Intimidating but fun
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Very challenging championship level course that would aimed for intermediate to pro level players.
Baskets - 18 Innova Discatchers that were in perfect shape. No issues at all. A practice basket on site with markers to get warmed up.
Tees - One large concrete tee per hole. Very grippy and easy to find.
Signs - Signs were great. Billboard at the start with info. Signs at each hole had a map, distance, par, etc. Arrows throughout the course pointing you to where you need to go. Some were painted on trees. Really helped with navigation.
Variety - Right from the get go, this course is intimidating. Course is extremely wooded and extremely hilly. Many tight gaps that will make or break your day. Elevation on every hole expect for 4. Several uphill and downhill wooded shots as well as some longer holes through the woods requiring accuracy. A few chances for aces on the back 9. Multiple holes had a shallow creek running through or along them. Multiple blind shots due to elevation, woods, rocks, or all of the above. Course requires extreme accuracy as well as the ability to launch one. The rough is rough so if you get off the path, you will spend plenty of time locating it.
Elevation - Elevation is a major factor at this course. Not only do you need to be able to place your throw through the woods, but you need to be able to throw it up and down moderate to extreme changes in elevation.
Course gets easier after hole 3. Survive those and you are in the clear.
The paths in between the holes added to this beauty of this course. Even if you just walked the course without throwing, you would enjoy it.
Restrooms and water fountain on site. Also a playground for kids if they join in.
Large rocks on 9 and 12 with the basket on top of them. Very cool and unique feature.
Benches and trash bags at every hole. Helps to keep it clean.
Cons: Course is not beginner or intermediate friendly. An added set of amateur concrete tees on every hole (especially on 1 and 3) would take this course from a 4.5 to a 5.
Some of the holes need to be cleared a little more. Starting to grow in more than it appears it was intended to be. Can spend a lot of time looking for discs.
Trash along holes 2-4.
Long walk from hole 18 to parking lot. Room to expand and add a few holes to make more of a complete loop.
Other Thoughts: I absolutely loved this course. My second favorite in Charlotte behind Nevin. It was easy to navigate, it was very scenic and peaceful, it was challenging, and it was very enjoyable even though it was intimidating. What more can you ask for in a course?
I would recommend this course to any intermediate or pro level player in the area or traveling through. It was tough but it was worth it. The only way not to like it is if you find yourself off of the fairway.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 2 Not
Up and Down
Pros: Another Beautiful Course in Charlotte
Good Concrete Tees
Adequate signage (Teesigns and "next tee")
Benches at several tees
Bathrooms/water fountains at the parking lot
Plenty of parking
Navigation is easy
Very fun course
Use of elevation changes is Top-notch
Fairways are well trimmed and wide enough to make the intended shot
Variety is great.
Good use of what water is there to make some holes challenging
Loved the use of Mandos to force certain lines
Also liked having several lines/options on most holes
The Deck on 12 added to the experience
Great place to work on shot-shaping
Some really good holes to work on Mids/Fairways
A few places to stretch out your drivers (you better be accurate)
Good for Rec to Pro players (something for everyone)
Empty your bag on 18 (fun)
Well kept and clean
Trimmed not just butchered
Playground for the Family/kids to wait for your round to finish
Well planned and flows well
Good workout, up and down hills
Favorite Hole(s): 5,12, 18
Cons: Not very many cons
A few more trashcans would be better (not really a problem, if you can lug it in full, surely you can make it all the way to the next trashcan empty)
A few good walks between holes (with friends this can be a plus)
A couple of holes feel repetetive
18 ends a little ways from the parking
Not really a con, but, if you're here in the Fall, bring your brightly colored discs and save you and your friends a good bit of time kicking around in the leaves looking for your discs.
Least Favorite Hole(s): 3, 11
Other Thoughts: This course is a great, fun, and challenging course that will really get your blood moving. Not too challenging, just enough to make it fun for everyone. I will definitely play it again if I'm ever in the area. This course is on the lower end of a 4.5 but I think better than a 4.
All in all, RL Smith is a must play if you're ever in the Charlotte area. If your passing through or traveling to Charlotte for DG, add this course to your plans and you won't regret it.
My disc rating is based heavily on "Fun Factor" which this course has lots of. I then bump it up or down based on amenities. This course has plenty of both.
PM me and let me know how I can be "more helpful" with my reviews.
11 of 13 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 2 Not
A must play if in Charlotte!!
Pros: Course is fairly easy to navigate.
Tee pads and signs at every hole. Benches and trash cans at most holes.
This course unlike some others in the Charlotte area is not as crowded.
Course is secluded from the rest of the park.
