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.
13 Helpful / 1 Not
Two Courses In One!
Pros: The front nine is kind of a typical city park course, fairly open, with two long holes, #'s 5 & 6, which are both over 600 ft.. But they're are both made more difficult by semi-tight fairways with big rough on the left. The front nine has great signs, which are locked into little boxes and can easily replaced if vandalized. There is a nice little 188 downhill ACE run. A hole or two plays on a steep hillside which could produce some big time rollaways. The back nine is mostly technical through the woods. There are no signs yet on this nine so you are guessing the distance. The back nine has a couple of interesting basket positions. # 13 has an elevated basket. IMO, the signature hole is # 14 with it's basket protected by some huge boulders. But the most interesting thing about this hole is the large, flat rock (about 1 yard square) which sets 10 feet in front of the basket. I could see a shot skipping off this flat rock into the basket. It's an all-time classic ACE or birdie shot just waiting to happen. Locals must have a name for this. The Rankin Lake Ricochet or something.
Cons: Tee signs on the back nine would be great. Now that I have read all the other reviews talking about the homosexual activity going on in this park, I did see these two guys parked down in the lot and wondered what the hell they were doing. Funny, at the time I thought, "That's kinda gay looking."
Other Thoughts: I enjoyed this course and it's variety of holes. I think it's a recreational/intermediate level course. I don't see advanced to pros loving it. But for the rest of us, stop by and enjoy it. Just watch out for those dudes in the cars!
13 of 14 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.
7 Helpful / 10 Not
B = Better Than Average
Pros: What I personally like and how this course stacks up:
1) Holes with good risk/reward -- A (This is the biggest strength - bad decisions and bad throws are usually punished severely but fairly with 1-2 strokes added penalty for your sin.)
2) Holes that have rewarding birdie opportunities -- C (Most of the holes are all either too short to make them exciting or too long to make birdies possible for me. I loose accuracy over 300')
3) More wooded than open - lots of variety of shots required caused by hole shape and topography -- B (The shapes of the holes are nothing special, but the use of the topography is excellent.)
4) Natural beauty (Appalachian beauty preferred) and seclusion -- C (While there are a few nice spots to breathe in some beauty, a lot of the course has a scraggly and/or run/down feel. And only a few holes are secluded.)
5) Bonus amount for multi-shot holes with defined landing zones, good risk/reward and multiple options to play them -- C (the few multi-throw holes that are there are just longer....not much risk/reward or "strategery" added.)
Other Thoughts: It's all about feeding the addiction, so I ranked this course subjectively based on my own "personal addiction factor". The grades above tell how well the course will draw me back to itself again and again and again. Since I have played a decent number of courses (115 18-hole, 50 9-hole as of early 2009), my hope is that players/explorers who have similar addiction tastes will find my ratings list helpful as they choose courses to play and explore.
I fully expect others with different tastes/philosophies to disagree with me....that's the fun of things here. See my profile for my rating philosophy.
7 of 17 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.
15 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: This course has almost everything. long holes, short holes, open holes, tight holes, OB you cant go over and OB you must go over, as well as every line you can think of.
Allows and almost forces a veriety of different shots (backhand, sidearm, rollers, overhand, etc)
The front nine is beautiful, open, OB laiden, and can set you up for a great round or make you want to go home.
The back nine is wooded and makes any golfer pay for his/her mistakes, but still allows for a some birdie chances.
The course continues to improve with more alternate pin placements and tee pads.
There is a nice "clubhouse" near hole 1 which sets up perfect for tournements or parties. building is almost always open for a quick restroom or water break
There are no long walks between holes and the course is very easy to navigate.
Cons: Tee signs on the front nine are wonderful but need to be updated for the alt positions.
Back nine doesnt have tee signs which is unbelievable with all the work that they have done.
Other Thoughts: Rankin Lake is already a must play course amd the current expansion is only going to make it better.
They have placed large rocks at many of the tee pads as benches.
There is a kiosk going up at hole1 soon and the tee signs for the back nine will follow shortly after.
There are now even more alt pin locations as well as new concrete pads for 12 and 18
GDGC put on a great Ice Bowl and the park looked great
15 of 18 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 1 Not
Excellent & Underrated.
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 great 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.
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.
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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