19 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The Winthrop University lakefront course is a solid challenge and fun play even without the now infamous United State Disc Golf Championship layout. After hearing many rumors about the non-tournament course I was a bit wary upon visiting but was pleasantly surprised to find a very enjoyable layout is available all year long.
Variety: Across a range of different aspects, Winthrop offers really nice variety off the tee. The well used rolling hills have a few nice uphill, downhill, and sidehill shots. Woods are used effectively to supplement the mostly open nature of the majority of the course. Finally, a large range of distances from under 200 feet to over 600 feet require any number of discs off the tee from putters to controlled fairway drivers to big distance bombs with a high speed driver.
Maintenance/Amenities: Everything is pretty much perfect as you would expect here; the grounds are absolutely beautiful with short mown grass and landscaping. Likewise, baskets and tees are kept in great shape and several of the funky obstacles that are now classic USDGC fixtures remain in place such as the large latticework barrier which protects hole twelve.
Navigation: For the most part, the course flow is fairly straightforward with only one exception that I can remember. We had to search around for a bit for hole fifteen I believe which started from up on a hill amongst some trees. It wasn't an obvious location for a tee, but was findable after some snooping around. It seems other reviewers also mention some problems with course flow and I imagine just having seen the videos of the course, I had an unusual advantage in already knowing some of the layout - you can't go wrong by bringing a map!
Cons: Openness: The designers have done a great job of utilizing the available tree coverage but the balance rest heavily on relatively wide open holes. These aren't easy open holes but it does usually allow players to choose whatever shot fits their strength and fails to expose individual weaknesses in one's game.
Hole numbering: Other reviewers have noted this but just disregard the numbering of the holes and play the hole you believe to be correct. This course must have been redesigned at some point because the numbering system is off for much of the course.
Psycho killer clown duck: I'd be really leaving out an interesting experience we had at this course (which may be a persistent problem according to previous reviewers!) but we were followed around by a hideous looking duck for about five holes. This duck, although slow, seemed to be out to get us and tried to sneak up at several points to hiss and lunge at us. Whenever he got close enough, he seemed fully intent on pecking and biting us - although we always managed to keep him far enough away to prevent this. Finally, we had to pretend to leave the area and hide out for a few minutes until he gave up and went back in the water. When we reached the part of the course that plays on the other side of the lake, we saw him making a bee-line across the water to get at us again! Fortunately we were only a few holes from finishing up and he never was able to get his final revenge :)
Other Thoughts: One of the fun parts about playing this course as a bit of a disc golf veteran was getting to see many of the holes and landscape used for the USDGC course, usually only seen through videotapes and podcasts. I really enjoy getting this first hand perspective of the challenges of a top level course like this even if only a portion of the tournament holes are actually viewable during the regular season.
BTW - I've posted a picture of the crazy duck since he seems to be a permanent course feature!
19 of 19 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 8 Not
Pros: fun course. i've never been able to play the gold setup. it's worth the drive from charlotte when we go there to play the course though. it's beautiful.
Cons: wide open. a little too wide open. take a map if you've never played it before.
0 of 8 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 11 Not
Pros: One of the best courses ive ever played. very nice and technical but not to long
Cons: It can be kind of hard to find your way around the course but that doesnt take away from the beautiful course
Other Thoughts: once again probably the best course ive ever played
0 of 11 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 1 Not
Not quite the USDGC Layout, but FUN
- Partial USDGC Course. A few of the Holes are the exact same as the USDGC layout (USDGC Holes 1, 3, 6, 7, 16, 17)... while a few other Holes combinations make up other USDGC Holes (i.e. Holes 3 and 4 Lakefront = Hole 2 USDGC, Holes 9 and 10 Lakefront = Hole 5 USDGC). So even though this course isn't the USDGC course exactly, you can get a feel for what the players play (only without the ropes).
- Lots of Water in Play. With a name like Lakefront, you hope there is a lot of water in play... and there is. If my memory serves me correctly, approximately 1/3 of the course has water in play... and several other Holes have other forms of OB.
- Fun Holes. Even though you're not playing the USDGC course, a plethora of birdie opportunities make the Lakefront course fun to play. And, because they're able to retain some of the USDGC Holes there is an added fun factor.
- Navigation. I had a guide, so I thought navigation was going to be a breeze. However, we still had a hard time remembering where to go next (around the Hole 6/7/8 area) and we never did find the actual tee-pad for Hole 18.
- Inaccurate Gravestones. The gravestone style tee-signs definitely don't help. The fact that many of them are mis-numbered (from an old course design) makes you question everything else about them (distance, Par, that you're even on the correct hole, etc...). You would expect much better tee-signs at a place like Winthrop.
- Lots of Amenities Nearby. As you approach the university from the main road, you pass every kind of amenity you could want... Gas, Fast Food, Sit-Down Food, Supermarkets, Hotels, Pawn Shops, etc... I definitely recommend the margaritas at Tequilas (although I can't recommend their food as much) and the sub sandwiches at East Coast Subs!!!
- Overall. The course is really fun to play, however I could see it being a bummer if you were having a hard time with navigation or if you were trying to compare it to the USDGC layout. The splitting of the long USDGC Holes into two separate Holes for the Lakefront course makes playing them a letdown because you know deep down that you would rather be playing the longer Holes straight up. The Lakefront course plays much more like a regular city park disc golf course, except with water holes and USDGC mystique (which probably both add ½ a disc to the rating).
