Diverse and enjoyable with some minor shortcomings
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.
Rankin isn't rankin
Pros: I liked the different lengths and obstacles and elevation and basket placements. Next holes direction is in red vinyl on top of disc catcher and wooden arrows pointing you in the right direction on the bottom of the post. Will use every throw in your arsenal to navigate this course
Cons: Watch out for vehicles driving on the road. Sometimes they just kept coming and you are to yield to them. Lot of golfers play here so you might be pushed or have to wait for golfers to finish before you can throw
Other Thoughts: Great place to take family. Plenty to occupy other members of your family while you get a round in. Not trashy or a troublemakers hangout
First time, disappointed
0 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: Nice area around the lake, good spot for the woman to go for a walk while I play.
Cons: Signage. Many of the tees don't have signs, and most of the baskets don't even have a sign to tell you where the next tee is. It's a hunting game to find out just where you need to go. On the tees that did have a sign, they outlined a "white" and a "yellow" basket. Being a beginner I opted for the white, to quickly find out they don't actually exist. Just an empty hole in the ground where a basket likely once was. Really the issue is signage.
Many holes are also awkward to play, more than once you end up playing along the side of a steep hill, which isn't very comfortable to walk.
0 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Almost 2 different course
0 Helpful / 3 Not
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 / 0 Not
Is it Ran-kin or Rank-in?
Pros: Layout - The strengths of Rankin Lake lie in its variety. The front nine is more open and lets you rip some discs, then when you hit the back nine you get more gap hitting woodsy golf. There's also a solid mix of longer/shorter holes that help keep it interesting in spots.
I like the way the course starts off; you get some length and although it's more open there's enough there to make you be accurate while worrying about the OB.
As the front nine goes on a creek comes in to play around some baskets which creates some challenge.
The back nine really switches it up from the get go. It instantly becomes more of a gap hitting style course although there are a few par 4's and OB areas thrown in to make you worry about placement.
There's a few holes on the back where I really enjoyed the line of the fairway because it made you work a disc.
There's some elevation changes on the back that help mix up the course even more; it especially comes in to play on the par 4 #11 which is probably the best hole on the course.
Overall the layout is pretty easy to follow and flows decently. Each nine has its own loop back to the parking lot which is always a plus for me.
Equipment - Concrete pads of solid size. Newer baskets that are in good shape. There's a bathroom and water fountain at the parking lot.
Atmosphere - The lake part of the park is quite nice if you take some time to check it out. The holes by the creek have some eye appeal as well.
Cons: Layout - I had two main problems with this course. The first is that most of it seems a bit crammed in to the available space and is probably being forced in to areas that are used by other park goers on occasions.
The second is that while the front nine starts off good it just gets kind of monotonous and I can say the same for the back nine. By the end of the front nine I was thinking well at least I get to go up on this wooded back section.
The back nine has some good holes but again they seem to play to close to some shelter areas and the park road/back parking lot. You do cross a park road on one hole and I had to pick up and walk off due to some people using that portion of the park.
It's not only a danger factor with this type of thing it just takes away from my possibly enjoyment of the round when I even have to consider such things.
Other than those two main things my other cons would be that there isn't really any one hole that I loved. There's some solid holes, some average ones and a few bad ones but nothing that is memorable.
Equipment - A good many of the tee signs had been vandalized/are missing.
Atmosphere - As previously stated the course wraps around the park road for most of it and you're constantly in areas that are possibly co-used. I could definitely see on nice days there being plenty of people out on the front nine area.
There's also some super wet spots in the fairway by the creek that weren't enjoyable.
Other Thoughts: At the beginning of the round I was thinking this would be my favorite of the two currently open 18 holers in Gastonia. Though by the end I think I like Bradley Center more. There's some fun to be had here and I think it's a solid course but it's just average.
It at least gives people in the area some holes to throw drivers on and in that I think it pairs well with Bradley Center.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: Nice open front half and wooded back half that provide a nice variety of terrain. None of the holes have significant elevation change. I agree with all of Bennybennybenny's pros.
