Beware of the Blue Tees
Pros: Rockness Monster has serious elevation change, wooded fairways, some water, multiple tees, multiple baskets on a few holes, a few bonus holes and decent signs at the white tees. All of these are frequently the features of my favorite disc golf courses. When I tried my luck from the blue tees, it was not good. While they did offer a much more challenging and different look than the whites, I often threw the drive with despair in my heart, knowing that my disc didn't stand a chance. Forget birdies, just getting par seemed like a victory. I know advanced tees are supposed to be tough, but this was ludicrous. Other reviews make it out to be a thing of desire, but I really wish I had played the white tees instead. I had to stop at them to note the distances on my scorecard, and they appeared to still be tough but fair. The short red tees were doing everything they could to remove a lot of the teeth, but calling this monster beginner friendly may be a stretch. I am putting this under pros because it is a really good course, but first time through you may want to make it easy on yourself. Frustrated the hell out of me. As far as equipment goes, baskets were in nice condition, and the signs at the white tees were pretty good. The folks that installed this one really got into the Rockness theme. Dragon like statues are often guarding the tees, and there is a Lockness statue on one hole. Also, be sure to read the tale of Rockness, and watch out for the dragon's mouth.
Cons: The tee pads themselves were usually natural, sometimes not level, and a few were smaller than I would like. I felt many of the blue tee positions didn't really offer a fair shot. The holes that had two baskets were not evident, especially from the blues. Layout was not hard to follow, but holes 19-22 are not in sequence, and only had white tees. Very much worth playing, they were some of my favorite holes. Such awesome land for disc golf, I was slightly disappointed with the experience of my first round.
Other Thoughts: I played two other courses that morning prior to the Rockness monster, on a fairly hot summer day. If I had known what I was in for I would have had a much more hearty breakfast, and played the white tees for sure. Walked out of there just glad I made it out. There are so many good holes, wish I could have played them better. If there is a next time, I will be better prepared to slay that monster.
A Friendly Monster
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: It's tempting to describe this course as a monster. If it is, it's a friendly monster. It's not that kind of good course that drags you through the mud, spits you out and maybe you feel the better for it. Rockness is the kind of good course in which every hole is just a joy to throw. Great lines carved through a beautiful forest. Narrow paths lead pleasurably from basket to tee.
It all starts with the tees. While there are three sets, (and wow. These three provide more vastly different looks than any course I've seen to date.) the whites are the best, if only for the flow. From white tee to basket to white tee, this course flows seamlessly. (In contrast, playing blues will require some backtracking) You'd be hard-pressed to make a navigation error here.
The holes themselves, I can't even do justice. You're better off scrolling through the pictures of the tee signs on here. There is just a whole mess of interesting shapes and designs. The course is wooded, but not excessively so. It's one of those landscapes that does not feature a lot of underbrush. Just trees, hills and well, rock.
Oh, yeah, the rock. The course's namesake feature is ever-present. The exposed rock really adds that identity to the course. Sometimes it's used to add difficulty to a green but often it's just there for aesthetics. Still, it's what you'll likely remember the course for.
Strangely, the rocks do not feature much in the two most memorable holes. 11 and 14 are the creek holes. 11 doesn't encounter water until the green, where the basket sits surrounded by a bend. The shallow tributary winds back and forth across 14, requiring precise distance control to ensure that you avoid a disc bath.
Really, this is a course that should appeal to all players. It's a course that screams out for a 4.25. It's a course cries for multiple rounds. Honestly, just get out there. I saw no other humans on a Saturday, which is preposterous. Maybe, people don't know: it's a friendly monster.
Cons: The only way this course could be improved is if the blue and red tees were made to be as intriguing as the whites are. I hate to say that a layout is perfect but the white here comes pretty close. Even just improving the blue would bump this to a 4.5 for certain.
Other Thoughts: I'd definitely recommend the white tees for newcomers of all ability levels. It's the full Rockness experience. It's got the detailed tee signs, the perfectly-sized, cement tees and of course the small white statuettes guarding each tee box. The course is definitely designed to be played from here. Experienced players can always play a second round from the blues.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Great course for beginners and others
Pros: Great signs at each hole give you a feel for the shot. While a wooded course, the fairways were wide and offered several approaches. Can't say enough about how well marked the course is. Played it blind without a map and had no problems finding the next tee. Great use of elevation and terrain (pins surrounded by boulders, two holes surrounded by a creek). This course lived up to the descriptions I had read in previous reviews.
Cons: Can't really think of any. As a novice player I thought it was great. White tees were just the right length to be challenging. Course is very hilly. I am a heavy set person, but active, and I got a great workout just walking the course. Only negative was hole 17 because I could not find the basket from the tee or the fairway. Barely saw it when I was 25 yards away walking past it.
