Diverse and enjoyable with some minor shortcomings
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: + Superb hole variety. In the first 5 holes alone you have an uphill under 200' hole, a long downhill left turning hole, two RHFH shots, then a 600' Par 4.
+ There is a pretty even mix of open and wooded shots, par 3's and par 4's, and even a par 5. There are ace runs (1, 10) and there are pins I cannot reach even with my longest drives (9, 16).
+ #16 is one of the more epic holes I've played in North Carolina. It's a long, open bomb of a drive from the long tee, playing on a heavily sloped fairway that will punish an errant drive. The fairway then does a complete 180 into a wooded green. Coming off the back of some short wooded holes this took me by surprise.
+ Various holes feature multiple basket positions. Hole #3 and hole #9 in particular. #9's alternate position changes the Par, which often isn't the case with alternate pin placements, so that's something that stood out to me in a positive way.
+ Excellent tees & signage. The signs were very descriptive and contained info on the multiple pin placements, etc. Unfortunately one or two of them have been vandalized, but thankfully those holes are self explanatory.
+ #13 has a circle of large rocks around the green. I thought this was a nice touch, adding some difficulty to an otherwise fairly easy hole.
+ Plenty of shade thanks to the trees. If you need to take a break there are numerous pavilions located conveniently close to the course.
+ Various amenities include a very long walking path wrapping around the lake, an outdoor shooting range (Which you'll be listening to while you throw), a building where you can host events, water fountains, restrooms, playground, grills etc. This is the type of park where you could bring your family and they could entertain themselves while you play a round.
Cons: - There is serious potential for conflict with other park users on a busy day. Half the course plays near park access roads. The worst offender is #7, which is a RHFH shot with a blind pin placed maybe 20' in front of a playground that is frequently used. Playing by other people can be bad enough, but throwing towards a playground with kids is never good.
- The Par 5 plays more like a par 4 in my opinion. If you have a good drive, getting an eagle doesn't take a lot of effort, and a birdie would feel effortless.
- Some of the open holes in the front half are rather pedestrian. #4 and #6 don't really do anything for me. I will say on #4 there is a risk of throwing into an OB stream if you fade too hard right, which adds some excitement, otherwise I find these holes forgettable. Looking at the land they're situated on I doubt I could have come up with anything better, so don't take this as a knock against the course designer.
- There are gold tees listed for most holes but some of them were not easy to find for me, playing the course solo with no guide.
Other Thoughts: Rankin Lake is a very fun course. I think the course designers made optimal use of the land available.
Unfortunately Rankin Lake features many other activities that can conflict with the golf, but it's usually not so bad that you can't enjoy a round out here. I'd avoid this course during holidays like Memorial Day, or on a nice weekend afternoon, but early mornings on the weekends, or playing on a weekday, you should be golden.
I don't think Rankin is quite up to the level of some of Charlotte's premiere courses, but that's more indicative of the quality of golf the area features than any major pitfalls on this particular course.
I would definitely recommend playing this course. I consider it destination level, though I would suggest checking out Hornet's Nest, Nevin and Renaissance firs if you're traveling from out of state.
Bradley Center is nearby and pairs well with Rankin. It's a bit more wooded overall, and a little shorter, but the quality of golf is similar.
If it weren't for conflicts with other park users, and a couple of forgettable holes, I think an argument could be made to rank this course in the 3.75-4 range. I find myself making repeat trips to this course despite there being others nearby I consider superior.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Almost 2 different course
Pros: Excellent use of OB using hillside and road. Front 9 is kind of open, but OB can easily come into play. Back 9 is mostly wooded with some elevation changes. Course is fairly well maintained located at a family friendly park.
Cons: Can be busy with picnic pavilions and other activities; a lot of people don't understand disc golf. Busy weekends can get frustrating.
Other Thoughts: This is a solid course with a variety of challenges.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
What a gem!
Pros: I'm keeping this review simple and concise.
- Well maintained considering that most of the course plays in plain sight of the main park area.
- Nice hole layout/variety.
- The signage helps clear up any confusion that you may have when you can't spot the basket from the tee.
- The course feels like it's tucked away from any hustle and bustle. Even the park patrons were few and far between.
