4 Helpful / 1 Not
Yes Map Needed
Pros: The History
Nice scenery throughout, in the area on vacation and have always wanted to play. Beautiful Lake. Well manicured. I enjoyed playing 4 and 7 and like the fact that you can air out quite a few holes. Like the variety of hole distances. 13 was also enjoyable! Great day when I was here the day after July 4th. Only saw 1 other group. Of course I hit the Gate....lol. I like the total length of the course.
Cons: I must admit it was not what I expected. I am from Ohio and some of the courses knock this out! I had a map. but still had trouble navigating. Amazed that signs are non existent. I am floored that with the History of this course it should really be better marked, next tee arrows etc. I do not know the situation there but feel there are small things that could be done to improve time looking for next holes!
Other Thoughts: I am glad I played this historic course. I only hope someone or who ever the powers may be, update and improve this sweet course. It could be soooo much better! Some 6x6 and digital printed signs would be a wonderful start! Also enjoyed a great brewery nearby after the round! Really nice area!
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 3 Not
You had better bring a map!
Pros: Right off the bat, I will admit my own shortcomings going down to Winthrop to play this course. I figured that with this DG Course Review site in mobile form on my phone coupled with the InfoTalk Disc golf scoring/mapping app, I could figure out where the holes are. Wrong! This turned into something akin to a new volume in the Indiana Jones series of quests. I will call this one "Indiana Jones and the Quest for the Next Basket."
I was able to find the first tee, but mainly because I ran into another guy who was meeting his grand-kids out there to play. The first tee and basket are cut-and-dried. You can see the basket from the tee. Second tee is a guess, but not too far to the left of basket #1. Second basket is easy to see, too. From there, I meandered around like a pinball trying to find the third tee pad. Oddly enough, there is a rubber tee pad about halfway between #2 tee and #2 basket. I played to a visible basket, but the basket showed #17. What? I asked the people behind me, so they directed me to the right #3 tee. They told me to follow that across the parking lot to the next tee, so I somehow completely missed the entire 4th hole. That having been said, #5 is a great elevated tee down to a huge grass field with the basket right in the middle. When I got there, I could not figure out why it was labeled #5!
The next three holes are puzzling, too. This is where you absolutely need a map in hand. Hole 6 is easy to find, but then you need to realize you have to walk up the road to find the randomly placed tee for #7. It goes downhill, then #8 is placed in between #6 and #7. Completely confusing. Then, good luck figuring out where #9 is without the map.
At some point here, I was able to get the map up on my phone from DGCR. I played #9 wrong, but then found the correct tee pad for #10 and kept on track the rest of the round.
So, sorry about the ranting and raving. This course is mostly in the open wrapping around a beautiful lake. Lake does come into play quite a bit, too. One thing I loved was the presence of some absolutely giant oak trees in a couple of spots around the course. Some of these must be at least 100+ years old, and add a great deal of character to the route. Holes 15 & 16 are about the only two that drop you into the woods like most courses in the Carolinas. Hole 15 goes up through a narrow chute of trees, and it is very short. Hole 16 comes straight back downhill adjacent to 15. Both of these are a good change from all of the open field holes.
Hole 17 goes back down by the lakeside with a dangerous short route to the basket across the shore of the lake. Then, it finishes up a steep hill to the final elevated basket for #18.
Cons: Most of my cons are intertwined above in "Pros," unfortunately. Some of my real legitimate complaints are similar to others I read here. Absolutely zero signs on the tees... nothing at all. On some of the holes, they have granite bricks in the ground with hole numbers that have nothing to do with this short course. I'm not even sure they correlate to the gold course, either. I am so used to directional signs to the next tee after finishing a basket, and you will get none of that here.
One other thing for awareness is that a lot of people use the lake area for relaxing and recreation, so it brings some level of danger into play for some of your tee shots. Just be careful.
Other Thoughts: I really can't believe the same place that has hosted and will be hosting the 2017 USDG Championship has such a poorly marked course at the beginner/intermediate level. I know the tournament course is a different one, but it still floors me. It wouldn't take much to put up some makeshift hole signs and direction arrows. Just about every single course in the Charlotte area has this. All of this is unfortunate, because this is a really scenic course. I would like to go back, but it won't be at the top of my list.
6 of 9 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Passing through on vacation
Pros: -Awesome baskets. Probably the best I've seen in a while.
-Location is beautiful. Love the different shots around the lake and courts.
-Wasn't terribly hard. Being an OK disc golfer, I found myself at par or bogie on most holes. Heck even got a birdie on one.
Cons: -No bathrooms near by
-No signage. Had to go off what I knew the next hole looked like from the videos I had watched. Hard to navigate which added a lot of time to my round.
