Stuck in the sins of yesteryear
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: In my opinion, Sunset is a much better course than the score indicates. Browsing the reviews, it appears it has come a long way from a humble beginning and still has the scores from that time dragging it down. To me, Sunset gets an easy 4 discs. The orange layout alone would be 3 or 3.5, but together the layouts are one of the best public properties I've played. I think it's great, for a number of reasons.
Both layouts are quality. The golds are fantastic with multi-shot holes and challenging par 3's. They have a really well-constructed combination of risk and reward. But, the oranges are still a nice challenge with a combination of some easier open park golf and pitch and putt holes. I've not played huge numbers of courses, but to my knowledge the number of courses that have 2 layouts this different is quite low. Most multi-pad courses I've played are basically more of the same, with extra distance on the back pads.
A little Google-Fu suggests that several disc golf pros including Brian Schweberger helped Rocky Mount Disc Golf and Rocky Mount Parks and Rec with designing the gold pads. It shows! If I had to pick one pro about Sunset, it would be the construction of the par 4's and 5's off the golds. They are the epitome of risk-reward. Almost every multi-shot hole at Sunset lets you bite off as much as you want, but the farther you go, the more danger there is to the shot. A couple of these holes rival holes anywhere I've played in quality.
Big concrete pads and Innova Discatchers are always nice.
Tee signs were nonexistent the first time I played but this last time there were some nice ones up. Pretty simple with bright colors and clear info. Quality stuff.
Cons: There are some quibbles throughout the course, but that's exactly what they are in my opinion. There are no huge cons in the times I've played this course.
Navigation can be just a little tricky. I don't think this is a tough course to navigate, per se, but it's not completely straightforward. It took me a bit of backtracking my first play through, after that it is pretty simple and flows decently. This is an area where you can see that the course has been modified and evolved, it has a couple of disjointed areas of flow. It's not too bad at all. With the new tee signs, it's that much easier. I didn't inspect them closely since I had already played the course twice before they were put in, but they looked to be pretty accurate.
There are definitely a few holes that are shoehorned in a bit because that's how they fit best. 7 orange, as well as 14, 15 and 16 orange are basically just filler to get you from one area to the next, in my opinion. Gold 9 (orange 12) is fine on the orange layout but is just a transition hole that I don't feel like really fits on the gold layout. None of these are terrible, there's just nothing remarkable about them, and in orange 15/16's case, they're nearly identical, with one just having a tighter tunnel. They work for what they are.
The roads running throughout the course do come in to play, but it's almost not a con. It is used as a design element on a few. The island hole is there, of course, plus playing off the road to go big on holes like gold 8 and 10. I mention it anyway because technically it's not ideal, but I've only seen a handful of cars in a half dozen rounds at this property.
Maintenance can be an issue. Sometimes the course has been well groomed, other times it was in serious need of a haircut. If the grass is tall, the inconvenience can be exacerbated by the fact that this course is in a flood zone, so when it is both overgrown and wet, it turns into a marsh. Not the most fun to play in. I would probably knock the score down a half disc for maintenance and poor terrain, if it was always the way it was when I was there in May, but I think it was the exception and not the rule. It's not too bad, especially when freshly manicured.
I've heard of people being panhandled or solicited, but have hardly seen other people, much less been bothered. It could be because I'm a bigger, middle aged man. I would not discount these experiences from other people just because I did not have them. Based on stories, I couldn't recommend someone of vulnerable nature or nervous disposition to play alone, since it is secluded, and nobody could really help you in a pinch.
Other Thoughts: I always look forward to a round at Sunset. To me, this is simple, no frills, high quality disc golf. There's a lot of other courses up and down I-95 that I enjoy, but I stop here whenever I have the opportunity because I know it'll be a great time. Isn't that what it's all about?
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
The gold layout is gold
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: There are two wholly separate layouts/courses here, an older short Orange and a newer now-permanent very-long Gold layout. Sometimes they share a teepad but aim for different baskets, sometimes the teepads differ but the basket is shared, and sometimes they're entirely different. Navigation is generally okay, with large color-coded tee signs and basket bands.
I nearly always play the Gold layout, as I think it's one of the more unique and fascinating courses in NC. Risk/reward decisions abound, as aggressive birdie/eagle plays are possible on most holes but also bring OB into play, while safer par plays can reward consistent and accurate players. Many greens are closely guarded by trees, or by rough/OB on one side, that also reward careful approach play or even risky drives. Again on the risk/reward theme, many holes also have multiple available routes, often a short-but-tight route vs. a roundabout-but-clearer route. In casual rounds, I like to take a shot at everything, but tournament play brings out some fascinating decision-making for all players.
In comparison, the short Orange course is much more straightforward, but is still a decent course.
Both courses are relatively open, in a nicely manicured park-like setting, but still require very careful shot-shaping around large trees or woodlines, to accurately hit precise landing zones or greens. The back 9 features a few shorter slightly-wooded holes.
