A Beautiful Beast
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Rennaissance gold is probably one of the most consistently difficult, but consistently fun and fair courses I have played. Especially from the gold tees, this monster is a true test of tournament calibre disc golf. The local club was blessed with a beautiful piece of terrain with which to make a course. Wooded ravines, deep gorges, gigantic boulders, and even a few small sneaky creeks come into play. Elevation changes here can be very drastic and require shots that simply are unique. The variety of shots required on this course is absolutely intense. This is not a course where one dimensional throwers are going to score well. Holes dogleg left and right, and pins are tucked into some devilish places that really require a ton of precision.
Hole length variety is also really great here. There are some definite birdie opportunities on reachable par 3s, and also some really fun par 4s and 5 that keep the course from being at all monotonous.
On the subject of unique would also be some of the green complexes which are amongst the most scenic, and also most difficult that I have seen. Some of them are nestled atop of large boulder complexes which really test short approaches and putts. I would say my favorite was #2 though, which sits on a wooden embankment overllooking a huge, deep gorge. The throw up to the basket (and the penalty for missing that green) is incredible, and a nightmare for the golfer who finds himself at the bottom. That, combined with the basket being on an elevated gangplank forcing a deathputt back down the ravine, creates probably one of the toughest greens I have ever played, and also probably my favorite.
All of the baskets are nicely kept discatchers (for both the gold and grey baskets) and tees are ample concrete. There is a fair attempt at signage here, though as below I do think it could do with some improvement.
One of the coolest parts of this course is that the golds and greys play as almost completely different courses. Different baskets, tees, sometimes even fairways or even completely different holes. Different chalenges make the replay value for this course very high.
Also the obvious, great facilities on site in this well maintained park. Practice basket by the parking lot. Plus another full course on site the RenSke makes this a truly great disc golf facility
Cons: Only a few cons here. The most significant one is the navigation which has been noted by some other reviewers. Though there are a ton of signs on the course that attempt to help with the navigation, this place can be quite confusing. Unfortunately the hole signs aren't completely accurate sometimes when showing both basket positions, and a few are old signs that show possibly old basket and tee locations. Sometimes the hole numbers on the basket don't match the hole being played, which was a bit troublesome as well from a navigational perspective. (update, as of 11/16/15 I have heard this has been improved significantly but I haven't had a chance to see it for myself yet)
One of the mandos in the woods was simply a stick on the tree, which was a bit diffiult to see from the teebox.
Finding the first tee was a bit difficult as it is all the way around the tennis courts on the corner of a walkway that doesn't necessarily look like a teepad.
I wasn't a huge fan of the gold teebox on #2. It seemed to call for a sweeping RHBH hyzer over the parking lot back to the fairway. It is not an overly dififcult shot, but it brings cars and people potentially into play. The green complex on this hole is difficult enough, I didn't feel the danger of that teebox was necessary
Other Thoughts: Overall this was a very good course. I really enjoyed taking my beating on this one, and I would really love to come back and try the grey layout as well.
I think part of my frustration with the navigation was that some of the layout for the course has been slightly altered currently for the upcoming US Masters. That means that some baskets are moved, a few holes are re-routed, and there are spraypainted hole numbers on a few holes that don't match the hole's usual number. There are a few temporary grass tees. As a first time player, this got me a bit confused but I understand that this is a temporary issue that doesn't reflect the normal state of the course.
Make sure you pick which layout you are playing before you start, because there are different courses and sometimes the layout can be a bit confusing
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
Choose Gold or Grey before playing
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This is 2 separate courses. There is a gold course and a grey course. It is not like courses with a Red and a Blue layout (long and short), it really is 2 courses. You need to pick which course you are playing before you play to avoid any confusion or navigation issues. I realized this after hole 6 but still enjoyed what I played.
Courses are both extremely challenging championship level courses aimed at pro level and upper intermediate level players. The Gold course is longer than the silver but both are just as challenging.
Baskets - The Gold course uses baskets with a gold rim, the grey uses baskets with a grey rim. They catch great. If the two courses share a fairway, there are two baskets. Make sure you play to the correct one. Practice basket on site.
Tees - Each hole has at least one concrete tee. For the holes where the Gold and Grey partially share a fairway, there are 2 tees. When the two split apart from each other, there is only one per hole.
