Did you know that some of the best Carolina golf courses are an easy drive from Charlotte's busy Douglas International Airport, one of the southeast U.S.' main commercial hubs?
You're not alone.
"With destinations like Hilton Head, Myrtle Beach, and Pinehurst, the Carolinas seldom look at their metropolitan centers as golf meccas. Once upon a time, this was justifiable," Shane Sharp wrote in a story for GolfCarolina.com. "But my how the times have changed. In Charlotte a recent influx of high end, pay-for-play tracks have put the Queen City on the golfing map to stay."
Many of Charlotte's best golf courses are minutes away from Douglas airport. That's good news for you business travelers laying over: If you have a few hours to kill, don't spend them sucking back Buds at the airport sports bar. Get a little sun and fresh air instead.
Ballantyne Country Club: Located in one of the most rapidly developing areas of affluent south Charlotte, Ballantyne Country Club is just a 20 minute drive from the airport down I-485.
Built in 1996 with the oversight of golf course architect Rees Jones, this club is part of a community that has blossomed in the last five years into a self-sustaining city within the greater Charlotte area. The course measures 7,032 yards from the championship tees with a slope rating of 134.
It is challenging enough to test the scratch golfer but is also accessible to a range of skills levels. Lady and seniors golfers will find it accommodating from the 5,222-yard forward tees.
Eastwood Golf Club: If you're on a short layover, this is a good choice, as it's only a 15 minute drive from the airport. Opened in 1947, this Clayton Hefner-designed track measures 5936 yards from the championship tees. From the forward tees, it comes in at 4,754 yards, making it extremely friendly to women and senior golfers.
Opened in 1993, Charlotte Golf Links has been voted Charlotte's best public course. It is a Scottish links-style track. The routing takes golfers over subtle rolling piedmont and through ponds, streams and heathery rough.
The facility has a grill, banquet and dining area and a well-stocked pro shop with PGA instruction available. There is a lighted driving range and a chipping and putting green.
Renaissance Park Golf Course: If you're in a hurry, this is another good choice. Renaissance Park is only about eight minutes from the airport on Tyvola Road. Dr. Michael Hurdzan designed the track, opened in 1987. It measures a long 7,360 yards from the championship tees and has a slope rating of 126. The course is 5,315 yards from the forward tees.
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