Rockin' in NC
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Excellent woods golf requires a variety of shots to score well.
- Elevation, while not extreme, is used to great effect
- Hole lengths/pars are well balanced to keep the round interesting.
- Quality equipment: baskets, dual tee pads, signage, and benches are all great.
- Beautiful park is isolated and a pleasure to play through.
Cons: - Tight, wooded fairways from start to finish.
- Some of the shorter Red tees don't seem to fit the rest of the layout difficulty well.
- Multiple fairways are usually great, but some don't feel like viable options off the tee.
Other Thoughts: Rock Ridge Park was my first time experiencing North Carolina disc golf, and it did not disappoint. The "tight but fair" wooded fairways perfectly matched my expectations of what disc golf in the area was like. Make no mistake, this is a course that demands accuracy off the tee. Even from the Reds, if you can't throw accurately, both straight and with left and right finishes, your round can get out of hand quickly. However, for those with at least a couple different shots in their arsenal, and a good command of their discs, there is a ton to like about this course.
The layout is really well balanced for being 18 consecutive wooded fairways. You are never made to battle any of the long par 4s and 5s more than on two consecutive holes (holes 1 & 2 and 17 & 18 make for quite the start and end of the round). Shorter, attack-able par 3s give you a chance to earn back strokes you lost when you inevitably find yourself off the fairway on the longer holes. The par 4s and 5s are delightful puzzles to unpack. Most require multiple shots, with landing zones fairly sized but still demanding to hit. There are a few locations where longer fairways allow for a risk/reward decision: try to reach the pin, or at least bite off more of the fairway with a distance driver, or lay up with a mid? But most of the time, the fairway shape discourages the use of faster discs. If you can throw 250ft accurately, you can score well even from the Blues.
I played from the blue tees but made a point to check out the red tee positions, and occasionally throw more than once off the tee where multiple fairways were presented. There are a lot of great options off the tee, but I found that more often than not, the right-hand-forehand/left-hand-backhand route to be both more accessible and a better path to the basket. It's possible this is partly due to my preference to throw forehand in the woods, but it certainly seemed that the left gap was more friendly most of the time. A few of the red tees seemed especially short to me as well. I love when a course caters to multiple skill levels, and most of the time the red tees looked to provide both a different, interesting shot and an easier path to the basket than the blue tees. However, with eight of the red fairways playing under 200ft, it seemed many of these holes played below the skill level required by much of the rest of the course, even from the Reds. I could see the preferred track for many intermediate and below level players being a mix of mostly Blues on the par 3s and mostly Reds on the par 4s and 5s.
Elevation is used to great effect at Rock Ridge. While never extreme, the elevation changes provided by the rolling hills add much to think about while approaching landing zones and greens. Landing angle can be quite important, and many holes play quite differently than their listed distances, even with moderate rises or falls in elevation. A few pads and baskets also have nice rock formation landscaping, adding to the visual interest of the course.
The course equipment was in great shape for my visit. There is a large, beautiful course map and sign explaining disc golf rules and safety by the parking lot. The tee signs are similarly colorful and do a great job showing the shape of the fairway(s) and basket locations, which can be quite necessary on the longer holes. Routing was easy with color coded signs indicating the way to each of the next tee pads. My only routing issue was going from 17 to 18, when I accidentally headed towards hole 2 first. The rubber pads provided a great teeing surface for my round, which was dry, but they seem like they would still preform well when wet. The DISCatchers were in good shape and caught well, and the yellow band is easy to see in the woods. Benches were present at most, if not all, tees.
If you enjoy wooded golf, throwing putters, mids, and fairway drivers accurately, and puzzling out some longer par 4s and 5s, this is a course you need to visit if you are in the area. This is also a course that I think would improve on multiple play-throughs. I would love to come back with a better understanding of where the landing zones are, try the different fairways off the tee, and throw from more of the red tees. If you like flexing out distance drivers, or struggle throwing straight and accurately, this course might not be for you. A round can definitely get out of hand quickly if you are frequently off the fairway. I made the drive out from Raleigh to play this course while in for a weekend and would love to do so again. It may not have the wow factor or variety of other parks, but this is a great course and well worth your time.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
All Rock. Some Rolls.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Rock Ridge is your textbook tough, wooded course. You get 18 straight examples of good wooded holes. That said, it felt like one long walk through the woods, tossing discs along my way.
