Winthrop Gold - Wooooooow
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This beautiful course winds its way around the large pond, ball park and coliseum at Winthrop University. Winthrop Gold is one of the premier courses in the Charlotte area, hosting the annual USDGC professional tournament and providing a challenge to every disc golfer in the region. The university is very well maintained and there are a number of iconic holes. Hole 3 is a great downhill shot into an open field. Hole 5 is 1,000 feet, par 5, around the pond or a pin located on a peninsula. Hole 6 is the famous "beach" shot, and hole 7 has the triple-mando bamboo gate that you must throw through. The variety is great and the course is beautiful. These hallowed grounds are a must-play (at least once) for any disc golfer in the greater Charlotte region.
First and foremost, there are no signs or diagrams for any of the holes on this course. You can probably find a map online with a simple search. Winthrop University has a map/scorecard at this link: https://www.winthrop.edu/recs....aspx?id=3439
The course does get fairly close to walking paths, parking lots and roads. Just remember to be considerate when other people are around. The large pond - as picturesque as it may be - does present a bit of a challenge. Beware: Hole 17 is a downhill shot straight towards the water (this shot is an island green for the pros - I can't even imagine)! If you've watched the USDGC, you will realize that some of the pin locations have been moved since the tournament. However, none of these things will affect your experience at Winthrop. It's simply an amazing course.
Other Thoughts: This is a "big boy" course, and by that I mean - if you want to finish anywhere near even, or below par, you must have the ability to do so. After watching the 2017 USDGC a month ago, I wanted to compare my abilities to that of a professional. Let's just say that I have a lot more respect now for what those guys can do. I'd consider myself an intermediate amateur and I finished 19 over par, which I'm very-very proud of! Prepare for a lot of walking. The course stretches to almost 10,000 feet!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Winthrop Gold is the quintessential disc golf course trying to act like a ball golf course. With that you're replacing some of disc golf's appeal for a more traditional version of the game. Take away the USDGC and you're probably also removing most of this course's 'appeal.'
- For starters, I played here without the ropes. The biggest difference is that I probably saved myself 20 penalty strokes while still getting a great sense of the course.
- This is a station-to-station, multi-shot hole after multi-shot hole, grueling round version of disc golf. If you're an experienced Lakefront player (as I am), you're familiar with a nice round playing around the lake. Here, you knock that out after seven holes, then spend the next 9 holes wandering around the baseball field, basketball arena and rest of the park, before final returning to the lake for the final two holes.
- Some of the layouts are fantastic - both fun and challenging. I love hole #4, which is a combination of holes #7&8 on Lakefront. Give me this unique layout that puts an emphasis on an accurate tee shot - throw straight to a fade-right shot of at least 300 feet - to an accurate second shot - past the mando, below the branches, and (hopefully) far enough up that you can make a run at the protected basket. It's a simple hole in concept. In execution, it's a bogey 5 for players like me.
- Hole #8 is another elite level layout. It's a 667-foot layout that plays behind the baseball field (longer version of #13 Lakefront), with a wide fairway off the tee to a quickly narrowing fairway the closer you get to the basket. Another hole that seems like I should be carding a 4, but end up getting another 5 on instead.
- I like how you get a taste/overlap of Lakefront holes throughout your round. #1, 3 & 16 are holes from Lakefront; while other holes overlap Lakefront layouts: #2, 5-8, 17 & 18. I'm sure the holes look the same from the tee pad, they just play much harder once the ropes cut your landing zones in half (or more).
- Course tests your patience. Big arms are great, but accuracy is the only way you'll survive the ropes. At times, you'll be fighting the urge to drop the clutch, rev the engine, and get the car out of second gear. It sounds great until the penalty strokes are included. On the challenging holes, be pleased with your par and move on to the next hole.
- The course, and park as a hole, is always very well maintained. I can't ever remember seeing tall grass anywhere here, Lakefront included.
