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.
11 Helpful / 1 Not
Wow - lived up to it's reputation!
Pros: - The layout is challenging and awesome. As mentioned, pin placements are unlike most courses. You are forced to risk it to gain a stroke, or layup and play it safe since many are on the sides of ravines.
- Good mix of wooded and open. The wooded fairways are not too tight - they are fair. The open holes (11, 12, 13) are about 10 holes combined distance on my home course. If you have a big arm, they may not be challenging, but for the mere mortal, a 1000' hole into a slight headwind is very challenging....
- The fairways are very well defined - you don't have to worry about trying to figure out your lines. Now, whether you can execute them or not - that is the challenge.
- Mix of elevations
- The landscaping is excellent. It is a little worn, but there are stairs, retaining logs, bridges, etc. So even though the terrain can be challenging (going in and out of the ravine), the people who maintain the course make it accessible (big thumbs up to them).
- Benches at most (if not all) tees.
- Park opens at sunrise
- Great use of having a course in a park with many other amenities, but really not being an issue with endangering non-discgolfers.
Cons: Ticky-tack cons
- The tee signage and maps are lacking. If they were decent and accurate, I would have given a 5. There are arrows posted to give directions, and if you are an experienced DGer you can probably navigate with the help of the map by Tee 1. I'm still not sure if there are 18 holes on Gray or not.
- Poison ivy - (I know, it's NC, it's wooded - in the perfect world, there wouldn't be any!!!)
Other Thoughts: I had Renny all to myself this morning. This was on the list of courses I had to play, and a work trip timed out perfectly. I may edit this review as I run through it again in my mind. Hole 2, 4, 18 were my favorites - probably because the pin placement was super challenging after a challenging hole. This is not a course for beginners. I look forward to trying to play this course every time I come through Charlotte!
11 of 12 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 1 Not
You Must Play this Course Once
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 13 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 10 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
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.
-Signage is consistently in adequate and contradictory. Looks like they're trying to have the course support too many layouts, so some signs make no sense. Almost impossible to move around from hole to hole as a newbie unless you have a local with you.
0 of 10 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: -Renaissance or Renny is a great park that is family friendly. Many recreational activities to choose from at this park. Plus, there is a nature trail but it's a real hike on the course.
-Navigation is MUCH easier because there are two next tee arrows on every transition. Gray next tee arrows for the gray course and gold next tee arrows for Renny gold.
-This is in the top 10 in NC and this course has everything a disc golfer could have. There is so much variety and amazing greens on this course (particularly #8's fifteen foot rock green.) Heck, that's not even it. #14's green is a platform and #18 has a rollaway green by the ravine along with #2's. There are also many trecherous greens.
-Some cool props on the course. A couple fairways have a rock on it, the lifeguard chair beside #9 is awesome, the powerlines on #15. Wow!
-#14 on the gold #13 on the gray is one of the greatest par 4s. A 564 foot dogleg left with a 30' elevation drop into a small opening in the woods and is on a platform green.
-#8 on the gold #9 on the gray is another great hole. A big downhill shot thatgoes into a big opening in the woods. The hole only plays maybe 270' but an overthrow can get you into the bottom of the hill, which is an overgrown ravine.
-Benches and trashcans on every hole. Believe me, you will have to sit for a while at least once. You really will need to, I played two rounds and I'm really worn out.
-Practice basket by the kiosk close to #1. #1 is beside the tennis court.
-Teepads are about 10' long. Should be good for most players. My run up is exactly that length. They are concrete so that's always a good thing!
-Many people who have played here years ago loved the old #11 and #12 on the original (Gray) course. They are back! They were pretty fun for me.
-Elevation is used very well throughout the course. Some holes have elevation changes of around 30 ft.
-The 1042' foot par 5. #11 Gold is a very fun long bomb. You get the opprotunity to just launch your driver a few times on this hole. I should have brought my aerobie pro because #12 is another open bomb. If you have an aerobie pro, you will want to throw it. #12 gold is a 617' foot par 4 and it would be fun to throw an aerobie 600' feet on an open hole like that one.
-My dad likes regular golf and on the other side of Renaissance, there is a golf course that's isolated from the course.
Cons: -Well, I'm going to just say that Renaissance isn't a summer course, vegetation gets very bad and #14 Gold #13 Gray's vegetation almost make it unplayable, I lost two discs on that hole. This is a winter course, in winter, vegetation isn't so bad.
