Renaissance ; A Big Boys Course
10 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Renaissance is definitely deserving of anyones time in the Charlotte area. The remarks of the course being a monster and the hardest course around have made me shy away from it in the past, but oh have been missing out. Renaissance has many elevation changes which make it hike, but not intimidating. It has narrow fairways but doesn't make you feel like you're staring down the barrel of a gun, and its those things that make it a lot of fun. The thing I like most about Renaissance was how well "Broken In" it is. It shows its age but in a really good way making it a disc golfers type course with cool walkways and stairs and benches and even a treestand to over look a fairway. There are many signature hole with pins on boulders and pins built into a side a of a hill which is really cool. There is a board by the practice pin that gives a map and course information. You can even get a free scorecard from the office by the tennis courts.
Cons: I wish some of the review and rumours about Renaissance where that it is a fun course and not that it so intimidating. Me and my buddy played the Black layout seeing it was out first time there and the navigation got to be a little rough at times. Even with a map and some signage the back 9 you start playing holes that are like hole 11 on the Black layout but is hole 13 for the Gold layout, which can get confusing in a hurry. A sign showing you where hole 1 is would not be a bad idea either. Also if you are playing a hole that has the same pin for the Gold layout and the Black layout, you are playing a nice, new Pro 28 Innova DISCatcher, but if you play the Black layout and your pin is separate, you play an old, worn out DISCatcher. Most of the holes you are blind from the pin but the fairways are so well designed and play even better its not to big of a deal. And not thats a real negative but Renaissance is a hike, so bring your walking shoes and plan to be there for a while.
Other Thoughts: Renaissance is the epitome of what disc golf course should be, fun. I give a ton of props to Stan McDaniel for such a good design, and a ton of hard work. It could not been easy building all those barriers for the pins and walkways. I have to put Renaissance right up the with Hornets Nest as Charlotte's premier disc golf courses. This course will definitely test you as a disc golf player but remind you why you love this sport so much.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
You Must Play this Course Once
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Every disc golfer needs to play this course once. It's a true destination course with numerous holes that will be remembered long afterwards. There are some truly epic holes here. And I mean epic in the traditional sense, not in the 2010 slang term sense. That sinks in when you see the pin placement on 2. No words of mine could describe it as well as the picture so do yourself a favor and look at it already. And when you reach that pin, and find your disk hopefully on the ledge, you will look across the ravine and see 18 on a ledge by itself. You'll see the stairs that lead both down and up the ravine and you'll probably realize what you have signed yourself up for.
While 2 might be the pinnacle, basket placement is exquisite throughout the course. In that area, Renny is tops amongst all courses I've played. Never have I seen so many precariously perched pins. Never have I seen so many baskets placed just where they should be to give that extra wow factor to the course.
Of course there is more to do than admire beautiful pins here. I like to throw discs at them myself. The hole layout is also rather grand, with a ton, and I mean a ton of variety. Distances range from the low 200s to the 500s on the grey layout and upwards of 1000 feet from the gold tees.
Whichever layout you play, you're going to see thick woods, open meadows, and narrow fairways. The most impressive part of many of them is the construction that keeps much of the course hanging to the side of cliffs. You can see much of the effects of erosion, but you will also see a tremendous effort made to keep it at bay. In between throws, you'll climb stair cases built into hillsides, cross lengthy bridges, and even climb a lifeguard chair, which I assume was put there to spot your buddy's throw.
It's a real experience that I can't recommend enough.
Cons: It is also a course that you only need to play once, in some ways. Especially in summer, this can be a hazardous course. Now that I've been there, seen it, done it, etc, I'm not sure how soon I need to return. It's too epic in a way. I couldn't imagine it being my regular course. I couldn't imagine playing it every day. Partially, because it would take away from the mystique, but partially because I don't think it would be that fun.
Additionally, There's a run of holes, something around 13 to 16, that felt like they weren't up to snuff with the rest of the course. Felt a little but like they just ran out of ideas, or maybe the space they need to use to get to where they wanted 18 to be just didn't leave many options. In any case, the course didn't really close with a bang for me, as much as the first nine, and parts of the back nine were amazing.
However, one issue would be cleared up by frequent returns. The dual layout provide some confusion about what hole plays to where. I had downloaded a map from this site and tried to play a Renny Black that I guess no longer exists. Warning: don't use that map. Things have been apparently changed. Just follow the signs, although even doing that I think I played 16 holes from the grey layout and two from the gold after failing to locate a grey basket.. Not the world's greatest tragedy.
Other Thoughts: A true destination course. You must do this course at least once.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 9 Not
Pros: - Excellent challenge
- Fun approach shots to many of the interestingly-placed pins, including several on hillsides with impressive, fearsome obs.
- Good, stable tee pads.
