Is it Ran-kin or Rank-in?
4 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.
4 of 4 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.
0 Helpful / 12 Not
Pros: -Verriety of open and wooded holes.
-Open restrooms in the winter
Cons: -6-8 are very soggy and there is no good place to easily cross the creek
-arrows at the bottom of the basket are not accurate
Other Thoughts: The course is well taken care of. At the bottom of the baskets there are arrows that point to the long and short (gold and white) tee locations for the next hole. These are a great idea but they dont actually point to the next tee in most cases.(it took a while to fine the tee for 10-up the hill and across the road) There is some elevation change however many of the holes go along the hill not up and down. Hole 6 &7 are very soggy and it is quite cumbersome to get to once thrown over the creek. If there were a small foot bridge to cross it would help quite a bit.
0 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Tricky but fun
4 Helpful / 3 Not
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.
4 of 7 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
What a gem!
Pros: I'm keeping this review simple and concise.
- Well maintained considering that most of the course plays in plain sight of the main park area.
- Nice hole layout/variety.
- The signage helps clear up any confusion that you may have when you can't spot the basket from the tee.
- The course feels like it's tucked away from any hustle and bustle. Even the park patrons were few and far between.
- Emergency runs to the bathroom can be taken care of from most holes on the course.
Cons: Nitpicky comments below:
- A few more benches along with trashcans at the tees would have been nice.
- A clearer anhyzer cut out is needed for the par five on the front 9. My whole group, three of which had played the course before, had wild approaches due to no one really knowing where the basket was exactly.
- One of the people in my group has mentioned car break-ins. Park near the bathrooms and tee #1 and you should be okay.
Other Thoughts: This isn't the most demanding course that you'll ever play, but it offers a healthy challenge and rewards a good tee shot. The course doesn't play too short or too long and will easily appeal to the 1st season or seasoned veteran disc golfer. Although some of the tee shots offer a difficult approach for birdie, a stray disc can usually be recovered for par.
While there are several courses in Charlotte worth playing over and over, I will most certainly make the drive back out to this one! Go check this one out and be sure to pack out what you pack in. Enjoy!
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 2 Not
The Queen's RH step-child
Pros: Rankin is 30 minutes from the world's disc golf mecca, easy to find for first-timers and roadtrippers, just off I-85 with well-marked highway signage on 321.
Large,secure parking area with nice restrooms. Local guide (bikinjack) virtually lives on the course. Nice innova baskets,detailed signage and concrete pads.
The layout flows extremely well with both nines ending near the parking area. This is an important feature because you can drink beer while playing here,legally.
The climate and terrain allows for comfortable, year-round play with good footing. The course incorporates three distinct landscapes into the mix to provide great variety.
They range from wide open flat to sloping park-like to densely forested woods. Hole distances are varied as well, ranging fron short sub-200 footers to the very rare 800'+ holes. For added challenge, there is a paved road that snakes thru the entire park which is OOB. The combination of these features results in an extremely solid, game-improvement course with long-term playability.
And when you master the standard set-up, you don't have to drive to Charlotte, just ask for "Stankin Rankin".
I'm a card-carrying woods course lover and really enjoyed the extemely-tight back nine which requires every shot to be precise, but the thing that separates Rankin from just about every other NC course that I've played is the balance of long open holes.
Cons: The OOB in the middle of the fairway on #6 is bogus.
Other Thoughts: When you visit the Queen City, don't forget the courses like Rankin around the perimiter, they are well worth the time.
8 of 10 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 4 Not
Nicely laid out course
Pros: -Very nicely laid out course with plenty of challenge.
-Test just about most if not all of the shot types
-alot of short and long holes
-concrete tees on each hole
Cons: -there aren't any cons that i can think of except for the fact that they don't have the short pins (last time I was there).
Other Thoughts: This a very nice course one of the best I have seen.
also very easy to follow.
3 of 7 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 1 Not
A do-not-miss in the Charlotte area
Pros: All of the tees were concrete and in good physical condition. Innova discatchers throughout that seem almost new. I had been told by my guide that there WERE great tee signs at every hole, but vandals had destroyed all but a few. Of the ones I did see, they were very nice. If you print out the map though, you'll be in fine shape. Multiple tee positions on just about all holes I believe.
The facilities were great, indoor nice bathrooms and COLD water fountains. Parking was plentiful, although if it gets busy you might be searching for a spot
I love wooded holes, and this course certainly does not disappoint, especially since most of the ground on the wooded holes was covered with pine needles, and no thick underbrush like other NC courses I've played.
It started off kind of slow (I deuced 3 of the first 4 holes), but finished very strong, kind of like a warm up before the rest of your round.
My memorable holes:
4 - With a creek threatening on the left, you can either go big anhyzer around the tree, or go for the homeboy route through a small gap over a bend in the creek (I barely hit this route).
5 - Long, long, long hole with the creek on the right. My guide told me "don't turn it over, or you'll be in the creek". Guess what I did. At the end you cross the creek into a clearing, very scenic hole.
11 - Uphill tunnel-type shot, gently fading left. Memorable because even though I got off into the trees, saved it back up by the basket for par.
14 - Throw up over a hill then into a stand of trees, basket was in the short position in a kind of rock garden. Very unique pin placement.
18 - Very cool shot off tee, thread the trees with a little anhyzer, then fade back to the basket.
Cons: Not much, here goes.
Kind of hard to avoid the vandalism thing, some people are just stupid. That being said, many of the tee signs are missing, although from what I recall most of the next tee markers were present and accurate.
Like I said above, the first several holes, and a couple in the middle (7&8) were simpler than the rest and stood out as kind of plain, but certainly not boring or overly easy, but could be easily deuced on a regular basis.
Other Thoughts: My rating of a 4 is given based on the challenging yet fair nature of this course. Course flow is great, and most holes are very well laid out, with clearly defined paths cleared out through the trees. There are also many very beautiful holes on this course that incorporate the natural beauty of the land.
The course is easy to find, well cared-for, and isn't so long it wears you out, but is by no means short. Even in near 100 degree weather, I wasn't too beat after a round (the COLD water fountains were very welcome though).
If you find yourself, as I did, traveling west out of Charlotte, do not miss this gem that is just off the interstate, it is well worth your time!
12 of 13 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.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Challenging Course for a beginner
Pros: 1) Nice mix between wide open, front 9, and wooded, back 9. Multiple pin locations for all holes with some of them having 3.
2) Very challenging for a beginner or intermediate player and will force you into honing all your skills.
3) After playing this course it makes most other courses seem easy.
Cons: 1) All but 4 holes are sloped right to left or vice versa, so it is often that a great shot is negated by a bad bounce which causes your disc to roll off the fairway and out of bounds or just rolling off a 100 feet or so leaving you with a bad lie. Every time I've played this course i've been victimized by this and it can get frustrating.
2) Wouldn't want to play this course by myself. I often see some shady characters walking around. Maybe it's just the times that i've played.
3) Holes 4-7 seem to always be soggy unless it hasn't rained for a couple of weeks and it makes it difficult to get a decent tee or second shot.
Other Thoughts: This is by far the toughest course i've played since i started keeping track of my results and posting on this site. I am convicned that if I can do well on this course I can fair much better on most others, at least around Charlotte. This course is well balanced in having to utilize distance and accuracy and unfortunately luck plays more of a role than most courses mostly because of the slope on some holes which can kill you round of you get unlucky. I wouldn't play this course as a beginner but as an intermediate level player this is one of the best courses i have played and is helping me build and hone my skills.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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