8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: If Hornets Nest knows how to be cool and popular while still keeping its morals, and if Nevin is the straight-edge overachiever, then Renny Gold is the misunderstood wild child.
I love a course that has a unique character to it, and this course surely has that. I knew going in that it was going to be a grueling round, but I was surprised by its many amazing holes and crazy variety of terrain. I've heard about how 2 and 18 are epic holes, but I'm surprised I hadn't heard more about its other monster holes - particularly the entire front 9.
Of the courses I've played, the pin positions are second only to Sugaree. There were many scary putts and approaches, all in a variety of creative ways. Of course, you don't want to come up a little bit short on your approaches for 2 and 18. But there are also many other interesting basket positions on steep slopes and among rock outcroppings.
There is a fun emphasis on landing zones, but used in unique ways. It could be with a drive to a blind pin like 9, 15, or 16, staying within a wider part of the fairway on 10 and 18, or just fun downhill approaches like 14. You'll have space to air it out, but you really want to hit you landing zones. Again, just a really interesting variety of holes and settings within the park that the course offers.
Having all three layouts share some baskets and tees is ambitious, but I didn't find it to be very confusing. It's super helpful that they painted the baskets two colors when shared and it had fantastic signage throughout all three courses. You just had to pay attention to the signs pointing you in the right direction. They're there.
Cons: However, playing and navigating the separate layouts can lead to some issues. We didn't experience any, but at peak times, there could be some safety concerns. From 4-5 you have to walk back up the fairway a little bit. To get to 14 you cross 10's Fairway. You throw across the park road on 18.
Ambience and setting isn't typical of a highly rated course. A main road plays near a good portion of holes, even close to some of the front nine in the woods. There are towers that you play through on a few holes, and just not much in terms of being aesthetically pleasing. Just my personal preference. If strictly the hole design is all you care about then you shouldn't be bothered by it too much here.
Disc swallowing rough on a few holes, some with tight fairways and blind shots too.
Other Thoughts: This was one of my most exhausting rounds ever, mentally and physically. But Renny Gold has one of the most unique feels to it and some of the craziest holes that I've ever played. I didn't have the highest expectations entering the park, but man was I wrong. While the park doesn't appear to be anything too special, the course is incredible, hole after hole. I can't imagine what people first thought playing this in 1998.
Renny Gold has probably some of the most eclectic mix of reviews and ratings. I'm sure a lot of that is because of it being one of the most difficult courses out there, as well as changes to the layout over the years. If you haven't played here, don't overlook the true beauty of this course. It's one of the best out there!
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: You can't go wrong with Renaissance Gold. Actually, a lot can go wrong if your game isn't up to snuff. This is a challenging course that will test every aspect of your game. You'll see tight-technical shots in the woods, long open shots across fields, and everything in between. The course takes our usual group of 3 people about 4 hours. We're intermediate amateurs and struggle a little bit here and there. The 1,000' hole on the back 9 is a doozy...
Cons: As mentioned in a lot of reviews, there is a giant ditch that is in play primarily on holes 2 and 18. If you're risky enough to throw over it during the Spring and Summer months (when this ditch is overgrown) be ready to potentially lose your disc. The ditch is very deep. Getting down to the bottom is challenging enough, but searching through the thicket of overgrown thorns and brush is nearly impossible. There is more growth, that can cause similar results on the back 9. The growth dies down in the Winter, which takes the risk down a bit. I speak from experience, but most of you are probably better than me. Overall, the course doesn't have the best maintenance, but the foot traffic from people playing the course helps keep most of it clear. The course is certainly playable, but overgrown bush, dirty tees, down trees and the occasional bits of trash can get annoying. The course is so great; I just want it to be perfect.
