What’s better than a Mecklenburg County park on a beautiful day? A Mecklenburg County golf course!

I love the game of golf. I’m not very good at it yet, but I enjoy it anyway. I have my strengths and weaknesses, but my skills are gradually improving thanks to Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation golf courses. Regardless of your skill level, these facilities are perfect for training or playing.

I’ve been playing for three years now. At the age of 36, I guess I’m kind of a late bloomer. The first time I swung a driver was on the driving range at the County’s Dr. Charles L. Sifford Golf Course (FYI, this location has one of the best practice areas).

For most of my life, golf seemed so boring. Once I considered learning it, I had still been procrastinating and telling all my friends, “Yeah, sure I’ll learn how to play one day. Then, we can schedule a round.” Fifteen years later, I FINALLY made the first step toward learning. I went to the front desk at the Sifford Course, purchased a small bucket of range balls and the staff even let me borrow a practice driver. I told them I was an amateur, so they gave me a few pointers on technique (these guys really know their stuff).

Getting Teed Off

Full of ambition and some crash course fundamentals, I teed up my first ball and swung just like they taught me. I missed! The only sound I heard was the club head whistling through the air, but I was too excited to be embarrassed. I teed up another one. This time I made contact, but I sliced it (for right-handed golfers, this means the ball curved from left to right in midair). But on my third shot — you guessed it. I missed again! This pattern continued through half my bucket of balls. But I was determined.

Man putting at public golf course

After several misses, slices, hooks (the opposite of a slice), I finally hit that perfect lucky shot! OMG! You should’ve seen it! My ball sailed through the air probably 300 yards. Or was it 250? Ok, maybe 220. Whatever. The numbers don’t really matter. The point is I kept coming back week after week, month after month to work on hitting those straight shots consistently. Then, I started playing with my friends over at the Harry Jones Course, Sunset Hills and the Charles Myers Course. It’s so convenient to have a driving range/course nearby that I can get to right after work. I even found out that the Cadillac Street Driving Range in Pineville is close to my house! Oh, how excited my wife was when I discovered that. (Not really.)

The Golfing is Great and the Price is Right

Did I mention that golf can be addictive? Especially when it’s affordable. I may or may not have my golf gear in the car right now. Don’t judge me. Who needs a fancy country club membership when you can play at one of the County’s six courses? The rates are low and the landscaping is beautiful. I’ll bet anything that you’ll be surprised at how well-groomed our courses are kept year-round. Find a County course or driving range near you. If you like to play regularly, you can also purchase a membership package which is significantly cheaper per round.

Man golfing from sand trap

Want to introduce your kids to the game of golf? Park and Rec partners with The First Tee of Charlotte to provide golf programs to the youth in our communities. To those of you who are always looking for an excuse to play (addicts), Park and Rec also hosts the Youth Sports Scholarship Fund Golf Tournament.

Golf is no longer boring. These days I find myself watching it on TV, and checking the weather forecast more frequently to schedule my next round or my next practice. Soon I hope to break 100 — but that’s another story.