Cons: Mosquitoes, mosquitoes, mosquitoes! I unwillingly made a significant blood donation while playing. Holes 4-8 have marshy fairways that breed hordes of mosquitoes that will swarm you. Hole 5-7 have decent chance of ending up in the creek with #6 crossing the creek without a bridge.
Other Thoughts: Word of warning, if your disc ends up in the creek, keep an eye on it as it will float under a tree that is growing out of the bank. There is quite a cavern under there and the only way to get a disc out is to jump in and start poking with a stick. Quite difficult to fish those out. Bennybennybenny summed this course up perfectly.
1 of 7 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 12 Not
Pros: -Verriety of open and wooded holes.
-Open restrooms in the winter
Cons: -6-8 are very soggy and there is no good place to easily cross the creek
-arrows at the bottom of the basket are not accurate
Other Thoughts: The course is well taken care of. At the bottom of the baskets there are arrows that point to the long and short (gold and white) tee locations for the next hole. These are a great idea but they dont actually point to the next tee in most cases.(it took a while to fine the tee for 10-up the hill and across the road) There is some elevation change however many of the holes go along the hill not up and down. Hole 6 &7 are very soggy and it is quite cumbersome to get to once thrown over the creek. If there were a small foot bridge to cross it would help quite a bit.
1 of 13 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 3 Not
Tricky but fun
Pros: -Rankin just got re-opened and it's in a very nice park. The front nine is open and the back nine is wooded and very tight and a real fun challenge for all players.
-Bridges have been added. Before the course was closed for renovations. There were no bridges.
-Great variety here! There is a great amount of elevation. There's open and wooded. Long and short and etc.
-The course is good for all players. It's very fair and has plenty of ace runs like #1, #4, #7, #12 and #15 you could consider a tricky one. There are also some long ones! #2, #5 and #11 was in long position today. Average length is 304 feet long from what I played today!
-Great green on #14 and #15 on rocks. Very cool.
-On the baskets, there are arrows pointing you to the next tee so you won't get lost although the course is easy to follow and none of the walks to the next holes are long.
-There are teesigns are the course except on 6. It was moved and if you want to know where the basket is, it's to the right side of the tee from about 405 feet and it's close to the road. Remember to the right because you could get confused with #8's basket since it's about the same length from 6's tee to #8's basket.
-It's great that 16 of the holes are the same as they were before. The layout is great.
-There are some teeshots you will remember like #5's since it's the longest and allows you to bomb a nice drive. #8's teeshot under the trees. #9's difficult teeshot witheven more trees and the fairway slopes down left and the road is OB. #12 is a downhill shot but very tricky since it's very narrow and birdie is definitely good since the woods are thick.
-Water isn't too bad out here. It's easy to retrieve your discs since it's not deep at all.
Cons: -Firstly, I must say #6's new design is terrible. It's close to #5's basket and the fairway is very wet. Your teeshot better go to the right and if you hit a tree, you're in trouble and could be in the creek. It was better last year when it was long.
-Not many benches or trashcans on the course. I remember trashcans on your way to #1 and there are a couple benches on #13 but a few more would be good.
-On the back nine, it's really tight and it needs to be cleared out on #12, #15 mainly and #18. A few trees should be chopped down.
-Some holes should be remeasured since #4 is shorter. I think it's about 175" or something. I know #1 isn't 184" feet. It's about 160" and the long position for #11 is more like 550" or something.
-#5's long position green is covered in really tall grass and weeds.
-Erosion is already really bad on #6-8. The rill erosion makes #6 ridiculous, imagine what it will be like in ten years. If you think the erosion is bad enough at Reedy Creek, wait until you see #6's rill erosions.
Other Thoughts: This is my home course and I really like to play here. It's tough but lots of fun and Hamilton is right! it's a do not miss in the Charlotte area because it's fair and unique since there is a lot of variety here. #6 is my main disappointment and #5's long position green is covered in weeds and I really liked that hole. Someone needs to weed eat in there by the time it's fall and snakes wont be around. It's still a great course and I think the G-town club did great with this course.