Course provides a variety of holes (open, wooded, uphill, downhill, water, etc.). Variety of shots needed to score well.
Some holes will allow you to take various lines to get to the basket and the tee pads even accommodate for that.
Cons: Once you start your round, there are no exits if you are short on time and only planned to play 9 holes or so. Course design kind of forces you to play the whole round.
No chances to bomb a drive in an open field.
A couple of the early holes (#1, #3, and #4) have horrible underbrush.
Hole #9's mando is strange IMO.
Probability of losing discs is high due to water and high brush in some places. (I've found 4 out there this year alone.)
This will probably work itself out over time but there are some areas on the course where steps or a bridge here and there would be helpful.
Have seen several snakes out there so watch out!
Other Thoughts: Be sure to carry bug spray.
My opinion the signature holes for this course are #13 and #18.
This course is quite a hike and can be tiresome due to the constant elevation changes; however the back 9 is much shorter than the front.
If in Charlotte, along with Renny, Hornets' Nest, and many others....this one is a must play. You won't regret it.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 2 Not
Great Disc Golf!!
Pros: What a well designed course! This course was one of the most enjoyable rounds of true Disc golf I have played in a very long time. It has a mix of everything and as a Lefty, I loved that all the punishement for errant or early releases was not on the right side. Hole 4 has to be my favorite. It is an extremely tough par 3. Water and OB all along the right, and a basket that is surrounded. a well placed drive will most likely earn a par. going for the bird is as risky as it gets, and will prob get you 2 strokes on a lot of people. The use of the property was perfect, you feel completely separated from the rest of the park and that is my favorite kind of DG. It almost has the private course feel. I really could go on and on about this course. Holes 17 and 18 are also amazing. Again, as a lefty I love 17, I can rip my drive and usually get up over the creek. 18 is just gorgeous. I want to empty my bag everytime I get on that teebox.
Cons: None really. you are isolated, so make sure to bring anything you want to have with you. Water,backup discs, towels, maybe a banana for the leg cramps. this course is a workout.
Other Thoughts: I am always down to play a round at R.L. the little extras that the club put in really make it special. Some of the coolest benches and teeboxes I have seen. the gallery area on the back 9, for the short uphill drive to the boulder is EPIC! If you are going to Charlotte, Do not miss the opportunity to play this course.
13 of 15 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 1 Not
The Cure for Disc Golf Blues
Pros: The Robert L. Smith course in Charlotte is a great course and instant favorite of mine. Offering challenging, and very shapely fairways featuring elements of extreme elevation changes, a few long distance holes, some water, and moderate to heavy woods almost all the way around. Each hole has its own merits, with several stunners. I particularly remember the proximity to the water on holes 4 and 7, the candy cane hairpin fairway on 9, and a fantastic finishing hole on 18. I think hole 13 had the only V shaped tee pad I have ever seen, giving options to drive the split fairways. I saw a number of interesting trees and liked the surroundings of this course. I would like to see it in the summer with leaf canopy on the trees.
Like most of the course I have played in Charlotte, the course is well designed, and the tee pads, baskets and signage are all high quality and complete. I really thought the benches, stairs, and bridges were great as well. There are restrooms at the beginning of the course and a few garbage cans around the course. A police officer was keeping an eye on the park entrance from his cruiser the entire time we were there.
Cons: The planes arriving at and departing the nearby airport were my biggest distraction, but nothing can be done about that. Some footing issues for me due to leafy debris and some wet ground, not that bad considering the rain in the days prior to my visit. The signs and pads were quality through the course, but there were not as many benches on the back 9, maybe more are in the works. My only real reason to complain was the poor play from me all day. Such a great course, and I really stunk it up. A few good throws, but couldn't really even get out of the box most of the day.
Other Thoughts: I have not given a 5 to any course yet, and rarely 4.5 ratings. I feel Robert L. Smith disc golf course deserves the phenomenal status, for the terrific blend of scenic beauty, fun, challenge, great layout, and quality equipment. I realize there is not the versatility of extra boxes or pin positions, and maybe some might find this course too difficult, but it is as close to perfection as few other courses I have played. If I had played better, or hit an ace I might have rewarded my first 5. Reminds me of Golden Hills DGC in Blacksburg, VA.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 7 Not
One of the most interesting courses ever
Pros: Excellent variety. A little cit of everything. Elevation- OB- Water- right turns- left turns- did i mention elevation??
The moment you walk onto this course you can tell that it is something special and that a ton of work has gone into making this place incredible. I feel the course designers did a terrific job with the land provided. It is a beast to walk and play- but very fun and enjoyable. There are hand built benches and a huge deck right off of a teepad. I would highly recommend playing this course if you are nearby!
