a day in the park
7 Helpful / 1 Not
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.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 23 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.
3 of 26 people found this review helpful.
13 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.
13 of 15 people found this review helpful.
Bringa GPS or something
15 Helpful / 0 Not
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 15 people found this review helpful.
Pleasant change of pace
13 Helpful / 0 Not
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.
Don't Travel For This One
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: - Nice clean campus park setting
- Good short and quick course if you like playing wide open holes without many trees to contend with
Cons: - Impossible to navigate without a map, definitely need to print out a map if you would like to figure out where each hole is located
- The baskets and tee boxes are not numbered correctly and the distances are incorrect even on the available scorecard/map
- No maps/diagrams at the holes
- No benches
- No trash cans
- Goose poop everywhere on MANY holes and as there are not benches finding a clean spot to lay your bag is sometimes difficult
Other Thoughts: - Overall I was extremely disappointed with this course, I have played a handful of courses throughout the Charlotte area (a few included in the current 2012 Worlds tourney) and you can not even compare Winthrop Lakeside with these courses rated about the same or even slightly lower (higher than Plantation Ruins at Winget - just silly, nearly the same as Robert L. Smith Park & Elon Park - Angry Beaver - ridiculous)…this course must only have its current rating because the people that reviewed it have not played elsewhere on truly solid courses
- If you are already in Rock Hill and you swing by for a quick round you will have fun, but if you are in the general Charlotte area, picking any other course with a 3+ rating would be a better choice
- I admit there are definitely a few fun holes, 12 was unique and fun, but generally it is a wide open grassy park style course…the main obstacle is the large lake that impacts a few holes and truthfully I would rather deal with countless trees as a miss-throw, gust of wind or unlucky roll down a hill will not cause a lost disk if trees are the obstacle
- Also, note that the road around the lake is ONE-WAY counter-clockwise so you don't get yelled at by campus police when leaving the parking lot
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: -Winthrop Lakefront is a great course around a college campus. It's scenic, challenging and fair. This is the shorter course so if you like longer holes, then play Winthrop Gold which is also onsite.
-Winthrop has nice, long teepads that are in good shape and allow a nice long run up.
-The course has a couple ace runs (15,16) and they are the only couple holes in the woods and they are in the neighborhood too and 16 is in a backyard. Every other hole is open and some are short and still in the field and others (5,9,13,14) allow you to bomb a nice drive.
-This course has a good amount of elevation. You can tell on every hole if its uphill or downhill. Although most holes are not super uphill or downhill, Holes 5 and 18 have a lot of elevation. 5 is straight downhill with a -20 foot drop, #6 gain +15, #7 drops
-5, #12 drops -5, #14 drops -12, #15 gains +15, #16 drops -15, #17 drops -17 or so and #18 gains +20.
-I like the obstacles to avoid on the holes cause they are punishing but only if you hit them. Water is the main obstacle, and on the water holes, use a disc that floats in water (Dragon, Hydra, don't know if a gator does or not) so you wont lose it. Every other obstacle is easy to avoid but don't try to hit them. It can be tough to get out.
-12 is a great hole that is fun and tricky at the same time. The green has bamboo outside of it and if you don't throw straight, throw to the right if you are a righty backhand. That way it will turn left and give you an easy shot to the green or make the green.
Cons: -Mainly, the navigation is atrocious. None of the baskets are numbered correctly. If you haven't played here, you better bring a map.
-Goose crap is everywhere from 9-11 and needs to be cleaned up. Don't let that make you hate this course.
-Hole 9 is in alternate position. That's the shorter position. My first time here I was really looking forward to playing the original position because it's the only par 4 on the course at 664 feet long.
-This isn't really a con but this is a warning. Hole #10 is a very hard hole surrounded by water. The teepad is directing you to go over the water which disc are lost frequently. If you don't think you can go over, then play it as a dogleg left hole down the fairway.
-No diagrams of the holes or teesigns which is probably really needed since there are two layouts here.
Other Thoughts: Winthrop is lots of fun and I really have been looking forward to playing it since I knew that I was with my church group.
I am 15 and I have been playing since March 2011 and I was at Bonclarken retreat prespyterian camp with my church and saw disc golf baskets there and wanted to give this a try. I play a lot in Charlotte NC.
Hole by Hole review
#1. Pretty short and easy and also downhill. Any throw will do.
#2. Straight and easy but trees are hit sometimes on this hole. Any throw is okay but think what throw suits you here.