- My Score: -5
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 8 Not
Pros: Excellent course which has been kept up very well. The holes are very challenging and interesting. Course traffic is low and the locals are very nice. The USDGC Championship is play here. ( the Gold course..slightly differs from the Lake)
Cons: The baskets are not numbered nor are the tees so take a local with you!
Other Thoughts: Wonderful course and I love to play it!
0 of 8 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: This course is absolutely gorgeous. It plays around a lake and a marsh area, and is impeccably manicured. Not a trash can, cigarette butt, or a blade of grass taller than an inch to be found.
It has a great atmosphere to it, and one quite different than most disc golf parks. The locals are very friendly, as are the waterfowl that inhabit the lake, particularly if you have food.
The flow of the course is very nice. It's definitely on the open side of the spectrum, but with enough obstacles to keep things interesting.
Knowing that the USDGC is held at this course adds a certain impact to playing the course. Even if it's not in the Gold setup, you can still recognize certain holes from videos of the tournament.
Cons: The signage seems outdated, or maybe it's accurate in the gold setup. Whatever the case, navigation is somewhat confusing, and the pars are incredibly generous as they're listed on the stone plaques next to the tees.
The course might be a little on the easy side, but I wouldn't weigh this heavily. A decent golfer will definitely shoot under par, even playing them all as threes. Still, this isn't much of a con, particularly after a round at Renny ;)
Other Thoughts: There's something about this course that is hard to review objectively, and the best word I can think of is personality. It just feels good to be there, like if disc golf was a job, this would be your vacation.
12 of 16 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Very scenic course with many challenges!
-litter free and wonderful people
-risk/reward is very fun! I put a disc in the water but I did get it back
-nice variety of open and wooded holes
-baskets catch nicely
I would tell you may favorites holes but i honestly don't know what numbers they were...but three different ones were really cool.
Cons: There are a few issues but if you are careful it's really not a big deal.
-tee numbers are outdated and it can be confusing
-some holes play near a road, fenced in private yards, parking lot, and benches
-please becareful of the wildlife
-goose poo (ocassionally)
Other Thoughts: Bring the map! I just looked at the map in the Links/Files tab and thought it looked easy enough to navigate but the tee numbers have changed and the tee markers are flat with the ground and sometimes it's difficult to find the tee. The first tee is next to "The Shack" just across the road from the parking area. Have fun, I did.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Great open fairways, good for driving.
Beautiful scenery with the lake in the back drop.
Good mix of fun holes, as well as some high risk/high reward holes.
Cons: Have lost a few discs in the lake...
Little confusing for first timers. There are left over tee box plaques from long ago and the numbers on the basket do not always match the hole.
Other Thoughts: Good course to play. Lot of fun with several holes that allow you to air one out. Bring back-ups because you may lose a disc!!
4 of 8 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 3 Not
you aint so bad
Pros: for the most part a open course. not much in the way of woods.almost every hole is reachable if you can throw 350 consistantly. the water comes into play on 4-5 holes which adds a danger factor if you dont want to lose a disc. the scenery is nice, especially in the summer when the ladies are laying out, and jogging around.
Cons: if you dont know the layout, it could be confusing. ducks like to hang out in the fairway of hole#9 and #17. sometimes a wild looking duck will follow you around and try to attack. sometimes the lovely ladies laying out catching rays are in the fairway....
Other Thoughts: compared to the gold layout, this is pretty tame and average. if i had to chose between this and boyd hill, id probably go to boyd hill. i will catch flack for saying that, but i said it. if you want to play winthrop....grow some balls and play the gold layout
8 of 11 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Course flows well, no crazy long walks between holes.
Benches at some holes.
Holes are all fun except #9? (the longest one on the course)
Not sure if it's #9 due to lack of signage or numbers on baskets.
Plenty of restaurants and convenience stores nearby.
Nice park setting, plenty of other people using the park, so not too worried about shady things going down.
Some really pretty spots.
Cool to play some of the same holes used in the USDGC.
Very open course, you can really let it rip on a few if you've got the arm.
Good course design, nice use of the available space.
It's got uphill and downhill holes, and takes you on a nice loop around the lake.
Cons: Navigation is horrible for first time players.
There are tee signs at some of the holes, but they only tell the distance and par. There is no picture of the hole. Many holes have no sign.
There are numbers on some of the baskets, but there seems to be no rhyme or reason as to what these numbers mean.
I only saw 1 arrow indicating the location of the next tee.
Very open course , lots of long throws which seemed repetitive. Also, bring lots of sunblock on a sunny day.
Lots of goose crap on those long open holes in the grass beside the lake.
The course doesn't play back by the parking lot but once, hole #4? It's not that big of a deal, but it would be nice if you needed to get something out of your car, or stash a jacket if you get hot, etc.
Course maintenance doesn't seem to be all that great for a course of this reputation.
I've played it twice, the first in July, and the grass seemed like it hadn't been cut in a few weeks then, and today, January 1, many of the tee-pads were dangerously slick with mud and goop. Granted it has been wet around here lately, but I doubt the pads had been swept since October.
I didn't see a trash can anywhere on the course.
Benches only at some of the holes.
Other Thoughts: Most of my cons really aren't that big of a deal, with the exception of the navigation for a first timer. Actually making the throws from the tee pad to the basket is a good experience here. I prefer more wooded courses like most of the rest of the ones in the greater Charlotte area, but I'll be back to play here again.
14 of 15 people found this review helpful.
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