- This is a good course. It's a solid 4.0 rated course and deserves all the positive accolades. It just never struck a chord with me. Too many similar layouts resulted in so few holes standing out.
- Accuracy, accuracy, accuracy. You don't need a big arm at all to play well here if you hit your targets. Case in point - #12. A 439-foot par 4, with a sharp turn to the right mid-fairway. I threw a Roc 220-feet twice and had a 10-foot birdie putt. A tough layout that rewards smart shoot making.
- A high risk/reward factor here. If you stay on the fairway, you will score well. If you miss your lines, you'll be pitching out from the rough, scrambling to salvage holes and your round. On #7, a 611-foot par 4, my second shot landed in the woods, 30-40 feet short of the basket. I felt fortunate/lucky to hit a tight gap to get out and nail a 15-foot putt to salvage par.
- Lots of multi-route fairways. More than any course I can remember ever seeing. There were so many, I feel I could essentially play a different course by choosing the secondary, or tertiary, paths. Most were simply the lefty vs right routes, but there were a couple that had the MarioKart through-the-waterfall level of shortcuts involved.
- Solid elevation involved throughout. There's also a fair number of doglegs from the gentile type to the 90-degree angled turn.
- Tee signs are excellent. They're needed to be this good with so many holes having blind pins locations. The only suggestion would be if each sign indicated both the long and short tee pad locales.
- Course is almost exclusively a disc golf park. There's a paved walking trail throughout the park. Honestly, who's driving out here to walk? It's not long enough for an extended nature hike. And it's close to nothing for people to make a special trip.
Cons: Signage could be better for some transitions. After finishing #12, there's a path directly behind the basket. Following that led me back to #10. Walking back to #12, I discovered I had to backtrack along part of the fairway to get to #13's tee.
- I also was not a fan of the odd shaped color blobs trying to determine if was a circle with a point or just a circle. How about colored arrows instead of ambiguous shapes?
- There are several long walks between holes, especially on the front 9.
- Perhaps this is taking consistency for granted, but the course felt monotonous. Every single hole had the same basic tenants: wooded, decent sized fairway, rocks sprinkled throughout the fairway, several trees to avoid, and a little elevation factor. The only variable seemed to be hole length. If you played here in winter, the only green things you would see would be Monster Energy, Mountain Dew, and dip cans.
- As much as I appreciate this being an accuracy-heavy course, it leaned a little too much on that element. I shouldn't be rewarded for pulling out mid-range discs on long holes. Shoot, I'd have salvaged at least one stroke on #17 throwing mid-range off the tee rather than my driver that sailed deep in the woods.
Other Thoughts: Rock Ridge is a good-to-great course. It didn't wow me, but I'm writing an objective, not subjective review.
- I've had more positive thoughts about the course cranking out this review two days after playing.
- Part of the disconnect I had to do with the course has to do with perception. I thought I didn't play well at all. Much too conservative. When I finished my round and submitted my score, the round rating indicated I played decent. It goes to show par is a good score here.
- The back 9 was far superior to the front. By the time I finished #12, I had already played three better holes on the back (#10, 11, and 12) than any three on the front.
- I'd enjoy this the more often I played here. Based on other Triangle area courses I've played, which isn't many, this is one of the better ones in the region.
- The beauty of being out of the city, the park is more rugged, more natural. It's a fantastic spot to build a tough disc golf course. Every time I'd start appreciating being out in nature, I was reminded of being next to a highway as cars whizzed by.
- In terms of quality, I think of this course as along the lines of the Goose Landing and just behind Fox Chase 75 minutes to the west. It's not elite level; a step below that. Still, this is worth playing for those in the region.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
very wooded John Houck course
Pros: A John Houck designed course, he's the best out there! Two tees on every hole with excellent next tee signs with arrows pointing to both long (blue) and short (red) tees made it easy to navigate between holes after finding #1 and #10.
The tee signs are excellent, showing the many different paths/fairways available. Some of the holes had two different distinct fairways, #7 and #17 for sure.
#17 is the signature hole, loved it. #10 is a great downhill wooded hole, #11,#12 and #14 were good too with the last 2 of these being par 4's.
Very good use of elevation.
The course map and Olorin's links found on this site are very good.