- Emergency runs to the bathroom can be taken care of from most holes on the course.
Cons: Nitpicky comments below:
- A few more benches along with trashcans at the tees would have been nice.
- A clearer anhyzer cut out is needed for the par five on the front 9. My whole group, three of which had played the course before, had wild approaches due to no one really knowing where the basket was exactly.
- One of the people in my group has mentioned car break-ins. Park near the bathrooms and tee #1 and you should be okay.
Other Thoughts: This isn't the most demanding course that you'll ever play, but it offers a healthy challenge and rewards a good tee shot. The course doesn't play too short or too long and will easily appeal to the 1st season or seasoned veteran disc golfer. Although some of the tee shots offer a difficult approach for birdie, a stray disc can usually be recovered for par.
While there are several courses in Charlotte worth playing over and over, I will most certainly make the drive back out to this one! Go check this one out and be sure to pack out what you pack in. Enjoy!
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
The Tale of Two 9's.
- Front 9. The front 9 is practically wide open (some trees come into play) with tons of OB to help tighten and add interest to what would otherwise be ordinary holes. The pin positions, in relation to OB features (creek and roads), make the holes exceptionally good. Most of the holes are essentially peninsulas in that they are surrounded on all sides by OB. You could literally go OB multiple times on the same hole. I really enjoyed the front side.
- Back 9. The Back 9 plays through an extremely wooded section of the park, giving an extremely different DG experience. The fairways are pretty fair, but require good shots to be successful. Getting off the fairway here equates to being OB... usually requiring a pitch out... and OB is still in play on many holes.
- Navigation Arrows. They had a cool system of letting you know where the next tee-pad was. They had little arrows bolted to the pin under the baskets that pointed in the direction of the next tee-pad(s) (white or gold).
- Several Legit Par 4's. I really enjoy when course incorporate Par 4's... especially when tons of OB is involved. It definitely makes the game more "golf"-like.
- Front 9. The only cons with the front 9 would be the openness of it and the resulting seemingly redundancy of it.
- Back 9. The tee-signs on the back 9 were different than the front 9. Not necessarily a con, but they weren't as nice or professional as the signs on the front. They were laminated pieces of paper stapled to brown posts. Because they're stapled, they could become water damaged or possibly blow away.
- Overall. Rankin Lake is essentially two completely different 9 hole courses that make up an 18 hole course. Due to the OB's and thickness of the ruff, the course is fairly challenging. I went OB 5 times and had to pitch out of the ruff several other times resulting in a final score that was several over par. It's definitely a fun course that I need another crack at.
- EZ Access from Freeway. Getting to Rankin Lake is simple. It's a quick 2.5 blocks off the I-85. Extremely simple as the road practically becomes the parking lot for the DG course.
- Thanks bikinjack. bikinjack met me and guided me around the course on a weekday morning at 7:15 am when the weather was 25* (or less). It was cold! At one point (on the 5th hole) he fell in the creek trying to retrieve a disc... and played the rest of the round with wet socks and a frozen (literally) pant leg. That's what I call going above and beyond the call of DGCR guide protocol. Thanks again!
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Very fun course to play! Front 9 fairly open & easy with plenty birdie opportunities. Back 9 wooded and a bit tougher. All holes have good upkeep! Never very crowded
Cons: No signs on back 9. Confusing my first few times playing trying to find next tee
Other Thoughts: Great park! Very nice area and very nice course. Well worth the trip! Just outside of Charlotte, only 3 minutes off of Hwy 85 Convenient!
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 0 Not
Rankin Lake, for the rest of us
Pros: Great mix of wooded and open, the front 9 being virtually all open with nice length, and the back 9 being all wooded. The course is very quiet, charming. Nice baskets, good concrete tees and signs. Well maintained. Not a lot of elevation but not super flat, there are some potential roll-aways possible. Course is designed by local club who definitely seemed to know what they were doing. Excellent use of the park considering the space provided. One of the nicest park restrooms I've seen.