-Erosion is getting pretty bad. I can see that roots have be moved in the fairway. The WRONG spot. It's making the fairways a mess.
-#13 on the gold layout has trees in the fairway that catch discs. I had to throw my Viking to get my pro starfire out.
-Some transitions are very steep. Particularly from #6 to #7 and you have to walk back up the hill from #13 Gray #14 gold to get to the next hole. This course is a hike and has very long holes. I must admit, it was foolish of me to play two rounds here, I should have stopped at one. Playing more than one round here can wear out your body. My parents had to get me a couple sodas after they were done shopping because I was super thirsty and needed more energy after I was done. I drank a Mountain Dew like a camel so I wouldn't fall asleep. Bring a cooler and refill your bottle of water and rest for about twenty minutes if you plan to play this course more than once. I drank all my water before I was done with round 2. You need energy to play this course. Water WOULD be better than soda, I just needed caffeine because I was about to fall asleep.
-#1 gold is hard to find. The tee is marked by spraypaint on the end of the sidewalk by the tennis courts. It's a tricky teeshot under a few small trees.
-#11 and #12 gray's fairways need to be cut. I almost lost my wraith (Which I lost on #13) on #12.
Other Thoughts: -Renaissance is a truly great disc golf experience. I'm so glad I only live 30 minutes from this course. Charlotte is an amazing place to be if you love disc golf! This course, along with RL Smith and Nevin are three of some of the best courses in NC!
-Renaissance on the gray isn't a super difficult course. It's not very forgiving if you don't place your drive well and there will be times when you will be stuck in the woods and will have to throw a very short but safe shot out. Ripping it on some of the holes here will mean that you are taking a big risk, #14 on the gray which is also #10 on the gold has a big rock blocking you from going further down the fairway. That hole gets eagled on both layouts but it can be super hard to even make a par on that hole. Every hole on this course has a way to really mess up your score. Every hole asks you "How will you play it?" That question will make you think on some holes. Will you risk going big and possibly make a birdie or will you play it safely? Well, I went for it on every hole and it wasn't a good idea. I shot +10 on the gray and +14 on the gold. An example of a hole to go for the birdle would be #9 gold/#10 gray. It doesn't take much to get a 3 on that hole. An example of a hole not to go for the birdie would be #18. The ravine is very steep with lots of vegetation, it's OB as well. You will have to decide what you will do, just like at Nevin.
-The gold course can easily tear you to shreds. #13 is an example here. I triple bogeyed that hole, it tore me to shreds. #7 did too. I cought a roller in the creek on #7. That hole messed me up as well. I know that I what to play Renny again and again but some holes you will not want to play again but those two holes I really blew up on will make you better at the game. This entire course gray and gold will make you better at the game. You may not get better the next time and you may not realize when you get better but you will because this course, along with Nevin make the other Charlotte courses seem easier. I would recommend that whoever lives around Charlotte plays this as much as they can in the winter, so you won't lose four discs like I did, heh heh. Or you should play Nevin as much as you can, I find Nevin harder than this course but this course will make you better just as well as Nevin will.
-Send me a message and tell me what else you want to know if this isn't enough for you.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Extremely challenging course that will make you think on almost every shot. There is a lot of risk/reward type holes, with hole 18 being the signature one (do you lay your second shot up to the left of the ravine, or do you throw over the gorge and risk an OB penalty?). It is truly a championship caliber course and will be one that you won't forget for a long time to come!
Cons: Not many...I guess the park can get a little crowded at times, but this has little effect on the disc golf course. Also, the layout can be a little hard to follow without a map especially because there are two layouts.
Other Thoughts: Bring your A-game because this course requires both distance and accuracy. As mentioned above, there are two layouts, but if you are a serious disc golfer and only are able to play one...don't pass up Renny Gold!
0 of 5 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 2 Not
There were three major challenges to Renny (Beg/Interm. Review)
Pros: + All amenities in place: practice basket, some tee signs, all permanent tees, some trash cans, easy to see baskets in great shape, lots of consideration has been taken to ensure proper footing is possible (stones and wooden steps, bridges, etc.)
+ Lots of great landscapes are incorporated in one huge course
+ I never felt claustrophobic like they were limited in space and just tried to cram some holes in
Cons: - Tee pads have a bumpy rock texture that I personally didn't like
- Course layout is confusing and inconsistently marked
- Baskets should be marked short/long or whatever, but especially for which layout the basket belongs to: gold or gray..