Large and very clean port a john on site.
Cons: One lane gravel road in/out of the park.
Completely wooded course, no open let it rip shots (not that I can throw it far). A little too tight for my liking in most places.Typical NC golf from what I've seen.
A lot of straight shots from the short tees, it seemed repetitive at times (8 holes under 200 ft) from the blue tees.
#5 had three lanes from the tee and 6 lanes approaching the basket, all of them tight. I've never seen a hole quite like this.
Other Thoughts: Rubber holed tee pads filled in with sand/gravel were good but not like cement which I expected for a Houck course.
I didn't play well and expected better tee pads from a Houck course. I'd like to rate it 3.75 but see why most golfers would give it a 4 star review.
I saw 2 local cops walking the park paths (not on the course itself) when there were a total of 2 cars in the parking lot. Kinda of strange in such a remote area/park.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Designer Response by: johnrhouck
Hi, Dave. Thanks so much for the kind words. Just wanted to correct one factual item for people reading your review. You said "A lot of straight shots from the short tees, it seemed repetitive at times (8 holes under 200 ft) from the blue tees." It's actually 8 holes under 200' from the RED tees. Of those 3 are very uphill, and 2 are slightly uphill, so those holes play a little longer than the numbers indicate.
Just FYI, as with most of my courses, the Red tees are designed for people who can throw up to 200' accurately, so the par threes are generally around 200', and the par fours are generally around 400' before accounting for elevation. The Blue tees definitely give a richer and more challenging experience, but many will be 'tweeners for players who can't throw 300' accurately. Whenever possible, I like to add white pads in the middle for new players working their way up the ladder and older players working their way back down. Thanks again.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
rock ridge...rock ridge..... splendid!
Pros: I think the course flow and hole breakdown is well covered in others reviews, so I'll just offer a couple of reasons why this is one of my favorite courses ever.
Great placement golf that requires using your brain just as much as your arm. Great risk/reward on all the par 4 and 5s and every par 3 is a chance for birdie even if you don't have a super arm. Even though the course is wooded, the lines are so well defined there is less "unfair" limbs to screw up a good shot.
Privacy- The park has many walking trails, a playground and picnic shelters, but you only see these transitioning between holes and never have to worry about interference with other park goers. In the 15 rounds i've played, never had to wait on anyone to throw or had someone come up behind me. The only evidence of other players is usually the distant sound of chains.So you never get hurried or distracted, which I feel is crucial to success on a "thinking golf" style course.
Replay value- I couldn't imagine ever getting bored with playing here due to the dizzying number of line options on each hole.After 15 rounds here I still haven't explored all the lines or found the best route to get to the hole. The last time I played here My drive on 18 finished hard right, thought I was in the spinach but found the right (and I think easier) fairway! Never even seen that line. I live over an hour away but still can't get enough of this course.
Course is always well maintained and clean.
Cons: Nitpicking really-
Teepads are nice and the best gravel/rubber mat combo I've seen. You're not throwing bombs so you don't ever need a crazy runup, but they can get soggy when the course is wet.
Some drainage issues when rain has been heavy, which I don't personally mind, but some of the holes have that "rugged"aspect and you could get your feet wet if you dont wear boots.
No long distance throws even with lots of 4s and 5s- I think this is a plus, and one of the things that makes rock ridge unique, but if you're looking to air it out go somewhere else. And I suppose a 5 rating would really need at least one of these, as an example #17 at wellspring.
Other Thoughts: I first tried this course because a good friend/throwing partner moved to pittsboro, and we could not believe the caliber of this place in his backyard. One of the best courses in the state. I am very biased, but as I said I live over an hour away so this course has earned my bias. It's that good people. And rarely used. Even with privacy being one of my top pluses of the course, there is PLENTY of room for more players and no fear of overcrowding. C'mon out!
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Excellent NC Forest Course
Pros: - Beautiful course in mature NC forest.
- Very well designed; there are clear lanes that will reward you for accuracy.
- Two sets of rubber tee pads at every hole in very good condition; was very nice especially as it was a little muddy.
- Excellent signage; by far the best at any course I have played. Each tee pad has an accurate sign which tells you what path will be the easiest to the basket. Also small signs to direct you to the next hole. I was never wandering around trying to find the next hole.
