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Gastonia, NC

Rankin Lake DGC

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3.345(based on 32 reviews)
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Rankin Lake DGC reviews

5 1
Experience: 16 years 99 played 3 reviews
1.00 star(s)

Needs a lot of love 2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Oct 11, 2021 Played the course:once


The park itself is neat, relatively free of litter and pretty well mowed.
A pretty setting with a babbling brook.
Cool rocks. Friendly people.
Decent Discatcher baskets.


At least half the tee signs are missing.
Very few next tee indicators.
Small tees.
Many holes are sharply sloped sideways with poor footing. It just gets old.
No steps up steep embankments to the next hole.
Hole 15 just seemed to be missing (but who knows??)
I couldn't follow the map for this course because it's been re-designed and no one has bothered to change it.
Oh, and the address is 1750, not 17501. (Definitely makes a difference for a traveler.)

Other Thoughts:

It just seems to need some love:
the cons are course basics that truly enhancement or hinder the playing experience. A lot of people favorited this course - can we get some work parties? I wanted to like this course!
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10 0
Gold level trusted reviewer
Premium Member
Experience: 16.9 years 138 played 135 reviews
3.50 star(s)

Rankin Lake 2+ years

Reviewed: Updated: Played on:Jul 26, 2021 Played the course:2-4 times


Rankin Lake is set in a beautiful park and features multiple picnic areas, a scenic lake, plenty of walking trails, a pretty lake, etc. The course has nice concrete tees (with a brick tee on hole 7), DISCatcher baskets on every hole, and Next Tee labels on the baskets where the next hole's location isn't obvious. The course also offers an incredible variety of golf, with holes ranging from less than 200' to somewhere around 600' long.. I think the course designers did an incredible job finding a nice balance when designing their course. They manage to utilize the available elevation in interesting ways, providing a mixture of fun and challenge. This will all add together to create a course that will suit players of all skill levels, but seems especially suited for Intermediate and Advanced players. Rec players will still find a lot of enjoyment here though!

The front-9 on this course is primarily open, but with a focus on placement and angle of release. This is due to the holes not being yawn-inducing, wide open tosses - you have obstacles to navigate, plenty of elevation that can lead to roll aways on the first few holes, and OB keeping you honest. These holes have a wide range of distance as well, so distance control will definitely come in handy here. When you reach back-9, you'll find more technical, wooded holes with a premium placed on hitting gaps and staying in the center of the fairway. Here the elevation changes really become apparent, and keeps your round entertaining!

The tee signs that you find here are great. I love any tee sign that has elevation gain/loss listed on them. According to the tee signs, it appears some of the holes have multiple pin positions - which is a good way to keep things interesting if a tournament is ever held here.

There are quite a few signature holes on this course. Hole 13's putting green definitely helps it stand out among the rest, but Hole 16's design lends itself to being one of the most popular in the area. A long open bomb on a fairway that J-hooks around a bend, with some noticeable elevation in play.


There could be conflict with the course and other aspects of the park on a busy day. Many of the holes play near and/or around the park road and a few of the picnic areas around the park. Even though the park isn't usually swarming with visitors, this is still a potential safety issue and is worth keeping in mind when you are throwing your drives. Especially something to keep in mind if you do find yourself there on a busy day.

The course could use a bit of a cosmetic touch up. Many of the tee signs (especially on the front 9) are missing - seems to be the work of vandalism. The tee pads could use a bit of work too, they aren't all flush to the ground, but the biggest issue with tees though is that Hole 1's tee is falling apart.

There seemed to be a distinct lack of benches and open restrooms while I was here. There were restrooms, but I remember them being locked during my first visit years ago. That was on a summer weekend. There weren't any trash cans around the course either, but that is a lesser issue to me. If you carry something in, you should be willing to carry it out.

While most of the course is pretty well maintained, with limited rough, two holes in particular jumped out at me as potential places to lose a disc. I ended up choosing to disc way down on one of them to limit this from happening. Hole 14 is a downhill flip hyzer shot with thick rough past the basket and a fairway that is starting to grow back in a little. Hole 16 however, is it's own story. There is thick rough lining the entire left side of the fairway, past the J-hook, and the grass in the fairway was knee high in many places. While I absolutely love the design of this hole, it is one where I recommend people bring their "I might lose this" discs or play it conservatively. The right side of the fairway appeared to be a bit more forgiving.

Hole 9 felt like a bit of a tweener hole to me, and I am not overly convinced that it shouldn't be turned into a Par 4. My drive slipped out of my hand early, and I still had a tap in birdie.

