Crescent Golf Club: Solid Layout at a Good Price

By Shane Sharp, Contributor

Editor's note: Crescent Golf Club is the No. 4 Course on our Top 10 Best Values of Charlotte list. Read on for reviews of our No. 3 course, Olde Sycamore, plus reviews of our No. 2 course, Charlotte National, and our No. 1 selection, Stonebridge Golf Club.

SALISBURY, NC - Crescent Golf Club head professional Ross Desmond believes his John LaFoy designed golf course in the cradle of the piedmont has some of the best greens in the Charlotte area.

The naysayers are few and far between.

Even if Desmond's greens did fall back a notch or two, you probably wouldn't hear many complaints. With weekday greens fees in the $30 range and weekend rates peaking at $42, the Crescent Club is easily one of the best courses for the money you can play in the Metrolina region.

"You do anything in your power to attract people in this market," Desmond says. "I don't know if the reason we are priced so low is to get people from Charlotte to travel here. We are priced where we think we should be priced. Not all the outlying areas of the golf course are grown in the way we want them, and we think we charge what is fair for the course we put out."

Crescent Club is a good 40-minute drive from downtown Charlotte, but Desmond says that the course draws a reasonable amount of play from the city. Price, conditions, and service all contribute to golfers being willing to make the trek up Interstate 85, adds Desmond.

"Sure, if we were 20 minutes closer, we could jack our prices way up," he says. "But we want to give people the best value we can."

Crescent Club experienced perhaps its best fall season, and is now moving into the late fall, early winter season with its greens in the best shape since its debut in August of 1998. The club hosted its annual Halloween Two-Man tournament a week ago, and met with rave reviews from first time players and regulars.

Because it is such a new course, Desmond says that there will be no overseeding this season. Superintendent Thomas Billingsley is adamant that the Bermuda be given a chance to grown in and spread so that the course is in peak condition for the spring and summer months.

Crescent's owners realize that some players may shy away from playing a course with dormant fairways and tee boxes in the winter, so they plan on running coupons in local newspapers and at the course's website,

"Players will be able to get around for $25 on the weekdays and $35 on the weekends," Desmond says. "That is a great deal for what you'll get here."

While Charlotte is not recognized nationally as a golf destination, there are over 50 courses within a 45-minute drive of downtown. Golfers can play the majority of the region's daily fee courses for under $50 on the weekends, and $40 on the weekdays.

"I think with the economy and the way the golf market has gone that it has driven the price down to make it affordable here," Desmond says. "There are so many good golf courses here. Whether or not they are valued at the right price I don't know."

Part of the value added at the Crescent Club is the number of memorable holes golfers get for the price of admission.

The par 3 eighth hole, is a gorgeous one shotter that plays over water to a wide, shallow green. The par 5 sixth requires the most demanding, accurate drive on the course, but is reachable in two for long hitters. The approach is guarded by water and bunkering, ensuring that low handicappers get their money's worth.

On the back nine, players will have a hard time forgetting the par 4 12th hole, with its behemoth Live Oak tree stuck in the middle of the fairway, or the par 4 16th hole, which traverses the side of a hill to an elevated green.

"There are certain holes you remember out here, that is the great thing about this course," Desmond says. "There is the oak tree on 12, the 16th hole, and I think we have a strong finishing hole."

As for Desmond's favorite hole, it's the 340-yard par 4 11th. He says he love the options that the short par 4 presents off the tee and into the green.

"There are no homes and a couple fairway bunkers and it just has a lot of character to it," he says. "You can hit anything you want on both shots."

Course Information

Crescent Golf Club
220 Laurel Valley Way
Salisbury, NC 28144

Course/Slope Rating:
Blue 73.1/130
White 70.6/127
Gold 68.1/117
Red 65.4/112

Shane SharpShane Sharp, Contributor

Shane Sharp is vice president of Buffalo Communications, a golf and lifestyle media agency. He was a writer, senior writer and managing editor of from 1997 to 2003.

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