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.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Pretty diverse course with alternative holes for different skill levels. Some nice long holes where you can really air out some throws. A nice mix of wooded and open holes.
Cons: A little difficult to navigate for a first time player. We got turned around a few times trying to find the next tee box. Some shots cross over the street.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Sunset Gold top level course in Eastern NC
Pros: This property is home to two courses: the Gold layout and the Orange layout. The Gold layout is a very long and demanding course, best suited for advanced players. The Orange layout is much more beginner friendly. This review is specifically for the Gold course.
What I really enjoy about this course is that it really does require all shots to be able to score well.
I'm not sure if the local disc golf club or the parks department (or a combination of the two) does the course maintenance, but every time I have played the course it has been in excellent shape. The grass fairways seem to stay mowed which really adds to the beauty of the course.
Cons: Some spots of the course can hold water after heavy rains. It doesn't affect any of the teeing areas or the areas directly surrounding the pins.
Teepads: tee on hole 11 is about 6 inches about the ground, making the run-up kind of weird. tee on hole 13 is the actual road and is actually slightly downhill (not much, but it is noticeable).
Other Thoughts: Come out and play this course! It is WAY better than it's rating on DGCR. Here is my take on the holes as a RHBH backhand dominant player:
1. 325 ft slight left to right turnover. I feel this hole plays closer to at least 340. There are several large pines that force you to choose your line, but there is plenty of room for a fair shot on whichever gap you choose.
2.Very fun 625 ft. par 4. On paper, seems like this one might be an easy birdie...however, this takes a really nice controlled hyzer drive followed by a well-executed anny-backhand or a sidearm shot to get your 3.
3. Straight ahead 340 ft shot. Fairly dense rough on the left side that you want to avoid, and a large tree on the right side that will keep you honest and force the straight shot.
4. 540 ft. Par 4 that plays across an OB road. Plenty of options on this shot that really force you to think about risk/reward. Low ceiling off the tee makes crossing the road (about 350 ft from the tee) not as easy as you would think.
5. Really well-designed par 5. Smart play is a straight shot about 300 ft to layup to the open area, followed by a long straight shot that hyzers in close to the manhole, from which you can go up and down for your birdie. It's really easy to try and get too aggressive, though, which can easily lead to OB and a high score.
6. Short island hole. Tough to stick the landing for the 2, but feels great to get it. *The island is surrounded by roads, but there is almost ZERO traffic that drives these roads.
7. 305 ft. slight downhill shot. A line of trees runs perpendicular halfway through the fairway...pick which gap you want and go for it! *Gaps are very generous (when you miss, you know it's because you threw a bad shot as opposed to getting unlucky)
8. 710 ft. Par 4. Another par 4 that requires you to make some choices off of the tee. This one is definitely longer and more difficult that hole 4. OB creek runs through the the fairway at about 350 ft. Trees line both sides of the fairway, requiring control as well as distance.
9. Fun downhill 310 ft. shot. Dense rough on the left and deep of the pin. Soft hyzer with a mid should get you an easy birdie putt, which is very welcome after hole 8.
10. 260 ft. uphill shot to an elevated basket with an OB road less than 15 ft long of the pin. Basket is blind from the tee and requires you to throw a hyzer through a gap that will fade to the pin. Plays closer to 290, and the elevated basket coupled with the close OB really makes you think about your putt.
11. 630 ft. Par 4. Hole shapes left to right the entire way with an OB road running along the right side. Also, the trees close to the basket have huge limbs that will likely prevent a big hyzer bomb shot.
12. Speaking of hyzer bombs... 285 ft hole that plays with an OB road down the right side, OB road behind the pin, and OB dog park along the left side. At one point, this was a filler hole between 11 and 13, but with the addition of the dog park on the left side, this hole becomes much more memorable.
13. 350 ft slight downhill hole. OB road on the left side the whole way. Pin is tucked on the left side in between a few pine trees.
14. 280 ft shot with a low ceiling that makes this hole feel longer. Best advice is to disc up a little and throw it straight.
15. 580 ft Par 4. This one feels a little like a tweener par 3/4. OB road on the left, and some thick rough on the right. Fairway is plenty wide for a full power flex shot or even a roller.
16. 275 ft shot. There is not much of a backhand gap on this hole. Thumber or sidearm is the play here.
17. 240 ft straight shot. Trees on both sides make the gap fairly tight (compared to most of the rest of the course). The length of the hole to width of the gap ratio (if there is such a thing) still seems fair though. Pureing the gap feels great.
18. 540 ft par 4. Fun finishing hole that starts out pretty open, but pinches down and forces you to thrown an accurate second shot to be able to snag the final birdie.
