Great start for a quality course
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - The layout and land preparation are great. Clearly, this was designed around the existing natural landscape, but then appropriate fairways were created.
- Two tee pads at every hole, will definitely play different from the pros and ams. Also, there are many different approach paths that will challenge different disc/shots - so you could play this course several times, and (other then the ace runs) it could give you a different feel each time.
- Teepad signs, excellent. One at each pad, clear distance, routes, pars, and next hole arrows. The only suggestion (total nitpick, I want a perfect world suggestion) would be to show distances to landmarks (lay-up areas, bridges, etc) on the long holes (500' +).
- Nice mix. You don't feel like you are making the same wooded tunnel shot over and over. Good mix of long (almost feeling like a Charlotte course) and short. The ace runs were fairly unique (to each other, not just flat, short tunnels) you had to finish right, or finish left, or shoot uphill. Decent elevation mix for central NC (but my body wasn't too beat up after the round).
- Most of the holes (other then the ace runs) had defined, multiple approach routes. They really make you think about your approach, and you have to plan out several shots. A few of these have risk/reward type decisions - go for the longer, wider approach, or the shorter, tighter one.
- I liked the fact that you had two loops of 9 holes, so you could stop back at your car at the turn.
- Not a big deal, but several of the baskets are on landscaped stoneworks - a really nice touch.
- The park is brand new, so everything is pretty pristine (hopefully it will stay that way!)
Cons: - It was really soggy (standing water on sunken tee boxes and swamps), if you are playing after ANY rain.
More nit-picky, then actual cons
- A few of the walks between holes aren't super-intuitive. The good thing is that one of the more challenging ones (17-18), you will have already seen when walking 1-2. The course map is a huge billboard at the start and there are next tee pad arrows on every sign, so you have no excuses. 12-13 is not good. The course had been flowing so nicely, I didn't really pay attention to those arrows and ended up at 10. Don't know if it's allowed by the park, but a simple painted arrow would be great. There were a few on the course, but they were brown and blended in with the trees nicely.
- not really a con, but more of a suggestion - the course doesn't have to play the same score from the short and long tees. There were definitely holes (12, 18, maybe 17) that should have been a stroke less from the shorts. Felt good to get a birdie, but weren't realistic for a competent player.
- Slightly concerned about hole #2. If you miss the first turn, you are shooting straight into the playground area. Don't know how much use it gets (park was empty except for a walker when I played), but I was thinking "if I shank this, and there were kids there…." as I teed off.
Other Thoughts: I played this course for the first time from the short tees as I was under a time constraint. The long pads definitely looked more challenging, I look forward to getting back there and playing that layout. My favorite hole was 7, maybe because I hit the tight tunnel to the right. This course has, what I will describe, as the Charlotte feel. The holes are wooded, but you still have several 500'+ holes. In the Triangle, you are shooting wooded holes, but there just isn't the space to do the long layouts. Other then the fact that this course is in the middle of nowhere, it's a great course. As it breaks in, hopefully they will get to concrete pads and some benches. It's a really nice course, and can only get better! I look forward to playing here again. Possible epic day disc golf trip - a 15-501 marathon. Start at Valley Spring, Cornwallis, UNC, Southern Community then end at Rock Ridge?
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Ridge o' Rock
17 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: This is a course players from the area have been excited about for some time. Mainly because John Houck was the designer and secondly because once we saw the land the course would be built upon we knew all the aspects for a great course were there.
Layout - Overall Rock Ridge is a technical, multi-par course with solid elevation changes. There are two layouts one of which has a lot of difficulty and meant for strong players and the second which is targeted at casual players and beginners.
The shorter course features many elements of the longer course but has many shorter shots which have less difficulty off the tee. The rest of my review will focus on the long course.
The course brings together a lot of elements to create a strong course from a design stand point. Although the course is all wooded, leaning more towards heavily wooded throughout, there are plenty of long fairways that allow you to use your driver.
There's a really good combination of shots within holes and each hole mixes it up so you never get the same feel going hole to hole. You'll need a variety of shots in your arsenal to score well and the ability to be creative if you get out of place.
Another strong point of the course is there aren't many straight shots out there, many times you're having to bend a disc up fairways and on approach around varied obstacles.
