6 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.
6 of 8 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.
4 Helpful / 6 Not
If you live here, play it. If not, don't go out of your way.
Pros: It's great to have a course so close to my home that hosts a national event. Everyone in the Charlotte area is fortunate to have so many courses to choose from!
Cons: Where do I begin...
Thankfully one person in our group had experience with the course layout AND we printed a map before making the trip. If we had neither we would have been in trouble. There are absolutely no directional signs on the course. Not a single "next tee" arrow to be found. And because most of the course plays through what I'll call a regular park there are not many beat down paths (like you'd find on a wooded course). On top of that the baskets are not numbered in order. How crazy is that! And, to boot, take your best guess on how long the holes are (unless you printed a scorecard).
Other Thoughts: All that said there are many good holes here (good, not great). The water holes make you think twice.
4 of 10 people found this review helpful.
18 Helpful / 0 Not
Wish I had this at my college
Pros: The course plays through a mix of open areas with the lake in play and park style areas with grassy fairways and mature trees. The water holes on this layout all offer easy ways of avoiding the water, but still present some decent risk/reward decisions. The areas with trees are used well to make some low ceiling shots and a nice mix of lines to hit. There is a little bit of elevation and it's used pretty well also.
There is a wide range of hole lengths on this layout, from ace runs to bombers. The bamboo fence surrounding one pin adds a fun challenge: do you go for the narrow opening straight at the pin or try to spike a shot over the fence and down onto the green? The tees are nice concrete pads, and the discatcher baskets are in decent shape. The grounds are maintained very well, with short mowed grass and no trash or vandalism at all.
Cons: There are a lot of safety issues here. Around the lake, you'll run into people fishing, picnicking and sunbathing right on the fairways. There are roads in play on several holes, and this seems to be a busy area of the campus. The course isn't marked at all, except for some old tee markers with the wrong numbers, and some randomly numbered baskets. There's a good map available here, make sure you print it or bring it up on a smart phone.
There are a lot of open holes here, you're not forced to hit any kind of specific line on many drives. This makes the course less challenging and less interesting in my opinion.
Other Thoughts: This layout is definitely more beginner friendly than the gold setup, but it's still long for newer players and the water could be pretty daunting for someone who only carries one or two discs. More experienced players will find some cool holes here, but the abundance of open holes gets a little old. If you're here, most of the gold holes are playable (albeit without the ropes), it's worth checking out the map and trying them out.
18 of 18 people found this review helpful.
19 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The Winthrop University lakefront course is a solid challenge and fun play even without the now infamous United State Disc Golf Championship layout. After hearing many rumors about the non-tournament course I was a bit wary upon visiting but was pleasantly surprised to find a very enjoyable layout is available all year long.
Variety: Across a range of different aspects, Winthrop offers really nice variety off the tee. The well used rolling hills have a few nice uphill, downhill, and sidehill shots. Woods are used effectively to supplement the mostly open nature of the majority of the course. Finally, a large range of distances from under 200 feet to over 600 feet require any number of discs off the tee from putters to controlled fairway drivers to big distance bombs with a high speed driver.
Maintenance/Amenities: Everything is pretty much perfect as you would expect here; the grounds are absolutely beautiful with short mown grass and landscaping. Likewise, baskets and tees are kept in great shape and several of the funky obstacles that are now classic USDGC fixtures remain in place such as the large latticework barrier which protects hole twelve.
Navigation: For the most part, the course flow is fairly straightforward with only one exception that I can remember. We had to search around for a bit for hole fifteen I believe which started from up on a hill amongst some trees. It wasn't an obvious location for a tee, but was findable after some snooping around. It seems other reviewers also mention some problems with course flow and I imagine just having seen the videos of the course, I had an unusual advantage in already knowing some of the layout - you can't go wrong by bringing a map!
Cons: Openness: The designers have done a great job of utilizing the available tree coverage but the balance rest heavily on relatively wide open holes. These aren't easy open holes but it does usually allow players to choose whatever shot fits their strength and fails to expose individual weaknesses in one's game.
