Is it Ran-kin or Rank-in?
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Layout - The strengths of Rankin Lake lie in its variety. The front nine is more open and lets you rip some discs, then when you hit the back nine you get more gap hitting woodsy golf. There's also a solid mix of longer/shorter holes that help keep it interesting in spots.
I like the way the course starts off; you get some length and although it's more open there's enough there to make you be accurate while worrying about the OB.
As the front nine goes on a creek comes in to play around some baskets which creates some challenge.
The back nine really switches it up from the get go. It instantly becomes more of a gap hitting style course although there are a few par 4's and OB areas thrown in to make you worry about placement.
There's a few holes on the back where I really enjoyed the line of the fairway because it made you work a disc.
There's some elevation changes on the back that help mix up the course even more; it especially comes in to play on the par 4 #11 which is probably the best hole on the course.
Overall the layout is pretty easy to follow and flows decently. Each nine has its own loop back to the parking lot which is always a plus for me.
Equipment - Concrete pads of solid size. Newer baskets that are in good shape. There's a bathroom and water fountain at the parking lot.
Atmosphere - The lake part of the park is quite nice if you take some time to check it out. The holes by the creek have some eye appeal as well.
Cons: Layout - I had two main problems with this course. The first is that most of it seems a bit crammed in to the available space and is probably being forced in to areas that are used by other park goers on occasions.
The second is that while the front nine starts off good it just gets kind of monotonous and I can say the same for the back nine. By the end of the front nine I was thinking well at least I get to go up on this wooded back section.
The back nine has some good holes but again they seem to play to close to some shelter areas and the park road/back parking lot. You do cross a park road on one hole and I had to pick up and walk off due to some people using that portion of the park.
It's not only a danger factor with this type of thing it just takes away from my possibly enjoyment of the round when I even have to consider such things.
Other than those two main things my other cons would be that there isn't really any one hole that I loved. There's some solid holes, some average ones and a few bad ones but nothing that is memorable.
Equipment - A good many of the tee signs had been vandalized/are missing.
Atmosphere - As previously stated the course wraps around the park road for most of it and you're constantly in areas that are possibly co-used. I could definitely see on nice days there being plenty of people out on the front nine area.
There's also some super wet spots in the fairway by the creek that weren't enjoyable.
Other Thoughts: At the beginning of the round I was thinking this would be my favorite of the two currently open 18 holers in Gastonia. Though by the end I think I like Bradley Center more. There's some fun to be had here and I think it's a solid course but it's just average.
It at least gives people in the area some holes to throw drivers on and in that I think it pairs well with Bradley Center.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: Nice open front half and wooded back half that provide a nice variety of terrain. None of the holes have significant elevation change. I agree with all of Bennybennybenny's pros.
Cons: Mosquitoes, mosquitoes, mosquitoes! I unwillingly made a significant blood donation while playing. Holes 4-8 have marshy fairways that breed hordes of mosquitoes that will swarm you. Hole 5-7 have decent chance of ending up in the creek with #6 crossing the creek without a bridge.
Other Thoughts: Word of warning, if your disc ends up in the creek, keep an eye on it as it will float under a tree that is growing out of the bank. There is quite a cavern under there and the only way to get a disc out is to jump in and start poking with a stick. Quite difficult to fish those out. Bennybennybenny summed this course up perfectly.
1 of 7 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 3 Not
Tricky but fun
Pros: -Rankin just got re-opened and it's in a very nice park. The front nine is open and the back nine is wooded and very tight and a real fun challenge for all players.
-Bridges have been added. Before the course was closed for renovations. There were no bridges.
-Great variety here! There is a great amount of elevation. There's open and wooded. Long and short and etc.
-The course is good for all players. It's very fair and has plenty of ace runs like #1, #4, #7, #12 and #15 you could consider a tricky one. There are also some long ones! #2, #5 and #11 was in long position today. Average length is 304 feet long from what I played today!
-Great green on #14 and #15 on rocks. Very cool.
-On the baskets, there are arrows pointing you to the next tee so you won't get lost although the course is easy to follow and none of the walks to the next holes are long.
-There are teesigns are the course except on 6. It was moved and if you want to know where the basket is, it's to the right side of the tee from about 405 feet and it's close to the road. Remember to the right because you could get confused with #8's basket since it's about the same length from 6's tee to #8's basket.