- The online caddy book is fantastic. From well-marked distances, mandos and OB markers to even showing the scoring breakdown for each hole, having such detailed caddy books could really help push the appeal of disc golf to the masses.
Cons: This doesn't impact my rating of the course; it's just being listed as a contrarian viewpoint. The ropes are either are what make the course better, or are what detract from it. Yes, you might prefer it as a long, open course without the ropes, thinking the OB markers are completely arbitrary and, perhaps, gimmicky. Others are going to love the challenge, seeing how the ropes are to a disc golf major what the narrow fairways, thick rough and fast greens are to the U.S. Open in golf.
- Lots and lots of walking. The holes are long - 550-foot average - with only two under 300 feet. For the average player, there aren't a lot of chances for birdies. And that's without the ropes. So, at times, it feels like, throw and walk, throw and walk, throw and walk, approach shot and walk, missed putt, and tap in putt. Repeat on the next hole.
- Signage still stinks. Even with the caddy book, a couple tee areas were difficult to spot. I've mastered navigating Lakefront, so this was a reminder of what the typical UNPREPARED, first-time players experience here.
- No benches or trash cans for pretty much the entirety of the course. There are spots where you can sit on walls. Also, for much of the course, there is little to no shade so be prepared when you're playing here in the summer.
Other Thoughts: This was an enjoyable, challenging, if not spectacular course. I had gone more than a decade of playing disc golf and living 30 minutes away without playing Winthrop Gold. After playing it once, I don't feel like I need to play it again until the ropes are up.
- Without the ropes, there isn't anything spectacular here. I've easily played 15-20 courses that are better than this...but I've also played 180+ courses that aren't as good as it either.
- Prepare for a long round. I can play a solo round at Lakefront in just under an hour. With a buddy, we played Gold in about 2:15 - 2:30.
- A simple, but fun hole is #14. You tee off from the sidewalk outside the arena, throwing downhill to the basket on this 413-foot layout. It's very fun to throw without the ropes. Maybe the fun factor is gone once the ropes are up.
- It's clear this is a course with two different feels, depending on whether the ropes are up or not. What might be the worst of all; however, is trying to play the ropes layout - simulating the OB locales - without actually having any ropes. I can picture some of you guys (you know who you are) walking up to your disc, looking at your caddy book, looking back down at your disc, studying the book some more, wasting about two minutes all while trying to figure out if your disc is in bounds or not. If that's the case, just play here in October. For everyone else, experience the two feels throughout the year.
15 of 15 people found this review helpful.
Just an honor to play here honestly
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Aesthetic-- plays through a beautiful college campus, lawns are excellently manicured and the course itself is a marvel to behold. That said, it does cross many walking paths and roads and these could become hazards if you aren't cognizant of your surroundings.
Teepads-- Very large and in excellent repair. Some shared teepads with the lake side course but this is to be expected.
Routing and Nav-- if you aren't familiar with the USDGC, bring a map. I am familiar and needed the map on many occasions to navigate some of the "non-TV" areas. No teesigns during non-USDGC times does not help.
baskets-- about perfect. one basket had a slight lean, otherwise these are the best innova baskets out there...
challenge/variety-- some good and some bad here. The challenge factor is high with extremely long hole lengths and old growth trees throughout the fairways but the wide openness that you get back on 5/10/12/13/14 get a bit redundant but I'm guessing this is why they add the ropes.
Some random mentionables-- upkeep was incredible, amount of benches was greatly appreciated as it was 95 degrees when we were there ,also, elevated pins didn't really add difficulty just added visual appeal.
Cons: challenge/variety-- as said above, some redundancy in wide openness. Missing the ropes when I was there.
Routing and nav-- can be tricky with out a map. long walk 16 to 17..
hole 15-- This hole has never made sense to me, watching the USDGC and now playing it... it just doesn't fit here.
intertwining with the lakeside course-- because of the large amount of overlap, it was hard at times to know where you were throwing to. look at your map before you take aim.
Lack of teesigns-- tee signs are only present at USDGC time and are missed other times of the year.
