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.
15 Helpful / 2 Not
Bringa GPS or something
Pros: This course is absolutly beautiful. The lake on a clear day is amazing and it is a fun course to play. Its a nice change of pace for those who want to play a more open course in the Charlotte area.
Its fun to play several USDGC shots without having to play the Gold layout.
Benches and trash cans on the course
Cons: If you are reading this because you plan on playing before you do anything else Click links and get a map because if you don't good luck finding your way around or knowing how far you have to throw.
There were several people sunning and picnicing on the course but I couldnt blame them cause it is an awesome place for it.
There is a decent chance for a lost disc with the lake in play.
The teesigns are either not there or really old. They don't seem to be to the same course or to the Gold course.
Other Thoughts: Even with the navigation issues this course was great to play because of the atmosphere alone. The view over the lake is stunning and it was perfectly manicured. I would strongly recomend this course to anyone in the rock hill area
15 of 17 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 0 Not
Pleasant change of pace
Pros: Very well kept course winding around a small lake on the campus of Winthrop University. Also home of the USDGC. The landscaping and care is top notch. Playing a round here feels like a leisurely walk in a park.
Mostly open course with mature trees and limited elevation. Lake is the back drop for several holes including one that presents an opportunity to go over the lake and some trees. There are a couple wooded holes that are fairly basic, short holes.
All holes had excellent concrete tee pads. Fairways were mowed and what rough there is posed no problems.
Cons: Navigation is a nightmare. Thankfully I had bikinjack for a guide. Without him I would have had no clue. The baskets are not numbered correctly, and the flow seemed a little odd. No next tee signs or navigational aids. I definitely recommend playing with someone that knows this course.
Outdated or no signs at tee pads. It is pretty much guess work on distances. Most holes are fairly open so seeing the basket and line is not really an issue though.
Not really any exceptionally fun holes. The downhill on #5 is decent, #10 gives you an over the lake option, and #12 is the infamous bamboo wall hole. They are all OK, but nothing that you really feel like emptying your bag for.
Most holes require a pretty straight shot. Not much line shaping or shot making.
The geese invaded a few areas so be prepared for some goose poop and leavings in the grass and on the tee pads by the lake.
Other Thoughts: The Winthrop Lakefront layout is not the Gold layout used for the USDGCs. So keep that in mind when heading out here. The ropes are not set up and so it plays a little differently than it will in the other layout. It does however offer a nice, relaxing round. Having a mostly open course this close to Charlotte is a nice option. Most of the course is pretty open so it would also be a good option on a nice sunny Fall, Winter or Spring day. It was a little hot out there this week. Bring your sun tan lotion if you are going in the Summer.
Overall this isn't a bad course. Just don't expect a true destination course or a once in a lifetime experience.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Don't Travel For This One
Pros: - Nice clean campus park setting
- Good short and quick course if you like playing wide open holes without many trees to contend with
Cons: - Impossible to navigate without a map, definitely need to print out a map if you would like to figure out where each hole is located
- The baskets and tee boxes are not numbered correctly and the distances are incorrect even on the available scorecard/map
- No maps/diagrams at the holes
- No benches
- No trash cans
- Goose poop everywhere on MANY holes and as there are not benches finding a clean spot to lay your bag is sometimes difficult
Other Thoughts: - Overall I was extremely disappointed with this course, I have played a handful of courses throughout the Charlotte area (a few included in the current 2012 Worlds tourney) and you can not even compare Winthrop Lakeside with these courses rated about the same or even slightly lower (higher than Plantation Ruins at Winget - just silly, nearly the same as Robert L. Smith Park & Elon Park - Angry Beaver - ridiculous)...this course must only have its current rating because the people that reviewed it have not played elsewhere on truly solid courses
- If you are already in Rock Hill and you swing by for a quick round you will have fun, but if you are in the general Charlotte area, picking any other course with a 3+ rating would be a better choice
- I admit there are definitely a few fun holes, 12 was unique and fun, but generally it is a wide open grassy park style course...the main obstacle is the large lake that impacts a few holes and truthfully I would rather deal with countless trees as a miss-throw, gust of wind or unlucky roll down a hill will not cause a lost disk if trees are the obstacle
- Also, note that the road around the lake is ONE-WAY counter-clockwise so you don't get yelled at by campus police when leaving the parking lot
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: -Winthrop Lakefront is the shorter course around a college campus. It's scenic, challenging and fair. This is the shorter course so if you like longer holes, then play Winthrop Gold which is also onsite.
-Winthrop has nice, long teepads that are in good shape and allow a nice long run up.
-The course has a couple ace runs (15,16) and they are the only couple holes in the woods and they are in the neighborhood too and 16 is next to a house. Every other hole is open and some are short and still in the field and others (5,13,14) allow you to bomb a nice drive.
-This course has a good amount of elevation. You can tell on every hole if its uphill or downhill. Although most holes are not super uphill or downhill, Holes 5 and 18 have a lot of elevation.
-I like the obstacles to avoid on the holes cause they are punishing but only if you hit them. Water is the main obstacle, and on the water holes, use a disc that floats in water (Dragon, Hydra, don't know if a gator does or not) so you wont lose it. Every other obstacle is easy to avoid but don't try to hit them. It can be tough to get out.
-12 is a great hole that is fun and tricky at the same time. The green has bamboo outside of it and you throw through a mando gate.
Cons: -Mainly, the navigation is atrocious. None of the baskets are numbered correctly. If you haven't played here, you better bring a map.