Variety - Everything from flat and open to hilly and open to short and wooded to long hilly and wooded. No two holes are even remotely close to being the same. The gold course has a little bit of distance to the holes, especially when it cross over with Renski for a few holes. There are many blind shots due to elevation, woods, large rocks, and even tall grass. There are many holes at this course with unique basket placements; 2, 9, and 18 stand out the most. If you over/undershoot, you will find yourself 20 feet downhill from an immediate drop off. A majority of the holes are on the long side featuring several placement shots (esp on 18), woods, elevation, and a few water hazards spanning across different types of terrain. Gold and Grey split apart after hole 10. Gold is longer and more flat. Silver is shorter and technical.
Signs - arrows pointing you to the tees for both gold and grey. If you know which course you are playing, it is easy to follow. The signs at each hole show a map for which hole you are playing (for example gold 10 and grey 9 share a tee and a basket) so it is listed on the map.
Once you figure out the navigation to either the gold or grey, the play and layout of this course is phenomenal. Bridges and steps when needed (and it is needed a ton).
Requires the best throw on every throw. Very challenging and rewarding.
Very scenic. Plenty of nature and trails to go around.
Unique basket placement.
Cons: If you do not determine which course you are playing, navigation will ruin this course for you. It would definitely be and is a make or break point with this course.
Some of the holes are too difficult for the average disc golfer but fortunately there is an easier course on the opposite end of the park (use the other entrance).
Drop off midway along hole 18 is dangerous. Needs some sort of safety device.
Some of the maps were not accurate.
Navigation was still confusing at times. Especially when Gold crosses Renski as well as a few hole on back 9.
Noise from nearby roads takes away from the peacefulness of the course.
Lots of opportunity to lose a disc (also a pro for being challenging).
At times, did not know which basket to throw to. Would have to walk the hole before playing to know where to go. There were some baskets that did not show up on the map.
Other Thoughts: I wish I would have picked which course to play prior to playing. Once I figured out what was going on, I really enjoyed everything. Some of the holes were above my skill level (18 for example) but I was willing to try any challenge this provided. The course was laid out very well and the designing phase must have taken months. I was very impressed with the holes here and was definitely wore out after playing.
I would recommend this to any intermediate to pro level player as long as they pick a course and have a map on hand.
Once you figure out navigation, you will more than likely be impressed with this course. I would give this course a 5 out of 5 if it wasn't for the navigation issues and if it were more playable to an intermediate crowd. I left impressed and feel a 4.5 is a great score.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Highest rated course in Charlotte? How?
10 Helpful / 16 Not
Pros: There are some cool pin placements and greens that really challenge you and force you to re-evaluate a lay up vs. running for it Hole #2 long basket comes to mind! The basket sits on the edge of a ravine. If you miss, you miss big
The course has a broad variety of shots. Long bombs, tough narrow shots, everything
Cons: Signage signage signage....
For being the highest rated public course in the Charlotte area I was beyond disappointed. I had read and heard so many good things about how awesome Renn. is, so I couldn't wait to try it. And after playing many of the other highly rated Charlotte courses I had high expectations.
My round started out by a confusing walk around the tennis courts looking for the tee pad. Knowing that there are the Grey and Gold options for the course, I was looking for two tee pads. Maybe there are, maybe there aren't? I could only find one.
The tee signs didn't help guide me along very much, and after the first 3 holes I was starting to get frustrated.
By the time I made it into the wooded "ravine" area I was beyond lost, and walking around just looking for the correct tee pad and basket. There were NO signs directing me were to go, and with so many holes crammed into one area, fairways criss-crossing each other, and the two layouts It was hard to even find the correct fairway.
Other Thoughts: I'm disappointed that this course is the highest rated course here in Charlotte, and I feel that I must've missed the allure of the course. I'm sure I will play it again, and hopefully be able to update my review, but given the lack of direction, signage, tee pads, clear fairways, etc. I can't ever see this course being rated higher than 3 stars in its current condition.
I'm sure this review will get me plenty of "un-helpful" votes, but I stand by my review. The course is almost impossible to find your way through, not a trait of a 4+ rated course...