#3. Nice uphill hole with a good few trees. This hole is longer than most. Righty backhand is a better idea since a backyard fence is to the right.
#4. Used to be a very hard hole since there was a mando to the rightside of the parking lot pointing you to go right. The barb wire fence is in play and it it goes over then it's gone and the mando is now gone. Throw over the cars.
#5. Straight downhill. This hole allows you to throw a nice drive. Avoid the woods to the right.
#6. Challenging for RHBH's and easy for sidearmers. A herd of trees is in the middle of the fairway leaving a small opening for RHBH's to hit.
#7. Memorable green with pine trees around it. Go across the road and you hit the fairway. This hole doesn't have much to it. Just be on the green for an easy putt.
#8. Very tricky with a mando pointing left with thornbushes further left. Birdies will not come easily.
#9. Alternate: Don't hit a tree to the right and this hole is a snap. No challenge at all.
9. Original: I have not played this but this position is LONG and allows you to bomb a big drive. Avoid the water cause it's easy to hit after about 450" from the tee.
#10. I hope you have a disc that floats in water. This is surrounded by water. If you are a skilled player, go over and get a birdie. If not, play it as a dogleg left.
#11. Short and easy and needs to be remeasured This should be moved to be a par 4 because it's a bit of a walk to 12.
#12. Great memorable hole. Bamboo is outside the green. It sometimes is tough to get to the green. Try throwing over it if you don't throw to straight. One of the most memorable holes in SC.
#13. Nice hole that allows you to bomb a nice drive. It's a little bit tough to get there for big arms. There are a lot of trees.
#14. Longest on the course. Solid par 3 that is downhill and allows a nice, big drive.
#15. Goes into the woods. It's uphill, short and your teeshot goes into the mouth of the woods. You better hit the fairway. The rough is basically poison ivy.
#16. Pretty much in a backyard. I actually really liked the design. It's shorter and downhill but to the right is poison ivy and more thick and easier to lose a disc. Be careful.
#17. Use a floatable disc. You really will need it since 10 feet past the basket is the lake. Easy ace run that's downhill. Going a little short is necessary.
#18. Nice challenging finishing hole with water in play. It uphill and the basket is on a hill. Go left and that leaves you with a hard putt. The long position, however is disappointment.
This is helpful as I can be and if you get to play here then bring floatable discs, extra clothes, water and a good attitude.
-Signature hole(s), #5, nice downhill shot, #12 because of it's bamboo wall, #15 and #16 because they are wooded and have great elevation and #16 could be aced if it gets cleared.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: The property is very well taken care of and the greens are finely manicured. Concrete tee-pads are set level and flush with the ground. Wide open fairways allow you to really rip some big drivers, but anyone at any skill level can go out and have fun on this course. The bamboo hole (#12) is really a test of your skill. If you live anywhere near Charlotte/Rock Hill, play this course !
Cons: Most, if not all the baskets are numbered incorrectly. This is due mainly in part because the USDGC is held here every year. After the tourney, maintenance crews replace the nice tournament baskets with older ones, and the numbers never match the holes. So, if you have never played Winthrop, definitely print out the course map.
Other Thoughts: Bring extra discs (cheap plastic) if you want to throw near the lake. Big winds and large hills easily allow the water to swallow up your throwing stock. Also, be careful on hole #4 as there is a barb wire fence backed up to the fairway, if your disc goes over, it's gone.
I try to play this course at least once every two weeks. If you need someone to guide you through a round, send me a PM and let's set up a tee time !
8 of 10 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: Very well maintained course.
Some challenging holes.
Water to throw over!!
Concrete tee pads.
Cons: Signage sucked! If you dont have a map you will be lost.
Geese everywhere and we all know they are mean!
Goose poop everywhere yuck.
1 of 8 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 3 Not
Re-played and Re-reviewed
Pros: Nice beautiful location - Winthrop University has a very nice campus and the course is a very open course.
Cons: The course is not well marked - print out a map or you'll never find your way around. Some baskets have wrong numbers on them but you need to trust the map. The gravestone markers are not accurate don't trust them - trust the map except for 18 - 18 basket is down by #5 tee box.
Goose poop! you'll need to avoid it on some of the holes - now that's a natural hazard! #11 tee box is the worst place for it.
Other Thoughts: My first time there I was disappointed and let down my expectations were high probably too high. Now that I know what to expect it was a more enjoyable experience. Go, play it once to learn the course layout then go back to actually have fun.
3 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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