Other Thoughts: It's always a special occasion when the crew gets together for a round at Renaissance. It's a little out of the way for us when we play it; so, when we do go, we make the most out of our time. That being said, we have never tried the Silver course. However, it seems just as challenging. The two courses move through the park in tandem. Some holes share the same basket with different tee locations. At some point on the front 9, the two courses split and play separate holes entirely, then later come back together. Sometimes you have to be careful when you tee off on Gold. There may be others playing Silver at the same time, on another tee, which you can't see from your tee. Just keep a courteous eye down the course and have fun!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
The best course in Disc Golfs Mecca
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: + Multiple epic, signature holes. #18 is one of the most memorable holes I've ever played, a long par 5 with a do or die second drive over a steep drop-off if you want to shoot for an eagle. #2 has great risk / reward on the upshot, having you throw over a steep drop-off to a basket placed precariously on the other side. Complete death putt from certain angles. #11 was the first hole over 1000' I played, and #13 is one of the more interesting true par 5's I've experienced. It begs you to gun it, but you will pay if you stray off the narrow fairway. #13 is one of the only par 5's I've played I've yet to eagle, and I've thrown this course for years. #14's longer pin placement is genius, turning a fairly standard hyzer line into a more complicated affair.
+ Incredibly long, and very demanding. If length and challenge excite you, this is a must play. At 9407' long and a Par of 70, this is one of the longer 18 hole courses I've had the pleasure to experience. The challenge feels fair 100% of the time. There is not a single hole that feels like it has 1 or 2 too many trees, not a single hole that feels more luck based than skill based. Renny is an absolute beast, but its a fair, conquerable beast.
+ Incredible variety. Bring all your shots to Renny, you'll be throwing uphill, downhill, left, right, short holes, long holes, Par 3's, 4's and true par 5's. Multiple pin placements ensure things remain interesting over repeated plays.
+ The lines here are just superb, it cannot be emphasized enough. The variety is remarkable. In terms of raw golf, I've only played one course I think is clearly above it, and only 1 or 2 others that are of comparable quality (Moraine State Park is my pick for #1 if you're curious).
+ Long, paved tees, nice signage and plenty of benches.
+ Water fountains and restrooms on site.
+ An absurd amount of amenities. This is a destination park even without disc golf. You have an incredibly nice Tennis course complex, rugged mountain bike trails, multiple baseball fields, multiple volley ball courts, ball golf right across the street, an indoor rock climbing gym 2 miles up the road, breweries and restaurants nearby, etc. This is the stuff an active city dweller dreams of.
Cons: - Crossing fairways are a concern here. There are three courses at Renaissance Park, and while most days this isn't much of an issue, on a busy weekend you might have to wait 20 minutes to tee off on #11. There are multiple holes that intersect the fairway from Renske. #12 and #13 suffer from the same issue. #1 intersects the Pro Players course first hole as well. The trade-off is worth it, as Renske is a fun course that caters to a different skill level, but its unfortunate for people who prefer the Gold course.
- There are some minor safety concerns aside from what I listed above. #18 plays along the parking lot and on a terrible drive there is potential to hit a car. #2 plays over the edge of the parking lot and if you turn over a RHBH shot it could easily hit a car or pedestrian. The crossing fairways issue. #18 has a huge cliff 2/3's down the fairway that could be a serious concern if you have dogs or kids with you.
- This course can by physically intimidating. Located in a very warm climate, with numerous hills, and plenty of spots where you'll be exposed to the sun. For this reason, I do not recommend this course if you consider yourself very out of shape. It's a bit of a hike at times for a city course.
- Too much for beginners. This course will often beat down experienced players. Stick to Renske if you're new to the game.
- Certain holes are a bit too open for my liking. #8 is wide open, and would be boring if not for its pin being perched on a steep rock hill. #9 is pretty wide open and very straight forward, one of the weaker holes on the course. #12 is a fairly boring hole that is dependent on raw length more than anything to be interesting. It's very plain compared to the hole that follows.
- The rough on #18 can be absolutely abysmal at times. I've watched people miss a putt and never see their putter again. When the rough is really overgrown on this hole, you might as well consider it a water hazard where you don't expect to get your disc back. It's amazing how effective this spot can be at eating discs.
- Navigation can be very difficult for a first time. With three courses playing on the same property, and multiple baskets often visible from each tee, it can be a challenge working out where to throw your first time playing a hole.
Other Thoughts: This is one of my top 3 courses out of ~110 played. It is a phenomenal, must-play course for anyone who enjoys a rugged, challenging experience. I cannot recommend it enough.
Charlotte is one of the premiere locations for disc golf on the entire planet. Being the best course in an area like this is really saying something. I think an argument could be made for Nevin or Hornet's Nest to be considered #1, but to me they're all amazing, top-tier courses and which one you think is the best, or most enjoyable, will come down to personal preference. The fact that Renny Gold is in the top 3 in an area like Charlotte speaks volumes in itself.