Other Thoughts: I had a great time playing this course by myself. The maps and directional markers were great. The course is in the back of the campus. Keep going back and left around the buildings until you see Building S and a sign off in the left corner of that parking lot. The college is behind Northern Middle School. There are signs but it takes some guesswork if coming from Carver Drive. All around great course. The designer should be applauded.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Not so much a monster as it is a sexy beast!
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -A challenging but fair wooded course that makes wonderful use of elevation changes, creekbeds, and large rocky formations
-Multiple tees and multiple baskets (red, white, blue, and orange)
-Incredibly beautiful and informative tee signs as well as ample signage to help navigate
-Very well-thought out and cleverly executed
-Starts and ends at the same place, and 9 ends and 10 starts there too, allowing for 9 holes if time doesn't allow for the full 19 holes
-Very nice gravel tees for the blue and white tees
Cons: -No trash cans
-No pads for red and orange tees, and the orange tees aren't on the signs at all
-Spiders and mosquitoes are plentiful
-Could use a little more variation
Other Thoughts: This may be the best course around, especially for an average golfer. From the white tees this course plays like a dream. My only complaints are the lack of trash cans and the abundance of spider webs. Seriously, I wish I lived closer to it. The care, design, and thought that went into this course are second to none, and I expect the designers will continue to improve it. The little touches, the whimsical touches, the layout- from beginning to end its clear that this course was and is loved. Its not the hardest course out there, but I enjoyed every hole. In terms of playability, I'd probably boost this to a 4.5, and if there were more variation (an open hole or two) I'd feel confident doing so, but really the Rockness Monster taken as a whole doesn't suffer much from this. Its a beautiful course, well-maintained, challenging but fair, and above all else, fun. What's there not to like?
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Awesome first impression
Pros: I played this course with 2 others. New baskets with tags on them showing the next tee, amazing tee signs showing accurate map. 3 different tees. Reds are natural, white and blue are gravel and are in immaculate conditon. New benches on all holes. Very easy to navigate. Great use of elevation and terrain. Even has steps installed on hills for safer walking. Bridges are new and in great shape. Loops back to parking lot on hole 9 and 18.
Cons: Not much. Only a issue is if you are out of shape your gonna have a bad time. Some major hills to climb so be warned. Woods are a little tight but it should be for a challenge. Lots of leaves so keep an eye on your disc.
Other Thoughts: Someone took their time planning this course. I enjoyed playing this. We were the only ones out there on a weekend. IDK where everyone was at. If it wasnt an hour away I'd be playing this more often.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Great course from the whites
Pros: This course is awesome if played from the white tee pads. I played this course by myself and had a great time. New baskets, amazing tee signs with detail (Only on the front 9). Some of the best natural tee pads I have ever seen with new tee boxes being constructed as I was playing it. Great layout and use of OB. Course navigation was intuitive and signs were posted everywhere. Benches were on most if not all of the holes.
Cons: The blue tee pads and overall design from the blues was average. Some blue tee pads had to be doubled back on and really hunted for while you watched your footing on those trails with the overgrowth and two inch stumps that littered those paths. The fairways from the blues were raw in some cases and didn't have that worn feel to them as did the whites. The back nine holes would be great to have the tee signs afforded to the front nine. No bathrooms.
Other Thoughts: You can tell someone or some club has put in a lot of time here with all the little touches made to the holes. Either I had beginners luck or the white tee pads may be too easy for some especially the advanced player all the more important to see this same care given to the course as it relates from the blue tee pads that the whites have been given. I would be happy to bump this score up when the blue tee pads become more established and thought out. All in all for a course being so new it has come so far in that time. Really can't wait to see this course fully developed.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The white course set up flows very well. Hole 10 begins at the parking lot so one could play a quick 9 on the front or the back. The course uses the environment to it's favor greatly. There is plenty of elevation change (it reminds me of some of the courses in the mountains here in NC), the creek is used well on the back 9, the rocks are used well on the front 9, and the fairways are tight but fair for the most part. The blue tees are more than just longer looks at the same fairway and are very challenging. For the most part it works (I'm looking at you #9). The red tees are made for beginners and seem appropriate for that use. The tees are natural but are level except for some of the blue tees which could still use some work. The tees on the whites which are boxed in are actually really good pads. In fact I think I might favor them over a lot of the concrete pads I've played. The front 9 favors left to right shots while the back 9 plays more to straight shots and right to left so it balances out.
Other pros include benches/boulders to sit on at every white tee, trash cans at 6, 10, and 14, navigation is made easy by plenty of signage, the front 9 tee signs are very useful (the back 9 are temporary), and there is plenty of parking especially when school is out.
Favorite holes are #11 from the white tee and #14 from either the blue or white tee.