Other Thoughts: It was truly an honor to play here, these are cons that I'm sure have come up before and are being remedied in different and creative ways.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 12 Not
Pros: I Played this course a few times before with others that know there way around here. It is a nice open course that gives you the chance to watch your long drives fly as far as you can throw, not much of a challenge really as all ob ropes are not here to make landing areas well more difficult, not until hole 5 when you play over the water does this start to really catch my attention, after that hole I left the course playing select holes on the way back to the parking lot
Cons: THIS COURSE NEEDS SIGNAGE IN A BAD WAY TO HELP NAVIGATE YOU AROUND THIS FACILITY, AT LEAST PAINT A SPOKE ON THE BASKET FROM THE POLE OUT IN THE DIRECTION OF THE NEXT TEE, PLEASE.
Other Thoughts: This course is really a fun course and well worth the time to play (really) and with friends like I had on my first few times there. Be ready to not just throw long and hard but rollers and forehands will come out of bag as well to make every shot count on your card
0 of 12 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
HOLE 7 OMG!
Pros: Just want to say I played this course in the gold format without the ropes, and I played with people who knew how to get around.
Beautiful- This course is awesome, good up keep, and great looking water.
Tee Pads - Nice Tee pads long and good for most holes.
Almost every kind of shot, not to much wooded stuff, but a little
Good amount of trash cans (could have a few more but still a decent amount)
Hole 7- I saw this on video many times and loved throwing on that bad boy.
Cons: Pretty open. Without the ropes in play this is pretty much a chuckers dream and as someone who can't throw much further then 300 (on a good day) this course was kind of mundane.
A few parking lots come into play, and can make it kind of dangerous.
Water - I didn't know it here, but figured I would add it as it is kind of a con as you should bring a throw away disc just in case.
If I didn't have a person who played golf, I think you would need a map to get around. Its kind of crazy lay out compared to the normal course.
Other Thoughts: To be completely honest, this course is more or less one that I am glad I can say I played as the pros play here. Besides that without the ropes the Gold Course is pretty cut and dry.
Everything is here is in good shape and taken care of as it's on a college campus.
Hole 7 was awesome to finally play. And I made it in the door first throw :D
If you do not like my review, please give me a PM on what I can improve. Thanks!
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 4 Not
GPU Gold (Goose poop university gold)
Pros: -Winthrop gold or Goose poop U is the hard course on Winthrop's campus. It's amazing and many holes allow you to unleash big drives. The layout is awesome!
-There is a good use of elevation here! Usually if the hole is downhill or uphill, it's pretty steep uphill or straight downhill.
-Nice teepads on the course and they are long enough for a nice long drive (Unlike Boyd). The basket's are really cool as well. I like that the poles on every basket are red.
-As you know, Lakefront is pretty short and easy so a few holes on lakefront are on this layout. #1 is #1 on lakefront, #2 is #3 and #4 on lakefront. #3. is #5 on lakefront. #4 is #6's, #8's fairway and #7's green on Lakefront. #5 is #9 and #10 on lakefront. #6 is #11 on lakefront. #7 is #12 on lakefront. #8 is #13 on lakefront but has a long position which you play here on Goose poop gold. #9-#15 are not on lakefront they are just other long holes here. #16 is #14 on lakefront and #17 and #18 are the same except there is a long position on #18.
-#12 is definitely a fun hole! It's 901" feet and straight downhill, -35 feet, at first just so it's easy enough to hit the fairway. As long you don't go right where the disc eating bushes are, a big approach shot is pretty easy. Be sure to go straight or over the trees to the right of the fairway since they can be disc magnets as for you players who bomb it and go for an eagle 3. I played safe for a par by going down straight ahead. It's pretty much my favorite on the course.
-There are benches on every hole because they are so long, you might want to take a break since it can wear you out.
-The grass is officially cut so you won't lose a disc in any long grass, it's cut about every month.