1 of 1 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.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Open fairways and island green
Pros: Good concrete tee pads on every hole, multiple tees on most (if not all) holes, adequate signage on each hole, mostly open holes. There are plenty of trees on this course, but the holes mostly work around the thickest woods and use the trees (and large bushes) to shape shots around. Nice change of pace for an NC course.
Course flows pretty well, just a couple of nav issues. Good variety of hole lengths, nothing real long, and good mix of right and left turning holes.
The Island green. I am going to have to disagree with reposado here, I enjoy reading his reviews, have tried to pattern mine after his, but have to disagree with him here. A little background - as I understand it, the park this course is in used to be a residential neighborhood. Then one of the F hurricanes (Fran, Floyd) came through and flooded out the neighborhood. Instead of rebuilding in a floodplain (are you listening New Orleans?) the city took over the land and made it this park. Plenty of nice streets, with driveway cuts, that you cross over playing the course, but very little traffic.
Part of that road structure is a triangle-shaped traffic island, this is the normal green for the 9th hole. The hole plays 240 feet, but it is downhill and partially guarded by pine trees. Hit the island and you are safe, miss the island and there is a drop zone. This is a real fun hole for those of us that want to play an island green, but not the risk of losing plastic. Real fun hole!
Cons: Course does get a little repetitive. Not much elevation to use (on only 2 holes) so they didn't have a lot to work with. Also they were somewhat restricted with the streets throughout the course.
A couple of navigation issues, 6 to 7 then 7 to 8 and 8 up to 9. It was also tricky finding the first tee, no signage pointing you there. The course map on here did help a lot.
No restrooms or drinks available on the course, but a park facility was nearby.
Other Thoughts: Overall, a fun course to play. Good grass throughout, and plenty of chances to let it fly without having to thread a needle. The island hole is so nuch fun, my last time playing in Rocky Mount, I went back to Sunset and emptied my bag a couple of times at the island green. Nice use of the land available.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Good park course
Pros: + This is a very pretty park-style course with some wide open fairways, some lightly wooded, and a few moderately wooded holes.
+ Thick woods and underbrush only border 2-3 holes. Other than that, it's mature trees and manicured green grass.
+ Some reviews praise the "island green" hole #9, others pan it. I've played the course twice and haven't seen a single car on the roads that form the median where the #9 green is, so I don't see any problems with it. I like the unique opportunity to play an island green without the danger of losing a disc in water.
+ Navigation was OK and the course was well-maintained when I played.
+ Sunset offers a good challenge and is, in my opinion, the best course in Rocky Mount
Cons: - While signage was good overall, I didn't see a sign for hole #7 after I finished #6. I found it by pulling up the DGCR map. I had to jump across a ditch that was pretty muddy after recent rain and make my own path, through some poison ivy, to the next hole. Maybe I missed it, but navigation wasn't intuitive to me on this hole.
Other Thoughts: I recommend playing here if you're in the Rocky Mount area. I have not had a chance to play the gold layout when tournaments are held here, but I hear it's awesome. If I get a chance to do that, I can see a ratings bump.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
What time is it?
Pros: It's an open, parks style course that starts off with very open hole that may require a little shape at the finish to navigate around a tree or clump of shrubbery. Over the last nine, it becomes decidedly more difficult with masses of hedges to throw over or around. A favorite trick of the course is to stick the basket directly behind a broad tree so that a straight approach to the basket is almost never seen from the tee. Essentially a mix of very open holes to open holes with scattered trees, it is one of those course that can easily be described as fun.
The design is extremely clever in its use of small plots of land between park streets. Though you have to cross to new plots of grass often, rarely is the hole positioned for the street to come into play. Really impressed with the plan here and it gives the course something to unique to hang its hat on. It doesn't really have a signature hole but the hedges and the amount of time that you are throwing over or under a gap in the hedge provides an identity.
Next tee arrows are needed and in place. Players should expect a quick, fun round with no issues with navigating the course.
Cons: 9 is one of the most idiotic and insane ideas that I have ever seen. The basket is placed on a small triangle of grass between three roads. These aren't heavily trafficked streets but still, this is a terrible idea that is asking for trouble. All for a 150-foot open hole. I almost want to drop the course a half point for this absurd design element alone. (I won't though.)
Other than that, there aren't major flaws at Sunset. It's completely flat with no outstanding holes, nothing of note to draw the traveler. One of many perfectly playable local courses around the state. This one happens to be very near to I95 so I can recommend a stop here. But it's definitely a stop and not a destination.
Other Thoughts: From the parking lot indicated, the tee that is near the parking lot is actually 3. To find 1, you can drive around the block and park on the street. But there is no reason why you can't start on 3 and finish on 2.
This falls around 2.75 for me if I was allowed that distinction. It has just enough of a unique feel to warrant the up bump rather than down.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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.
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