Bring a Driver and a Putter
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Layout - The Rock is a golf/disc golf hybrid that should be called Bombs Over Baghdad (If Baghdad was a grassy, hilly and manicured like a golf course)
This is one of the better hybrid courses I've played so far and there's a few moves in it's repertoire that other hybrids can't muster, or don't do as well.
You get two options of tees and I can tell you that if you want to play the golds you better have serious gold level distance if you want to score well.
As with most hybrids this course is a place for throwing huge drives down wide fairways, then rinse and repeating. However this course one ups others because it has hills bigger than Lara Croft's ta-tas. This not only adds to the fun factor but creates a situation where you are far more likely to get off the fairway and in to trouble if you don't use control. If you get in the woods you're gonna have a bad time.
I think the layout also does a good job of creating good and bad sides of the fairway to be on on multi-shot holes. The positioning of the baskets and greens here are probably the best I've seen on a hybrid because it again forces you to have control off the tee and on your second and third throws.
Speaking of the greens there are some incredibly fast and risky greens here that really make you consider your shot shape and how your landing. Even the greens not on slopes are either very picturesque or crafted pretty well to create challenge which is something most hybrids can't really achieve due to the landscape.
It's predominantly par 4's and 5's which is the usual with hybrids that I've played. There are five par 3's and I think par 3's are the hardest kinds of holes to pull off on hybrids. This course does a decent job with them and I think that's a definite strength when comparing it to other hybrids.
There is some OB to watch out for in the form of ponds and greens. It adds some challenge.
You get carts!
Some serious signature holes but I have to say my favorite is probably 12. Big downhill drive over some water and then the basket is tucked behind a barn.
Overall this place will really challenge most NC golfers to play a style they are not used to. This is a course that would probably get much easier the more practice you had with it, IF you have the distance to score well.
Atmosphere - I got the vibe this is a chill golf club so I think the marriage of disc golf and golf here is perfect. This is a stunning piece of property and the fun factor as I said earlier is paramount in a few spots. It has some of the biggest hills I've ever throw a disc off of. Did I say you get carts! I like carts if you can't tell, gives me a place to put my beer.
Equipment - You tee off the golf tees which is actually great. There are markers letting you know which tees are which for disc golf and the scorecards have the hole info listed along with the ball golf info which is a first for me.
Cons: Layout - My main criticism with all hybrids is that they lack balance. When they first started popping up you could easily look past it because of the novelty but as these courses become more of the norm and permanent you can't ignore the fact you routinely walk up to the tee and mash a driver repeatedly. This course does force you to have some control but still not as much as the better courses I've played.
You do get to throw huge drives off giant hills which is incredibly fun but when you do it over and over it kind of takes the luster off of it. I think having to fight through technical woods golf while climbing up is what makes some of the big top of the world shots at more wooded courses special. You feel like you earned it where as here you just drive your cart up to it.
If they could somehow incorporate some of the woods in to the course more by maybe cutting out some greens in a few areas they could give it more variety.
As I mentioned above the par 3's here while done well for a hybrid are still not that great when compared to other high caliber courses.
Some of the multi-shot holes seem like fodder when compared to the rest. This adds to the feeling that you're just on rinse and repeat that the sheer beauty and awesomeness factor of this place can't even shake.
You do carts... but still have some tough walks up hills because your cart will not go everywhere your disc has to. Not a problem for me but could be a problem if you have mobility issues.
Another unique thing about this course is that there aren't bunkers which are typically used to create OB and more challenge on these types of courses. There is a somewhat dry creek running through many holes that I believe should be used as OB to create more challenge but isn't. I think tightening up exactly where you can and can't go on a few holes would make this course more difficult and interesting.
Atmosphere - None
Equipment - There's no specific tee signs for disc golf which I think would be a nice addition.
Other Thoughts: There is a 9 hole arrangement on the back 9 I don't have any real info on but adds another notch for this place. I didn't play the blues but I would probably try those if I get back to see how they shake out.
I'd say this is my second favorite hybrid so far and there are some tweaks that could be done to make it better without much effort. I also don't know much about the people running it but they could easily put a stellar wooded course completely separate from this one out there if they desired. Something to think about.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Saying "Beautiful course" doesn't quite do it justice. Rolling elevation, scenic views, very long course with some fun shots to throw. Impeccably maintained. Natural course flow as it follows the golf course layout. We were behind a group of ball golfers and our play kept us moving without ever catching them. While it is long, I didn't feel it was repetitive. You can't just bomb, you have to be somewhat accurate to avoid losing strokes.