- # 18 was a great challenging way to finish (I was thrilled with a par.)
Cons: - This is always an issue playing solo, but there are a lot of places where you could lose your disc forever. So, I played a bunch of shots with discs I wouldn't miss as much.
0 of 9 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 0 Not
That was Fun
Pros: While on vacation in the NC area I made sure to include Renny as one of my stops. I must say this course is one of the toughest I have played but also one of the most I enjoyed playing.
There are what I call spectacular holes on this course (2, 8, 13, 18 in my opinion). Renny has just about every type of hole you could ask for in a course, from tight wooded holes with lots of elevation to long open holes.
The length of the course and elevation is a workout and adds to the toughness of the course.
A course which will you will use most of the disc in your bag. A true gem of a course and a must stop if your in the area.
Cons: At the time of this review signage is a major problem. Its a shame a course like this with so much potential to be one of the top rated courses in the entire country has such poor signage. Renny Black, Gold and now Gray? I actually seen that name posted on a couple holes and thought there were 3 layouts. There were a few playable original holes not on the map here that I missed the first time through but found on the second round when getting directional help from others on the course.
Good news is that I happen to run into the course designer while on the course and they were walking the course taking notes to improve the signage so help is on the way!
Course could use a sign board with a large course map, lost disc drop off near the 1st hole. If there was one I did not see it.
Other Thoughts: Its a tough course but it really has a Fun Factor which offsets the toughness.
Clearly correct signage for the gold-black or gray tees, make sure the basket numbers match, throw in beginner friendly Rec tees and you got one of the top rated courses in the country.
With all the elevations on this course it was great to see the many steps and bridges created to make the walk safer. I lot of courses lack this feature but not this one! Not only were there steps but many were painted so you could see them well.
Basket placement is very creative here and is part of what makes this course unique and challenging. Several locations will make you lay-up or take a high risk putt.
I have to mention the awesome park itself which has many features including bathrooms, pleanty of parking
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
Designer Response by: Stan McDaniel
Myself and our club, CDGC, apologize to all for the poor signage. It has been an issue for years. I did walk the course Saturday , as mentioned above, with club member Ox, who is in the process of making new tee signs and also for plenty of directional aids to the next tee. THis is one of the reasons I did not want to bring a short layout back to Renny, but locals really wanted a short layout there. So, hopefully the soon-to-come signage will make navigation easier.
3 Helpful / 10 Not
Long and wide!
Pros: Definitely will get a workout here. Many holes are really long, however fairways are generally wide which offer a lot of forgiveness. Great place to chuck and throw it.
Cons: Bike trail intersects with course at many points. Can slow your game down as you wait for them to get completely out of the way.
Other Thoughts: Not easy to play by yourself the first time unless you know exactly where to go. I recommend following a group or asking to play with someone.
3 of 13 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 3 Not
A Very Rugged, Complete Challenge
Pros: Renaissance Park provides one of the most complete advanced and pro-level disc golf challenges anywhere. Scoring well at Renny requires accuracy, power, shot-shaping, putting, course-management, and nerves of steel. Renny has very rugged terrain that pictures don't do justice. There are many points during a round to stop and say "wow, that's a beautifully framed basket".
It is evident that literally thousands of volunteer hours have been spent building and maintaining this course. There are many places where erosion control barriers have been wisely constructed that protect the integrity of the course and provide very unique risk/reward putting scenarios. Many stairs and bridges have been constructed to ease traversing this rugged property.
Few courses have such high quality dynamic "greens" that make three and even four-putting a possibility. The short or "black" layout provides much more challenge than nearly all courses in existence and the long or "gold" layout takes it two steps further.
Holes 2, 4, 7, 13, 14, 17, and 18 are standouts.
Renny is a great part of the awesome Charlotte area disc golf scene. At present, North Carolina doesn't have any courses on the DGCR top ten list, but overall I don't see any city that stacks up with Charlotte in terms of the number and quality of disc golf options within a short drive.
Cons: With all the time and love that has gone into this course, it feels like nit-picking to list any cons. However, the course is NOT well suited for beginner players. It is extremely rugged and some people may have difficulty just traversing it, let alone enjoying themselves. Much of the ground is clay that can be extremely slippery at times. Discs can easily wind up in places that require difficult climbs up and down hills to get to and play from.
Despite all the work that goes into the course, unfortunately, the grounds still have a fair amount of trash.
The short baskets on hole 1 and hole 18 have been placed dangerously close to the park roads.
Getting from hole 14 to hole 15 requires crossing hole 10's fairway.
The signage is inadequate for first-time players without a guide. The concept of having the overlay course is great, but not readily apparent to someone that walks up to the first tee. Speaking of the first tee, the "black" tee is hidden back in the woods. Some holes have two tee pads while some only one and some holes have two baskets and some only one, but the tee signs don't indicate this.