-#7 is the bamboo hole! It's definitely the most memorable hole in Rock Hill. I said that about #5 at Lakefront or #3 here at Gold but it's definitely the bamboo hole. Some people hyzer and let it turn far left or give a brutal sidearm and try to get it turn majorly right. Some go straight which is definitely impressive that way. If you go straight, you might be outside of the bamboo wall.
-There is a bathroom in the building behind the first tee. Go straight in and go right then right again. There is a trashcan as well.
-#13 is another great hole! It's very tough and you can risk going over the parking lot and letting it go left. I got lucky by doing that. Most people sidearm way left in the fairway since trees are a bit left guarding the right side of the fairway leaving only a little room past the trees guarding left is only about 4 feet. Bretttallen is right! It is definitely a beast!
-If you lose a disc on #17 and it floats, wait on the wind to blow it and get a part of the fence 200" feet to the left of the basket and you can pull it out that way. Or wear your bathing suit.
Cons: -Not many but my first con is that goose poop is EVERYWHERE! On the greens, banks, teepads (mainly #6) and fairways. I think you know why I have Goose poop U Gold is by title for this review.
-Every hole is numbered wrong. The map here isn't very accurate on the back 9. Hole 10 has the tennis court to the right of the fairway. #11 is straight and long with a super long bush. #12 is by a building which you tee off at and it's a downhill dogleg right.
#13 has the parking lot in play and it's another dogleg right. #14 is steep downhill and you tee off by a college building like on #12 and keep in mind that #15 has a mando gate and it's a dogleg left. The basket is in an opening in the trees.
-A lot of water occurs and I hope you have a disc that floats and if you go for an ace on #17, you high likely are in the water since the water is only 10' past the basket. I don't see why this cant be an ace run about 40' feet shorter.
-No next teesigns and to every hole is a pretty long walk.
-The course has a bad finish. I don't like #18. It's steep uphill and it has a mando pointing you left. The green has a dropoff a it's a dogleg right. It's not a birdie hole you'd b e lucky to par it. You're gonna hate it, most likely.
Other Thoughts: This is one of the best courses in the world. It's has everything you could possibly want on a course layout. The variety is excellent and this is definitely a man's course. Play the Lakefront layout if you are not at least an intermediate.
Hole by Hole
#1. Only real ace run on the course. Downhill with a good bit of trees in the fairway. Midrange or putter is the disc to throw. A driver will turn left leaving a long putt.
#2. Avoid the barb wire fence to the left. RHBH is good for your teeshot but don't completely bomb it, the parking lot is about 415" feet ahead and you don't want to pay car repairment do you?
#3. Straight downhill and definitely one of the really fun holes on the course. The woods are to the right and the water is left. The fairway is 180' wide though.
#4. Very tricky! You will need a 225' foot throw at least so you have an easy sidearm or turnover throw to the green. There is a mando pointing you left which can easily mess you up. This hole is short but nasty.
#5. Two words, SUPERR LOONNNNNNNNNG. The lake is definitely a disc eater and if you don't sidearm or throw a turnover shot. You're going swimming. Once you are about 800' feet from the tee, it's pretty safe to go over the lake. I got a 7 :). Be sure to use a dragon or wahoo and a hydra for an approach shot. It's a bit downhill so it plays 959'
-#6. Very laid back and it gets pretty easy after the monster par 5. It's straight and you only tricky obstacle is the trees to the right.
-#7. Another short hole! It's the bamboo hole and you know it's awesome. Hyzers and turnovers are safe if they are high enough. Going straight can be hard since the opening isn't huge.
-#8. Nice hole with trees in the fairway but still easy to sneak past. There are two positions. The long one is #8 gold. Avoid the woods left since discs seem to stay up in the limbs.
-#9. Good hole besides the mando pointing you right. Since there is a mando, it's very hard to unleash a big drive. Neat red belt on the basket though. The design by the baseball field is also very cool.
-#10. Another cool par 4. The tennis court is in play right. As long as you avoid it, this hole is easy to get it in in 3.