Cons: Cart path is rough in a few spots, but thats nit picking.
Other Thoughts: At $20 a person on the weekend, it is still easily worth it. Easily the best course I have ever played. I'm an hour away and will definitely make this a regular trip.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
A unique experience I thoroughly enjoyed
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: + Some of the most interesting elevation I have ever thrown, starting from the first hole and continuing as a theme to the final hole. I loved watching my discs glide for an unreal amount of time before fading and touching the ground. It was a very unique experience throwing from such elevated tees so frequently. Nearly every single hole features drastic elevation changes, whether it's the long, downhill bombers like #2 and #12, the short but incredibly steep downhill #8, or the steep uphill finishing hole #18.
+ Tricky pin placements. Most pins were situated on some sort of hill or tucked in a corner of trees. This adds a lot to the risk / reward of the design and helped keep things interesting. In particular I recall throwing a massive rip on #2, then flicking my upshot too high. The result was a missed birdie due to the elevation in play on my putt, which would have been simple were the basket on flat ground. #5 and #10 also has a very nice pin placement, placed on the right side of the fairway hidden behind some trees on sloped ground. I had no issues with roll-aways.
+ Shorter holes help balance The Rock's offerings. Five out of 18 holes are shorter, more typical disc golf length holes. #3, #6, #8, #13 and #18 help add diversity to the course. Sprinkling shorter holes between the multiple 1000'+ holes was a wise design choice that gives the player a chance to relax between max distance rips.
+ Accurate pars. I had to work for birdies, but they never felt out of my reach. If I messed up an approach, I was not rewarded with a birdie, but rather had to shoot for par.
+ Navigation is an absolute breeze with the provided maps and scorecards. No way to get lost with the clearly marked tees and golf cart track running through the course. The Maps provided at the club house accurately depicted each hole's fairway and pin placement, and I was never left wondering where to throw on blind doglegs.
+ Flags on top of the baskets help the player gauge the wind. This is a feature I wish more disc golf courses adopted.
+ Absolutely gorgeous property. It was a beautiful Saturday morning when I played, and the sun shining on the water while I overlooked #2's massive fairway is a sight I will not soon forget. The level of maintenance here far surpasses your typical city course, much less your average private course.
+ The most positive experience I've had at a private course to date. The owners were incredibly friendly, very informative, and exceptionally accommodating. Frank's passion for what he's doing with his course was obvious to me through my conversations with him before and after my round. He provided me with maps, discussed things to look out for on the course, and even offered me a couple of cold water bottles to take on the road to the next course I played. I have never felt more welcome at a private disc golf course, and this alone motivates me to return.
+ Getting to use golf carts was a unique experience that increased my enjoyment of the round. It was my first time using carts for disc golf. Normally I'm the type that enjoys a good, rugged hike while I play, but that wouldn't work on a shared use facility with ball golfers using carts. The benefit is that after my round my legs were as fresh as they are after playing a pitch and putt 9 hole course, despite The Rock being over 12,000' long from the tees I played.
+ Beer is available at the pro shop. It's not very often you get to drive around in a golf cart and legally drink beer during a round of disc golf. I stuck to water myself since I planned to throw different courses until sunset, but it's a nice option to have.
+ The best interactions I've seen between disc golf and ball golf. There were numerous golf groups out on the course, and two or three other disc golf groups. Everyone got along and at no point did I feel second class. We all shared the same tees and fairways, with the greens for each golf type ending in different areas of each hole. My first experience throwing discs on a shared use golf course was at Mulligan Springs in Kent, Ohio. It was made very clear to me at that course that I was to let any ball golfers take priority over my experience, and they've since removed disc golf from their property completely. At The Rock there were times I offered to let a ball golf group play a head of me since I was filming my round and taking my time, and more often than not they'd decline. Everyone was very relaxed and out to enjoy their weekend, and I never got the slightest hint of elitism.
Cons: - Too long for beginner level players in my opinion. I think someone who throws under 350' would find the course less enjoyable than someone who can throw further. That being said, I think they could still enjoy the huge downhill rips, but they might feel a little overwhelmed. At 12,476' from the longs and over 10,000' from the shorts, The Rock is a beast of a course.