- Secluded. Even though I played on a perfect 75 degree Saturday afternoon I only saw glimpses of 2-3 other groups.
Cons: - Not the most accessible course to get to. Obviously this depends on where you live but there are many options closer to the triangle.
- A little nitpicking but for me there were no holes with jawdropping views (like at Buckhorn for example).
- I like courses to have at least one or two wide open holes to let it rip.
Other Thoughts: I felt compelled to write a review of this course after a day of disc golf around the triangle. I played Buckhorn, Rock Ridge, and UNC. Rock Ridge was my favorite followed closely by Buckhorn. UNC just didn't do it for me. I cannot emphasize enough how great the signs and tee pads are. While there are some difficult long, blind holes, there are a few good chances for birdies that make up for it. I would definitely play this course all the time if it was closer to me. The best in the area.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: I'm not big on doing reviews and I'm not going to take the time to talk about every hole but I felt this course was worth a review so Ill give my thoughts on it and you can take it for what its worth with 15 years playing experience. This is a placement course and you don't want to get to far off the path or you will struggle to get back on.
First off very well thought out. 2/3 of the holes have a left and right fairway to go down. This makes the par 4 and 5 holes really fun to play. There are only a hand full of 2's of the course so if you can see the basket get it. The T signs are some of the best I've seen, shows all the lanes to play and if you're playing the Blues the Reds on the signs give you a good indication of where you need to land your first shot.
They also made great use of all the natural recourses (rocks) with the tee pads and greens. It just stud out to me the extra time they took to make it nice.
Back to the par 4 and 5, there a few holes over 500 and even 700' holes so don't expect to go out there and crush, this is placement golf. You have to put yourself in a good position for your next drive and try not to get to far off the fairway or you will need to throw a putter to get out.
Had no real issue finding my way around first time, just keep an eye out for the next tee sign and it might help to take a pic of the map when you start out at 1.
Really a great course and a true pleasure to play. There is nothing more rewarding then the feeling of getting a par (4 or 5) on a 600-700' hole. No nonsense golf for a person that loves the sport and enjoys a challenge
Cons: 1. Not close enough to me
2. My GPS didn't find Old Stanford Rd so it took a little to find but wasn't bad
Other Thoughts: I've played from CA to FL and all points in between and walked away from here knowing I just played one of the best courses I've ever played. A must if you are 100 miles with in the area
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Rock Ridge is one of the best courses I've played--and certainly one of the best that North Carolina has to offer. There are other good reviews here, including several recent 4.0's listing fairway vegetation as a con knocking the rating down from 4.5. Well, when I played, there wasn't fairway vegetation to speak of, taking away the most common con I see in recent reviews. Therefore, I give Rock Ridge a 4.5. It's a fantastic course, amazingly well conceived and executed design, and I highly recommend it.
+ This is the first Houck course I've played. After playing RR, I can't wait to play more (if only there were more in NC)! The risk/reward elements and multiple ways to play holes are awesome. Most holes have two, sometimes three lines you can take off the tee. Also, all of the par 4's and 5's have landing zones to hit off the tee (and upshots for the 5's). Often times, there are multiple lines to the basket on your second shot too (from the landing zones). This course constantly makes you think.
+ Durable rubber tee pads.
+ Great navigation and tee signs at both the red and blue tees. Accurate yardage and illustrations on the tee signs to show you the various lines to get to the landing zones and the baskets.
+ Very challenging, but fair fairways widths, lengths, and pars.
+ Two sets of tees, the Reds being more beginner- to intermediate-friendly. Both sets of tees offer very different shots. The Reds aren't simply shorter versions of the Blues. On some holes, the Blue tees offered three potential lines to get to the landings zones or basket, whereas the Reds offered two. This goes hand in hand with pro #1: this is just s phenomenal design and well-conceived and executed.
+ If you want complete seclusion and a peaceful wooded setting, there aren't many courses that can top RR. I played on a beautiful fall Saturday and didn't see another golfer the whole time I was there.
Cons: This course is what disc golf is all about. Not many cons to speak of all, but I'll list a couple of nit-picks...
- RR seemed a little LHBH/RHFH heavy to me. I would've liked to throw more RHBH tee shots with distance drivers. Despite being a course with decent length and lots of par 4's and 5's (par 65), I mostly threw mids off the tees to hit the landing areas (and to go to the basket on the short par 3's). I only threw 2-3 LHBH drives with my preferred distance driver, a speed 9.