I think Renny balances open and wooded shots very well, has the most memorable holes, and has the most consistently "fair" feeling challenge. Nevin offers few opportunities to really open up, and feels less balanced as a result, while Hornets Nest has less memorable open holes compared to Renny Gold. That being said, I would give all three courses a similar rating, and consider them all top-tier, must-play, destination level courses.
If you enjoy disc golf and you're above the rec level, you owe it to yourself to go far out of your way to enjoy this gem.
This is a course I feel very wrong not giving a 5 to because I enjoy it so much, but as much as I love it I have to admit its not perfect.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Without question, an absolute must play for anyone in the area. This course is consistently one of the most insanely difficult and challenging courses in the area. The best of the best will find this course challenging but fair. Intermediate and beginner players will get eaten alive. This course is the truest testament of professional level tournament play that I have ever seen. Every hole will challenge your precision, your power, your consistency, your approach, and your putts. Keep in mind that this course was designed to be a pro stop. Don't let your score get frustrated. The first time I played, I stopped keeping score after hole 7. The last time I played, I had a great round and finished +8... Read the reviews, get an understanding of the hole by hole breakdown, prepare yourself for a very challenging afternoon.
Cons: I can't think of anything negative to say. Getting off the fairway is disastrous.
2 of 6 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
A Beautiful Beast
Pros: Rennaissance gold is probably one of the most consistently difficult, but consistently fun and fair courses I have played. Especially from the gold tees, this monster is a true test of tournament calibre disc golf. The local club was blessed with a beautiful piece of terrain with which to make a course. Wooded ravines, deep gorges, gigantic boulders, and even a few small sneaky creeks come into play. Elevation changes here can be very drastic and require shots that simply are unique. The variety of shots required on this course is absolutely intense. This is not a course where one dimensional throwers are going to score well. Holes dogleg left and right, and pins are tucked into some devilish places that really require a ton of precision.
Hole length variety is also really great here. There are some definite birdie opportunities on reachable par 3s, and also some really fun par 4s and 5 that keep the course from being at all monotonous.
On the subject of unique would also be some of the green complexes which are amongst the most scenic, and also most difficult that I have seen. Some of them are nestled atop of large boulder complexes which really test short approaches and putts. I would say my favorite was #2 though, which sits on a wooden embankment overllooking a huge, deep gorge. The throw up to the basket (and the penalty for missing that green) is incredible, and a nightmare for the golfer who finds himself at the bottom. That, combined with the basket being on an elevated gangplank forcing a deathputt back down the ravine, creates probably one of the toughest greens I have ever played, and also probably my favorite.
All of the baskets are nicely kept discatchers (for both the gold and grey baskets) and tees are ample concrete. There is a fair attempt at signage here, though as below I do think it could do with some improvement.
One of the coolest parts of this course is that the golds and greys play as almost completely different courses. Different baskets, tees, sometimes even fairways or even completely different holes. Different chalenges make the replay value for this course very high.
Also the obvious, great facilities on site in this well maintained park. Practice basket by the parking lot. Plus another full course on site the RenSke makes this a truly great disc golf facility
Cons: Only a few cons here. The most significant one is the navigation which has been noted by some other reviewers. Though there are a ton of signs on the course that attempt to help with the navigation, this place can be quite confusing. Unfortunately the hole signs aren't completely accurate sometimes when showing both basket positions, and a few are old signs that show possibly old basket and tee locations. Sometimes the hole numbers on the basket don't match the hole being played, which was a bit troublesome as well from a navigational perspective. (update, as of 11/16/15 I have heard this has been improved significantly but I haven't had a chance to see it for myself yet)
One of the mandos in the woods was simply a stick on the tree, which was a bit diffiult to see from the teebox.
Finding the first tee was a bit difficult as it is all the way around the tennis courts on the corner of a walkway that doesn't necessarily look like a teepad.
I wasn't a huge fan of the gold teebox on #2. It seemed to call for a sweeping RHBH hyzer over the parking lot back to the fairway. It is not an overly dififcult shot, but it brings cars and people potentially into play. The green complex on this hole is difficult enough, I didn't feel the danger of that teebox was necessary
Other Thoughts: Overall this was a very good course. I really enjoyed taking my beating on this one, and I would really love to come back and try the grey layout as well.