- There is little in the way of technical, wooded gaps to hit. The challenge comes from managing elevation & wind primarily, as well as understanding how to setup your second shot with drive placement from the tee. That's not to say it's completely wide open...if you turn your drive over off one of the elevated tees or throw with too much hyzer your disc could easily fly straight into the tree line...but there are very few obstacles in the center of the fairways.
- The stone tee signs, as beautiful as they are, relate to the ball golf course only. There are maps provided that provide all the necessary information a disc golfer needs, it's just a shame the the most attractive tee signs I've seen to date did not apply to my style of golf.
Other Thoughts: The Rock is a beautiful, unique experience that left me completely satisfied. I think as long as you know what to expect, i.e. long drives on ball golf style terrain, you'll feel the same. If you want 250-350' technical wooded holes, North Carolina has that in spades. What The Rock offers is something you won't find at many other courses.
Between the epic holes, gorgeous views and remarkable hospitality, I have zero hesitation recommending this as a destination to anyone interested in this style of course.
Frank mentioned another layout he'd like to use for tournament play, one that is more difficult than the layout I played. I would love to try it out someday!
The gold tees at The Rock were easily one of my most memorable disc golfing experiences, and I look forward to playing it again some day soon.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
A BIT MUCH
13 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: Pros: Beautiful course, get to throw your drives off super elevated tees which is fun to watch it fly for so long, very long course with a couple of very unique holes you won't find many other places. Most fun hole was 8, a short par 3 where the tee is practically 150 feet straight above the basket.
Cons: 1. The price has been raised to $20 per person for 18 holes. I get that it's a privately owned course and that it is certainly a nice course, but the $14 a person was already pretty steep compared to the $0 per person that almost every other disc golf course costs.
2. My biggest gripe with the course is that at least 75% of the baskets are on extremely slanted ground, so if you miss that 20 foot putt you're probably going to roll 75 feet down a hill, and if you choose to play it safe and lay up, you still have a big change of rolling down the hill. I don't mind this on some holes, it's a fun little challenge, but when it feels like EVERY FREAKING LAY UP SHOT is going to end up 70 feet from where it landed it gets really old, really fast.
3. If you don't throw 450+ foot drives on flat ground then you should probably just skip this place. The course lacks disc golf-specific signage, so your pars will be the same as the regular golf pars, which is completely ridiculous when you consider the fact that you throw from the same tees and the basket is usually pretty much the same distance as the golf green is. If it's an 850 foot par 4 I think that maybe you should put the basket in a reasonable spot, aka not on a steep hill.
4. This course honestly feels like they built a golf course, then one day read about Disc Golf on the internet and then said "Hey, I know a way to make a few more $$, throw some baskets on the course and we'll call it a disc golf course too!". There's maybe 3 holes in the entire course that are a reasonable distance for the average recreational disc golfer, there's no disc golf-specific signage or information, it's clearly the lesser of the two sports in the eyes of whoever built the course, which is fine but please just put some effort into making it reasonable. Maybe add some cement tees for disc golf only that are in better more realistic/reasonable positions than the golf tees, and give proper signage with legitimate par information and length. This would go a LONG way to improving the course. As it currently stands you will tend to feel pretty lackluster about the experience when you see the tiny marker indicating where the basket is on the tee sign and then it's not there and you have to spend 5 minutes walking around trying to find it only to realize that you threw to the right (like the sign told you to do) rather than the left where the basket was, so then you wonder "Well, do I even count this hole seeing as I just spent a shot going the wrong way and now have to spend another shot trying to get back in the right direction?"
5. Some tee signs should have warnings about the possibility of lost discs. In other words: If there's a big river directly inside the tree line to the left of the fairway, and I'm about to throw my driver from a massive elevated tee, maybe tell me on the sign that there's a river there. Lost my disc on 14, went into the river looking for it and found about 6 other discs that had suffered the same fate, and none of them looked like they'd been there very long so I assume the owner has an employee go scavenging in there for discs to resell in the clubhouse.