Other Thoughts: Overall I'm glad we went out of our way back to Ohio so I could play this course. I did enjoy playing it even though it was very hot that day. I'd play it again if I'm ever around.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 2 Not
Better bring a map
Pros: Decent variety of wooded/open holes and elevation changes.
Cons: There is no map on site or an indicator of where the course starts. Many tee pads do not have any signage; the ones that do are incorrect. The baskets are often numbered incorrectly. It's basically not possible to play without a local or a map from the internet.
Other Thoughts: Right now there are better choices in the Charlotte area, but it wouldn't take much effort on the part of the University for this course to stand with some others.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 2 Not
For the love of God, mark the course!
Pros: We were in the neighborhood and decided to give the Lakefront course a go. The university campus is very nice and the whole area is like one giant park. The course basically plays around a lake that has a huge flock of geese, which people were feeding. There is lots of eye appeal, which is always a bonus for my wife and I as being outdoors for some exercise is our primary motivator.
The course itself wasn't overly tricky or difficult even for us beginners out there having some fun. There was a wide array of shot types. I did like the elevated tee on #2 and the short tee shot on #17 that has you shooting directly at the basket, which is situated only about 20 feet from the water behind it.
While the lake can certainly come into play it isn't difficult to play safely around it if you are worried about losing a disc in the drink. I'd use a floater if you want to be more aggressive and still have a chance to retrieve your disc.
Cons: I rate this low mostly because it took me a while to figure out where to tee off and how to navigate. It is partly my fault for not looking into the course more before heading out there but damn what a nightmare it would be without my uDisc+ app! I literally had to rely on the GPS to help me get to some of the holes and that's just plain ridiculous. It costs an instate student $27k a year to attend the university. You'd think they could spend a couple hundred bucks on signs, arrows, markings, anything! Ugh!
Maybe I'm too OCD for this course but when I'm playing hole #4 but get to the basket and there's a #2 on it, that just doesn't set right with me. Put a donation box out there for course updating and I'll drop something in there but I won't upgrade my rating until the course makes more sense and is easily navigable to someone that pulls up having never played it before.
Other Thoughts: If you don't care about the aesthetics of tee #'s and basket #'s matching and don't mind wandering around trying to figure out where the next holes starts or ends, then disregard my cons. Other than that I think all players will have a great time.
7 of 9 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 6 Not
Withrop Lake Front
Pros: Beautiful Course around the lake and a lot of challenging and unique holes.
Cons: First time playing this course and I was unfamiliar with the layout. There are no signs indicating which way to go and almost all the numbers on the baskets don't match the hole numbers. Also many of the in ground plaques don't indicate the correct hole. We spent the entire time looking at the map on a smart phone guessing where the pads were and which basket we were throwing at.
Other Thoughts: Someone should spend a weekend to either relabel the baskets with the correct numbers and add more signage other than being lost the whole time we really enjoyed the course.
4 of 10 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
WHY IS NOTHING LABELED?
Pros: I liked the setting and location. It's a good place to go to if you want to test how far you can throw. A lot of the holes are completely open and you can really work on your long game. I enjoyed the fact that you walk around the huge pond the whole time but you're never forced to throw over it. However, the day I played, one friend threw 2 discs in the pond on accident and another friend threw 1 disc in, so be careful and I recommend having a floating disc even though it's not completely necessary.
Cons: My main con would definitely have to be the layout and navigation. Make sure you can pull up a map on your phone or print off a map before you come if you play here, otherwise you will be lost by the second hole. I've only played about 7 different courses since I've started playing disc golf, but I can honestly say that this course was the hardest to navigate by far. Nothing is labeled correctly and there are no signs pointing you to the next tee. It's crazy that someone actually set this up and didn't see a problem with it. Once my friend pulled up a map on his phone, it was a fun place, but even with the map, it was still confusing.
Other Thoughts: Final thoughts... It's a cool place to go with nice scenery and open tees for the casual disc golfer to enjoy, but whatever you do, HAVE A MAP!!!
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
16 Helpful / 1 Not
a day in the park
Pros: The lake in Lakefront dominates the scenery here and the entirety of the course is sure to be pleasing to the eye. It's surrounded by manicured grass and a few low hills. It's a very aesthetically pleasing place to play and I'm sure many a fun round has been played on the property. I played the standard Lakefront course, and that's what I'm reviewing. That layout is easily played with the map listed in the files on DGCR, and though there are no navigation aids on the course, there should be no issues following the course as long as said map is available.
Winthrop provides plenty of opportunities to air out some discs, and though there are no carries, there are plenty of places where you can watch a disc in flight over that pretty terrain. There's not a ton of distance, but there is a good variety of lengths with holes ranging from under two-hundred feet to over six-hundred.