-It's great that 16 of the holes are the same as they were before. The layout is great.
-There are some teeshots you will remember like #5's since it's the longest and allows you to bomb a nice drive. #8's teeshot under the trees. #9's difficult teeshot witheven more trees and the fairway slopes down left and the road is OB. #12 is a downhill shot but very tricky since it's very narrow and birdie is definitely good since the woods are thick.
-Water isn't too bad out here. It's easy to retrieve your discs since it's not deep at all.
Cons: -Firstly, I must say #6's new design is terrible. It's close to #5's basket and the fairway is very wet. Your teeshot better go to the right and if you hit a tree, you're in trouble and could be in the creek. It was better last year when it was long.
-Not many benches or trashcans on the course. I remember trashcans on your way to #1 and there are a couple benches on #13 but a few more would be good.
-On the back nine, it's really tight and it needs to be cleared out on #12, #15 mainly and #18. A few trees should be chopped down.
-Some holes should be remeasured since #4 is shorter. I think it's about 175" or something. I know #1 isn't 184" feet. It's about 160" and the long position for #11 is more like 550" or something.
-#5's long position green is covered in really tall grass and weeds.
-Erosion is already really bad on #6-8. The rill erosion makes #6 ridiculous, imagine what it will be like in ten years. If you think the erosion is bad enough at Reedy Creek, wait until you see #6's rill erosions.
Other Thoughts: This is my home course and I really like to play here. It's tough but lots of fun and Hamilton is right! it's a do not miss in the Charlotte area because it's fair and unique since there is a lot of variety here. #6 is my main disappointment and #5's long position green is covered in weeds and I really liked that hole. Someone needs to weed eat in there by the time it's fall and snakes wont be around. It's still a great course and I think the G-town club did great with this course.
I don't love this course but it's got some great holes, a couple I didn't list were #12, fun nicely downhill narrow ace run and #11 long is a tight challenging par 5 at only about 540-550 but has an interesting shaped fairway.
Hole by hole
#1 original. A snap! It's open and an easy birdie if you avoid the trees to the right. Great warm up hole.
#1 long. Tougher but it is a par 4. It's past the trees past the original basket and once you are past those trees. You are on the green but stay right cause to the left you could catch a roller.
-#2. Very hard! It's a long par 3 at 409" feet long and on this hole, you need to do your best to stay straight because the road is to the left and right and you can catch a roller to the left and go down to #5's fairway. I bogey this frequently.
-#3 long. This is in long position now and it's a great sidearm throw. This is in the woods and keep your turnover and flick away from the road to the right. Go a bit left.
-#3 original. Downhill and requires a hyzer down the fairway. Basket is close to the road so don't bomb the drive. If you go short, you will high likely be in the trees but it's better than OB.
-#4. Very short ace run that is hard to get through to the right but if you do, you should be very close but it's easier to avoid the trees if you turnover or sidearm.
-#5 original. Long and very open but you need to keep your teeshot low because you tee off under a tree.
-#5. long. Dogleg right that won't be played until the green is cleared out. It's an easy par 5.
-#6. Bad teeshot that you are almost certain to hit a tree if you don't go straight. The fairway is very wet and the tee just needs to be in an open spot. Hyzer is safe.
-#7. It's back to easy and it's straight. Sidearm or RHBH is necessary as long as you avoid the creek.
-#8. Memorable teeshot and I love that it's very open but the teeshot is under trees. Keep it low and throw right.
-#9. Not sure if this is a good design. It's one of the hardest teeshots in Gastonia. Trees are left and right and there is only a small opening to avoid them. Very cool brick tee though.
#10. Dogleg right that does NOT allow a big drive. If you drive it far, you are on #11's fairway and have a very hard approach shot. Keep it short.
#11 long. Not exciting but not a bad hole. It's very wooded and tight once you're past #11 original's basket location. A meteocre throw will cost you.
Original. Wide enough fairway but steep uphill. It's longer than 240" your throw should be pretty powerful.
#12. Downhill but very narrow and the woods are thick. Sometimes, a hammer is the easy way to do it. Same thing on the long tee.
#13. Keep this in mind. This requires a SMALL hyzer but if it's a big one, you are either on the road or on a piece of land which is not OB. Still, very hard and kinda boring.
#14 original. Brilliant design on the rocks and it's pretty easy once you are on the green. It's a little more open than the last few holes.
long. Same thing except it's past the rock and goes even more downhill. Fun teeshot.