Good luck deciphering your way through the first 9 holes...
10 of 26 people found this review helpful.
Decent, but not blown away
8 Helpful / 15 Not
Pros: - Finding the next basket was pretty easy. Course seemed to flow well.
- Baskets and tee pads were well maintained. No graffiti or those stupid "disc chargers" written on the benches.
Cons: - Signage is terrible after the first few holes. The first few holes all have nice layout maps at the tee pad, but a majority seemed to be missing. Had to walk down to find the basket before throwing a few times.
- Some tee pads were numbered incorrectly (the ninth tee is labeled 8), but luckily we were able to ask some locals for help when we needed it.
- Several fairways are in desperate need of mowing. Spent a pretty good amount of time looking for discs that landed in the fairway because the grass is so tall in some places.
Other Thoughts: - Plays long. Not really a pro or con, but I felt like there wasn't much mix of distance. In my opinion, great courses mix short, med, and longish par 3s, but I felt like I was throwing a driver/fairway driver on most tees (and we played the "short" tees.)
- Took us about 3 hours to finish with a group of 4
- For this to be such a highly rated courses I wasn't very impressed. I'll definitely be checking out some of the other courses in the area.
8 of 23 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 9 Not
Accept the challenge!
Pros: The grey course is an exciting way for a beginner or an advanced player to challenge themselves. The holes give you several different looks and makes it easy to find a route that works for you. Great use of elevation and concrete tee pads are always a plus.
Cons: I was able to figure out the course but it does take some navigating. While it is clearly marked where the next hole, the basket location can be confusing. Some holes have two baskets, some one, some show two on the sign but only have one on the hole. I was able to figure it out but it did make the first trip a little confusing.
Other Thoughts: I am a beginner. I've only been playing three months with a max drive of 280. While my score was much higher on this course than the rest I have played, It was a lot of fun. When I play this course I plan to take an extra 5 shots over my average. I have heard all the stories of how tough this course is but did not find it impossible for a beginner. I encourage everyone to take the challenge and enjoy the difficulty.
4 of 13 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 23 Not
Wait what hole was that?
Pros: Some very fun holes. Great use of elevation. Well maintained.
EDIT: There's a lot going on here and it's probably not fair to judge after just one round... but I will...
Cons: The only con, and it's a big one, is the lack of signage. Really, it's an embarrassment to the club to have such a nice course that's so frustrating for anyone who isn't in the know. Yes, there was a poorly-photocopied map you could grab but it was illedgible.
Other Thoughts: I know lots of people won't agree with this rating but I stand by it. If you can't walk in off the street and get around the course that's a major drawback.
We went to RL Smith right after Renny and it was a much more fun experience.
EDIT: I will go up to 3.5. Perhaps I expected too much after all the buildup. But if this is going to be the showplace of Charlotte disc golf, as it should be, basic navigation is not too much to ask.
I know my opinion of Renaissance will improve after I go back. But if you've only got time for one round and you're not with a local, I'd go to RL Smith, Nevin, or Hornet's Nest first.
10 of 33 people found this review helpful.
Renny and the Jets
9 Helpful / 11 Not
Pros: Renny's got two different layouts with concrete tees and baskets and benches. She's got them crazy greens that will make you decide to either layup safe or go for it and risk it all. She's got some of the best elevation in the area and pits of danger. Her variety is phenomenal with some fun downhill, uphill, across the slope holes. She got curves and doglegs, and multi-path fairways. The few flat holes on the gold layout are tough straight-ish par 5s and 4s. She's got some nicely built erosion control features and steps and bridges to traverse the course. Nice locals that helped me with navigation in parts. Port-a-potty by tennis courts/parking lot.
Cons: Navigation was a bit convoluted between the two layouts in the middle with overlapping of different numbers on the same hole. Lacking in the signage department, bring a map if it's your first time. Plays over/near parking lot/road. There was a yellow jacket nest on the little path to the green to basket 18. Muddy the day after rain. Tough and rugged course for the un-seasoned player and your normal everyday play.