Other Thoughts: Overall, if you're a near pro-level talent, this course will be a realistic challenge for you. If you're a normal human being with a day job, maybe just go play a regular open course. The cost, combined with the out-of-the-way location and the asinine difficulty level cause this course to disappoint. Personally I think the course has a lot of room to improve, and that if they take the appropriate steps to make the course a more enjoyable experience while still maintaining a valid level of difficulty, this could be one of the best courses in North Carolina. If I were to give advice I'd say to add specific disc golf tees and signage, bring the massively uneven ground baskets down to maybe 2-4 rather than 12ish, keep the price at $14, and honestly they have the room to make either the front 9 or the back 9 into another full 18 of more reasonable length holes. I love the wide open shots, but not every hole should be a 1,000 foot par 4. Right now you have maybe 3 legitimate par 3s and the rest are all extremely long. Maybe cut 3-4 of the longer holes into two more technical holes, because after 10 900 foot holes you start to really crave something a bit more structured.
13 of 19 people found this review helpful.
The Rock is a Gem
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Disc golf on a ball golf course is very uncharted territory, especially on a permanent basis in this area. So right away the uniqueness of the experience abounds. The terrain is very hilly with epic downhill bombs coming so often they almost feel routine. This is literally on a ball golf course so yes, the grass is mowed well short, the fairways are extremely well-defined and you never wander around the woods looking for the next hole. You also don't deal with the usual trappings of NC disc golf such as constantly walking through spider webs, chiggers, swatting at flies and other natural unpleasantries - IF you stay on the fairway. Now, that's not to say this is a totally synthetic experience as this course is just inside the country and three turkeys were seen acting like they owned the course.
The tees are fairly easy to find and Frank was very informative telling you what to look for, i.e. if you're playing the golds look for the tees with gold dots. The scorecards had a map of the ball golf course and footage and par for the DG course so navigation is fairly straightforward. The DGC overlaps the BGC a lot but thanks to tee times and friendly ball golfers I had no problems playing through and sharing the course. The ball golfers were more than happy to share the course and chat with the frisbee crowd. It's also a laid back country club so no worries of stereotypical golf snobbery.
This course surprisingly challenges your shot selection and placement skills despite how open it is. Things often look deceptively farther or closer than they are b/c of the openness and elevation change. The big downhill tees, especially if the wind picks up, are surprisingly challenging to keep on the fairway if you don't play mountain golf routinely. The length of the holes combined with the angles of the fairways and the greens kept it from feeling too much like a "big arms" course. I throw farther than my brother but this only gave me an outright advantage on 2-3 holes. Virtually all the baskets are located on tricky greens with either hills obscuring them or being on slopes so you can't approach hardly any of them without thinking about avoiding something.
The carts I'll elaborate on later but having them and a clubhouse with drinks, snacks and discs is an amenity that is elite level for disc golf.
Cons: The tees are natural but didn't affect me too much, would be an issue if the grass was wet though. The baskets are of a few different makes and models but they all catch well enough and they're very sturdily installed, with bright yellow flags atop most of them with the hole number, aiding in navigation considerably.
The constant elevation change even with the cart rental makes this a surprisingly tiring course. The carts are more of a necessary evil than an outright positive b/c the DGC takes you a lot of places where the cart can't go, so that you constantly backtrack either to your lie or to the cart. But the course is so hilly and long that some transitions would be exhausting without the cart. This is a very tough course to play blind and although I was encouraged to take the cart and scout out the holes before I played, the narrowness of the cart path in spots and time constraints made this seem more trouble than it was worth. The course could also benefit from some arrows or signs to point the direction of the basket somehow b/c a lot of them are blind and the map on the scorecard doesn't really tell you where the DG holes are.
Other Thoughts: These kinds of courses are not my cup of tea but I appreciate the different flavor. You really have to play this one a couple of times to get an idea of how to play the holes and that's a credit to the design as much as the terrain. I'm a very stereotypical DGer that likes to play on a whim and play for free so $14 and calling for a tee time is not my preference. Is it worth it? Probably if you really like well-manicured courses and the exclusivity, as well as being able to consume adult beverages legally. It's not worth it to me for regular play but I don't mind paying it since the distance I have to travel here means I'd only pay it occasionally.
