The Club at Longview had an interesting opening ceremony during 2003, when the Reverend Billy Graham performed a dedication on behalf of his nephew, one of the developers behind the project. Those hoping the course features divine mercy may be disappointed; Graham, an avid golfer, once famously stated that “the only time my prayers are never answered is on the golf course.”
More relevant to your round at Longview is Jack Nicklaus, another celebrity attendee at the club opening (as well as the course architect). You too may turn to prayer while challenging the final four holes at Longview, where the Bear shows his teeth.
Nos. 15 and 16, a long par three and medium-length par four, respectively, will require the players to navigate both bunkers and an excess of marshland to secure par. The No. 17 hole, a par five of 525 yards, is a temporary relief, as the temperate player can take three shots and get home easily. But the temperate player might need to go for the green in two to win a match point! No. 18, the longest par four on the course, will truly bring the penitent to their knees. The 465-yard hole features water all the way down the right.
During a recent visit to The Club at Longview, one of our hosts mentioned that the club was nicknamed “Longshot” when originally constructed. Situated quite far southwest of the uptown Charlotte, it was not clear if Mel Graham’s vision for a high-end private club could be successful. Decades later, it is more than clear that this bet paid off, as Longview offers a retreat from the bustle of its surrounding suburbia.
Longview is a luxurious place. The staff are welcoming, the food is the best I have eaten at any golf course, and almost every commercial and residential structure on the property has a castle-like appearance. This level of fine detail is observed throughout the round as well. My praise for Longview’s superintendent cannot be understated. No blade of grass is out of place, and the bent putting surfaces rolled fast and true. Longview’s conditioning is easily among the top five of my 120+ courses played in North Carolina.
The routing and architecture of the course are varied. Some segments flow through tighter, wooded portions of the property while others provide wide corridors. Many holes are penal in nature, and “Longshot” is an apt nickname for anyone tipping it out. Many fairways are flanked by ponds, and the bunkers on the course play as true one-shot (or more) hazards. On almost every tee, the player has the option to play conservatively to avoid trouble, but faces a longer approach to the green. Notable putting surfaces include the thumbprint, peninsular complex at the 6th and the crowned tabletop at the 17th.
The start-to-finish experience at The Club at Longview is one to remember. It is easy to understand why it has such a dedicated, tight-knit membership.