#15. Very tight and not an easy teeshot. Do not throw it late if you sidearm or this hole.
#16. Downhill and also a more open. It's an easy par 4 at only 338" feet long. Easy birdie if you are in the fairway.
#16 longer. Not used on this hole yet but it's a fun hole at 435" feet long and the road is OB.
#16 longest. There is a mando pointing you left so you wont land your disc on the roof of the shed close to the basket. Easy par 5.
#17. Very narrow and very challenging. A hammer is a good idea for a meteocre thrower. I can't throw very straight as well.
#18. Okay finishing hole but nothing memorable. It's also narrow and has a mando pointing you right. Same thing on the long tee but it's a par 4.
My score +4. Overall, I don't like all the wooded holes a lot. If the front and back nine were separate, the front would be a 3.5 and back would be a 2.5 It's a 3 overall because there will be sometime #3's original basket is out again which is the best on the front nine. I don't like some holes but the one I like are very cool designs.
-Signature hole would be #14, easily. Sweet downhill shot with the basket on rocks. The road is close, it's to the left.
5 of 8 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 1 Not
Sun and Shade
Pros: Rankin Lake DGC is a gem of a course, located just west of Charlotte. Open shots, tight shots. Left turns, right turns, long drives, short drives, minor elevation, water and plenty of OB, Rankin Lake offers a bit of everything.
Each hole is equipped with a concrete tee pad and Innova Discatchers. Tee signs on some holes are damaged or missing, but are very helpful when present. Multiple basket placements on some, and Multiple tee boxes on a few. Arrows secured to each basket pole directs you to the next tee, which isn't really necessary here, but will keep you on track your first time around. Various trash can locations throughout the park, though not necessarily by every tee pad. "Benches" in the form of boulders at just about every tee.
The front 9 and the back 9 are completely different. The front 9 plays along alot of roads/sidewalks which play as OB, a creek is very much in play on holes 4-7. Most holes have an original feel to them. Nothing too repititious, and nothing absolutely rediculous either.
The park is equipped with restrooms, water fountain, clubhouse, playground, plenty of picnic areas.
Not too far of a drive from the Greater Charlotte area, and located right off of I-85 makes it a simple ride.
Cons: This may be a tough course to trek after some bad weather. Holes 5-8 in particular play in a very low lying area in the park. It isn't abnormal for the ground to be soft and wet in these areas, even if it hasn't rained in a couple of days.
Vandalism to tee signs make it tough to know what position the basket may be in. In my experiences at Rankin Lake, there is no method to the changing of pin locations. It's not one of those courses that changes them all to short or all to long, somewhat of a mix-and-match which (is a pro)can give you a different experience each time.
There is no real vibe of seclusion on the course, maybe slightly when you get towards the last few holes. A few holes play along the main drive, the whole back 9 plays through picnic areas. Hole #9 drives to the right, but if you are unable to get your disc going right enough its going straight into the playground. There is also a shooting range across the lake, which is heard loud and clear in the park. This is a course where you definately want to keep a close eye out for park goers.
Other Thoughts: This course isn't as easy as it might appear. Lots of OB on the front, and plenty of trees on the back, Rankin forces you to use plenty of different shots. Just remember that the game completely changes between front and back.
Bring water in the summer. You'll catch plenty of sun and humidity on the front 9.
Rankin Lake is a nice change from all the Charlotte courses, and a fairly easy drive from the city. Its never been crowded in my experiences here, so I wouldn't worry about making the venture here to find a crowded course. Check it out!
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 7 Not
A nice accomplishment by someone in Gastonia, but do you have to contend with non-disc-golf players?
Pros: Very quick, simple access from I-85. If you're headed west out of Charlotte, check it out. I can play it on the way to grandma's house.
There's a congested left turn immediately after you've gotten onto 321, but then you're home free on a quiet side road to the park. If you miss the first left turn, I believe you can just take the next left turn to find the quiet side road, which is named after the park.
A very SLIGHT feel of seclusion. Even though it is right off of 85, you wouldn't know it once you're walking around the park, unless you listen for the traffic in the distance.
As others have said, the experience of both open holes and wooded holes is nice.
The back 9. I love the wooded-but-defined fairways. I love the ground surface (I played in winter) and use of elevation.
