8 Helpful / 2 Not
The Queen's RH step-child
Pros: Rankin is 30 minutes from the world's disc golf mecca, easy to find for first-timers and roadtrippers, just off I-85 with well-marked highway signage on 321.
Large,secure parking area with nice restrooms. Local guide (bikinjack) virtually lives on the course. Nice innova baskets,detailed signage and concrete pads.
The layout flows extremely well with both nines ending near the parking area. This is an important feature because you can drink beer while playing here,legally.
The climate and terrain allows for comfortable, year-round play with good footing. The course incorporates three distinct landscapes into the mix to provide great variety.
They range from wide open flat to sloping park-like to densely forested woods. Hole distances are varied as well, ranging fron short sub-200 footers to the very rare 800'+ holes. For added challenge, there is a paved road that snakes thru the entire park which is OOB. The combination of these features results in an extremely solid, game-improvement course with long-term playability.
And when you master the standard set-up, you don't have to drive to Charlotte, just ask for "Stankin Rankin".
I'm a card-carrying woods course lover and really enjoyed the extemely-tight back nine which requires every shot to be precise, but the thing that separates Rankin from just about every other NC course that I've played is the balance of long open holes.
Cons: The OOB in the middle of the fairway on #6 is bogus.
Other Thoughts: When you visit the Queen City, don't forget the courses like Rankin around the perimiter, they are well worth the time.
8 of 10 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 4 Not
Nicely laid out course
Pros: -Very nicely laid out course with plenty of challenge.
-Test just about most if not all of the shot types
-alot of short and long holes
-concrete tees on each hole
Cons: -there aren't any cons that i can think of except for the fact that they don't have the short pins (last time I was there).
Other Thoughts: This a very nice course one of the best I have seen.
also very easy to follow.
3 of 7 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 1 Not
A do-not-miss in the Charlotte area
Pros: All of the tees were concrete and in good physical condition. Innova discatchers throughout that seem almost new. I had been told by my guide that there WERE great tee signs at every hole, but vandals had destroyed all but a few. Of the ones I did see, they were very nice. If you print out the map though, you'll be in fine shape. Multiple tee positions on just about all holes I believe.
The facilities were great, indoor nice bathrooms and COLD water fountains. Parking was plentiful, although if it gets busy you might be searching for a spot
I love wooded holes, and this course certainly does not disappoint, especially since most of the ground on the wooded holes was covered with pine needles, and no thick underbrush like other NC courses I've played.
It started off kind of slow (I deuced 3 of the first 4 holes), but finished very strong, kind of like a warm up before the rest of your round.
My memorable holes:
4 - With a creek threatening on the left, you can either go big anhyzer around the tree, or go for the homeboy route through a small gap over a bend in the creek (I barely hit this route).
5 - Long, long, long hole with the creek on the right. My guide told me "don't turn it over, or you'll be in the creek". Guess what I did. At the end you cross the creek into a clearing, very scenic hole.
11 - Uphill tunnel-type shot, gently fading left. Memorable because even though I got off into the trees, saved it back up by the basket for par.
14 - Throw up over a hill then into a stand of trees, basket was in the short position in a kind of rock garden. Very unique pin placement.
18 - Very cool shot off tee, thread the trees with a little anhyzer, then fade back to the basket.
Cons: Not much, here goes.
Kind of hard to avoid the vandalism thing, some people are just stupid. That being said, many of the tee signs are missing, although from what I recall most of the next tee markers were present and accurate.
Like I said above, the first several holes, and a couple in the middle (7&8) were simpler than the rest and stood out as kind of plain, but certainly not boring or overly easy, but could be easily deuced on a regular basis.
Other Thoughts: My rating of a 4 is given based on the challenging yet fair nature of this course. Course flow is great, and most holes are very well laid out, with clearly defined paths cleared out through the trees. There are also many very beautiful holes on this course that incorporate the natural beauty of the land.
The course is easy to find, well cared-for, and isn't so long it wears you out, but is by no means short. Even in near 100 degree weather, I wasn't too beat after a round (the COLD water fountains were very welcome though).
If you find yourself, as I did, traveling west out of Charlotte, do not miss this gem that is just off the interstate, it is well worth your time!
13 of 14 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Challenging Course for a beginner
Pros: 1) Nice mix between wide open, front 9, and wooded, back 9. Multiple pin locations for all holes with some of them having 3.
2) Very challenging for a beginner or intermediate player and will force you into honing all your skills.
3) After playing this course it makes most other courses seem easy.
Cons: 1) All but 4 holes are sloped right to left or vice versa, so it is often that a great shot is negated by a bad bounce which causes your disc to roll off the fairway and out of bounds or just rolling off a 100 feet or so leaving you with a bad lie. Every time I've played this course i've been victimized by this and it can get frustrating.