Hole numbering: Other reviewers have noted this but just disregard the numbering of the holes and play the hole you believe to be correct. This course must have been redesigned at some point because the numbering system is off for much of the course.
Psycho killer clown duck: I'd be really leaving out an interesting experience we had at this course (which may be a persistent problem according to previous reviewers!) but we were followed around by a hideous looking duck for about five holes. This duck, although slow, seemed to be out to get us and tried to sneak up at several points to hiss and lunge at us. Whenever he got close enough, he seemed fully intent on pecking and biting us - although we always managed to keep him far enough away to prevent this. Finally, we had to pretend to leave the area and hide out for a few minutes until he gave up and went back in the water. When we reached the part of the course that plays on the other side of the lake, we saw him making a bee-line across the water to get at us again! Fortunately we were only a few holes from finishing up and he never was able to get his final revenge :)
Other Thoughts: One of the fun parts about playing this course as a bit of a disc golf veteran was getting to see many of the holes and landscape used for the USDGC course, usually only seen through videotapes and podcasts. I really enjoy getting this first hand perspective of the challenges of a top level course like this even if only a portion of the tournament holes are actually viewable during the regular season.
BTW - I've posted a picture of the crazy duck since he seems to be a permanent course feature!
19 of 19 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 8 Not
Pros: fun course. i've never been able to play the gold setup. it's worth the drive from charlotte when we go there to play the course though. it's beautiful.
Cons: wide open. a little too wide open. take a map if you've never played it before.
0 of 8 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 11 Not
Pros: One of the best courses ive ever played. very nice and technical but not to long
Cons: It can be kind of hard to find your way around the course but that doesnt take away from the beautiful course
Other Thoughts: once again probably the best course ive ever played
0 of 11 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 1 Not
Not quite the USDGC Layout, but FUN
- Partial USDGC Course. A few of the Holes are the exact same as the USDGC layout (USDGC Holes 1, 3, 6, 7, 16, 17)... while a few other Holes combinations make up other USDGC Holes (i.e. Holes 3 and 4 Lakefront = Hole 2 USDGC, Holes 9 and 10 Lakefront = Hole 5 USDGC). So even though this course isn't the USDGC course exactly, you can get a feel for what the players play (only without the ropes).
- Lots of Water in Play. With a name like Lakefront, you hope there is a lot of water in play... and there is. If my memory serves me correctly, approximately 1/3 of the course has water in play... and several other Holes have other forms of OB.
- Fun Holes. Even though you're not playing the USDGC course, a plethora of birdie opportunities make the Lakefront course fun to play. And, because they're able to retain some of the USDGC Holes there is an added fun factor.
- Navigation. I had a guide, so I thought navigation was going to be a breeze. However, we still had a hard time remembering where to go next (around the Hole 6/7/8 area) and we never did find the actual tee-pad for Hole 18.
- Inaccurate Gravestones. The gravestone style tee-signs definitely don't help. The fact that many of them are mis-numbered (from an old course design) makes you question everything else about them (distance, Par, that you're even on the correct hole, etc...). You would expect much better tee-signs at a place like Winthrop.
- Lots of Amenities Nearby. As you approach the university from the main road, you pass every kind of amenity you could want... Gas, Fast Food, Sit-Down Food, Supermarkets, Hotels, Pawn Shops, etc... I definitely recommend the margaritas at Tequilas (although I can't recommend their food as much) and the sub sandwiches at East Coast Subs!!!
- Overall. The course is really fun to play, however I could see it being a bummer if you were having a hard time with navigation or if you were trying to compare it to the USDGC layout. The splitting of the long USDGC Holes into two separate Holes for the Lakefront course makes playing them a letdown because you know deep down that you would rather be playing the longer Holes straight up. The Lakefront course plays much more like a regular city park disc golf course, except with water holes and USDGC mystique (which probably both add ½ a disc to the rating).
- My Score: -5
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
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