But this is absolutely a course every golfer should check out because it is elite and excellent and unlike just about any course around.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
North Carolina Gem
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: The Rock hosts a variety of different terrain types. The course is beautifully manicured both in its fairways and greens. What I loved most was the scenic tee areas overlooking breathtaking views. The Rock may seem like an open distance driving marathon but can bite quickly with an errant, unfocused drive or approach to the basket. The tree lines both left and right of some of the downhill fairways (Hole 2, Hole 17) are very unforgiving. Even though this course is gigantic, birdie opportunities are available and a must if wanting to shoot a decent score. Hole 3 comes to mind. Hit the hyzer shot around the pine. No excuses.
The overall design utilizes the best points of each fairway of the golf course without bringing much of the Stonewall putting greens into play. The staff listened to our opinions even though it seemed like we were honeymooning over our very first experience playing it. Expect a typical round with two people to last around 4 hours. The course has evolved since its first opening in October of 2016. It will most likely be changing and tweaking as more disc golfers trek to play this wonderful course. I am all for that move. The Rock is easily on its way to being one of the best in North Carolina. It's certainly in the top 5 of courses I've played.
-Golf carts included
-Scorecard with basic layout information given out at the clubhouse.
-Each hole O.B. is clearly defined on the score card information.
-Beverages, snacks, and certain discs are available for purchase at the clubhouse. Restrooms are also available.
-Wooden Rain shelters located in the tree line throughout the course.
-Pin flags are used when needed for visual guidance.
- New green Dynamic Discs "Veterans" make up all 18 baskets. 9 white Veterans make up a temporary 18 hole course using only the back nine property.
-Takes advantage of key beauty areas (old wooden shed structures and inclined baskets atop rock formations). This course just has a majestic, serene quality and overall great atmosphere.
Cons: First off, this course is not friendly for beginning players as it stands right now. I'd say to novice players, don't come expecting to shoot lights out. Experience it and have a good time. Don't force shots you cannot make. Although beefy with its overall course distances; The Rock is fairly straight forward with shot selection. You're not forced to navigate any wooded areas unless a drive exits the large fairway. Hole 6 has the basket tucked just inside of the tree line. Take time to locate where the blind baskets are; as other golfers can be in the line of fire.
-Clubhouse could use a wider array of disc golf discs and equipment
-Arrows navigating to next tee area would help players unfamiliar with the course.
-Lacks tight and technical holes
-Course needs clear and concise disc golf tee signs and directional arrows. Scorecard hole map and OB information will get you by while navigating.
Other Thoughts: The course uses the natural golf tee areas. There were no traction issues that I experienced. Please pay attention to the forecast. Due to the elevation, especially navigating down Hole 8, they shut the course down with any inclement weather. The enthusiast in me would love a few local beers available behind the counter. A few tables could be a great idea for players finishing or relaxing before a second round.
-$20 cost per round on the weekends may deter a certain kind of disc golfer. If you're serious about the game of disc golf and want an experience; you will make time to play this course. It's $15 during the weekday.
-There are gas stations and a Dollar General 5 minutes down the road from the course. Multiple food options 10 minutes south in Stanleyville.
The last and final thought is that this disc golf layout is less than a year old at the time of this review. Although it's open for play, this course will continue to evolve and improve by the impression I got from the staff and course promoter. If you didn't like your experience, come back and revisit. I'm sure those changes will be addressed.
**I will continue to update my review and it may change over time. I will be visiting this course a lot due to my immediate family living only 15 minutes away!
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 11 Not
Beautiful course with scenic views
Pros: Scenic views, picturesque tee shots and a cart. The man who runs the disc golf side of the course is great! All questions are answered in a timely manner and he's always working on improving the course.
Cons: Not for beginners
Other Thoughts: Wish it was closer so I could play it more often
1 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Something new and exciting to play!
4 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Beautiful rolling terrain, with fairly extreme elevation changes present on several holes. Highly manicured grounds. Long, sweeping fairways. Gas powered golf carts to ride throughout the course. Completely fair fee to play, cheap for the overall experience!
Cons: Go off the fairway and you may very well lose a disc. Or two. Or three. There are one or two holes where ball golfers might not be easily seen by disc golfers, due to the lay of the land.
Other Thoughts: I have played some drop dead gorgeous courses, some of the best courses in the entire state of North Carolina, the likes of Black Jack, Sugaree, Inn at Wintersun, etc., and this course is right up there in the upper echelon, with these other courses. It's my current favorite, and I highly recommend it.
4 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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