The use of mandos is overdone. If the mandos have been implemented for safety reasons, the need for many could have been eliminated with minor tweaks in tee location. If the mandos have been implemented to add challenge, then I believe them to be unnecessary as the course itself provides sufficient challenge without them. The same could be said for many of the OB's. Many of the OB markers are hidden in some thick schule.
Holes 11 and 12 are out of character and just to be endured, in comparison to the rest of the course.
Hole 15 and hole 9 crowd each other unnecessarily.
The course does not loop back to the parking lot after 9.
Other Thoughts: The pros far outweigh the cons at Renny. Just be prepared for a very long, tiring challenge and pack your bag accordingly.
Don't be a dirty discer, leave the course cleaner than the way you found it.
10 of 13 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: The course plays through a park with a mix of wooded and open areas with some great elevation changes. Several holes on the front 9 and hole 18 take advantage of a deep ravine with some really tricky pin placements. I love the risk around the pin, it makes you really think about your approach to the hole. The back 9 brings some open hilly areas into play with a couple fun big downhill shots.
There are two layouts here that overlap, the original and Gold layouts, and they offer some very different looks. Some holes have a different tee, others have a different basket, some have both. This adds a lot of variety to the course, with several ways to play to keep it fresh. I liked the mix of potential ace runs, tough wooded holes that called for a controlled drive, and some bombers where you get to open up but still have to think about placement.
There is a good mix of hole shapes here, you'll need a complete set of shots to score well and stay out of trouble. Many of the holes have good rough, thick enough to punish errant shots but not so thick you'll lose discs, or always have to just pitch out to the fairway. The tees are nice concrete pads, and there is adequate signage to follow the course.
Cons: The signage is there, but it's inconsistent. Some holes have great signs that show the hole layout and distance with all basket positions. Many of the gold tees only have number and distance, which makes for some blind shots that aren't obvious where to shoot. Some of the original baskets have multiple placements shown on signs, with no indicator of which is in use, a little frustrating at times.
There are some safety issues here, with a couple places you shoot near other holes or have to walk across another fairway. There are also a couple holes that bring roads and parking lots into play. There are some erosion issues, especially around the streams and ravine on the front 9.
Other Thoughts: This course has some great variety, I liked the technical challenges juxtaposed with the open shots, especially with tricky greens on many of the open drives. Beginners will find even the shorter layout pretty challenging and punishing, it's more at an intermediate level. The gold layout will challenge a full range of skills for any player while still having holes that are fun to throw.
11 of 14 people found this review helpful.
21 Helpful / 7 Not
Made for spry youngens who don't miss putts
Pros: Renny is a course like Idlewild that everyone should play once. It's a stubborn course that is a good measuring stick of where you are as a player.
This course will test you physically and emotionally. The greatest test of putting of the 150 courses I've played. If you miss you are often re-approaching again and not just three putting here.
Demanding mix of open air heaves, fairway golf and wooded holes. Some hills but more undulating terrain to make you really think and play smart. Course seems to be mostly exclusive from other activities so conflicts should be minimal.
In short its a pro caliber challenge that will test every player's ability. What makes Renny unique and loved/despised is the incredibly fast greens and extreme basket locations that if missed will generate huge totals as OOB ravines and steep dropoffs await many of the greens. If you are on you could blow away the field as many will be making the ditch 5 putt scramble.
Good variety here with open field length , long wooded holes, followed by insanely difficult pin positions being the theme here.
Basically if you can't putt you are in trouble (fastest greens and most difficult basket positions Ive ever seen with zero layup), if you can't throw with big D you are in trouble (many looooong open holes where you are apt to lose a stroke if you cant heave it a mile), if you can't hit tight lines you are also in trouble (a few tight pinch points just out of the non elite players comfort zone and with thick woods off the fairway rescue shots are rare and pitch outs are the norm) and of course all of this ends up testing your emotional balance and ability to shrug off a missed 12 foot putt that becomes a ravine rollaway etc. If you can't handle these skills you are gonna find yourself at the bottom of a ditch looking up at your partners physically and on the scorecard.
Cons: I had been reading and hearing about Renny since I began helping to build Nockamixon in 2002. When I got down to North Carolina I was giddy and could not wait to play this course. Locals here warned me that many did not like it and that other courses were much more preferred. These were decent veteran players and not noobs. I was perplexed....but after playing I think I'm in the anti Renny camp. I can't hate the course and give it a low score because I realize it was not meant for me (I can't putt and am getting older) I am not going to sit here and give the course a free pass and assume that it's just a matter of my AM type skills not being able to handle the course.