The course forces you to hit landing zones to set up for the next shot on the multi-shot holes and by getting off and trying to push to hard through a hole you'll end up punished. It's really a course where you need to take what is given.
Many holes give you multiple fairways/alleys to move forward, some off the tee some later in the hole. This adds more layers to an already complex course when deciding how to move forward and attack each hole.
Fairways incorporate gaps through all phases to make you be accurate from start to finish. This really makes you consider how to shape your shot start to finish to get through and end up in good position.
It's a course where finesse and power come together. At times you'll not only need to put something on your disc but be accurate at the same time or you'll end up in trouble.
The elevation of the land which is not drastic but solid and undulating adds to the complexity of holes. There's not many flat holes here and the greens can be especially fast in some cases.
Overall I think the basket positions and green setups are solid here but still a work in progress. Your positioning coming in to a green here is important and adds more difficulty.
There is some OB on the course along the property lines, although it only comes in to play if you get sufficiently off a fairway. There is a small creek running through parts but currently is only casual.
The course has two par 5's which is rare for courses, especially around here. Both are strong overall and force you to make several accurate throws of varying lengths.
The course has a good flow to it and is intuitive for the most part, you can see walking paths after baskets leading the way. The course is also two nine hole loops which both begin at the parking lot.
Equipment - The baskets are new disc catchers and several baskets have stone footings which is cool. The signs are nice, descriptive and give you the layout plus distances from each tee.
The pads are currently the large rubber hexagon mats laid over gravel. These work really well and are ideal for the area due to the amount of water runoff that runs over some of the pads.
There's also a course map at the beginning and small signs pointing to the next tee where it's not obvious. There's also a porta potty at the parking lot.
Atmosphere - The park has a very rustic feel from it's design stand point. Most of the land is used for the course and the rest of the trails and playground were done in a very low impact manner. It's a very wooded park so throughout you have a very secluded feel with the exception of a few points where you go near a house and can see the main highway through the trees. The park also has some cool rock outcroppings which give it character.
Cons: Layout - Although this course has come a long way and is for the most part complete it still has some breaking in to do and a few recent changes have created some issues I think that will work out overtime.
One complaint I have on a few holes is that it seems the left routes are setting up as strictly FH holes for RH players. The main examples are on 6 and 16. On 6 the inner left route used to be attainable with an anny and they added two more trees to an already congested late gap that pretty much eliminates that shot. The result for that hole is if you throw RHBH you can only take the right routes. Some like the idea of forcing particular shots but personally I prefer I like the idea of multiple shots being able to hit certain lines.
There's a few places where the basket locations were moved and I believe further refining should and probably will be done. On 5 the basket was moved right to bring the right gap off the tee more in to play but where the basket is now I think there's way to many small late trees scattered about that create a lot of luck. There's about 5 within 20' of the basket which to me is another thing I don't like to see. Once you get that close on that hole you deserve a clear putt.
The approach to 17 from the left route is another place where it seems the gap is to small at a really late part right before the green. The tee shot is so hard to hit on that side due to the length and elevation that if you hit it looking at that tight gap just to get on the green is to me just to much.
On 14 the pad was moved left which brings the right route more in to play but it still has to many large late trees a good 200' from the pad that makes it to risky. The moving of the pad also made the left route to easy in my opinion and will probably be the only route most players will take. There was also a risky high anny gap that would give you solid reward if you hit it, now it's gone due to the pad move and to me that takes away from the hole a good bit. Before you had options and now it's more one dimensional.
Beyond these specific nitpicks the course does have some drainage issues. There's a few teepads on slopes that have standing water after heavy rains. The valleys on certain parts of the course also collect water and get very mucky, some trenches or drains will need to be dug to correct these issues.
While I love the feel of the multi-par holes some of the par 3's don't quite live up to the rest of the course. There's no outright bad holes but to me 8 and 13 are two of the more boring shots on the course.
There's a few transitions that make you backtrack a bit that take away from the flow. 5 to 6 isn't a big deal but the transition from 12 to 13 brings you back down the latter part of the fairway and will need to be corrected as it presents a possible safety issue.
Equipment - Some people will probably say the hexagon rubber mats aren't as good as concrete and if that's you that'll be a con. It would be nice if a more permanent bathroom facility was built at the parking lot but that's nothing really against the course, just something to think about if that affects you.
