Routed through the rolling hills of Carolina tall pines, Olde Sycamore Golf Plantation is one of the best golf courses open to the public in the Charlotte area. The course, which opened in 1997 and was honored by various publications, was designed by Tom Jackson, who is responsible for many great layouts in the Carolinas. The course measures 6,965 yards from the tips, and has seven sets of tees, starting at 4,724 yards, catering to every level of player. The generous fairways are hybrid Bermuda, leading up to beautiful, undulated bentgrass greens. The course also has strategic bunkers, which are bordered by zoysia grass and do a great job of framing the holes as well as challenging the golfers. This semi-private club, which offers memberships, is rated four out of five stars on GolfPass. Olde Sycamore has a nice collection of par 5s, including the 12th, which is 600 yards from the tips. But it's the par-4 ninth that's the no. 1 handicap hole. At 442 yards, it's long and difficult, with a pond in front of the green that must be carried on the approach shot. Trees, however, are probably the course's biggest defense, with thick groves of pines lining most holes. The 13th is a great example. Playing just under 400 yards, it's a sharp dogleg left, which means positioning off the tee is critical. In addition to the golf course, Old Sycamore Golf Plantation also offers excellent practice facilities, which include a full range, practice bunker, chipping greens and practice putting greens. Inside the clubhouse is a fully-stocked golf shop and restaurant and bar, which offers appetizers, sandwiches, burgers, pizza and a wide variety of beers that include local craft brews.