Focusing on the gold layout, highlights for me are:
- Hole 2, a beautiful par 4 that follows a curving street and large trees on each side into a challenging low-ceiling approach.
- Hole 5, an epic 900-ft. z-shaped par 5, that requires incredibly precise shots to make the corners. Birdies are rare and very well-deserved.
- Hole 8, an incredibly challenging par 4 where your drive must carefully position you to make a window/gap that's halfway down the fairway. Alternatively, wide hyzers that skip off the OB street are an alluring siren call to distance throwers. From there, the basket is guarded by a massive thick tree, that requires an extremely wide and/or an up-and-over approach. Birdies on this hole are the stuff of legend.
- Hole 11, a par 4 that follows another curving street. Distance throwers can go for the eagle off the tee, but must carry OB nearly the entire way, risking an almost immediate bogey or worse. But even the safer drive will still risk OB on the approach to the green.
- Hole 18, a par 4 with a thick wall of brush blocking you halfway down the fairway. There's a tight gap through on the right, or a blind up-and-over play on the middle/left.
For me, these are some of the more memorable disc golf holes in NC, and would probably make my NC 18, which is remarkable for a course with this low of a rating.
Cons: - Considering that two wholly separate layouts are present, and the mixing of baskets and tees, navigation is bound to be an issue, though it could be a lot worse. I find the color-coded tee signs and basket bands to be quite clear, but hole-to-hole navigation is occasionally an issue, particularly on some long walks. For the gold layout in particular, use the uDisc app's map.
- The course is criss-crossed by streets that play as OB. Quick history, this used to be a residential neighborhood, but was abandoned after Hurricane Floyd in the late 1990's, and redeveloped into the park (a few holdout residents do remain). Generally, these streets are entirely empty, and so there are few worries about hitting cars, having OB discs getting run over, etc. But, those do occasionally happen, as they remain public streets.
- Two holes actually tee off from roads, with painted markers on the pavement. Even if they are generally empty streets, this doesn't feel entirely safe, as the occasional car still comes through.
- I've heard some stories of shady dealings on those quiet streets. I haven't encountered that at all in my 20+ times playing this course, but have heard it often enough that it's worth mentioning here.
- As much as I adore the gold course for its risk/reward options, those fascinating challenges are truthfully only available for players with comfortable 300+ ft. of distance. For players with less distance, there may only be one reasonable option to go with, and the course becomes much less interesting then, more like a tortuous version of the orange course.
- The infamous island hole, with the basket in a street median, is becoming more and more difficult to attack as some tree limbs grow out and take the hyzer shot wider and wider.
Other Thoughts: Quietly, this is one of my favorite courses in the state. The low ratings on this site mostly ascribe to the older Orange layout, but the newer Gold layout is really where the course shines. No course rating would be complete without trying the Golds.
Quick note on misc. amenities: nice concrete tees, good baskets, good tee signs, scattered benches, no restroom.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Hopeful the Tournament Layout is Permanent
Pros: As a player who lives in the Raleigh area, venturing outside the Triangle does not happen much for casual rounds. I did however end up playing the Spike Hyzer Finale this weekend at Farmington, Sports Complex, and Sunset. Man, I was pleasantly surprised with how amazing Sunset is. Word on the street is that the tournament layout is permanent now, and I sincerely hope that is the case. NC disc golf is very old, with many courses outdated due to new disc technology. This layout at Sunset is amazing and rivals Barnett in Kinston as the 2nd best course East of I-95 (Behind The Castle of course).
1) Great starting hole, not too hard and not too easy
2) Fantastic Par 4 that is not an easy birdie with many obstacles and OB
3) Great straight shot with a few options
4) Another tough Par 4 (a welcomed theme on this course). The opening to the basket could get cleaned up a bit. If those power lines weren't hanging over the road it would be a lot better, but some things you cannot change.
5) Fantastic Par 5 with the requirement of two good placement shots for a birdie chance.
6) Traffic island hole
7) Great left to right shot downhill between trees.
8) Another great Par 4, this one is a borderline "tweener" Par 5, if the middle openings of the fairway were cleaned up a bit it would be much better. Great hole.
9) Great downhill midrange shot.
10) I don't see the need for the elevated basket on this hole, kinda meh.
11) Great Par 4 with two options: BH hyzer over the road or turnover shot down the middle. Interesting basket placement next to the road now.
12) Solid hole
13) Solid 350' downhill shot at a protected basket location. Again, an over the road option or straight up the gut.
14) This one is kind of a fluky Par 3, super low ceiling with random tree and bush placements. There are a couple of lanes but it could be improved with some cleanup. Not bad.
15) Pretty solid Par 4 with a straight shot off the tee.
16) Nothing special, straight with a right finish about 285'.
17) Super tight line to hit for the park job, a good changeup type hole.