And there are some cool holes. Thirteen is sharply uphill and while there is a roadway in the path, no cars should use that route since it's a dead end. Seven demands a little accuracy as the basket is tucked into a grove of trees. Thirteen plays deep into a creekside stretch of land. Seventeen is probably the most interesting as the basket is on the edge of the lake on a small outcropping of land and a disc can be hung out over the lake and fade right to the basket. Between those and the generally pleasant atmosphere, a causal round here could be pretty fantastic.
As fun as this course can be to chuck on, it's not a very interesting course. The lake is beautiful but it doesn't really come into play very much. That's not to say there is not a lot of risk/reward here. On many shows you risk hitting a car with your disk. Many fairways reward you with a chance to throw if you can find a break in pedestrian traffic. Seriously, I don't think I'd play here on a weekend unless the weather was poor. The worst offender here is the gate hole. That's just begging for dog-walkers to stroll through it. Well, worst offender pedestrian-wise. Hole four is a terrible idea. Yeah you can pitch around the parking lot, and yeah a ton of the other holes throw over roads. But the direct line to the basket on four heads directly through the lot that you just parked in. In summation, playing here at a busy time in the park is probably going to be frustrating.
The course at Winthrop doesn't offer much to make that frustration worth it. Challenge? Where is it. Beyond an occasional pedestrian, it's pretty much an open path to each basket. It's not a bad course. It can be fun. But open park courses like these are pretty common. There are some fun or cool holes, but nothing memorable. Nothing that you will want to go back for. It doesn't help that the flow is pretty bad. Holes don't follow in any logical direction. There are some very long walks between holes that you would never, ever find without a map.
On the topic of navigation, oh boy. It can be followed easily enough if you bring a map and stick to it, ignoring everything else. There are no tee signs, but there are tee plaques that list incorrect holes and information. Likewise the baskets often sport inaccurate hole numbers. So ignore that and you should be fine but it's a bummer that people who show up unprepared will be confused.
I'm aware that there is an additional layout but I reviewed the Lakefront course, as advertised on this site. The gold layout, if playable, really just seems to be longer holes that are just as open and uninteresting. And I guess, for the tournament they bring out hay and ropes for those who like to play an artificial course made of ropes. To each his own.
Other Thoughts: If you expect a fun, light round with a few buddies, than by all means, there is good golf here in a scenic setting. But it's not a destination course so don't travel here looking for something that will knock your socks out.
16 of 17 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 27 Not
Pros: Nice wide open holes. Some ducks. I was col when I went. The lake was frozen and all the ducks and geese where sliding on the ice so that was pretty sweet to c.
Cons: No signs at all. No telling where the next hole is. Every hole seems like the one u just played.
4 of 31 people found this review helpful.
20 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: The site of the USDGC every October, this is probably the most photographed course, and it does have some photogenic parts. The course begins and ends along a pretty lake with fountains in the middle.
Note: I played the gold layout (the one played at USDGC), which has some overlap with the Lakefront course but is generally longer.
Part of the fun of playing here is seeing in person the holes that the pros play. Among the more enjoyable ones:
Hole 4, a U-shaped hole playing over a shallow valley, curving into a grove of trees.
Hole 5, the long hole along and across the lake. I was happy to get my second shot where the pros seem to be after 2, but I didn't have the guts to try to make it across the water.
Hole 13, the famous "888" hole. After tons of discussion in the forums about the best way to play this one, it was nice to see it up close (I took an 8).
Hole 17, the downhill shot toward the lake. It wasn't as steep or long as I had thought it would be.
Elevation comes into play on several holes.
What makes Winthrop an interesting course for the USDGC is the miles of yellow rope and the bales of hay used for OB. They are only in place for the week or two leading up to the event. Without them, frankly, Winthop is kind of boring. Other than the 888 hole, holes 9-14 are just long, open bombers where trees do not come into play. In fact, I think I only hit a tree on three holes, and it's not because I was shooting well. It really hits home how manufactured the challenge is; there really aren't many organic aspects to this course, in sharp contrast to all the Charlotte courses I played 30 miles away.
Navigation is awful. Without the map, neither the Gold nor Lakefront courses are navigable. There are no tee signs. I used this to navigate Gold:
Note that while all baskets are in for the Gold layout, one or two holes play slightly differently (for instance, hole 6 is not in its beach location).
Other Thoughts: I came down here from Charlotte for two reasons: 1) I have watched a lot of USDGC coverage and wanted to play the holes, and 2) I'd never been to South Carolina. I'm glad I came once, but unless I can come back during October when the ropes are in place, I don't think I would return.
20 of 22 people found this review helpful.
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