Charlotte Country Club Course Preview May 5, 2010 By David Shefter

A view of the picturesque 11th hole at Charlotte Country Club, site of the 2010 U.S. Women's Amateur Championship. (Fred Vuich/USGA)

Charlotte (N.C.) Country Club
Yardage: 6,559 yards (stroke play); 6,574 yards (match play)
Par: 37-35—72 
2009 champion: Jennifer Song
Opened: 1910
Designer: Donald Ross (restoration by Ron Prichard)

USGA championships: This will be the third USGA championship at the club, following the 1972 U.S. Amateur won by Marvin Vinny Giles III and the 2000 USGA Senior Amateur won by Bill Shean.

Club notes: The club is using the 110th U.S. Women’s Amateur as a way of celebrating its centennial. It also is the first major competition being held on the course since Philadelphia-based Ron Prichard’s restoration that brought the layout up to the standards to challenge today’s modern equipment. In 2009, Golf Digest magazine named Charlotte C.C. as its Best New Renovated Course.

Brief history: Charlotte C.C. originally began as The Mecklenburg Club just west of the city, but the activities were limited to card games, picnics, boating and fishing. In February of 1910, three years after a failed attempt by three men who later became club members to obtain a charter for corporation with Charlotte C.C. as its name, the charter for The Mecklenburg Club was filed to avoid any confusion with any earlier club. Three-time Carolina Amateur champion Fred Laxton designed the original nine-hole course in 1910 that featured sand greens. Seven years later, the charter was amended to change the name to Charlotte C.C. 

The Donald: In 1915, the members decided they wanted to expand the golf course and brought in Donald Ross to design the layout. He added grass greens 10 years later and furthered tinkered with the layout in 1942 and ’47.

Added renovations: Members decided to construct a new clubhouse in 1923 and eight years later, more than 1,000 members attended the gala to celebrate the new clubhouse. Major remodeling and renovations were done to the clubhouse in 1989. Further renovations were recently made to the clubhouse, which reopened on Thanksgiving 2009. Robert Trent Jones Sr. did minor remodeling to the golf course in 1962, but the course remains a distinctly Ross layout.

Interesting discovery: In 2006, aerial photos of the course in 1938 were found and revealed that Robert Trent Jones’ revisions had altered Ross’ original layout. So the club brought in Ron Prichard, an architect known for his restoration of Ross designs, to renovate the layout and bring back the Ross look, while keeping the course up to par with the modern game.

Brand new hole: Prichard didn’t like what Jones had done to the par-3 17th hole, so he constructed an entirely new par 3 from thick woods to the right of the current hole. The new green is the biggest on the course with humps and bumps..