Cons: The wooded holes are kind of pitch and putt feeling, although 2-3 were real quality holes. They're still rough around the edges, too. I don't know the word for the opposite of tight, wooded holes but this course has a few. I didn't notice any suspicious "homosexual activity" although the Freddie Mercury look-a-like in the Mazda Miata kept whistling at me (joke). There is a shooting range nearby, kind of unnerving. The park is not obviously advertised if you're coming from the south, which isn't their fault, just a heads up for people looking for the park.
Other Thoughts: I'd like to apologize for the basket on hole 13. After my brother and I holed out there my bro said, "The basket is tilted." I turned around and walked over to it and slightly, gingerly touched it and it completely fell down the pole. I have no idea why. Just thought someone should know.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 2 Not
Fun course with a good mix
Pros: A variety of open and wooded holes.
A good variety of distance holes and short, technical holes.
Great use of elevation changes and other landscape features.
Great signs on the front 9.
Cons: Very few signs on the back 9 so you have to guess distance and location on several holes...no biggie if you play here a lot, but first time it was more or less a blind throw and hope for the best.
16 frustrated me because all 3 pin positions were blind so you just threw out of the woods and hoped you aimed right.
Other Thoughts: I loved hole 9, I found staying on the curved slope very difficult and challenging.
I also liked the use of the rock features on a couple holes.
This course had good navigation with arrows on the basket pointing you in the right direction and sometimes on trees if the tee is a distance away.
If this course were local to me I would probably travel 25-30 miles to play it on the weekends. This area has some tough competition but this is the first one I played and enjoyed it a lot.
Using my rating system this course scored 75 out of 100. Its main positives were the variety of distances, nice tees and general condition of the course. The biggest negative is related to new players...though there are not many huge arm holes, a grass alt. tee might be handy.
11 of 13 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: True Jekyll and Hyde course. The front nine is fairly open with a pair of air it out holes. Though open it is still a challenge thanks to some stingy OB lines. The back nine is a tight technical course with dense woods that you do not want to get stuck in. Great ameneties with an heated indoor area with bathrooms and water fountains. Clean course, well maintained, and makes great use of a creek that runs thru and elevation changes. Easy to navigate.
Cons: Back nine could use some nicer teesigns. Also, this isn't a park that I would bring the wife/kids to as the aforementioned "homosexual sex soliciting" does seem to be an issue here.
Other Thoughts: This course is well worth making the time to play. It offers a great mixture of shots and variety of holes, all located in a beautiful park.
13 of 14 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - I've played this course twice now, and I feel like it has a good variety. As mentioned before, the front nine is out in the open while the back nine is wooded. But, aside from that, there are holes that sit atop hills where you have to take rolling discs into account. There are longer holes - one that even exceeds 800 feet. There are holes that put a small creek in play. One in particular has the creek framing the right boundary of your drive, but you actually have to throw your approach shot through an opening in trees to reach the basket on the other side of the creek. On the back nine, there are holes that go uphill, some that go downhill, and one that even partially hides the basket behind a group of large rocks/boulders. The course really seems to have a little of everything.
Cons: - It can't be said enough: the homosexual liaisons continue to be an issue. We saw many of the same cars circling the park again and again, parking, guys getting out and walking into the woods, etc. The police came through once during our round, causing one guy to rush back to his car and hightail it out of the park. Hopefully with some more foot traffic, this problem will die down some.
Other Thoughts: - To give you a feel about how the course is laid out:
You've got the lake (which is separated from the park by a fence) at the outer edge of the park. The 800+ foot hole is next to the lake. The creek then runs parallel to the lake, and a few of the front nine holes run along the other side of the creek. Then, you've got a good-sized hill that has the last three front-nine holes atop it. The back nine goes further up the hill and meanders through the woods.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Front 9 and Back 9 are like 2 different courses. Challenging course with some long holes. On the back 9 you need to use a variety of shots to make it.
Cons: Several Holes were just long drives with a straight fairway (with some obstacles) and then a sharp turn at the end. Those types of holes got a little monotonous. Some wierd "activity" goes on at this park. Not violent or criminal but wierd traffic (Homosexual Sex soliciting, parking) seriously. Local police backed this course for that reason. To get more good traffic in this park to hopefully cut down on wierd stuff like that.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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