Cons: Simple: The risk of hitting non-discers who might be using the park. I was the only person in the park when I played on a cold, weekday morning. So I'm basing this off of a look at the facilities.
It looks kind of like it WAS a park of scattered picinic shelters, and then someone stamped a nice disc golf course right on top of it. If memory serves, there are at least two picnic table shelters practically ON fairways. but at least they are within earshot so that you can warn people. Also errant shots on certain holes could easily hit moving cars or the paved driveway winding throughout the park.
I'm not from Gastonia, so I don't know how much the park is actually used. Based on other reviews, it doesn't sound like people would bring their families there for interfering "picnics" and playtime anyway. If it's used only by discgolfers, it's great. But if the discgolfers have to contend with people on picnics or just roaming the grounds, etc., I could see it being frustrating.
Other Thoughts: The easy access from 85 and the fact that this is likely Gastonia's disc golf "center" won me over.
4 of 11 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 1 Not
Two Courses In One!
Pros: The front nine is kind of a typical city park course, fairly open, with two long holes, #'s 5 & 6, which are both over 600 ft.. But they're are both made more difficult by semi-tight fairways with big rough on the left. The front nine has great signs, which are locked into little boxes and can easily replaced if vandalized. There is a nice little 188 downhill ACE run. A hole or two plays on a steep hillside which could produce some big time rollaways. The back nine is mostly technical through the woods. There are no signs yet on this nine so you are guessing the distance. The back nine has a couple of interesting basket positions. # 13 has an elevated basket. IMO, the signature hole is # 14 with it's basket protected by some huge boulders. But the most interesting thing about this hole is the large, flat rock (about 1 yard square) which sets 10 feet in front of the basket. I could see a shot skipping off this flat rock into the basket. It's an all-time classic ACE or birdie shot just waiting to happen. Locals must have a name for this. The Rankin Lake Ricochet or something.
Cons: Tee signs on the back nine would be great. Now that I have read all the other reviews talking about the homosexual activity going on in this park, I did see these two guys parked down in the lot and wondered what the hell they were doing. Funny, at the time I thought, "That's kinda gay looking."
Other Thoughts: I enjoyed this course and it's variety of holes. I think it's a recreational/intermediate level course. I don't see advanced to pros loving it. But for the rest of us, stop by and enjoy it. Just watch out for those dudes in the cars!
13 of 14 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 9 Not
B = Better Than Average
Pros: What I personally like and how this course stacks up:
1) Holes with good risk/reward -- A (This is the biggest strength - bad decisions and bad throws are usually punished severely but fairly with 1-2 strokes added penalty for your sin.)
2) Holes that have rewarding birdie opportunities -- C (Most of the holes are all either too short to make them exciting or too long to make birdies possible for me. I loose accuracy over 300')
3) More wooded than open - lots of variety of shots required caused by hole shape and topography -- B (The shapes of the holes are nothing special, but the use of the topography is excellent.)
4) Natural beauty (Appalachian beauty preferred) and seclusion -- C (While there are a few nice spots to breathe in some beauty, a lot of the course has a scraggly and/or run/down feel. And only a few holes are secluded.)
5) Bonus amount for multi-shot holes with defined landing zones, good risk/reward and multiple options to play them -- C (the few multi-throw holes that are there are just longer....not much risk/reward or "strategery" added.)
Other Thoughts: It's all about feeding the addiction, so I ranked this course subjectively based on my own "personal addiction factor". The grades above tell how well the course will draw me back to itself again and again and again. Since I have played a decent number of courses (115 18-hole, 50 9-hole as of early 2009), my hope is that players/explorers who have similar addiction tastes will find my ratings list helpful as they choose courses to play and explore.
I fully expect others with different tastes/philosophies to disagree with me....that's the fun of things here. See my profile for my rating philosophy.
6 of 15 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: It is like 2 different courses between the front 9 and back. The back 9 is more challenging that will go between the trees; some are thin shots and a thumber or overhead worked the best. 2 of these wooded back 9 (#11) is long uphill and only about 20-25' wide, and the basket is tucked behind trees to the left.
Cons: back 9 is not marked other than a number post, and the front 9 could be more challenging.
Other Thoughts: Overall it is a nice course. I do agree with the last review there is a good bit of hokie cars sitting around (all men; looks like Homosexual Sex soliciting) seriously. On mid afternoon I saw at least 12-14 and other slow drive throughs.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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