Top 10 country clubs in Charlotte, ranked — including pricing data

  • Full membership initiation fee: $85,000
  • Full membership dues: $940 per month (with $300 per quarter minimum)
  • Junior membership (under 40): Pay half price until age 40

“Charlotte County Club is the oldest most respected club in Charlotte. Very difficult to get in to.”

“Old Charlotte.”

“Long waiting list right now… Better golf course than Quail in my opinion, even though Quail gets the credit because it hosts the Wells Fargo.”

“Well regarded Donald Ross course, high caliber membership, not overcrowded.”

“The golf course is awesome and the clubhouse and amenities are top notch. You pay for it and you need to be in the know on getting in.”

“Junior membership is for under 35 and they pay 75% of monthly dues.”

“Best combination of great golf course and family oriented culture.”

“Very prestigious, exclusive, only about 300 members”

“Quail Hollow also very difficult to get into unless you know Johnny Harris. This club caters more towards men and golf — not geared towards families as much as some of the others.”

“Some of the country clubs are a bit stuffy and pretentious. Ironically, the nicest (Quail Hollow) isn’t that way. I think it is because the members have so much money, they don’t need to pretend.”

“Quail is great because it has a small membership, and members don’t have issues with tee times.”

par 5 quail hollow charlotte golf

7th hole at Quail Hollow Club, an easily reachable par 5 with a good drive

  • Full membership initiation fee: $80,000
  • Full membership dues: $600 to $800 per month
  • Social membership initiation fee: $50,000 to $55,000
  • Social membership dues: $400 to $500 per month

“Currently has a 2+ yr waiting list to join.”

“With the new renovation complete, MPCC is the best club for people that live in Charlotte.”

“Best food, best location, very good golf, upgraded pool and workout facilities, family oriented, diversity (as much as a country club can be), and great leadership/management.”

  • Full membership initiation fee: $80,000
  • Full membership dues: $680 per month
  • Social membership initiation: $50,000
  • Social membership dues: $450

“Carmel is known for its kid-friendly activities, fun adult parties, and two golf courses. It is definitely not an uptight place for social and recreation.”

“Probably the most diverse of the four big clubs here.”

“Charlotte and Myers Park have the waspy, ‘old money’, exclusive reputation (and the membership to prove it), but Carmel has two golf courses, an amazing family pool, and they have so many events that cater to all stages of life.”

“Carmel is the best all around for the value. Over $30M in renovations over the last 10 years without a single financial assessment to the members, making our facilities second to none.”

“Only one of the top tier clubs in Charlotte to have 36 holes.”

“We joined Carmel because we wanted it all — location, gorgeous and playable golf courses, a great pool, tennis facilities to die for and junior programming. Carmel is forward thinking. A pizza truck at a Country Club? Yep. We have enjoyed two amazing outdoor concerts with thousands in attendance. Carmel members are a mix of old Charlotte and cool transplants who recognize Club use can be enjoyable for everyone (family or not).”

“Top 4 are Charlotte, Quail, Myers Park and Carmel. Really just depends on what you’re looking for in a club. We live walking distance from Myers Park Country Club but chose Carmel because of the facilities, our friends are there, and Carmel’s family friendly atmosphere.”

carmel country club pool in charlotte

  • Full membership initiation fee: $30,000
  • Full membership dues: $407 per month

“If you are a golfer and live in near Uptown, it will be hard to beat Carolina Golf Club.”

“Carolina Golf Club has a 2+ year waiting list. The pool is old, but will be renovated.”

“Carolina Golf Club has the best group of golfers to play with, and that would be supported by most private club members in Charlotte. Many graduate from Carolina and go to other clubs, but keep memberships at Carolina, or lament the lack of good groups to play with at their new club.”

“Fantastic golf course. Not Stuffy. Great, down to earth membership. Best players in the city.”

“Hands down best for golfers that don’t want to pay for the extra stuff. Awesome course, great practice facility and easily the best golfers… It’s a fraction of CCC or MPCC. It’s also not stuffy. The downside is that the pool while solid, isn’t like the others. And no fitness. It’s a ‘golf’ club for sure.”

  • Full membership initiation fee: $25,000
  • Full membership dues: $600 per month

The golf course (par 72 with five par five holes) recently underwent a $3.2 million renovation and reopened in 2018.

  • Full membership initiation fee: $23,000
  • Full membership dues: $625 per month

“Ballantyne Country Club allows outside members (don’t have to live there) and has a young executive golf member pricing. It is also revamping dining to more al la carte and modern instead of the stuffy dining room no one really wants anymore.”

The Peninsula Club does equity memberships are the levels include: full, sport, tennis and social (with different access depending on the membership level).

  • Full golf membership: $65,000
  • Full golf monthly dues: $995
  • Social membership: $25,000
  • Social membership monthly dues: $455
  • Corporate membership: $65,000 (minimum of three designees)
  • National membership: $16,000
  • National membership monthly dues: $250

Jack Nicklaus golf course and the only country club in Charlotte that does not have tee times.

  • Membership initiation fee: $5,000
  • Full membership dues: $650 per month

“ClubCorp just put $7 million into Piper Glen so our golf course is all new and the clubhouse, pool and practice facility has all been renovated. These were all just completed mid to late 2018.”