18) Great finishing Par 4, you can throw straight down the fairway or cut it just outside the mando tree and play the left side of the fairway for an easier second shot. Again, it's great to have options.
Cons: Significant damage from Hurricane Matthew that still needs to be cleaned up. I am sure in time it will be looking fantastic.
Benches and tee signs with corrected distances at every hole would be fantastic. Currently there are not many of these.
A decent amount of Rocky Mount residents like to park on the streets next to 15/16 for illicit drug use, which is always interesting...
The lack of a parking lot is also kinda of a bummer, park on the street by Hole 1's teepad to play the course.
Other Thoughts: Again, this tournament layout is great and I really do hope it is made permanent as I heard over the weekend from a couple locals. Farmington is a great shorter course, and when paired with Sunset could make for a great 1/2 combo for a day trip. Keep up the progress RM because the course is something special!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Other Thoughts: Our second time out and a much better experience. The course is much better maintained than our very first round of disk golf at the Rocky Mount Sports Complex which left us feeling quite discouraged over the sport itself.
Sunset is very well maintained. The tees are well marked and the holes are fun to play. We are not comfortable with parking on the side of the road, but were fine with parking over by the tennis courts or by the ball field.
I can definitely see us playing this one again.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Almost top tier course
Pros: Beautiful old forest to play in. Nice mix of open and wooded holes. Big concrete pads and good baskets.
Cons: Could use a touch more variety, but that's really the only thing keeping it from being a really top tier course.
Other Thoughts: Parking was a bit weird, as we weren't sure if we could park on the road. Otherwise had a really nice day playing the course.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: - Once you find Tee 1 this course is very easy to navigate.
- Very well kept after, the grass is mowed, leaves (where it matters) are raked up.
- Covers a lot of ground, Got some good long shots on this course.
- Not much opportunity to lose a disc on this course
Cons: - Bathrooms and Drinking fountain, I could not find it, I didn't adventure through the whole park looking but they should be easy to find if they are there.
Other Thoughts: - My favorite course out of Rocky Mounts 4 courses hands down.
HOLE # 1 is located On Dawson Street about 100 yds up on the right. HOLE # 18 basket is right across the street from that.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
A few changes
Pros: Great parking. The #9 island hole and a mix of long-ish and short holes. It's never crowded so the odds of you waiting on another group is rare. And if it's crowded you can drive less than 2 miles to Englewood or Farmington.
Course is well kept and the city does a great job of cutting the grass and trimming weeds around the holes.
Cons: Tees are not marked correctly. So if you are not familiar it's impossible to know where the basket is---since it doesn't exist. And it's a bit worse now since they are moving things around for the PDGA tournament this May (2011).
Other Thoughts: They moved #2's basket back around that small tree again.
They removed the basket and poured a blue t-box on #4. So you shoot at #5's basket and by-pass #5 all together. They also moved #14 to the other block. So after #13 you walk across the street past that house and tee off in the street. You have to throw straight on the same side of the street then throw across the street to land inside the OB box they put up. If you have a strong arm you could throw in the box from the T...problem is there are 2 pine trees you have to shoot through at an angle.
They also poured a new blue T-box on 18 so no more easy birdies.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: very clean well maintained course. brand new concrete tee pads. hole 9 id what i always consider being rocky mounts signiture hole is a hyzer shot onto an triangle shaped island road all around, it will make you are break you! alot of nice long open holes and a good mix of wooded holes. also some good intense blind shots that will make you listen for that ching-a-ling we all love to hear! really nice tee signs too
Cons: needs trash cans, and some limb trimming.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: This course is clean and beautiful, well maintained, and is in a great area with few people around you also has an amazing island green hole
Cons: Only a few holes is it not clear where to go after completing them
Other Thoughts: I had the opportunity to play this course with its founders this course is great it has obstacles, distance holes and accuracy throughout
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Extremely fun course set in a beautiful location playing mostly in the open. Quite a few Ace/Birdie oppurtunities can be found in the first 5 holes.
The layout plays on flat open land so elevation would appear to not be a factor. However, some of the better lines to take you to the Baskets require height on your throws in order to make it over 8-12 foot bushes. You can literally invent different lines every time you play. I threw a majority of the holes differently, switching from forehand to backhand quite often.
There are a couple of tight fairways with options of taking huge Anhyzers or backdoor hyzers with height to avoid tress. Some holes play blind and provide a more natural feel to the course. Sunset Park ROCKS.
Cons: Only negative for this course would be the lack of concrete tees. I talked to a local that explained the fact that this course is on FEMA land so therefore concrete tees might never be cast, stupid government.
The layout can confuse you the first time out. I would refer to the course pictures to help navigate. It plays back forth over a few streets.
Other Thoughts: This course is clearly a work in progress and will eventually be one of the best in the area. I drove an hour to get to this course and I plan on driving it again quite often
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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