Cons: My score- nah just kidding. You have to be able to throw several different types of shots to score well. Challenging and rewarding. I dont really have anything negative to say about this course!!
Other Thoughts: Thank you to all of the volunteers for all of your hard work building and maintaining this gem!
4 of 11 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: The elevation here and design is very well done. There are terrific concrete tees. Hole 2 plays straight uphill and is very unique in that it goes way right and uphill. I've never seen another hole like it. There are some great par 4s here and plenty of unique shot shaping required in the woods. Some of my favorite holes include hole 5, a tough right dog leg to a treacherous sloped island green. Oh, and there is ob the entire right side of the fairway. Hole 10 is a great par 3 that requires an uphill, long, straight shot. 18 is a fun downhill straight shot with ob directly behind the basket.
Cons: Some holes are weaker than the rest of the course like hole 3. It is a short downhill hole. I dislike how hole 7 is a tweener hole. It cannot be 2d unless you hit a big uphill putt. Hole 12 is a very short uphill hole but it has an awesome green. The back nine is considerably shorter than the front nine. There is a long walk back to the parking lot and hole 1 after the last hole.
Other Thoughts: I love Charlotte golf. Good work gentlemen.
6 of 11 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 2 Not
Seeing the Evolution
Pros: Elevation: Really, nowhere else to get the variety of elevation change in Charlotte, except of course for Stumpy. I've been playing this course since the baskets went in, and though it's still a tough hump, the work done on little bridges, stairs, etc, have done so much to ease the walk. Amazing job on the navigation, CDGC.
Challenge: At my intermediate skill level, I like the level of challenget this course presents. OK, you're going to have a Nevin flashback or two here, but it's not impossible from start to finish. There are "pitfall" holes that can ruin your day. But smart play at the right times, and this course can be had.
T-pads: Obviously, this course improved once the natural pads were history, and I can speak from experience that the back nine was not an easy pour.
Layout: there was a real danger to be repetitive here, but the holes around the rock formation break up the round nicely. It's not like the Web, with one 325 ft tunnel shot after another. Some people have beefs with risky basket locations...welcome to Charlotte, where we don't like flat turf circles with 10m radii.
Again, the amenities have made this course jump a full "disc" in rating for me. The deck on 12 needs a grill!
18 is a truly great finishing hole. Tough climb, but a bench to rest your weary feet, great view down to the basket, and out into the park, not TOO much of a chance to he a tree 100 ft off the ground and watch your Buzz go native.
Cons: I just don't like #2. I have no problem with "top-o-the-world" or "bottom-pf-the-world" shots, etc. But 2 is just a buzzkill to play. The entire fairway is a 45 degree incline, with some rough, so ANY shot requires climbing around on the cliff. "Belay On!"
I'd just like to see this hole reworked some, so it doesn't feel like such an obligation. Like "I'd love to play Smith today, but then I 'have" to play 2. Overexaggeration for effect, but you get me. I think the hole can be reworked to incorporate the slope, etc, without it being so zzzzzzzzzz.
Other Thoughts: --Like the little lounge area by 4 basket/5/7 tee.
--hole 2's really my main beef. Otherwise, as teh finishing touches go in here, this thing could make it to 4-5.
12 of 14 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
In Charlotte? Play this course!
Pros: Note: This is a biased review, but an attempt at being objective.
This course has a little bit of everything. Some really tough holes, balanced with some refreshingly short holes.
The course starts off with a nice new practice basket installed just for worlds. Little touches of hard work show up at the very beginning where one of many cedar benches is located, with some nicely installed steps that lead you to the tee of hole 1.
As the course progresses, you throw down the woods, up the woods, around the woods and between the woods (as you can tell, Avery Jenkins won't like this course). What's great about this course is that every fairway is fair. If you don't have the shot to shape the hole, it's your fault, not the courses.
As everyone has mentioned, hole 12 is the BEST easy hole in Charlotte. A simple 170 foot hole with beautiful scenery with a great place to take a picture break.
Cons: It's not perfect. Not even close. This course demands tons of work by nature and will be in continual development. Lot's of areas are still treacherous to walk.
Also, unfortunately, there are 2 sewage vents located in the middle of great holes. It's kinda too bad, but really there is nothing you can do about it.
There is a mando on 9 that I feel is a little ridiculous. If the mando wasn't there, you can get a 3 often with a bad shot. The mando forces the turn, but the design flaw is that from the tee, often you won't know if you made it or not. In my opinion, this is the worst hole on the course. I think it needs to be either longer with no mando, or shorter.
There isn't a variety of tee pads or basket. So far the decision to play RL is a one course decision.