Other Thoughts:

Rankin Lake is probably overlooked a bit more than it should be, but if you are in the area, I certainly would recommend stopping by to check it out. If you live in the Charlotte area, definitely do not overlook this course. You can pair it up with a round at nearby Bradley Center for a nice 1-2 punch of Gaston County disc golf.

I am going to give Rankin Lake a 3.5 rating for the time being. I waffled back-and-forth a bit on this rating, but ultimately decided there is so much to love about the course that I didn't want to give it a lower score. However, the course was definitely teetering between this score and a slightly lower rating from me due to missing tee signs, hole 1's tee, and the state of Holes 14 & 16. Do not let that keep you away though, because the design of this course feels like it is almost begging to be given a higher score than the one I gave it.

Favorite Holes: 5, 9, 13, & 16
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3 0
Mike C
Gold level trusted reviewer
Experience: 15.2 years 168 played 74 reviews
3.50 star(s)

Diverse and enjoyable with some minor shortcomings 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Jun 15, 2017 Played the course:5+ times


+ Superb hole variety. In the first 5 holes alone you have an uphill under 200' hole, a long downhill left turning hole, two RHFH shots, then a 600' Par 4.

+ There is a pretty even mix of open and wooded shots, par 3's and par 4's, and even a par 5. There are ace runs (1, 10) and there are pins I cannot reach even with my longest drives (9, 16).

+ #16 is one of the more epic holes I've played in North Carolina. It's a long, open bomb of a drive from the long tee, playing on a heavily sloped fairway that will punish an errant drive. The fairway then does a complete 180 into a wooded green. Coming off the back of some short wooded holes this took me by surprise.

+ Various holes feature multiple basket positions. Hole #3 and hole #9 in particular. #9's alternate position changes the Par, which often isn't the case with alternate pin placements, so that's something that stood out to me in a positive way.

+ Excellent tees & signage. The signs were very descriptive and contained info on the multiple pin placements, etc. Unfortunately one or two of them have been vandalized, but thankfully those holes are self explanatory.

+ #13 has a circle of large rocks around the green. I thought this was a nice touch, adding some difficulty to an otherwise fairly easy hole.

+ Plenty of shade thanks to the trees. If you need to take a break there are numerous pavilions located conveniently close to the course.

+ Various amenities include a very long walking path wrapping around the lake, an outdoor shooting range (Which you'll be listening to while you throw), a building where you can host events, water fountains, restrooms, playground, grills etc. This is the type of park where you could bring your family and they could entertain themselves while you play a round.


- There is serious potential for conflict with other park users on a busy day. Half the course plays near park access roads. The worst offender is #7, which is a RHFH shot with a blind pin placed maybe 20' in front of a playground that is frequently used. Playing by other people can be bad enough, but throwing towards a playground with kids is never good.

- The Par 5 plays more like a par 4 in my opinion. If you have a good drive, getting an eagle doesn't take a lot of effort, and a birdie would feel effortless.

- Some of the open holes in the front half are rather pedestrian. #4 and #6 don't really do anything for me. I will say on #4 there is a risk of throwing into an OB stream if you fade too hard right, which adds some excitement, otherwise I find these holes forgettable. Looking at the land they're situated on I doubt I could have come up with anything better, so don't take this as a knock against the course designer.

- There are gold tees listed for most holes but some of them were not easy to find for me, playing the course solo with no guide.

Other Thoughts:

Rankin Lake is a very fun course. I think the course designers made optimal use of the land available.

Unfortunately Rankin Lake features many other activities that can conflict with the golf, but it's usually not so bad that you can't enjoy a round out here. I'd avoid this course during holidays like Memorial Day, or on a nice weekend afternoon, but early mornings on the weekends, or playing on a weekday, you should be golden.

I don't think Rankin is quite up to the level of some of Charlotte's premiere courses, but that's more indicative of the quality of golf the area features than any major pitfalls on this particular course.

I would definitely recommend playing this course. I consider it destination level, though I would suggest checking out Hornet's Nest, Nevin and Renaissance firs if you're traveling from out of state.

Bradley Center is nearby and pairs well with Rankin. It's a bit more wooded overall, and a little shorter, but the quality of golf is similar.

If it weren't for conflicts with other park users, and a couple of forgettable holes, I think an argument could be made to rank this course in the 3.75-4 range. I find myself making repeat trips to this course despite there being others nearby I consider superior.
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0 0
Experience: 2 played 2 reviews
3.00 star(s)

Rankin isn't rankin 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Dec 26, 2016 Played the course:once


I liked the different lengths and obstacles and elevation and basket placements. Next holes direction is in red vinyl on top of disc catcher and wooden arrows pointing you in the right direction on the bottom of the post. Will use every throw in your arsenal to navigate this course


Watch out for vehicles driving on the road. Sometimes they just kept coming and you are to yield to them. Lot of golfers play here so you might be pushed or have to wait for golfers to finish before you can throw

Other Thoughts:

Great place to take family. Plenty to occupy other members of your family while you get a round in. Not trashy or a troublemakers hangout
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1 6
Experience: 9 years 30 played 3 reviews
2.00 star(s)

First time, disappointed 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Updated: Played on:Feb 27, 2016 Played the course:once


Nice area around the lake, good spot for the woman to go for a walk while I play.