There's currently no benches along the course and it's a long walk with elevation so take that in to consideration if you have any trouble getting around.
Atmsophere - There's a few parts where you come near a house and you can see the main highway. That does take away from the secluded feeling I like but it's no big deal. You do cross walking paths in transitions so be mindful of others using the park.
Again the course has drainage issues and as of now you will encounter some muck if you go after rains.
Other Thoughts: As I said at the beginning myself and others are really happy to have a course of this caliber come in to the are. Houck and everyone else involved has delivered a true gem and challenge that many of us were asking for.
I know the con section of my review is lengthy but that in no way takes away from what is a fantastic course with huge potential still. It's more directed at those in charge as they refine the course going forward. My review will be updated later as the course irons itself out. I'm giving a 4 for now but fully expect it to be bumped up to a 4.5 later.
If you're in the area to me this is a must hit course and even one others in the surrounding area should make a day trip out of. The town of pittsboro has a lot of local crafts and eats that should also be checked out, it's a unique and cool area.
17 of 19 people found this review helpful.
It's the Curves
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The course may not have been strictly finished when I played here, but that didn't really detract from my experience. Some of the holes had the tees and signs in: I can imagine that the rest of the holes will feature the same quality amenities. And with trusty(and fantastic) map in hand, I really didn't need the signs. Honestly, even in its unfinished state, I could have navigated this course without sign or map. The design is that intuitive.
I'm not sure what else will be done to Rock Ridge before it is considered finished. In my opinion, it doesn't need too much more work for me to list it as one of my favorites. Why? It's the curves. While this isn't the only course to feature established fairways,(as opposed to picking a line through trees) it is the on that has carved them at the perfect angle to be thrown down. The longer holes often feature two different curved sections. The first throw may be right to left, the second forces you to go back the other way. Here too, the angles are perfect for disc golf. If the first throw lands correctly, the second fairway will be just as beautiful as the first was off the tee. It's those damn curves, that get me every time.
Rock Ridge also brings a ton of variety to the table. There are short holes: six are under 200 feet. There are long holes: the two par fives are over 500 feet, long for wooded holes. There are holes of every length in-between. Ambitiously, the majority of the holes (excluding the shortest ones) feature multiple channels. Typically this means a right channel and a left, but 5, 14 and 6 feature three separate paths to the basket. Between the separate channels, and the two sets of tees, which do provide significantly different looks, there is a ton of replayability here.
There is also a ton of challenge. The par fours are real par fours. The par fives are indeed fives. I've yet to see wooded holes so long. They require not just accurate shots, but multiple accurate shots if you want to stay in the fairway. And if you want to score well, you need to stay in the fairway. In all it's one of the tougher courses I've played, and I like to think that the long tees, with multiple holes over 500 feet, and seventeen an impressive 741 feet down a wooded fairway, will challenge better players as much as the short tees do intermediates.
The flow is also impeccable. The paths between holes are a joy and transition from hole to hole seamlessly. There are a few next tee signs where the path joins the walking path, but most of the holes have absolutely no need of them.
In summation, it's just one of the best layouts that I've ever seen. I've never spent that much time thinking the curve of a fairway before. I'm sure it's rattled around in my brain on one course or another, but I've mainly noticed angles that were off. Here, I suddenly notice how all the curves are just right. But be careful, once you pass that threshold, you may not look at a different course the way that you used to.
Cons: Well, there isn't any terrain variety. While the holes all play differently, the look is fairly consistent. There are also no open holes, and no water holes so if you want some of those, you are out of luck here.
It's also a bit of a haul between nine and ten. The route pops back out into the parking lot. This could be a pro for some, as it allows people to play nine, or twenty seven, or just start on 10. But leaving the course does break the atmosphere a tad.
Other Thoughts: No amount of tweaks is going to budge me off the review. No flourish is going to magic up a five. And aside from a tornado blowing through the course, I can't see it dropping to a four. The tees and signs have been put in since I wrote the pros and cons, and it's now considered complete.
I'll be back up for round two in a few weeks. I knew I would be. I thought about waiting till then to write the review, but sometimes courses put words in my head, and after the first time I played Rock Ridge, I had to get them out. In summation, go play this course if you haven't yet. I give it the highest recommendations.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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