Better bring a map
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Decent variety of wooded/open holes and elevation changes.
Cons: There is no map on site or an indicator of where the course starts. Many tee pads do not have any signage; the ones that do are incorrect. The baskets are often numbered incorrectly. It's basically not possible to play without a local or a map from the internet.
Other Thoughts: Right now there are better choices in the Charlotte area, but it wouldn't take much effort on the part of the University for this course to stand with some others.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
For the love of God, mark the course!
4 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: We were in the neighborhood and decided to give the Lakefront course a go. The university campus is very nice and the whole area is like one giant park. The course basically plays around a lake that has a huge flock of geese, which people were feeding. There is lots of eye appeal, which is always a bonus for my wife and I as being outdoors for some exercise is our primary motivator.
The course itself wasn't overly tricky or difficult even for us beginners out there having some fun. There was a wide array of shot types. I did like the elevated tee on #2 and the short tee shot on #17 that has you shooting directly at the basket, which is situated only about 20 feet from the water behind it.
While the lake can certainly come into play it isn't difficult to play safely around it if you are worried about losing a disc in the drink. I'd use a floater if you want to be more aggressive and still have a chance to retrieve your disc.
Cons: I rate this low mostly because it took me a while to figure out where to tee off and how to navigate. It is partly my fault for not looking into the course more before heading out there but damn what a nightmare it would be without my uDisc+ app! I literally had to rely on the GPS to help me get to some of the holes and that's just plain ridiculous. It costs an instate student $27k a year to attend the university. You'd think they could spend a couple hundred bucks on signs, arrows, markings, anything! Ugh!
Maybe I'm too OCD for this course but when I'm playing hole #4 but get to the basket and there's a #2 on it, that just doesn't set right with me. Put a donation box out there for course updating and I'll drop something in there but I won't upgrade my rating until the course makes more sense and is easily navigable to someone that pulls up having never played it before.
Other Thoughts: If you don't care about the aesthetics of tee #'s and basket #'s matching and don't mind wandering around trying to figure out where the next holes starts or ends, then disregard my cons. Other than that I think all players will have a great time.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 6 Not
Withrop Lake Front
Pros: Beautiful Course around the lake and a lot of challenging and unique holes.
Cons: First time playing this course and I was unfamiliar with the layout. There are no signs indicating which way to go and almost all the numbers on the baskets don't match the hole numbers. Also many of the in ground plaques don't indicate the correct hole. We spent the entire time looking at the map on a smart phone guessing where the pads were and which basket we were throwing at.
Other Thoughts: Someone should spend a weekend to either relabel the baskets with the correct numbers and add more signage other than being lost the whole time we really enjoyed the course.
3 of 9 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: Wonderful course. Many different holes and many different challenges. I considered it impossible when I first started playing, but now, I am close to achieving par. The scenery is amazing, but be aware; the "lakes" are very deep and it is very easy to have a disc go right into it. I'd suggest bringing and throwing floaters on holes 7, 8, 17, and 18 (as long as you don't completely shank or griplock one on hole 1, 9, or 10.)
The holes here are a combination of tricky and difficult, as well as long and being able to air your discs out.
Cons: Located close to a campus so many civilians walking around, bike riding, or having picnics right on the holes.
There are no tee-signs, just old and outdated tee-plaques.
Other Thoughts: I would recommend this course greatly if you were in Rock Hill and wanted to play; definitely one of the best courses around.
1 of 8 people found this review helpful.
WHY IS NOTHING LABELED?
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I liked the setting and location. It's a good place to go to if you want to test how far you can throw. A lot of the holes are completely open and you can really work on your long game. I enjoyed the fact that you walk around the huge pond the whole time but you're never forced to throw over it. However, the day I played, one friend threw 2 discs in the pond on accident and another friend threw 1 disc in, so be careful and I recommend having a floating disc even though it's not completely necessary.
Cons: My main con would definitely have to be the layout and navigation. Make sure you can pull up a map on your phone or print off a map before you come if you play here, otherwise you will be lost by the second hole. I've only played about 7 different courses since I've started playing disc golf, but I can honestly say that this course was the hardest to navigate by far. Nothing is labeled correctly and there are no signs pointing you to the next tee. It's crazy that someone actually set this up and didn't see a problem with it. Once my friend pulled up a map on his phone, it was a fun place, but even with the map, it was still confusing.