- Drainage wasn't great when when I played. There were a few soggy fairways and some standing water on a couple holes.
- #17 is the "signature hole," and I agree that it's one of the best, if not the best hole on the course. But I wouldn't say there's a top, standout hole here that I will remember and compare to other top notch holes, like the water carry holes at Buckhorn or Jones Park.
Other Thoughts: Rock Ridge is a must-play in the Triangle. Make plans to bag it.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Best course in the area
Pros: 18 holes in secluded small town park. 2 sets of tee and signs for each hole. Signs are well done and professinal. Tee pads are rubber mats with holes over crushed gravel. They work very well.
Entire course plays around small park. Landscape is old growth forest with a few small roling hills. A couple small, usually dry creek beds are thrown in also. This is strickly a line shaping and disc control course. All the power in the world won't help you if you can't have the disc go where you need it to.
Fairways are well defined and varied. One of the beauties of this course is that you need to use a lot of different disc and shots to play well. The course blends short putter tee shots, with twisiting fairways and multiple routes. The variety as well as the Blue and Red pads keep things from getting stale.
Baskets are all practically brand new and have no problems. There are some well placed basket postions on hill sides or in the middle of some tree groups that make approaches a little more challenging. Jeff Baldwin has also added some nice rock work to a few to add to the appearance and playability of the holes.
This course forces you to hit lines and shape shots. Every hole has one or more different clean and fair approaches to the basket. Nothing is super easy, but it is all fair. This is wooded NC golf, but with slightly longer and more forgiving fairways than many places. There are really no 'unfairway' or luck based holes.
Really hard to lose a disc here. A lot of the undergrowth has been cleared or is thin enough a short search yields most discs. Just keep your eyes open in the Fall as the mature woods drop a lot of leaves.
This course challenges without giving us mere mortals a beating. I usually describe it as a kinder, gentler Nevin.
Another huge upside is that this course is normally empty. I probably have the entire course to myself at least half the time I play it. Even on a weekend. And at its busiest it is seldom crowed. If you want the private course feel with the labor this is it.
Cons: No huge elevation or truly spectacular shots. Not that hole you empty a bag on.
No open holes or places where you can throw a long distance driver with abandon.
IMO there are a few holes where a pad or line just doesn't work or make sense. Specifically the long pad on 5,6 and 14. There are lines and paths that nobody throws for this reason.
Other Thoughts: Ok, here's the detail and full disclosure. I helped do a lot of the work on this course, and play it more than any other. So not only do I have an inherent bias, I probably notice things others won't or have an opinion based on what I thought a hole was going to be or should be.
Overall this is a really solid course with not many negatives. Any complaints come from features the course just doesn't have available to it. As far as what was designed I think it has just about maxed out what there was to work with given the park's limitations and town's expectatins.
Hole Summaries for Blue Tees for mortal players:
1. Tough first hole. You need a decent 300' or so straight RHBH of the tee and then a nice accurate RHFH or anny to the basket, It can be a tough hole to start a round.
2. RHBH anny or FH off tee. Second shot is mostly straight with a few late trees. Basket on slight rise. Fun hole.
3. RHBH mid or fairway on slight hyzer. One of a few chances for us people to get an Ace or deuce. Watch the high limbs on the left side.
4. Straight to slight right turning RHBH shot. Fairly tight but fair. Lots of trees and some small OB to screw up what should be another deuce. Sloppy's only Ace came from a dirty tree bounce on this hole. There is a fun ricochet shot that can be made for an Ace. I try it on purpose. Have hit metal numerous times.
5. Multi path par 4. 3 lanes to basket. Almost everybody goes up the middle. The left and right are tough. The right will get you closer IF you have the arm and can hit the spot. But the approach is tighter. The left has the best approach lane, but is tough. The middle is the safest path to a 3.
6. Shorter 3 path hole. Left path is just a funky angle. No one usually throws it, FH guys play the middle path and BH guys usually throw a big sweeping hyzer. Hard to hit the correct hyzer angle and get an Ace or deuce. FH has the advantage here.