Signage. Many of the tees don't have signs, and most of the baskets don't even have a sign to tell you where the next tee is. It's a hunting game to find out just where you need to go. On the tees that did have a sign, they outlined a "white" and a "yellow" basket. Being a beginner I opted for the white, to quickly find out they don't actually exist. Just an empty hole in the ground where a basket likely once was. Really the issue is signage.

Many holes are also awkward to play, more than once you end up playing along the side of a steep hill, which isn't very comfortable to walk.
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0 2
Bronze level trusted reviewer
Experience: 9.7 years 63 played 24 reviews
3.50 star(s)

Almost 2 different course 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Sep 5, 2015 Played the course:once


Excellent use of OB using hillside and road. Front 9 is kind of open, but OB can easily come into play. Back 9 is mostly wooded with some elevation changes. Course is fairly well maintained located at a family friendly park.


Can be busy with picnic pavilions and other activities; a lot of people don't understand disc golf. Busy weekends can get frustrating.

Other Thoughts:

This is a solid course with a variety of challenges.
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6 0
Diamond level trusted reviewer
Experience: 13.9 years 179 played 120 reviews
3.00 star(s)

Is it Ran-kin or Rank-in? 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Oct 29, 2014 Played the course:once


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.


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.
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Designer response by R-Intermediate
1 5
Experience: 14.1 years 8 played 2 reviews
3.00 star(s)

Mosquitoes 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Jul 29, 2013 Played the course:once


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.


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.
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1 11
Experience: 36.1 years 60 played 3 reviews
2.00 star(s)

2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Feb 4, 2013 Played the course:once


-Verriety of open and wooded holes.
-Open restrooms in the winter


-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.
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7 3
Diamond level trusted reviewer
Experience: 13.3 years 306 played 289 reviews
3.00 star(s)

Tricky but fun 2+ years

Reviewed: Updated: Played on:Sep 1, 2012 Played the course:5+ times


-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.


-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.
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6 1
Urban Bobcat
Experience: 13.5 years 56 played 7 reviews
3.50 star(s)

What a gem! 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Updated: Played on:Jul 11, 2011 Played the course:once


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.


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!
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8 2
Bronze level trusted reviewer
Experience: 17.6 years 120 played 27 reviews
4.00 star(s)

The Queen's RH step-child 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Jan 19, 2011 Played the course:2-4 times


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.


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.
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3 4
Experience: 17.5 years 30 played 10 reviews
4.00 star(s)

Nicely laid out course 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Aug 20, 2010 Played the course:once


-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


-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.
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13 1
Gold level trusted reviewer
Experience: 16.2 years 55 played 49 reviews
4.00 star(s)

A do-not-miss in the Charlotte area 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Jul 21, 2010 Played the course:once


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.


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!
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12 1
Silver level trusted reviewer
Experience: 15.3 years 39 played 30 reviews
3.00 star(s)

Sun and Shade 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Apr 29, 2010 Played the course:5+ times


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.


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!
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6 0
Experience: 15.3 years 10 played 7 reviews
4.00 star(s)

Challenging Course for a beginner 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Apr 1, 2010 Played the course:5+ times


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.


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.
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4 6
Experience: 24.1 years 19 played 4 reviews
3.00 star(s)

A nice accomplishment by someone in Gastonia, but do you have to contend with non-disc-golf players? 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Jan 29, 2010 Played the course:once


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.


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.
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11 0
Diamond level trusted reviewer
Experience: 22.8 years 697 played 132 reviews
3.50 star(s)

The Tale of Two 9's. 2+ years

Reviewed: Played on:Jan 6, 2010 Played the course:once


- Front 9. The front 9 is practically wide open (some trees come into play) with tons of OB to help tighten and add interest to what would otherwise be ordinary holes. The pin positions, in relation to OB features (creek and roads), make the holes exceptionally good. Most of the holes are essentially peninsulas in that they are surrounded on all sides by OB. You could literally go OB multiple times on the same hole. I really enjoyed the front side.
- Back 9. The Back 9 plays through an extremely wooded section of the park, giving an extremely different DG experience. The fairways are pretty fair, but require good shots to be successful. Getting off the fairway here equates to being OB... usually requiring a pitch out... and OB is still in play on many holes.
- Navigation Arrows. They had a cool system of letting you know where the next tee-pad was. They had little arrows bolted to the pin under the baskets that pointed in the direction of the next tee-pad(s) (white or gold).
- Several Legit Par 4's. I really enjoy when course incorporate Par 4's... especially when tons of OB is involved. It definitely makes the game more "golf"-like.