2) Wouldn't want to play this course by myself. I often see some shady characters walking around. Maybe it's just the times that i've played.
3) Holes 4-7 seem to always be soggy unless it hasn't rained for a couple of weeks and it makes it difficult to get a decent tee or second shot.
Other Thoughts: This is by far the toughest course i've played since i started keeping track of my results and posting on this site. I am convicned that if I can do well on this course I can fair much better on most others, at least around Charlotte. This course is well balanced in having to utilize distance and accuracy and unfortunately luck plays more of a role than most courses mostly because of the slope on some holes which can kill you round of you get unlucky. I wouldn't play this course as a beginner but as an intermediate level player this is one of the best courses i have played and is helping me build and hone my skills.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
17 Helpful / 0 Not
Rankin Lake DGC
Pros: Plays like two different courses, the front nine is more open, and the back is more heavily wooded, with most of the elevation.
There is a nice variety of long and short holes, a couple of ace opportunities, and a couple of multi-shot holes.
The tee pads are all concrete, except for #9, which is brick, and works just the same. There are long tee options for holes 7, 12, and 18.
The baskets are DISCatchers, all in good shape. There is no practice basket, but the course is seldom crowded, so you can usually warm-up putting on basket #5.
There are trash cans at several holes spread throughout the course, and rock "benches" at every tee.
You are never far from the parking lot, or the bathrooms, and the course plays back by them five times. The bathrooms are always open, and are heated and have A/C. There is also a water fountain with cold water at the bathrooms for those hot summer days.
The course is easy to get to from I-85 and Hwy. 321. There are two convenience stores, a Hardee's, Dunkin Donuts/Baskin Robbins, and New Papa John's Pizza right by the park.
Some areas of the park offer nice views down to the lake, especially in the late fall and winter.
As of 8/13/2010, there are now proper tee signs in place on all 18 holes.
Cons: One of the biggest problems with Rankin for first time players is the lack of signs on the back nine. There are great signs on the front (a couple have been recently vandalized but will be fixed soon ).
The fairways for holes 4, 5, 7, and 8 will be wet after rainy weather, especially 4 & 5.
There is a creek along holes 4, 5, and 7 that can eat discs, but isn't too bad. The OB shule to the left of the fairway on 6 will eat discs, especially in the summer. The rest of the course isn't too hard to keep up with errant throws.
Hole #9 could be dangerous, with either pin position being near a playground, and close to parking for the main building. Occasionally, there will be a car parked a little too close for comfort to the basket on #9.
There currently are multiple pin positions for eight holes, but there isn't a good system in place to let you know where they are, other than just seeing them, but some holes are blind, so you can't. Extra baskets for the alternate positions would be nice instead of having to move them to change things up, and a warm-up one would be icing on the cake.
Rankin Lake Park has a reputation for shady adult liasons, but this type of shady activity has decreased a lot recently, partly ( I like to think ) because of traffic from disc golfers, and probably more so because of a crack down by Gastonia's finest.
Other Thoughts: I'm trying to give an honest appraisal of my home course. I think it's a little underrated. It's not the hardest course, nor the easiest, but it's got a lot of variety. I'm glad it's so close.
17 of 17 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 1 Not
It's a Sleeper!!
Pros: Clean park in nice park setting. Decent mix of long and short holes. Some technical shots and a few long bombs. Good fairways and the rough isn't so nasty you will lose a bunch of discs. Some holes are tight and wooded while others are fairly open. New signs are being added to many of the holes. this is a nice upgrade and good work by the local players. The 'Stankin' Rankin' layout also adds a whole other level of challenge to this course. It will beat you up, but definitely adds to the overall experience. With concrete pads for this longer layout, this course could easily reach elite Charlotte status, and earn an even higher rating. Concrete tee pads are on all holes for the normal layout.
Cons: Holes 7 and 8 seemed to be squeezed in, and not as good as the others. Maybe different basket placement or some news trees could make them more challenging. Some navigation signs for non locals would be good, but after playing once or twice, navigation is quick and easy.
Other Thoughts: I have played this course 3 more times since the original above comments. This course can grow on you. While the 2 open holes still seem squeezed in to me, I appreciate them more after having my backside handed to me on the back 9 a few times. #7 does have a creek to one side that adds some risk if you have the arm to go for the ace. Miss and you may end up with a 3 or 4. There are a few trees on #8. It's an easy par, but if you go for the birdie the road and trees can hurt you. The wooded back nine plays VERY technical, and forces you to use accuracy and control on every hole. There is also enough length to keep you from making short, safe shots. There is also enough elevation on a few holes to punish you if you can't handle uphill shots. The more I play this course the more it seems on par with me to courses like Hornett's Nest in Charlotte, or possibly UNC in Chapel Hill. People may prefer certain parts of each course over another, but Rankin can challenge you in multiple ways, and holds its own with any of the other very good course in the Charlotte area. It also has the advantage of not being one of the well-known Charlotte courses so crowds shouldn't be a big problem. Give this course a try once, and you'll probably be back.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Very challenging course. It's underrated in terms of name recognition compared to the other top courses in the Charlotte area - Renny, Hornets Nest, Winthrop, etc.
