there you will be in good shape.  I really like the look of this one with my draw.

GCB 17-1I ended up on the right side of the fairway since my shot was straighter than usual.  Even so I had less than 200 yards as the temperature was dropping steadily.  This is a green light special.

GCB 17-2Should you have to lay up, the shot below is what you have.  It is a stock wedge shot without too much challenge.  Avoid the front bunker and you should be looking at a birdie putt.

GCB 17-3Here is a look from where my second shot ended up.  This was a pretty easy pitch and left me with a short birdie putt.

GCB 17-4This angle of the green shows the slope running through the middle.  You should know where the pin position is so you have easier putts.

GCB 17-5Hole 18 – 350 yards – Par 4

The home hole is one of the more picturesque.  The hotel looms over the hole and provided a nice ambiance.  You don’t need driver here and I would argue three wood is the smartest play.  You can take it directly over the right side of the bridge you see in the photo.

GCB 18-1Here is a zoomed-in shot from the tee.

GCB 18-2A long drive will leave you with this view.  You could imagine a tournament ending here with the building and grandstands surrounding the green.  The water on the right is very much in play.

GCB 18-3The view from the back shows the various undulations.  This green is no picnic for putting.  Sorry for the darkness, we were fighting daylight by this point.

GCB 18-4This course was very fun!  It was in great shape even though it was the dormant season.  I have heard it is always in very good condition, which is good to hear.  I imaging they can get the greens very fast.  So far, this is my favorite public course that I have played in the Charlotte area.

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6 thoughts on “The Golf Club at Ballantyne

  1. Jimmy

    Another great review. This course must be beautiful when it greens up. Also, the bunkers seemed well placed and plenty of them. I like that, makes you think and prevents a bash and walk game of golf.

    Cheers
    Jim

    1. Good thoughts Jim! Yes, you needed to think on tee shots. Also, I like to see courses dormant sometimes. I like the contrast and it makes me appreciate the green when we do get it! Thanks for reading!

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