Winthrop University, Rock Hill, South Carolina

Sheer Heart Attack 8/10 for the (New) Gold Layout. Probably a 5 for the regular
Click those heels! 8 for (New) Gold, 6 for regular

When I'm talking about the course, I'm talking about the gold layout and, in particular, the one used at the 1999 US Open, err, Disc Golf Championships.

In my quick tally through the holes, I come up with 5 legitimate multi-shot holes (3, 8, 12, 13, 16) and 2 more (11, 18) that probably are, too. They all make you think about where you want to land your shot and they'll all punish you if you make a mistake.  Of those, 8's the best.  It's over 1000 feet with an OB lake on the left and trees and an OB road on the right.  The fairway starts out pretty wide but narrows as you get nearer the hole, which is to the left.  So, at some point on the hole you begin having the choice of going across the lake to the basket or playing another shot along the side of it to setup a safer approach shot.  It's a tough 4, and an extremely difficult 3 (I watched Stokeley put his 2nd shot 25 feet from the pin but wasn't there to see him miss the putt...).  

While that's the best hole, there are 5 or 6 that are almost as good.  Well worth playing.  I definitely have more to say, but instead I'm going outside to putt.

This is almost certainly my favorite course.

There are bathrooms in the building by hole 1, but I don't know if it's open all the time, I'd guess it's not.  There are also bathrooms between 14 and 15.

It's an easy course to find your way around, I guess. The only thing is (if I'm remembering right, here) there aren't any tee signs so everything's flat on the ground, which can make finding a tee non-automatic.  The tees themselves are good.

There's plenty of food on the road that takes you to Winthrop.

No undergrowth to speak of, but lots and lots of water.  The lake comes into play on 8, 9, 10, 16, 17, and 18.  I've played very few rounds where I didn't put at least one disc in the water, mainly because to go with that lake there's usually lots of wind.  Sam pulls lots of discs out with his little retriever dohicky, but if you put it in, it's probably not coming out for a while.

I believe there's a little sporting goods store on the left (going from Winthrop towards the interstate) that sells discs, but what do I know?


Just got back from the US Open, this course is vastly improved over what it was a year ago.  There were artificial ponds (read:  roped off areas) that sounded terrible to me when I first heard about them but turned out to be excellent added on several holes, most notably 12 and 13.  The simple addition of those areas turned 13 from boring into good.  I think they should be tweaked a bit more, still, to make the first shot around the corner tougher, perhaps by lengthening the first one on the left and bringing it farther back towards the corner.  Anyway, the basket for 9 was moved down to the lake's edge and hole 17 was made into an island hole.  18 was moved farther away and tucked down into the woods on the left, which is very cool.  Thing is, there's really only one crappy hole left (#10) and I like all the changes that were made.  

Oh, I stuck a bunch of discs into the lake for safe keeping so if I ever find myself in Rock Hill without my bag I can just drop by the course, take a quick dip and come out with my toys.  It's important to plan ahead.

Todd also contributed to the lake's rising surface level with the timely insertion of (I believe) 10 (!!) discs in 3 rounds.  Todd and hole 17 didn't get along despite his assurances that it's an easy thumber shot.  If you see a duck with an indention on his hind-side that looks remarkably like the edge of a banshee, give it Todd's warmest greetings.

This is sort of a strange course for me. First off, we've camped on it. No, I mean _on_ it. Which was pretty nice of the Winthrop security guys, I think. Second, it's really extremely well maintained (at least when _I_ was there, which was during a tournament [to be fair]). Third, even though the lake is supremely nasty, it was a lot of fun to flail around in it looking for discs and the guy with one arm whose name I forget was just really friendly and nice helping us with his disc retriever [editor's note: Sam].

All of which is to say I think I like everything about the course except the course itself.

With that said, I do like it, just nowhere near as much as I feel I should. When I'm there I get the feeling that I'm in a very special place in the world of disc golf and I expect a very special course to go with it.

Anyway, the lake comes into play a lot and there're some nasty winds and I enjoy that. I like the really long tunnel hole as well as the doubled hole...  

I'd love to have someone convince me that this course rocks... if you feel like trying,

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