Other Thoughts: Final thoughts... It's a cool place to go with nice scenery and open tees for the casual disc golfer to enjoy, but whatever you do, HAVE A MAP!!!
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 1 Not
a day in the park
Pros: The lake in Lakefront dominates the scenery here and the entirety of the course is sure to be pleasing to the eye. It's surrounded by manicured grass and a few low hills. It's a very aesthetically pleasing place to play and I'm sure many a fun round has been played on the property. I played the standard Lakefront course, and that's what I'm reviewing. That layout is easily played with the map listed in the files on DGCR, and though there are no navigation aids on the course, there should be no issues following the course as long as said map is available.
Winthrop provides plenty of opportunities to air out some discs, and though there are no carries, there are plenty of places where you can watch a disc in flight over that pretty terrain. There's not a ton of distance, but there is a good variety of lengths with holes ranging from under two-hundred feet to over six-hundred.
And there are some cool holes. Thirteen is sharply uphill and while there is a roadway in the path, no cars should use that route since it's a dead end. Seven demands a little accuracy as the basket is tucked into a grove of trees. Thirteen plays deep into a creekside stretch of land. Seventeen is probably the most interesting as the basket is on the edge of the lake on a small outcropping of land and a disc can be hung out over the lake and fade right to the basket. Between those and the generally pleasant atmosphere, a causal round here could be pretty fantastic.
As fun as this course can be to chuck on, it's not a very interesting course. The lake is beautiful but it doesn't really come into play very much. That's not to say there is not a lot of risk/reward here. On many shows you risk hitting a car with your disk. Many fairways reward you with a chance to throw if you can find a break in pedestrian traffic. Seriously, I don't think I'd play here on a weekend unless the weather was poor. The worst offender here is the gate hole. That's just begging for dog-walkers to stroll through it. Well, worst offender pedestrian-wise. Hole four is a terrible idea. Yeah you can pitch around the parking lot, and yeah a ton of the other holes throw over roads. But the direct line to the basket on four heads directly through the lot that you just parked in. In summation, playing here at a busy time in the park is probably going to be frustrating.
The course at Winthrop doesn't offer much to make that frustration worth it. Challenge? Where is it. Beyond an occasional pedestrian, it's pretty much an open path to each basket. It's not a bad course. It can be fun. But open park courses like these are pretty common. There are some fun or cool holes, but nothing memorable. Nothing that you will want to go back for. It doesn't help that the flow is pretty bad. Holes don't follow in any logical direction. There are some very long walks between holes that you would never, ever find without a map.
On the topic of navigation, oh boy. It can be followed easily enough if you bring a map and stick to it, ignoring everything else. There are no tee signs, but there are tee plaques that list incorrect holes and information. Likewise the baskets often sport inaccurate hole numbers. So ignore that and you should be fine but it's a bummer that people who show up unprepared will be confused.
I'm aware that there is an additional layout but I reviewed the Lakefront course, as advertised on this site. The gold layout, if playable, really just seems to be longer holes that are just as open and uninteresting. And I guess, for the tournament they bring out hay and ropes for those who like to play an artificial course made of ropes. To each his own.
Other Thoughts: If you expect a fun, light round with a few buddies, than by all means, there is good golf here in a scenic setting. But it's not a destination course so don't travel here looking for something that will knock your socks out.
15 of 16 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 27 Not
Pros: Nice wide open holes. Some ducks. I was col when I went. The lake was frozen and all the ducks and geese where sliding on the ice so that was pretty sweet to c.
Cons: No signs at all. No telling where the next hole is. Every hole seems like the one u just played.
4 of 31 people found this review helpful.
18 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: The site of the USDGC every October, this is probably the most photographed course, and it does have some photogenic parts. The course begins and ends along a pretty lake with fountains in the middle.
Note: I played the gold layout (the one played at USDGC), which has some overlap with the Lakefront course but is generally longer.
Part of the fun of playing here is seeing in person the holes that the pros play. Among the more enjoyable ones:
Hole 4, a U-shaped hole playing over a shallow valley, curving into a grove of trees.