-#11. I didn't like the bush to the right at all. You better not hyzer over it and hit a car in the parking lot. If you avoid that, (which I didn't) this is an easy hole. Anhyzer will do if you throw hard to the leftside.
-#12. My favorite on the course! It's a straight downhill dogleg right. Get to the middle of the fairway and you have a clear straight shot.
-#13. Very cool design! It's definitely a test of you skill because of the trees a bit to the left blocking the right of the fairway. Good luck if you hyzer and try to land to the right of the trees. There isn't a lot of fairway to the right of the trees. Road is OB :(
#14. Finally a par 3 after 6 holes. It's straight downhill and you tee off by a college building. It's easy to navigate if you can throw about 360" on a normal basis.
#15. It's confusing to find so keep an eye straight ahead on a mando gate and bench. Anyway it's a dogleg left par 4 that is more wooded than most holes. Once you are at the landing zone, you have an approach shot that goes into the trees and be sure to get the opening right.
#16. #14 on lakefront and head to the baseball field. The hole is downhill and it's a good hole to throw left on since trees are disc magnets straight ahead and to the right.
#17. Very tricky and the water is going to frustrate you if you don't go a little short. You are in need of a hydra on this hole. It's another ace run but not an easy one.
#18. Honestly I did not like this hole at all. I don't like the mando pointing you left because the fairway slopes down left and you likely could catch a roller and kiss you disc bye bye if it goes in the lake. The green is also frustrating and there is a dropoff behind the basket. The green goes right into the woods.
8 of 12 people found this review helpful.
30 Helpful / 3 Not
Rope a Dope
Pros: The grass is freshly mowed, the sun makes the lake gleam bright as to fulfill you with hope and the fountains soothe your soul with a serene melody. You stand at tee one, your hands sweaty in anticipation. You're not only in the shadow of "the Shack," which sells all the Innova/Discmania swag you could hope for, but also in the shadow of all the greats that have graced that tee and waited patiently for their tee time to start. It's a short hole, albeit with a low ceiling, but your jitters of a shameful round are momentarily quelled when your shot skids forward into a possible deuce. "It's gonna be okay" you tell yourself, but then...
Cons: The OB makes itself painfully evident. Almost like being alone in the wilderness when the beauty wears off and the terrible, dangerous reality sets in that you're locked in a battle of survival, the most dangerous game now begins. Numerous varieties of OB appear, like menacing beasts of the jungle. The parking lot looms large like a herd of gray elephants, harmless if you keep away and always apparent. Rivers of sidewalk stealthily appear here and there, like lines of deadly ants. The giant, brown, hungry hungry for discs hippo lies in the center of this jungle in the form of the lake. But the OB to be feared most of all, is the ceaseless, ever winding yellow rope that is seemingly everywhere and always placed just tight enough in key places for you to skip barely out of bounds. Trying to keep a long drive in bounds here is like trying to fit into your skinny jeans after you've pigged out during Thanksgiving and Christmas. Even if you do stay in, you're not gonna be comfortable. When it's windy, it practically renders you impotent.
This course is longer than a LOTR movie. Never mind the 1000' hole and the rolling elevation, some of the walks between holes feel like you're walking to throw the ring into Mt. Doom at Mordor, especially the uphill trudges to hole 12 and 14. It's not that bad, but in a slow tourney setting, especially playing stroke and distance for going OB, you'll be out there all day roasting in the sun, making the walk seem much longer.
Yes it's a championship caliber course but it's still park golf. Unless you're playing in THE tournament, you have walkers, joggers, their pooing dogs, and sunbathers often in the way. Oh, and geese crap too.