Other Thoughts: Hey kids, shake it loose together
The spotlight's hitting something
That's been known to change the game
We'll kill the fatted calf tonight
So stick around
You're gonna hear electric music
Solid walls of sound
Say, Candy and Ronnie, have you seen them yet
But they're so spaced out, Renny and the Jets
Oh but they're weird and they're wonderful
Oh Renny she's really keen
She's got electric boots a mohair suit
You know I read it in a maga-zine
R-R-R-Renny and the Jets
Hey kids, plug into the faithless
Maybe they're blinded
But Renny makes them ageless
We shall survive, let us take ourselves along
Where we fight our parents out in the streets
To find who's right and who's wrong
R-R-R-Renny and the Jetsss!
9 of 20 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 2 Not
One of the Jewels of NC
Pros: -The layout here is spectacular, particularly in terms of the pin placements. The pins are placed on well protected greens that and require navigating slopes, elevated baskets, and delicate approaches.
-The use of elevation adds a big wow factor to a number of holes while increasing the degree of difficulty.
-The big gorge is another signature element and is used at both the beginning (hole 2) and end (hole 18) of the course.
-Concrete tees are always nice to have on every hole.
-Really nice mix of shots, especially for NC where the courses tend to be pretty heavily wooded. This has tight tunnel shots, big open bombs, and makes you work the disc both left to right and right to left.
Cons: The only con for me would be the issues with navigation. I don't understand the way the course is laid out at the moment, and it isn't just me. I had a local club member as a guide and we still managed to miss a hole. As we approached one of the tees another group arrived at the tee from a different direction but claimed to be playing the same layout that we were (they had actually taken the holes completely out of order). Every other course I've ever played with a short and long layout just has a long tee and a short tee playing to the same basket which seems by far the easiest way to do things. If the club insists on the spiderweb of tees that is the current system i think much better navigational aids need to be in place.
Other Thoughts: Renny is a course i've been hearing about for some time and i'm happy to report that it didn't disappoint in the least. The layout issues hardly take away from the rating as the holes taken individually are some of the best i've ever played. Every shot you have will be tested and those that put some thought into how they are going to get around the course will be rewarded. If you ever have a chance to make it out, this is one that shouldn't be missed.
11 of 13 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 1 Not
for the Renaissance man
Pros: I haven't played many gold-level courses that are this much fun. Renny is an absolute beast.
Elevation changes are frequent and dramatic. I can only remember about three flat holes, and those were the all-out distance bombers (11-13). Risk-reward is incorporated beautifully, with many baskets on or right next to slopes. None is more dramatic than on #2, where the basket is raised on a pedestal with a steep ravine a few feet away. There is a fence to keep you safe, but if you air ball your putt, your disc may not be so lucky.
This course had more doglegs than any I can remember, and they are designed well. The landing zones were generally pretty fair, and you had to think a shot or two ahead (or not; sometimes I did this and then nailed the first tree).
There are some scenic rock outcroppings. On #9 my drive landed 15 feet away from the basket and 15 feet below. Wooded and open holes are nicely interspersed.
I like courses that finish big, and you can't finish much bigger than #18 here, an 800+ foot gut check. After a full drive, I had to decide if I could safely get my approach across the steep ravine that bisected the fairway and also avoid the one that runs along the right side (I laid up). Then there is a memorable approach to the basket on the precarious green above the ravine. Really fun hole.
Cons: Hole 1 was a little underwhelming, and the tee shot seemed a little odd with a branch blocking your drive. (I'm pretty sure I was using the right tee pad - a big concrete slab near the tennis court - but there was little signage).
In general the tee signs are missing. Distances are listed on the tee pads, but with multiple configurations it can be confusing. I got through okay with the help of the "next tee" arrows (which were plentiful) and the map on this site. Without the map, good luck. You absolutely need to understand the direction of the doglegs, and these fairways are too long to walk before you throw.
I played the gold course. Be careful that you're playing to the right holes, as some holes also have a basket for the black configuration (and they're not black baskets), and often times there are multiple baskets visible from wherever you are.
Other Thoughts: My score was higher than any course I've played in the last two years, but I didn't care. This course was epic. If Homer were alive today, he'd be writing about Renny Gold. I would put this up there with the best city park courses I've played, along with Water Works and maybe Hummel.
15 of 16 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 2 Not
Renaissance ; A Big Boys Course
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.
11 of 13 people found this review helpful.
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