Hole 5, the long hole along and across the lake. I was happy to get my second shot where the pros seem to be after 2, but I didn't have the guts to try to make it across the water.
Hole 13, the famous "888" hole. After tons of discussion in the forums about the best way to play this one, it was nice to see it up close (I took an 8).
Hole 17, the downhill shot toward the lake. It wasn't as steep or long as I had thought it would be.
Elevation comes into play on several holes.
What makes Winthrop an interesting course for the USDGC is the miles of yellow rope and the bales of hay used for OB. They are only in place for the week or two leading up to the event. Without them, frankly, Winthop is kind of boring. Other than the 888 hole, holes 9-14 are just long, open bombers where trees do not come into play. In fact, I think I only hit a tree on three holes, and it's not because I was shooting well. It really hits home how manufactured the challenge is; there really aren't many organic aspects to this course, in sharp contrast to all the Charlotte courses I played 30 miles away.
Navigation is awful. Without the map, neither the Gold nor Lakefront courses are navigable. There are no tee signs. I used this to navigate Gold:
Note that while all baskets are in for the Gold layout, one or two holes play slightly differently (for instance, hole 6 is not in its beach location).
Other Thoughts: I came down here from Charlotte for two reasons: 1) I have watched a lot of USDGC coverage and wanted to play the holes, and 2) I'd never been to South Carolina. I'm glad I came once, but unless I can come back during October when the ropes are in place, I don't think I would return.
18 of 20 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 2 Not
Bringa GPS or something
Pros: This course is absolutly beautiful. The lake on a clear day is amazing and it is a fun course to play. Its a nice change of pace for those who want to play a more open course in the Charlotte area.
Its fun to play several USDGC shots without having to play the Gold layout.
Benches and trash cans on the course
Cons: If you are reading this because you plan on playing before you do anything else Click links and get a map because if you don't good luck finding your way around or knowing how far you have to throw.
There were several people sunning and picnicing on the course but I couldnt blame them cause it is an awesome place for it.
There is a decent chance for a lost disc with the lake in play.
The teesigns are either not there or really old. They don't seem to be to the same course or to the Gold course.
Other Thoughts: Even with the navigation issues this course was great to play because of the atmosphere alone. The view over the lake is stunning and it was perfectly manicured. I would strongly recomend this course to anyone in the rock hill area
15 of 17 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 0 Not
Pleasant change of pace
Pros: Very well kept course winding around a small lake on the campus of Winthrop University. Also home of the USDGC. The landscaping and care is top notch. Playing a round here feels like a leisurely walk in a park.
Mostly open course with mature trees and limited elevation. Lake is the back drop for several holes including one that presents an opportunity to go over the lake and some trees. There are a couple wooded holes that are fairly basic, short holes.
All holes had excellent concrete tee pads. Fairways were mowed and what rough there is posed no problems.
Cons: Navigation is a nightmare. Thankfully I had bikinjack for a guide. Without him I would have had no clue. The baskets are not numbered correctly, and the flow seemed a little odd. No next tee signs or navigational aids. I definitely recommend playing with someone that knows this course.
Outdated or no signs at tee pads. It is pretty much guess work on distances. Most holes are fairly open so seeing the basket and line is not really an issue though.
Not really any exceptionally fun holes. The downhill on #5 is decent, #10 gives you an over the lake option, and #12 is the infamous bamboo wall hole. They are all OK, but nothing that you really feel like emptying your bag for.
Most holes require a pretty straight shot. Not much line shaping or shot making.
The geese invaded a few areas so be prepared for some goose poop and leavings in the grass and on the tee pads by the lake.
Other Thoughts: The Winthrop Lakefront layout is not the Gold layout used for the USDGCs. So keep that in mind when heading out here. The ropes are not set up and so it plays a little differently than it will in the other layout. It does however offer a nice, relaxing round. Having a mostly open course this close to Charlotte is a nice option. Most of the course is pretty open so it would also be a good option on a nice sunny Fall, Winter or Spring day. It was a little hot out there this week. Bring your sun tan lotion if you are going in the Summer.
Overall this isn't a bad course. Just don't expect a true destination course or a once in a lifetime experience.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
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