Home to the USDGC every fall and a plethora of other events throughout the year, Winthrop Gold has earned itself a major reputation across the nation. It’s the kind of course that can make or break you mentally, and many championships have been determined by only just a few holes on this expansive course.
Set around the campus at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina, it features a variety of elevation, terrain, and during USDGC, more OB than one would see in their worst nightmares.
The Basics Of The Course
Designed by Harold Duvall in 1992, the course offers concrete tee pads and DISCatcher baskets that are often times placed in some precarious positions. Whether it’s needing to avoid large rocks on hole 1 or adhering to demanding mandos, placing your drive well on hole 17’s island or battling for the win on hole 18, the layout was installed to challenge the top players of the world.
The USDGC layout measures in just around 10,000 feet but other variations can be almost half of that in length. Locals have tapped into the course’s ability to be versatile, and as long as you bring your A game, you should be just fine.
Winthrop Gold blends a nice mix of wooded and open holes, requiring you to bring a variety of discs and a fine-tuned skill set that’s ready to throw max distance at times and tight and technical shots at others. Playing around the lake on campus, it’s a layout that’s as difficult as it is beautiful.
Bragging Rights Galore
Some of the sport’s biggest names have taken home victories at Winthrop Gold, and as the competition increases each year so do the payouts. In 2017, we saw Nate Sexton take home his first USDGC win after a well-fought battle, earning him a $12,000 paycheck.
Jeremy Koling was victorious in 2016, and the prior year saw none other than Paul McBeth take home first place. The course is unforgiving, and even if someone is running away with the lead, you can never count anyone out until you reach the final several holes. Several years have resulted in a playoff, and the largest margin of success to date was by none other than Ken Climo himself in 1999, winning by 15 strokes.
The course is truly a legend as it’s been the home to this prestigious event since 1999. Designer Harold Duvall, along with Dave Dunipace and Jonathan Poole, aimed to create a layout that would challenge everyone in attendance, and we’d say they surpassed their goal. When you combine water hazards, elevated baskets, narrow fairways, and what seems like more and more OB each year, the USDGC is a highly anticipated event each tour season.
If you visit Winthrop Gold during any time of the year other than October, you won’t have the same experience that competitors have, simply because of the temporary nature of the USDGC specific layout. However, the property still boasts an incredible layout of 18 holes that allows you to literally feel the championship spirit in the air.