7. One of the tougher holes. I can play putter only coward golf and get my 5. Or you can really go for it and get a 3 or 4 if you have game. But a shanked tee shot or 2nd shot can turn this hole ugly. I've seen 8's. It plays straight off the pad to a junction of two different routes, the right hand route looks easier and more forgiving but there are some tight woods and a hillside by the basket. The left lane is a quicker route to the basket IF you can hit the tight late turn at the end.
8. Straight up the hill. Another Ace and Deuece chance. But it is more uphill than it looks. I have seen lots of short shots.
9. Tight tricky RHBH. Hyzer with low ceiling. A skip shot usually plays well. The FH line has late trouble and a weird angle. My FH can't make it work. Good ones can.
10. Really pretty hole. Straight with a little right then left wiggle. Us mortals try to throw straight about 300' and leave it in the fairway. If you have the arm a longer shot with some turn then fade is perfect. The approach has three lanes depending on where you land. The left path is tight but fair. The middle is even tighter, and the right path is usually a sweeping hyzer that isn't too bad. Some great oaks and fun shots to be had.
11. RHBH with some hyzer or possibly somehthing OS off the tee. There are two paths to the basket but the shorter one isn't obvious off the tee. It takes a few times to get a good feel for the tee shot. Small creek before the basket is usually dry.
12. Another very fun hole. Straight tunnel off the tee that has an early and a late right turn in the fairway. Lots of trouble and woods if you shank the drive. Second shots usually has options. Small creek, some late trees and. Basket on a slight rise. This is the one hole that can get swampy in wet weather.
13. Dare I say filler hole?? Thumber, FH or RHBH. Anny off pad. Nothing much to say or do here. Just throw it.
14. Another very good hole. Three lanes off the pad. A tough left lane with a funky angle, a fair center lane that plays dead straight and a right lane with a tree pretty much in the middle of your throw. All play uphill. Most people play the center path as it is the cleanest and safest. The other two have problems and could be made better with some tree work or possibly a pad shift. They are playable but not ideal right now. Just tough shots. The rest of the fairway offers several long paths with nice mature trees and light undergrowth to a basket nestled in a space between some nice trees. Very pretty hole.
15. Straight shot and possible Ace run. Nothing tricky but don't go to the right. The pine forest is certain death!
16. Usually a thumber or RHFH shot using the left path. The right hand path just doesn't work. Another case of a hole that needs a tweak.
17. Another long challenging hole. My rule is usually first do no harm since I am not going to get a 3 or throw 500' anyway. Off the tee it plays DH straight ahead or you can turn right and head to the short tee's path. The straight path is straight and wooded for about 500-600' until turning right on the approach to the basket. The right path plays about the same distance, but offers some different routes and shots. Another hole where 8's have been spotted on score cards. And I think I might have heard rumor of a 12!
18. Tough uphill finish. FH shot to the left and BH to the right. Hit a landing zone and then pick a tight tunnel on either side to the basket. After 17 holes this hole can be no fun.
Pittsboro has a few good places to eat and drink. Carolina Brewery is at the 64 and 15/501 interchange and the City Tap downtown has good brews, sandwiches and hot dogs. There are also 3 different pizza/Italian places in town. Enjoy.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Houck and Co. exploit the great NC woods
Pros: Rock Ridge is a gem of a course, with North Carolina's prototypical tight lanes and woodsy setting. Of the John Houck courses I've played, this one is by far the most heavily wooded and it plays through that kind of setting throughout the entire 18 holes. You will most likely experience a peaceful, secluded round here with the park only having a playground and walking path in addition to the course.
You get to pick your poison here with the ever present risk/reward decision making. The course is very generous in allowing you to pick the lane of your choice and constantly gave multiple options off the tee. Holes 7, 11, and 15 are great examples of this. 15 offers two lanes: a longer but more open hyzer route on the right and a tighter but straighter route over a creek on the left. The clearly defined options here truly make this a thinking man's course.
The attention to detail is amazing, with every tree serving a purpose. There are no arbitrary lines here, which is incredible given the setting. Even 8's 188' slightly uphill shot is perfectly set up - while only having 4-5 trees in the fairway, each one is very strategically place which calls for a specific shot. This kind of detail is consistent throughout the entire round.