- Great use of the land. Lots of elevation changes, many wooded holes, some good scenery. You'll get a workout just walking the course. On some holes on the back 9, notably #15 - 16, you almost get the feeling your in the mountains, because of the terrain.
- Good variety of holes. The front and back nine are complete oppostion, with 1 - 9 played in the open, 10 - 18 in the woods.
- The back 9 has some really tight drives and good pin placements. If you don't throw straight, you're going to struggle.
- Great tee signs. Some of the best I've seen. Too bad they're only on the front 9.
- Great signage between holes makes it easy to navigate the course. Of special note is the transition from #12 to #13. The directional signs painted on the road between the 2 holes are a tremendous help.
- Many holes now have long and short layouts. The course is a beast when its playing long; much more pleasant/less demanding when it's in the shorts. The dual layouts give a lot of the holes a good change-up; requiring different strategy.
Cons: There's still a problem of salacious activity taking place. It's been greatly reduced since over the past several years thanks to an increased police presence, but its still there to some degree. The most recent time I played, I noticed a police car and park vehicle both driving through the park within a 2-hour span.
- It seems the holes that are similar to each other are all clumped together. For example holes #1 - 3 are played on a hill with a slope to the left. Holes #5 & 6 are the 2 long holes. Holes #9 - #11 are all doglegs right. Would like to see these holes spread out more through the course.
- Course could use more benches & trash cans. There's a lot of walking involved and any chance to sit down on a bench, instead of rock, would be appreciated.
- There aren't any restroom or water fountains. The main park building has restroom in it, but it's always closed. There are a couple of fast food joints and gas stations right up the road, so you'll have to stop there.
Other Thoughts: This has been a good addition to the Charlotte-area courses. It gets overlooked because it's a 20-30 minute drive to any of the other top courses in Charlotte.
- A lot of work has gone to improving the course layout over the past several years. Some trees have been cut down on #6; a lot of tall grass/rough has been removed in between # 6 & 7 to give the area a much cleaner look, not to mention less risk of losing discs. Great signage on the back 9 makes it nearly impossible to get lost between holes. These small things make the course even better than before.
- You have plenty of chances to rip some drives on the front 9.
- Nice view of the lake along #6. You also get a good view looking down at the lake, and rest of the park, on holes #16 - #18, when you're at park's tallest point. You really get the sense of how much elevation the park has.
- Favorite hole is #5. Need 2 good shots to be able to throw through an opening in the trees and over a creek to the basket. You can walk away with a birdie or double bogey (or worse). A true risk/reward hole.
14 of 15 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 1 Not
Two..two...two courses in one
Pros: The most memorable feature of the course is that the terrain is so different between the front 9 and the back 9 that it's like playing two distinctly different courses. The front 9 is relatively open with some trees and lots of OB while the back is in the woods, so there should be something here for everyone to enjoy.
The tee signs on the front 9 are among the best I've ever seen! They're innovative boxes with plexiglass fronts so the excellent hole maps can be easily replaced or changed as needed.
On the front 9 there's tons of risk vs. reward from OBs (mainly from the park roads) so you have to play smart. You'll be rewarded by keeping the disc in play, even if your shot is shorter.
There's good length variety with 4 long holes over 400 ft. Long layout: 2<199/ 8<299/ 4<399/ 2 of 400-499/ 1 of 655/ 1 of 821.
Little yellow arrows throughout the course make it really easy to navigate the course.
Cons: The course was still new when I played it, but it needed tee signs on the back 9.
The park roads add a real OB hazard, but to me the roads detract from the natural beauty of the course.
There are also many potential safety issues on 8 holes from proximity to the park roads and pavilions.
The park has a reputation as a place for gay liaisons.
Course Level: Blue (best for 950 Rated players)
Course Difficulty: 9 out of 10. It's pretty long.
My favorite hole- 14. It's in the woods with scenic terrain, a challenging S shaped fairway, downhill, and a well defined fairway.
You be the judge...
Fairway variety (Long layout) - 6 Straight/ 2 Left/ 8 Right / 2 S shape. Good to have 2 S shaped holes, but dogleg right holes predominate. Lefties should like that.
You can read more of my reviews at the Yahoo group "DG Course Reviews", http://sports.groups.yahoo.co...urseReviews/.
Look there in the Files section for my Overall Rating notes and Hole-by-hole ratings.
14 of 15 people found this review helpful.
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