Other Thoughts: The three major challenges to this course were as follows, in order of significance: 1) Following the course layout, 2) Avoiding the grand canyon, and 3) Hard putting.
Following the course layout was almost perfectly doable with the Gold map online. The line between doable and not really doable is very fine, however. I believe there are probably disc golfers out there who couldn't comfortably and correctly navigate Renaissance. Even with checking ahead to see if the pin placement is as depicted on the course map, it was still difficult to figure out transitions (15 to 16 and 16 to 17 specifically). Plus 14 was kind of confusing. Even 18 carried a sense of doubt until we got close enough to the basket to realize we were actually going to throw over the grand canyon to the basket. In hindsight, for the most part, we just had to follow our instincts (except from 15-16 where it seems like you should follow the path along the road). That's all just with the course layout as it is, that doesn't even take into consideration the fact that there are two layouts in place right now with signs for both. Sometimes you see a sign for one course, sometimes the other. Sometimes you'll see a basket 8 where you think basket 7 should be and realize you don't know if you got switched from Renny Gold to Renny Gray... It's kinda crazy.
**Update**: I've seen the new Renny signs that have since been put up and they are sweet!
Renny's grand canyon as well as the course's many little valleys are both treacherous and humbling. The difference between par and bogey gets small very quickly when you consider how easy it would be for a gust of wind to come right when you throw over them or even throwing next to them.
Never have I really had to weigh risk vs reward so much when trying to make a simple putt. If there's a small margin between hitting a putt perfectly and missing it with terrible consequences, you really start to slow down and put your all into each and every putt. This isn't true for all holes, of course, but I would say a significant amount of them. Bring your short game.
That being said, the huge holes are in the middle of the course where they should be. Perfectly placed to allow you to air out your drive after you've warmed up on the front 9. I really appreciated this. The beginners I played with found these holes tedious and too long. They were only throwing 250-275 max, though. Add the trees in and they were up to 7 and 8 shots for the big holes :D
All that being said, it was a very very fun course. I was challenged in distance and accuracy and enjoyed some great elevation change. The layout was creative and the landscape was really cool (especially holes 3 through 7). I appreciated the landing zones with boulders and rock structured greens. I also really enjoyed how the baskets were placed on man-made and natural structures. It's a good mix of all the various characteristics of other disc golf courses in Charlotte's blended into one really cool and huge course.
**Update**: After playing seven Charlotte courses, I also want to make sure I emphasize that Renny Gold is probably too much for brand new throwers. It will teach you a lot, but I don't think there's any one part of disc golf that Renaissance puts emphasis on that would amount to a good learning experience. If simply playing for pleasure, DO IT! In my non-expert opinion, new Charlotte players may want to work up to Renaissance with Hornet's (upshot accuracy), R.L. Smith (controlled putting), Bradford (overall accuracy), Eastway (distance), and Reedy for a good in-between course that blends all aspects.
9 of 11 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.
5 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: This course is the toughest course I have ever played and rarely if ever do I say to myself "This hole is unfair".
The Greens here are very tough and very guarded making for some interesting putts.
The holes are designed to make you think which I love. Course managment is the name of the game at Renny. How much do you bite off? Is it worth the risk? You will ask yourself these questions the entire round.
Brand New 28 chain baskets.
The Black course is no more so there is no confusion about which basket is which.
Elevation is used very well throughout the course
Cons: The course gets kinda rough and can be a disc eater.
Some Fairways and greens not used during worlds are overgrown and look kinda bad.
The roughness also takes away from the aesthetics of the course.
Erosion is getting pretty bad.
Rounds take a lot of time and a lot of energy
Other Thoughts: I really enjoy my rounds at Renny. When you play this course it is unlikely you will find yourself getting a bunch of birdies. Keep it in the middle and try to survive is the best plan you can have. I recomend this course to any player who is looking to challenge one of the toughest courses out there.
5 of 9 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 3 Not
On Another Level
Pros: -Has the perfect mix of woodedness and openness.
-Forces you to use everyshot and disc in your bag.
-Many par 4's and 5's which is a requirement for a top notch course IMO. They really let you play golf by forcing you to calculate each shot rather than simply getting as close to basket as you can from the tee.
Other Thoughts: I've only played the Gold layout, but out of the 56 courses I've played, it is 2nd (behind Flyboy) and nothing else has come close. Make sure you play it if you are near the Charlotte area.
3 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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