Within its heavily wooded setting, you a get a great deal of different shots and looks. There's a tremendous variety in pars (7 par 4's and 2 par 5's) that offer very fun multi-stage holes that require you to hit specific landing zones, as well as in hole length (138-741').
Like a lot of Houck's recent courses, variety is emphasized on having two tees per hole, rather than having two pin positions. There is awesome variety between the two tees - better than most courses - giving a great difference in hole length and shot variety. This is definitely a high-level course allowing little room for error where bad shots are easily punished. However, the white tees let up a little bit on the challenge and offer a few shorter holes to give relief to a lower skill level (like me).
Elevation comes into play often, including the fun downhill shots on 10 and 17. Not quite downhill bombs, but a nice break that give you a little more breathing room to open up from the tee. Though not listed on the site, streams came into play on a few holes (4 and 11).
Navigation was great for the most part, except that I got confused going from 12-13 and 17-18. Other than these two spots, there are plenty of signs pointing you to the next tee and navigation is intuitive.
The rubber tee pads were long and comfortable being filled in with gravel. The tee signs were phenomenal and the park was kept very clean with mowed fairways and no trash.
Plenty of benches and the course has two 9 hole loops that take you back to the parking lot.
Cons: Perhaps the biggest detractor - and it wasn't even a real big problem - was the amount of foliage grown in off the fairway. It had a jungle-ly feel to it when I played in late May and I'm sure it's that way for 4-5 months. Not ever disc-swallowing rough, but constant undergrowth right off the fairway caused for a lot of searches. The problem was coupled with the fact that the lines here are very tight, specific, and unforgiving. Great for a challenge, but this is one of those courses where I felt like I had no breathing room to make mistakes and that took away from the fun just a bit. This problem would be alleviated some in the fall/winter.
Looking back, the course blends together somewhat and I think that's due to it having primarily one type of setting - tight woods. As always, Houck and Co. will literally use the land to its maximum potential, and he gave the design a tremendous amount of variety within its wooded setting. I just think the limitations of the park had me feeling that something was missing. "The designers did the best they could with the land offered" is practically a cliche on DGCR, but it's very true here. Just would've liked a little more variety in the type of holes offered.
A good bit of holes had blind pins/curvy fairways which required some extra scouting.
Awkward transitions from 12-13 and 17-18.
Other Thoughts: Rock Ridge is the best course that I've given a 4.0 and I was tempted to give it a 4.5. I can't emphasize enough how well the course is designed and the tremendous attention to detail that was given. It has its own personality that distinguishes it from other top courses, I can't say I've played another course like it. Not too many cons found here, especially if you enjoy playing strictly wooded, challenging courses. I'd make it a top priority if you are in the Triangle area.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Rock Ridge rocks!
Pros: In a park with only disc golf and a walking trail.
This course has excellent signage that directs you to next tee. The flow is intuitive with one small exception. Between my first and second visits, signage was added to point out separate paths to blue and red tees. Signage directing to 18 from 17 was improved as well.
Tee pads are the nicest mat tee pads I have seen. They are on crushed gravel and are level and in good shape. For the most part the separate tees add variety and give extra challenge for those who want to play from the blues.
The holes here finish left and right and there are more S-turn paths to the basket than I have ever seen on a course. Get ready to use your backhand, forehand, roller and any other shot you have in your repertoire. There is a good amount of elevation change and the fairways are pretty open for such a wooded course. There are often multiple paths to the basket.
The course is on a beautiful piece of property a little off the beaten path, and I saw no other golfers on either of the rounds I have played.
There is wifi here, which was surprising considered the location of the course.
Cons: Some of the fairways could use a little more traffic to beat down the vegetation. This was a very small issue.
Other Thoughts: Rock Ridge is a lot of fun. From the long tees, It is one of the longest courses I have played. I played from the short tees yesterday and got par on all the sub-200 holes and bogied or more on the plus-400s.
I think beginners and noodle arms will enjoy the shorter holes. Some holes will be frustrating for those same players due to length and need to shape shots. I love being out in the woods on a well-designed course. I enjoy playing if I am shooting par or 30 over. Rock Ridge is a nice walk in the woods. I look forward to enjoying it even more as my skill increases.
If you don't have a map or forget to look for the 'next tee' marker on the tee signs, at #12 do not follow the path past the basket. It leads back to #10. Backtrack the fairway and take the trail to the right.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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