- Front 9. The only cons with the front 9 would be the openness of it and the resulting seemingly redundancy of it.
- Back 9. The tee-signs on the back 9 were different than the front 9. Not necessarily a con, but they weren't as nice or professional as the signs on the front. They were laminated pieces of paper stapled to brown posts. Because they're stapled, they could become water damaged or possibly blow away.

Other Thoughts:

- Overall. Rankin Lake is essentially two completely different 9 hole courses that make up an 18 hole course. Due to the OB's and thickness of the ruff, the course is fairly challenging. I went OB 5 times and had to pitch out of the ruff several other times resulting in a final score that was several over par. It's definitely a fun course that I need another crack at.
- EZ Access from Freeway. Getting to Rankin Lake is simple. It's a quick 2.5 blocks off the I-85. Extremely simple as the road practically becomes the parking lot for the DG course.
- Thanks bikinjack. bikinjack met me and guided me around the course on a weekday morning at 7:15 am when the weather was 25* (or less). It was cold! At one point (on the 5th hole) he fell in the creek trying to retrieve a disc... and played the rest of the round with wet socks and a frozen (literally) pant leg. That's what I call going above and beyond the call of DGCR guide protocol. Thanks again!
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17 0
Bronze level trusted reviewer
Experience: 15.2 years 119 played 23 reviews
4.00 star(s)

Rankin Lake DGC 2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Updated: Played on:Aug 14, 2010 Played the course:5+ times


Plays like two different courses, the front nine is more open, and the back is more heavily wooded, with most of the elevation.

There is a nice variety of long and short holes, a couple of ace opportunities, and a couple of multi-shot holes.

The tee pads are all concrete, except for #9, which is brick, and works just the same. There are long tee options for holes 7, 12, and 18.

The baskets are DISCatchers, all in good shape. There is no practice basket, but the course is seldom crowded, so you can usually warm-up putting on basket #5.

There are trash cans at several holes spread throughout the course, and rock "benches" at every tee.

You are never far from the parking lot, or the bathrooms, and the course plays back by them five times. The bathrooms are always open, and are heated and have A/C. There is also a water fountain with cold water at the bathrooms for those hot summer days.

The course is easy to get to from I-85 and Hwy. 321. There are two convenience stores, a Hardee's, Dunkin Donuts/Baskin Robbins, and New Papa John's Pizza right by the park.

Some areas of the park offer nice views down to the lake, especially in the late fall and winter.

As of 8/13/2010, there are now proper tee signs in place on all 18 holes.


One of the biggest problems with Rankin for first time players is the lack of signs on the back nine. There are great signs on the front (a couple have been recently vandalized but will be fixed soon ).

The fairways for holes 4, 5, 7, and 8 will be wet after rainy weather, especially 4 & 5.

There is a creek along holes 4, 5, and 7 that can eat discs, but isn't too bad. The OB shule to the left of the fairway on 6 will eat discs, especially in the summer. The rest of the course isn't too hard to keep up with errant throws.

Hole #9 could be dangerous, with either pin position being near a playground, and close to parking for the main building. Occasionally, there will be a car parked a little too close for comfort to the basket on #9.

There currently are multiple pin positions for eight holes, but there isn't a good system in place to let you know where they are, other than just seeing them, but some holes are blind, so you can't. Extra baskets for the alternate positions would be nice instead of having to move them to change things up, and a warm-up one would be icing on the cake.

Rankin Lake Park has a reputation for shady adult liasons, but this type of shady activity has decreased a lot recently, partly ( I like to think ) because of traffic from disc golfers, and probably more so because of a crack down by Gastonia's finest.

Other Thoughts:

I'm trying to give an honest appraisal of my home course. I think it's a little underrated. It's not the hardest course, nor the easiest, but it's got a lot of variety. I'm glad it's so close.
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0 3
Experience: 18.3 years 15 played 4 reviews
3.50 star(s)

2+ years drive by

Reviewed: Played on:Oct 10, 2009 Played the course:5+ times


Very fun course to play! Front 9 fairly open & easy with plenty birdie opportunities. Back 9 wooded and a bit tougher. All holes have good upkeep! Never very crowded


No signs on back 9. Confusing my first few times playing trying to find next tee

Other Thoughts:

Great park! Very nice area and very nice course. Well worth the trip! Just outside of Charlotte, only 3 minutes off of Hwy 85 Convenient!
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