Hidden GEM up in Santa Cruz!!!
Pros: Very unique wooded course!
We got a bit lost looking for it, but I recommend you take Highway 9 and make a left past San Lorenzo Elementary School on El Solyo Heights Dr and an immediate left on Hacienda Way. The parking lot is unmarked, but you will probably see cars with Disc Golf stickers on their windows.
Walk up towards the soccer field and towards the back part of the left goal posts. Can't miss it.
The course is definitely unique. 5 of us played and were having a blast navigating and just looking up at the massive Redwoods. We did manage to get lost and be unable to find baskets without taking a hike up and down, but there were groups behind us helping out.
BANANA SLUGS EVERYWHERE! What a unique and beautiful creature. They are hanging out on the ground in Poison Oak and on trees. Look for a bright yellow banana. If you pick one up, kiss it for good luck and gently place it back where it came from.
It was raining that week and the ground was damp and wet looking, but our discs and bags didn't get all muddy and dirty like they would on a course like DeLa where a towel is a must. That was strange.
The distances are deceptively short, but the trees and hanging branches make every hole almost a luck shot. If I go back I am only bringing a putter, stable midrange, flippy midrange and something like a Outlaw for forehand drives. Rollaways are almost non existent compared to DeLa.
Leave your stools at home. There are plenty of cut down trees and stuff to sit on. Just watch out for Poison Oak.
Even with it's short layout this course will test all your shots. Backhand, forehand, Tomahawks, Thumbers even Turbo Putts will be needed!
Cons: Poison Oak everywhere.
Signage isn't extremely clear as to where to go.
Half of the Tees aren't paved, so you half to guess where they are.
Some baskets are super close to Tee boxes so there will be backups on the course.
No smoking and drinking allowed.
The disc golf is so much fun that you have to stop and smell the roses! Seriously, ENJOY THE VIEWS! It's beautiful out there!
There are sings pointing to the next Tee box, but they aren't super reliable so bring a map on your phone just to make sure.
Other Thoughts: It'll never host a major tourney, it won't get a ton of players due to it's rural location, the Poison Oak will piss off some others who come into contact with it, but it's a hidden gem and you need to play it for a good time.
Very fun, secluded
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: I really enjoy this course. Love the trees (great rain course), nice technical shots within redwoods. My first ace was here
Cons: A bit out of the way for me to get there now but that's part of its charm t oo.
Other Thoughts: used to play here a lot as an alternative to the busy DeLa but I movec north and havent played in many years. I hope its as fun as it used to be.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Probably my favorite course. The location is worth it alone. Seated in a redwood forest next to a school, Black Mouse has short, technical holes with plenty of tight tees and trees to turn an easy birdie to a double bogey.
Cons: The course is poorly marked, like almost not at all. If you are going for the first time I hope you are going with someone who's played it before or you might get a little lost.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Black mouse is a wonderfully hilly and tightly wooded course located on the San Lorenzo Valley Middle School grounds. After walking across the field and on to hole one you get to see the very ingenious course donation bin with the black mouse drawing on it.
This course requires accuracy on tight but short lines through the trees and challenges just about anyone attempting the course. I can see scores from 2-6 or more depending on a bad tree kick, roll away or some other disaster through out the hole.
Climbing up and down the hills here isn't too bad as there is a nice canopy of red wood trees keeping plenty of shade through out the area. Also I believe just about every tee pad was accompanied by a shady bench.
Cons: This course differs from the local area courses in that it is quite short and has tight woods which means if you are a long bomber this might not be your cup of tee.
I was lucky enough to play with people who have played the course numerous times and knew where to go but I could see that navigation could be an issue especially if you are walking up the wrong hill just to walk back down and try again. There were also a few blind basket locations that you will have to do some recon on and walk up and find them before you throw.
Tee pads (I use that term loosely) are mostly dug out dirt pads with roots in them or nearby. Not that you need to do a huge run up here but the pads are all very short and being a big man myself with a large stride I had problems, heck my size 15's barely fit on some of these!
The course is located on the school grounds which makes the course all but unplayable on the weekdays except after school hours which is kind of bummer for people like me who like to rise early and play 7 am rounds on the weekday.
Other Thoughts: This is a very fun course for just about everyone and actually reminds me of one of my home courses in Washington called Lake Stevens DGC. Being from out of town and only playing bomber courses until this point I really liked something that reminded me of home and challenged my putter game. I wish I had gone to a middle school with a Disc Golf course on it especially one this fun would have made recess an even bigger blast!
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
A little gem in the woods.
Pros: The Monterey/Santa Cruz area is a mecca for Disc Golf. Black Mouse fits in to the set of local courses. Being shorter and very tightly wooded it stands as a nice counterpoint to the nearby Delaveaga.
The entire course is built in a grove of 200' tall redwoods on a fairly steep hillside. Nearly all the shots are blind ones between 150' and 200' in distance. Elevation comes into play on every shot and nearly every shot will require you to hit a tight window. Definitely a control course. Power doesn't really matter as much here. I don't have a lot of power and I threw a putter, midrange or fairway driver on nearly every shot. The Destroyer only came out for one hole.