Other Thoughts: It's really just a big, city park style pitch and putt for big arms. A few trees here and there but you mainly play around roads, parking lots, a ball field, and of course the lake. Ho hum. Not terribly exciting unless you can throw 400' with ludicrous control. Then they throw yellow OB rope everywhere to actually give it shape. My only problem with the OB is that it's used in a lot of places that aren't necessary IMO. I get it when it's an open field hole but what's the point of putting it along the edges of rough like hole 18? Is there anything more quintessentially disc golf than trying to throw out of rough? That's a DG skill that is not evaluated here. Go into the rough, instead of being punished with trying to rescue your round, giving you a glimmer of hope, you're simply shot in the face with an OB penalty. Is this disc golf or Operation the board game?
I'll take any of the good Charlotte courses over this any day of the week.
30 of 33 people found this review helpful.
19 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: The course plays through a beautiful piece of a college campus. The grounds are impeccably maintained, and the course is especially scenic around the lake. This layout plays very long, there are a few shorter holes mixed in with interesting obstacles mixed in, but in general you'll need a big arm and/or a big roller to be successful here.
A lot of the course plays pretty open, with artificial ob, water, and tricky pin placements providing most of the challenge. Some holes play through nice mature trees and call for shaping some different lines. The water is used quite well on this layout, many holes require decisions on how to play the hole, going for the better score often entails quite a bit more risk. All holes have decent concrete tees and discatchers in fine shape.
Cons: One week out of the year, this course has all the ob ropes in place and good signage. The rest of the year, a lot of the place is wide open and very long, which makes it pretty repetitive at times. There is no signage (other than some outdated markers that don't match either current layout), so it's pretty much impossible to follow without a guide or map. With the course map, it's easier to follow, but you can only estimate the challenge of the ob without the ropes in play.
A lot of the course brings roads, paths and parking lots into play, major safety issues when you're trying to throw longer shots. There are also lots of places that get used for picnicking and sunbathing, not an issue I'm sure during the USDGC but it is an issue the other 51 weeks a year.
Other Thoughts: I had a really hard time rating this course. I can easily see a top rating for it in the USDGC setup, with ropes and signs and the overall tournament atmosphere. The problem is that the course isn't like that when the vast majority of players will see the course, it's just wide open boring bomber holes. It's worth a stop when you're in the area, but make sure you have a good map to get a good idea of the ob lines and for navigation.
Beginners won't have fun here at all, nearly every hole is either long or has water in play (or both). More experienced players will find many parts of their game tested, there aren't many holes that call for really tight line shaping, but shot placement, distance, and wind game are all vital here.
19 of 24 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Going for Gold
Pros: The Gold course was very hard but very fun. Great mix of holes. Some very long and very challenging holes. Some station to station holes, some to the right and some to the left. There are a few holes you're not likely to see anywhere else, like the bamboo hole (which I put about 15 feet away and my brother put about a foot away from an ace). Even in the winter this course is very scenic, and well taken care of. Nice tee boxes, great baskets (a few raised) Lots of benches.
Cons: When you go out to play the Gold course it's hard to say that how freakin long and hard some of the holes play are a negative, because what did you expect!!! The only thing I could say is maybe a broom or two would be great, I mean this is a championship course right? A lot of tee boxes were covered with leaves, but I'm really just reaching for "cons" here. Bottom line is if you're not looking for a very long and tiring round, then just don't play the Gold course. But if you want to see what your made of then go ahead! Oh if you play the 888 hole with all the OB, good luck not taking a penalty or two!! :)
Other Thoughts: I played the Gold course without the ropes, just feel like I should specify that. Awesome course, had a great time. My arm was dead after, although I did drop a 3 (eagle) on one of the 900 foot holes, just before the 888 hole which is a beast. I'd say this is a worth while adventure for any person that loves to play disc golf.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 10 Not
Pros: Everything. The course is challenging and will test all of your shot making skills. The grounds are kept up better than some country club golf courses. Did I mention it's free?
Cons: You may lose a disc or two in the lake.
Other Thoughts: This course is the most challenging I've played that is also enjoyable. It's nice to have a long course that doesn't drag you through the wilderness (deep forest). Give it a shot.
2 of 12 people found this review helpful.
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