Other Thoughts: This course shined it Worlds, and will continue to. The people behind this course are insanely dedicated to it's success.
Rumors are that in the future, this course will add 9 more holes. I really look forward to that day!
If you're in Charlotte, please do yourself a favor and play this course!
(EDIT) Ever since reviewing this course, it's just gotten better. How cool! It wouldn't take much to be a 5 star course. A couple extra stairs here and there could be helpful after a rainy day.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 3 Not
The great hills
Pros: -Robert L Smith is a terrific disc golf course on Little rock road. It's wooded and challenging and great for any players.
-The elevation here at Robert L Smith is really intense. This could possibly be the hilliest course you ever played. It starts off on a hole with a downhill teeshot into the mouth of the woods. Then #2 is immensely uphill then #3 is straight downhill. I am not going to go on because it's very exciting to see the elevation here.
-Teesigns are installed from what I saw and they are very cool. They were needed since it can be hard to find the basket on the hole you're playing.
-Nice teepads are installed and they allow nice and long run ups. #12 now has one along with a bench. You might get tired after going up and down are those hills so you might want to sit for a moment.
-#16 and #17 are great ace runs! The water is in play right on #16 so that tells you it's not a sidearm hole like #17. On #17, you need an anhyzer or flick because water is a bit right and the basket is a little more to the right. A birdie on either is a good one!
-From what I heard from dandaman, there is now a practice basket. It might just be the #19th hole's basket since #19 is across the field. I may be wrong though, the course has gotten changed quite a bit since I played here.
-A couple of the holes are in the field. #2 and #3. #2 is hard because it's crazily uphill. #3 is longer but straight downhill so it's a high birdie opprotunity if you go straight. Drivers turn too much on #3. A midrange can get you close.
-#11 and #13 have two routes. The shorter ones are harder to get to. #11's shorter route straight ahead goes to the right so it's a slight dogleg right. #13's shorter route's fairway is not wide. Similar to #11 long at Eager Beaver. Take the longer ones since they are easier birdies.
-#5 is one of my favorite par 4's in North Carolina! It's narrow and along the creek bed where the green is. #3 is also another sweet tee shot. In the pic on the media, It doesn't look downhill but believe me, it is and hyzering over the thick trees close to the large green makes this one of the best holes in charlotte. Definitely my favorite on the course.
-Next tee signs for the holes that can be confusing to find. Keep an eye out for them, especially on the walk to #13 because it's a long walk. They are very helpful.
-Great finishing hole. #18 is definitely a fun hole that has a super fun teeshot. Just going past the creek is good enough so you are not in OB.
-Bathrooms are next to the parking lot and they are nice and clean.
-Bridges are installed and benches and trashcans on every hole.
Cons: -If you play in the summer, there is wildlife in the woods. Beside #1, I saw bear poop. Snakes might also occur in the woods during summer. If you throw a disc in the woods, I wouldn't search for it too long. Use a disc you are willing to lose. Snakes can be around here.
-#14 needs to be cleared a bit to the left but it's nothing major.
Other Thoughts: I love this course, the design is perfect and I am glad grass got cut here on the course. This is possibly my favorite and if you live in Gastonia like me, this is the closest course in charlotte. It's super hilly and definitely one of the best in Charlotte. On the hole by hole review, I am not going to say what you need to do on every hole because on hole info, I put hole tips on every hole.
-This is the best course in Charlotte that I have played. Once I play Nevin, I might find that as the best because I have seen it on YouTube but this course is definitely worth the play no matter how faraway you live from it. The scenery is great, the fairways have no debris and mainly, it's the hilliest in Charlotte. This is a must play in Charlotte and since the original course at Renaissance is gone, this WILL be the best in Charlotte. Don't skip it.
Signature holes, hmm, I'd say #5 because it's a cool, narrow par 4 along the creek bed. #12, Steep uphill ace run on an elevation green on rocks and #18, truly great finishing hole. Have fun.
I deleted the hole by hole review. That gave way too much away. This is my favorite course in Charlotte and my favorite course overall. Eight holes on this course have elevation changes of over 20 feet. Water is in play on seven holes too and also has some great pin placements, like on #9 and #12.
-My favorite hole is #3. It's an easy, really straight down 265' footer that plays much shorter. #13 is also a fun hole with two routes and the double tee is pretty awesome. Really, I like every hole on the course.
-I gave this course a 4.5 because it's maintained well, it's very hilly, it's has an amazing layout. Just needs to be cleared on #3 because the tall grass isn't somewhere to look for discs, if ya lose it, ya lose it. Keep an eye out for snakes and bring hiking shoes.
5 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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