I think part of my frustration with the navigation was that some of the layout for the course has been slightly altered currently for the upcoming US Masters. That means that some baskets are moved, a few holes are re-routed, and there are spraypainted hole numbers on a few holes that don't match the hole's usual number. There are a few temporary grass tees. As a first time player, this got me a bit confused but I understand that this is a temporary issue that doesn't reflect the normal state of the course.
Make sure you pick which layout you are playing before you start, because there are different courses and sometimes the layout can be a bit confusing
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Choose Gold or Grey before playing
Pros: This is 2 separate courses. There is a gold course and a grey course. It is not like courses with a Red and a Blue layout (long and short), it really is 2 courses. You need to pick which course you are playing before you play to avoid any confusion or navigation issues. I realized this after hole 6 but still enjoyed what I played.
Courses are both extremely challenging championship level courses aimed at pro level and upper intermediate level players. The Gold course is longer than the silver but both are just as challenging.
Baskets - The Gold course uses baskets with a gold rim, the grey uses baskets with a grey rim. They catch great. If the two courses share a fairway, there are two baskets. Make sure you play to the correct one. Practice basket on site.
Tees - Each hole has at least one concrete tee. For the holes where the Gold and Grey partially share a fairway, there are 2 tees. When the two split apart from each other, there is only one per hole.
Variety - Everything from flat and open to hilly and open to short and wooded to long hilly and wooded. No two holes are even remotely close to being the same. The gold course has a little bit of distance to the holes, especially when it cross over with Renski for a few holes. There are many blind shots due to elevation, woods, large rocks, and even tall grass. There are many holes at this course with unique basket placements; 2, 9, and 18 stand out the most. If you over/undershoot, you will find yourself 20 feet downhill from an immediate drop off. A majority of the holes are on the long side featuring several placement shots (esp on 18), woods, elevation, and a few water hazards spanning across different types of terrain. Gold and Grey split apart after hole 10. Gold is longer and more flat. Silver is shorter and technical.
Signs - arrows pointing you to the tees for both gold and grey. If you know which course you are playing, it is easy to follow. The signs at each hole show a map for which hole you are playing (for example gold 10 and grey 9 share a tee and a basket) so it is listed on the map.
Once you figure out the navigation to either the gold or grey, the play and layout of this course is phenomenal. Bridges and steps when needed (and it is needed a ton).
Requires the best throw on every throw. Very challenging and rewarding.
Very scenic. Plenty of nature and trails to go around.
Unique basket placement.
Cons: If you do not determine which course you are playing, navigation will ruin this course for you. It would definitely be and is a make or break point with this course.
Some of the holes are too difficult for the average disc golfer but fortunately there is an easier course on the opposite end of the park (use the other entrance).
Drop off midway along hole 18 is dangerous. Needs some sort of safety device.
Some of the maps were not accurate.
Navigation was still confusing at times. Especially when Gold crosses Renski as well as a few hole on back 9.
Noise from nearby roads takes away from the peacefulness of the course.
Lots of opportunity to lose a disc (also a pro for being challenging).
At times, did not know which basket to throw to. Would have to walk the hole before playing to know where to go. There were some baskets that did not show up on the map.
Other Thoughts: I wish I would have picked which course to play prior to playing. Once I figured out what was going on, I really enjoyed everything. Some of the holes were above my skill level (18 for example) but I was willing to try any challenge this provided. The course was laid out very well and the designing phase must have taken months. I was very impressed with the holes here and was definitely wore out after playing.
I would recommend this to any intermediate to pro level player as long as they pick a course and have a map on hand.
Once you figure out navigation, you will more than likely be impressed with this course. I would give this course a 5 out of 5 if it wasn't for the navigation issues and if it were more playable to an intermediate crowd. I left impressed and feel a 4.5 is a great score.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 16 Not
Highest rated course in Charlotte? How?
Pros: There are some cool pin placements and greens that really challenge you and force you to re-evaluate a lay up vs. running for it Hole #2 long basket comes to mind! The basket sits on the edge of a ravine. If you miss, you miss big
The course has a broad variety of shots. Long bombs, tough narrow shots, everything
Cons: Signage signage signage....
