Rock Barn Golf and Spa is a 36-hole golf course community set amid rolling terrain intersected with meandering streams in the foothills of North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains. The second course here, designed by Robert Trent Jones II, opened in 2002. In September, 2003, it hosted its first important professional tournament, the PGA Champions Tour's Greater Hickory Classic.
RTJ II's first course in the Carolinas, Rock Barn offered our development/design team an opportunity to use the challenging terrain to both strategic and aesthetic purpose. We took special care to fit the course to the site without disturbing the natural flow of the land, which moves with a grace that we sought to complement with the routing. Robert Trent Jones, Jr. says of the site, "The elevation changes and beautiful clear creek, with which we worked, offered a unique challenge. Utilizing these features to their fullest gives Rock Barn its dramatic feel and character."
The course plays to 7,126 yards. Numerous holes make strategic use of Lyle Creek by crossing and/or hugging the stream. The par three ninth hole plays over a waterfall to a large green, which features the subtle contours characteristic of all the greens here. RTJ II designed these greens to accommodate the tight mowing schemes made possible by advances in turfgrass maintenance, allowing for the creation of the slick surfaces modern golfers expect.
A parkland course, Rock Barn joins the distinguished class of Carolina courses arrayed from the ocean to the mountains, and occupies a pivotal place among the region's premier layouts. As with all RTJ II courses, Rock Barn was designed to blend with the topography, and feels like an old friend from the first hole to the final putt.