-Goose crap is everywhere from 9-11 and needs to be cleaned up. Don't let that make you hate this course.
-Hole 9 is in alternate position. That's the shorter position. My first time here I was really looking forward to playing the original position because it's the only par 4 on the course at 664 feet long.
-This isn't really a con but this is a warning. Hole #10 is a very hard hole surrounded by water. The teepad is directing you to go over the water which disc are lost frequently. If you don't think you can go over, then play it as a dogleg left hole down the fairway.
Other Thoughts: -A few of the baskets here are moved regularly to keep players interested. Hole 1 has three pin positions! Which to me is pretty awesome.
-#4 isn't well marked because it is a new hole. The old hole 4 was around the parking lot. The new #4 is across the road and plays as a jump putt down a hill. Hole is only like 115' and loses maybe 15'-20' in elevation. I'm sure a pad will establish soon.
-The mando you see on hole 8 is not in play. That is only for the gold layout.
-There are two tee-pads for hole 9. You can play the original where the pad is past the road, or you can play off the dock. And hole 17 has a new pad right outside the fence on the walk over. The bamboo and water to the left make this an awesome hole.
6 of 8 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: The property is very well taken care of and the greens are finely manicured. Concrete tee-pads are set level and flush with the ground. Wide open fairways allow you to really rip some big drivers, but anyone at any skill level can go out and have fun on this course. The bamboo hole (#12) is really a test of your skill. If you live anywhere near Charlotte/Rock Hill, play this course !
Cons: Most, if not all the baskets are numbered incorrectly. This is due mainly in part because the USDGC is held here every year. After the tourney, maintenance crews replace the nice tournament baskets with older ones, and the numbers never match the holes. So, if you have never played Winthrop, definitely print out the course map.
Other Thoughts: Bring extra discs (cheap plastic) if you want to throw near the lake. Big winds and large hills easily allow the water to swallow up your throwing stock. Also, be careful on hole #4 as there is a barb wire fence backed up to the fairway, if your disc goes over, it's gone.
I try to play this course at least once every two weeks. If you need someone to guide you through a round, send me a PM and let's set up a tee time !
8 of 10 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: Very well maintained course.
Some challenging holes.
Water to throw over!!
Concrete tee pads.
Cons: Signage sucked! If you dont have a map you will be lost.
Geese everywhere and we all know they are mean!
Goose poop everywhere yuck.
1 of 8 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 3 Not
Re-played and Re-reviewed
Pros: Nice beautiful location - Winthrop University has a very nice campus and the course is a very open course.
Cons: The course is not well marked - print out a map or you'll never find your way around. Some baskets have wrong numbers on them but you need to trust the map. The gravestone markers are not accurate don't trust them - trust the map except for 18 - 18 basket is down by #5 tee box.
Goose poop! you'll need to avoid it on some of the holes - now that's a natural hazard! #11 tee box is the worst place for it.
Other Thoughts: My first time there I was disappointed and let down my expectations were high probably too high. Now that I know what to expect it was a more enjoyable experience. Go, play it once to learn the course layout then go back to actually have fun.
3 of 6 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 6 Not
If you live here, play it. If not, don't go out of your way.
Pros: It's great to have a course so close to my home that hosts a national event. Everyone in the Charlotte area is fortunate to have so many courses to choose from!
Cons: Where do I begin...
Thankfully one person in our group had experience with the course layout AND we printed a map before making the trip. If we had neither we would have been in trouble. There are absolutely no directional signs on the course. Not a single "next tee" arrow to be found. And because most of the course plays through what I'll call a regular park there are not many beat down paths (like you'd find on a wooded course). On top of that the baskets are not numbered in order. How crazy is that! And, to boot, take your best guess on how long the holes are (unless you printed a scorecard).
Other Thoughts: All that said there are many good holes here (good, not great). The water holes make you think twice.
4 of 10 people found this review helpful.
18 Helpful / 0 Not
Wish I had this at my college
Pros: The course plays through a mix of open areas with the lake in play and park style areas with grassy fairways and mature trees. The water holes on this layout all offer easy ways of avoiding the water, but still present some decent risk/reward decisions. The areas with trees are used well to make some low ceiling shots and a nice mix of lines to hit. There is a little bit of elevation and it's used pretty well also.
There is a wide range of hole lengths on this layout, from ace runs to bombers. The bamboo fence surrounding one pin adds a fun challenge: do you go for the narrow opening straight at the pin or try to spike a shot over the fence and down onto the green? The tees are nice concrete pads, and the discatcher baskets are in decent shape. The grounds are maintained very well, with short mowed grass and no trash or vandalism at all.
Cons: There are a lot of safety issues here. Around the lake, you'll run into people fishing, picnicking and sunbathing right on the fairways. There are roads in play on several holes, and this seems to be a busy area of the campus. The course isn't marked at all, except for some old tee markers with the wrong numbers, and some randomly numbered baskets. There's a good map available here, make sure you print it or bring it up on a smart phone.
There are a lot of open holes here, you're not forced to hit any kind of specific line on many drives. This makes the course less challenging and less interesting in my opinion.
Other Thoughts: This layout is definitely more beginner friendly than the gold setup, but it's still long for newer players and the water could be pretty daunting for someone who only carries one or two discs. More experienced players will find some cool holes here, but the abundance of open holes gets a little old. If you're here, most of the gold holes are playable (albeit without the ropes), it's worth checking out the map and trying them out.
18 of 18 people found this review helpful.
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