For being the highest rated public course in the Charlotte area I was beyond disappointed. I had read and heard so many good things about how awesome Renn. is, so I couldn't wait to try it. And after playing many of the other highly rated Charlotte courses I had high expectations.
My round started out by a confusing walk around the tennis courts looking for the tee pad. Knowing that there are the Grey and Gold options for the course, I was looking for two tee pads. Maybe there are, maybe there aren't? I could only find one.
The tee signs didn't help guide me along very much, and after the first 3 holes I was starting to get frustrated.
By the time I made it into the wooded "ravine" area I was beyond lost, and walking around just looking for the correct tee pad and basket. There were NO signs directing me were to go, and with so many holes crammed into one area, fairways criss-crossing each other, and the two layouts It was hard to even find the correct fairway.
Other Thoughts: I'm disappointed that this course is the highest rated course here in Charlotte, and I feel that I must've missed the allure of the course. I'm sure I will play it again, and hopefully be able to update my review, but given the lack of direction, signage, tee pads, clear fairways, etc. I can't ever see this course being rated higher than 3 stars in its current condition.
I'm sure this review will get me plenty of "un-helpful" votes, but I stand by my review. The course is almost impossible to find your way through, not a trait of a 4+ rated course...
Good luck deciphering your way through the first 9 holes...
13 of 29 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 15 Not
Decent, but not blown away
Pros: - Finding the next basket was pretty easy. Course seemed to flow well.
- Baskets and tee pads were well maintained. No graffiti or those stupid "disc chargers" written on the benches.
Cons: - Signage is terrible after the first few holes. The first few holes all have nice layout maps at the tee pad, but a majority seemed to be missing. Had to walk down to find the basket before throwing a few times.
- Some tee pads were numbered incorrectly (the ninth tee is labeled 8), but luckily we were able to ask some locals for help when we needed it.
- Several fairways are in desperate need of mowing. Spent a pretty good amount of time looking for discs that landed in the fairway because the grass is so tall in some places.
Other Thoughts: - Plays long. Not really a pro or con, but I felt like there wasn't much mix of distance. In my opinion, great courses mix short, med, and longish par 3s, but I felt like I was throwing a driver/fairway driver on most tees (and we played the "short" tees.)
- Took us about 3 hours to finish with a group of 4
- For this to be such a highly rated courses I wasn't very impressed. I'll definitely be checking out some of the other courses in the area.
8 of 23 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 9 Not
Accept the challenge!
Pros: The grey course is an exciting way for a beginner or an advanced player to challenge themselves. The holes give you several different looks and makes it easy to find a route that works for you. Great use of elevation and concrete tee pads are always a plus.
Cons: I was able to figure out the course but it does take some navigating. While it is clearly marked where the next hole, the basket location can be confusing. Some holes have two baskets, some one, some show two on the sign but only have one on the hole. I was able to figure it out but it did make the first trip a little confusing.
Other Thoughts: I am a beginner. I've only been playing three months with a max drive of 280. While my score was much higher on this course than the rest I have played, It was a lot of fun. When I play this course I plan to take an extra 5 shots over my average. I have heard all the stories of how tough this course is but did not find it impossible for a beginner. I encourage everyone to take the challenge and enjoy the difficulty.
4 of 13 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 23 Not
Wait what hole was that?
Pros: Some very fun holes. Great use of elevation. Well maintained.
EDIT: There's a lot going on here and it's probably not fair to judge after just one round... but I will...
Cons: The only con, and it's a big one, is the lack of signage. Really, it's an embarrassment to the club to have such a nice course that's so frustrating for anyone who isn't in the know. Yes, there was a poorly-photocopied map you could grab but it was illedgible.
Other Thoughts: I know lots of people won't agree with this rating but I stand by it. If you can't walk in off the street and get around the course that's a major drawback.
We went to RL Smith right after Renny and it was a much more fun experience.
EDIT: I will go up to 3.5. Perhaps I expected too much after all the buildup. But if this is going to be the showplace of Charlotte disc golf, as it should be, basic navigation is not too much to ask.
I know my opinion of Renaissance will improve after I go back. But if you've only got time for one round and you're not with a local, I'd go to RL Smith, Nevin, or Hornet's Nest first.
10 of 33 people found this review helpful.
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