Cons: The biggest problem I have with this course is the flow of some of the blue tees. There is a lot of back tracking. It would be OK if this only happened once or twice, I expect a little extra walking when I play the blue tees. There just seems to be so much of it with the way the blue tees are arranged. The good news is that the tees are still dirt and modifications can be made to improve flow more easily than if they were concrete.
Not really a "con so much as just weird is the blue tee arrangement for #13 and #14 where you throw both tee shots from the top of the hill back to back to avoid walking back up the hill. A sign there letting people know would be helpful.
Also blue #12 crosses #11 fairway, which isn't bad until the course gets crowded.
There are only a couple of holes on the course, either white or blue tees, that let you use a driver other than throwing an overhead shot since the course is so tight. Not too much a "con" for me since I like wooded, technical type courses.
The red tees seem to suffer from being shortened and straightened out too much. There are a few left to right shots but there are no real right to left shots from the red tees. Again, easily fixed since they are dirt tees and can be easily moved.
Other Thoughts: This is a new course so it needs some foot traffic to help keep the undergrowth down. Also since it's heavily wooded there are plenty of ticks to go around during the warmer months. It is a very scenic course and aside from a couple of hiccups on the blue tees and the red tees the course very well designed.
Also the little serpents at most of the tee pads and the large concrete sea serpent at the white tee for #5 are nice touches.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Beautiful and Fun
Pros: Great use of elevation and natural rock formations.
Beautiful terrain and scenery.
Lots of fun. There are some narrrow windows but the fairways are not impossible like many other heavily wooded courses. The terrain and angles make you think wisely about your shot.
Cons: The course is a work in progress, just barely a year old when I played it. The signs need to be better, but the ones that seem to be completed were amazing. Once the course gets recognized for being as great as it is, and more foot traffic/volunteer work happens, this place will be a destination spot for golfers around the region.
Other Thoughts: Great job, this is going to be a top notch course very soon. Lots of thanks to all that put in the hard work to make the course.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
I can't wait to play a tournament here!
Pros: -Best discing around!
-Awesome mix of left/right up/down
-Amazing landscape any disc course designer would drool to have this landscape.
-New Innova Discatchers
-Multi Tee location
Cons: -The mando on 4 is stupid. It just doesn't play with flow of the hole at all.
-Natural pads with uneven ground.
-Signage on some were great I think others must have been vandalized.
-Leaves in winter/fall.
-No out-houses/water fountains
Other Thoughts: The Island shot was so beautiful. So much great landscape.
This course has got some great shots and a very challanging wooded landscape.
I rate this a 4/5 because I know its new but when it gets pads and complete single signage it will be an amazing course. Better than Valley Springs, better than Cedar Hills, better than most of the courses in the Raleigh/Durham area. My hope is when they get done with this park and Edmund's Park gets done in the Spring/Summer there could be a 2day tourney with these to opposite, but stellar courses. ;)
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Great new course is shaping up!
Pros: Obstacles: The course is heavily wooded, so precision is essential. Lots of risk-reward shots.
Balance: Nice assortment and arrangement of different skill-level tees and elevations.
Elevation changes. Up. Down. Up. Down. You can't go wrong here. Hiking boots and oxygen for the weary!
Decisions, decisions. Many holes require a plan off the tee; try a forehand or hard anny? or work a RHBH through a small window? A thinking player's course.
Tee signs! I've seen the mock-ups. They ROCK.
UPDATE (3/20/12): I love that Dave enjoys feedback on the course. The front 9, because they are pretty much set, are great by themselves. The blue tees are brutal, but in such a good challenging disc golf way. The addition of trash cans, benches, and framed tee boxes on several holes has this course on its way to hosting championship events.
Cons: Lefty-heavy. Especially from the white tees, the primary hole setup seems to be dogleg right, meaning big annys, precise forehands, understable discs, or turnover attempts. On a few holes, you can find a challenging RHBH throw to try.
Needs more clearing. Paths between holes are occasionally long and not completely cleared.
Amenities. Since the course is new, I wasn't expecting benches and trash cans. I feel confident they will come.
UPDATE (3/20/12): The long basket positions on #4 and 5 from the blue tees are just brutal. My brother and I couldn't finish our round last week because it was getting late and we were exhausted. The back 9 needs work. #10 blue has no real path, #14 blue needs more thought, and #17 blue has no real line either.
Other Thoughts: I really like this course so far. I know it is new, and all 18 holes aren't complete. However, I am confident that, with continued regular use and additional improvements, this course will be quite challenging, and refreshing, for the area. I enjoyed playing the whites and blues!
UPDATE (3/20/12): I updated my rating to a 4, with the potential for further improvement. I love the whites and blues on the front 9. Congrats to Dave on all his hard work on the course; I look forward to helping the course get better, and to getting more traffic!
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
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