I don't love this course but it's got some great holes, a couple I didn't list were #12, fun nicely downhill narrow ace run and #11 long is a tight challenging par 5 at only about 540-550 but has an interesting shaped fairway.
Hole by hole
#1 original. A snap! It's open and an easy birdie if you avoid the trees to the right. Great warm up hole.
#1 long. Tougher but it is a par 4. It's past the trees past the original basket and once you are past those trees. You are on the green but stay right cause to the left you could catch a roller.
-#2. Very hard! It's a long par 3 at 409" feet long and on this hole, you need to do your best to stay straight because the road is to the left and right and you can catch a roller to the left and go down to #5's fairway. I bogey this frequently.
-#3 long. This is in long position now and it's a great sidearm throw. This is in the woods and keep your turnover and flick away from the road to the right. Go a bit left.
-#3 original. Downhill and requires a hyzer down the fairway. Basket is close to the road so don't bomb the drive. If you go short, you will high likely be in the trees but it's better than OB.
-#4. Very short ace run that is hard to get through to the right but if you do, you should be very close but it's easier to avoid the trees if you turnover or sidearm.
-#5 original. Long and very open but you need to keep your teeshot low because you tee off under a tree.
-#5. long. Dogleg right that won't be played until the green is cleared out. It's an easy par 5.
-#6. Bad teeshot that you are almost certain to hit a tree if you don't go straight. The fairway is very wet and the tee just needs to be in an open spot. Hyzer is safe.
-#7. It's back to easy and it's straight. Sidearm or RHBH is necessary as long as you avoid the creek.
-#8. Memorable teeshot and I love that it's very open but the teeshot is under trees. Keep it low and throw right.
-#9. Not sure if this is a good design. It's one of the hardest teeshots in Gastonia. Trees are left and right and there is only a small opening to avoid them. Very cool brick tee though.
#10. Dogleg right that does NOT allow a big drive. If you drive it far, you are on #11's fairway and have a very hard approach shot. Keep it short.
#11 long. Not exciting but not a bad hole. It's very wooded and tight once you're past #11 original's basket location. A meteocre throw will cost you.
Original. Wide enough fairway but steep uphill. It's longer than 240" your throw should be pretty powerful.
#12. Downhill but very narrow and the woods are thick. Sometimes, a hammer is the easy way to do it. Same thing on the long tee.
#13. Keep this in mind. This requires a SMALL hyzer but if it's a big one, you are either on the road or on a piece of land which is not OB. Still, very hard and kinda boring.
#14 original. Brilliant design on the rocks and it's pretty easy once you are on the green. It's a little more open than the last few holes.
long. Same thing except it's past the rock and goes even more downhill. Fun teeshot.
#15. Very tight and not an easy teeshot. Do not throw it late if you sidearm or this hole.
#16. Downhill and also a more open. It's an easy par 4 at only 338" feet long. Easy birdie if you are in the fairway.
#16 longer. Not used on this hole yet but it's a fun hole at 435" feet long and the road is OB.
#16 longest. There is a mando pointing you left so you wont land your disc on the roof of the shed close to the basket. Easy par 5.
#17. Very narrow and very challenging. A hammer is a good idea for a meteocre thrower. I can't throw very straight as well.
#18. Okay finishing hole but nothing memorable. It's also narrow and has a mando pointing you right. Same thing on the long tee but it's a par 4.
My score +4. Overall, I don't like all the wooded holes a lot. If the front and back nine were separate, the front would be a 3.5 and back would be a 2.5 It's a 3 overall because there will be sometime #3's original basket is out again which is the best on the front nine. I don't like some holes but the one I like are very cool designs.
-Signature hole would be #14, easily. Sweet downhill shot with the basket on rocks. The road is close, it's to the left.
5 of 8 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.
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.
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