“The lowest barrier of entry to join a true Charlotte country club has made it easy to attract a full membership. The membership is half made up of families under 40 years old (usually that would be 15%-20%). The clubhouse, restaurant and locker rooms were renovated in 2017. The entire golf course was renovated in 2018 and is in fantastic shape and is one of the best layouts in Charlotte. The club is owned by ClubCorp which gives members 200+ clubs around the world that can be played for $20-$30 and the TPC affiliation gives access to all those clubs for a major discount as well.”

Honorable mentions

Here’s a list of additional country clubs in Charlotte to consider, based on your location, tastes and budget.

  • Raintree Country Club: Two 18-hole golf courses, nine tennis courts, pool, fitness center and recently renovated clubhouse. Full membership initiation (waived for residents) is currently $6,000 non-refundable or $15,000 refundable. Dues are $443 per month with a quarterly dining minimum of $127. Young executive and social athletic memberships are also available with dues ranging from $265 to $347.
  • Cedarwood Country Club: Full membership initiation fee is $7,500 and $495 per month. The young professional (under 40) membership initiation fee is $3,000 and $340 per month. “Cedarwood great club if your #1 reason to join is golf. They have fun family and social activities w/ surprisingly good food but the club is for golf first. Traditional, well-manicured (and walkable) golf course that is affordable and in easy to get to location.”
  • Firethorne Country Club: $7,500 initiation, $613 per month dues for Full Golf ONE memberships. View all rates.
  • Pine Island Country Club: Full membership is $3,000 initiation, $369 per month dues. View all rates.
  • The Palisades Country Club: Initiation Fee is $6,000 and monthly dues are $450 for over 40 years old and $275 for under 40.
  • NorthStone Country Club: Flat annual fee ranging from $5,250 to $1,400 based on membership tier.
  • Cowan’s Ford Country Club: $4,000 initiation, $300 per month dues.
  • Gaston Country Club: $3,000 initiation and $300 per month dues.
  • Pine Lake Country Club: $2,500 initiation and $400 per month dues. “It seems like every new member there is under 40.”
  • River Run Country Club: “Tough course that is meticulously manicured and extremely challenging. The greens roll fast and true. It was a tour site.”
  • Skybrook Golf Club: $500 (waived with 12 month commitment). Dues start at $125 per month.
  • Rock Hill Country Club: Just over 375 members.
  • River Hills Country Club: Full membership is $7,000 intiation and dues are $469/mo.

[Related Agenda golf guide: 10 best public golf courses around Charlotte, ranked]

Other noteworthy country club comments from Agenda readers

“Myers Park has a good social scene but too crowded and not a great golf course. Quail has too few members and a lame social scene. Charlotte Country Club is a happy medium and a great family club.”

“For the young professionals in Charlotte that are from up north – joining a country club in Charlotte is way more affordable than you probably think.”

“Outside of the clubs that have initiation fees north of $20k and waiting lists, there are some really, really good deals being offered by management/membership committees that are ‘unpublished deals.’ Lots of dues-only opportunities with a one year commitment out there for clubs. The wait list is the best barometer of club health but it can be a hard number to pin down.”

“Country clubs are definitely a luxury, but in my experience, they’ve become less stuffy and more welcoming over the last decade. The top clubs in Charlotte are generally acknowledged to be Quail Hollow, Charlotte, Carmel and MPCC. All have a different focus. There’s an old saw that ‘Charlotte Country Club members run Charlotte (old money), MPCC members want to run Charlotte, and Carmel members want to enjoy Charlotte.’ I’d say that still has somewhat a ring of truth to it, with Quail Hollow having a membership of ‘movers and shakers’ to rival Charlotte Country Club.”

“Not all clubs are pretentious and just because you are a member at a club does not mean you are rich and snobby. It seems like so many get caught up in that idea.”

“There are a**holes everywhere, including at country clubs, but there are also fun, young families too. I don’t tell anyone I work with that I’m a member somewhere because I know I would be judged, which is an odd feeling.”

“Top 4 are all great for their own reasons. Carmel (very social, family friendly, great facilities). Myers Park and Charlotte (old money, more pretentious if you like that sort of thing). Quail (just to say you’re a member there means you’re loaded and/or know somebody).”

“You have to join a club now in Charlotte, especially if you live on the south side of town because the good public courses are gone. Ballantyne Resort was really the last one and they are tearing it down.”

“Quail Hollow – all business; Charlotte Country Club – old money Charlotte; Myers Park Country Club – best food; Carmel Country Club – big everything; Carolina Golf Club – great golf but no willingness to invest in the clubhouse side of things.”

“There are a surprising amount of new, young families who are members. Members are getting younger and younger.”

“I think that someone hears country club – and assume that you are a snob, or that the scene at these clubs is really stuffy. I have been to those places, but I don’t believe that is the scene in Charlotte, most people are there for the recreation for themselves and family. Obviously not 100% the case, but that is the vibe that I think is more reality. I also believe that as Charlotte has become more diverse that has become more of the scene on the country club front; 30 years ago if you weren’t born here you couldn’t get it in the established clubs unless you were extremely connected, not the case anymore.”

“No cargo shorts allowed.”

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