Quite simply too often luck is the determining factor and the true challenge on many of the holes. A great deal of work and craftmanship has been put into this course and the holes are solid holes until you get to the greens...this is where my game disagreed with the design. Too often I played a hole as well as I could and had a shot to garner par or birdie and instead I missed a putt by a minimal amount and ended up multi putting and my score blew up. I found that too many of my throws were putts here....too many actually. I began to try to lay-up and just take bogey but often laying up garnered the same result....a rollaway to oob abyss and a 100+ ft upshot. I love a few risky greens and admit I need to work on my putting...but when you can't lay-up and if you can't reliably make a 35 footer what are you supposed to do. I admit I lost it and broke down and made an ass of myself amongst the guys who showed me the course. I just think too much of the difficulty was derived by "GIMMICKY" greens over and over. I found it to be a very uncreative play as well...basically you had to be able to do exactly what the designer intended without many options or room for imaginative shots. I felt forced to throw specific lines and wasn't given the option enough to try something different. (this is a southern phenomenon I think as the dense woods dont really allow for any get out of jail shots or alternate lines like you can do up north)
In short I felt that even after doing axactly what I was told to do I was met by a basket on a perch that I had to make a long putt on or take multi-bogey on. Unforgiving, excessively punishing, and not really enjoyable despite the fact that I was hitting all my lines all day. Kind of like going on a wonderful date with a girl and when it's time for the good night kiss her Dad comes out and beats your ass. Thats how I felt when people asked me about how I liked the course.
Other Thoughts: I really held out on reviewing this course and emotionally wanted to give it a lower score but realizing I am not a top caliber player and am older so missing putts and climbing in and out of clay canyons is not so much fun I decided to rate it as a 4. There are better plays in Charlotte. I really think Nevin blows this one away....The other Charlotte course have a few elevated baskets and risky greens but this place has overdosed on them much to my scorecard and memory's chagrin.
21 of 28 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Talk about something for everyone, you get it all in one round at Renaissance Park DGC. Renny is not built for the novice DGer, with plenty of distance, technicallity, and variety.
Renaissance Park DGC is equipped with concrete tee pads and DISCatcher baskets, yellow baskets for the original layout, White for the Pro layout. Benches and trash cans located at various holes throughout the course.
Course layout is a very big pro in my book. The layover of the short and long course is very well thought out, and has been tweeked here and there. Most of the Gold(Long) course's baskets are separate baskets, longer than the original baskets. Some holes have mulitiple tee pads. A few holes even have a few basket placements, which allow you to mix it up if you frequent Renny often.
The course is quite challanging. The front 9 is the shorter half of the course, playing through denser woods. The front half is much more technical, requiring alot of shot-shaping and accurate throws at the expense of distance. The back 9 is a totally different beast, with plenty of distance. Most holes on the back require more than 1 drive to reach the green.
Basket placements offer plenty more difficulty, whether its tucked neatly behind a tree, on the edge of a cliff, anchored into a large boulder, or way far away from the tee. The Gold layout is this x5, with plenty of island greens on the edge of cliffs and such.
Variety is a large pro also. You are likely to use every shot in your bag through a round at least twice. Plenty of ups and downs, lefts and rights, tunnel shots and open shots.
Cons: -Tee signs are a bit of mix-and-match, with some being accurate, some not so much. Most Pro holes only have distance and par posted with no hole map. Maps for some holes include pin placements no longer in use.
-Course is pretty much unplayable after a storm. Footing is quite tough in a lot of areas when the ground is still wet.
-A few OB areas on the course which require climbing down into a very large ditch which can be quite dangerous. There have been steps/ladders set in place to help. Hey, at least it isn't a deep disc eating lake.
Other Thoughts: This is one of those courses that you must hit in your road trip through Charlotte. Only problem is that it will take you at least 2 hours as a single player to play a round here, and that's not factoring in navigation issues you may have if its your first time at Renny.
Plenty of unique holes, and although not as picturesque as some other courses here in Charlotte this course sure gets the job done.
Renaissance Park DGC's Gold layout ranks in the top 3 toughest courses in the Greater Charlotte area, along with Nevin and the Web layout of Hornet's Nest. A good score can be shot on this course, if you are able to keep your head in the game and not let the distance get into your head.
11 of 14 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: - Aesthetically Pleasing
- Good mix of shots required
- Great mix of open and technical
- Big teepads!
- Some really sweet basket placements
- Baskets in good condition
- Well maintained (although it is winter)
- Good Tee signs
- Multiple Tees
Cons: - Gold tees could be more informative
Other Thoughts: I played Renny Gold and it was one of the top disc golf experiences I've had. Although the course will destroy you if you aren't a good/great player, it is still really, really fun. I shot 25 over and still had an awesome time. I think this is course is epic in scale and some of the shots make you go "wow." There's a good amount of OB but it isn't that hard to stay in bounds, for the most part. I highly suggest this course to anyone around Charlotte.
13 of 15 people found this review helpful.
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