Golf Article – Verdict Ridge
By Ron Krueger
Frank Free asked me to tell you about some of my favorite courses in the area. The variety of good golf courses around here was a great surprise for me when I move onto Lake Norman. The reason Frank chose me to write this (he is much too nice to say it) is that you might say I have golf attention deficit as I am constantly playing different courses. I get bored with courses no matter how nice they are. I would rather play a not-so-great course than to have the bored feeling of, “Oh, this hole again” that I had when playing on the great courses where I was a member. Thus I am able to write about why I like some of the “cow pastures” that proper people don’t play as well as the many very good courses within a reasonable drive.
My favorite golf course in this area is the semi-private course called Verdict Ridge. (The Trump course at The Point is the only nicer course in my opinion, but it has the disadvantage of being private. Thus you are forced to be nice to a Trump member to get to play there. Or you have to give Mr. Trump several thousand dollars a year to be your friend so you can play on his course. It is not that hard to find a nice Trump member to play golf with but the other problem is that Mr. Trump set the guest green fees to keep the “Riffraff” away.) Back to my favorite golf course, Verdict Ridge is scenic and challenging. Some holes have houses on them but not in an oppressive way. I feel like I am on a fancy resort course when I play there.
Most of the Verdict Ridge holes are well designed and just plain great. But it is no fun to talk about them. I want to talk about the three holes where you have to play conservatively. I have trouble with “conservative” because I am not what you would call “smart”. For example, Hole 16 rewards a really great drive with a ball lost in a marsh that you can’t see from the tee box. A regular good drive, on the other hand, gets you on a downhill lie looking at the same marsh. I can’t hit downhill lies very well because I am not what you would call “good”. I am always tempted to throw two balls in the marsh and just ride on to the next hole.
Hole 18 is similarly blessed with ways to get in trouble. What is different is where I am tempted to throw balls into the wilderness as that starts on the tee box. It is a reasonable golf hole from the whites tee box and I should be playing from the whites as I am not what you would call “good”. But I usually play from the blues (a fitting name) because, as I mentioned before, I am not what you would call “smart”. It is a great par 5 if you can bring yourself to be conservative off the tee – you coward.
There is one other nemesis hole for me but I don’t want to spoil all the fun. I will just let you lose a couple balls on it all by yourself. I might find them as my sub-hobby is ball hawking. That is how I get most of my feeling of success when playing golf.
Verdict Ridge is extremely well kept and they don’t charge as much as they should, but that is our secret. The facilities are first class and the staff is very professional. It is in Lincoln County, but only 10 minutes from the Mecklenburg county line if you are going there from Cornelius. I hope I have said all the right things to where Mr. Knox will give me a free round if someone will please leak this to him (that’s you, Frank). All kidding aside, this is a great course that you will be proud to take anyone to. It is the one I would join if it wasn’t for my golf course attention challenges.
If there are no more installments in this series it is either because my friend Frank Free hated it or because I am having more fun doing something else – like finding your golf balls at Verdict Ridge.