There are plenty of birdies to be had here. If you hit the right window and your drive doesn't roll you will be in good position to birdie on just about every hole. Oh but if you hit the first tree you will be fighting to get a 4.
Roughly 10 or 11 of the 18 are right doglegs so there's a bit of a Lefty/Flick bias here. If you're a righty and don't have a flick you can use this tool to really tune your turnover game or pick up the flick. Buy a Firebird and come give it a try. Having a thumber and/or tomahawk opens up a lot of routes as well, since it's short you have a lot of options if you can hit a window.
Friendly locals. I came alone and met up with guys that I enjoyed playing three rounds with.
Cons: Poison Oak.
Restricted hours on weekdays due to the adjacent school.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 5 Not
Black Mouse fun
Pros: Technical, unique holes, secluded in the redwoods. It is a beautiful course in the forsest
Cons: can be easy to use discs, some starting pads are dirt. This course is hard to find if you do not know where it is prior to going.
0 of 5 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Quality course with stunning beauty
Pros: -Oasis in the redwood forest
-Very challenging shots
-Not busy, feels like you're the only ones there
-Nature at it's best
-Wide variety, makes you it your lines
Cons: -Can be difficult to find your way around
-Signage could be better
-On High School property so no "extra curricular" activities
-Good walk to get to the first tee
-Some holes are blind which can be tough since this is pretty thick woods.
Other Thoughts: -This is one of the most beautiful courses in the greater Bay Area. Redwoods are gorgeous!
-Even on very hot days it's cool and refreshing.
-A MUST play if in the area.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
FUN in the woods
Pros: + WOODED and hilly
+ Every shot must be clean and tight, or very lucky
+ No better place to work on your mid/short game. The most technical course around here. Variety of left and right finishing, up and down finishing holes.
+ Awesome hike up and down and up and down a redwood forest mountain
+ Almost no crowds
+ Friendly golfers
+ No need to bring your bag
+ Can easily play two or more rounds back to back
Cons: - WOODED and hilly
- No long holes...
- ...So no chance to really let anything soar
- At least half the tee pads are dirt (but redwood dirt that doesn't get as muddy, and you don't need run-ups anyway)
- Functionally no signage
- Roll-aways, especially frustrating on blind shots
- Tough on first-timers without a guide
- Standard Central-Coast PO
- Some funky baskets
Other Thoughts: Since I moved to Felton, this has shifted to my home course. I've played probably 3 rounds a week each of the last 6 weeks, and I've almost entirely stopped coming out of the mountains anymore.
My first two experiences at B Mouse (about 8 and 1 years ago) weren't positive as I spent too much time trying to find my way around. There are now "next tee" signs (keep an eye out for these) which help, but it can still be pretty rough. The google map does a decent job though, just subtract two from every hole number. This time around, I was guided by someone I met at the course. Since then, I've done the same for two others.
This course is WOODED. Seriously. Leave your DX/D plastic at home. This isn't the place to work on your drives (though I now drive my Buzzz far more often on other courses), but this course will help the rest of your game in an unparalleled way. You will need every shot in your bag except your big arm bomb. I do pack a driver for the uphill FH hyzer on 9, but honestly, you would be fine with your favorite mid and a putter, assuming these are your most accurate discs. If they aren't, YOU NEED THIS COURSE. Provided you can throw 250', hyzer and anhyzer, all that stands between you and a birdie on every hole is missing the trees, which you won't do at least once. When you do hit these trees, know that there are a few holes that can allow your disc to carry a long way down the mountain, either in the air or in a roll. This is made even worse by the few of these that are blind shots at fast fairways/greens. I threw my favorite Buzzz on #3 a couple days ago and thought I parked it. Instead, my disc vanished.
It's not a long hike, but it's steep in parts. Pack your water.
I don't know how to say this last part best, but, it's just a fun course. So fun. Everyone who plays it (with someone who knows their way around) loves it. Pure disc golfing. No pretention, none of the DeLa crowds, just fun disc golf. You'll leave with a smile on your face.
The lack of proper tees, non-uniform pins, poor/non-existent signage, etc, hurt this course's rating in those areas. The beautiful forest, the variety of shots required, and complete FUN of this course max out those portions of the rating. So, what rating to go with? I suppose it depends on what's important to you whether this course gets a 2.5 or a 4.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Challenging technical shots, lots of hiking included in layout, uphill & downhill holes.
Cons: Poison oak, lots of hiking included in layout, lack of signage, dirt tees (less than half), very short holes.
Other Thoughts: Lost a disc, darn!
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Course layout change
Pros: - Cool wooded course, beautiful hike
- A good variety of technical shots
- Mild elevation changes, both up and down
- Some fun blind shots (spotter is always helpful)
- Not too big a risk of losing discs
Cons: - The course has been revised to start at hole #3, and then finish at hole #2. Not all the baskets and tee pads have been renumbered yet, so the course is a little tricky to navigate. I posted a revised map that hopefully will help a bit.
- If you overdrive #4 (old #6) then kiss your disc goodbye into the fenced off area (lost my first disc here)
- Poison Oak
- No real big drives
Other Thoughts: When we were there Hole #14 (old #16) was being repaired, so if there's no basket present, play tee pad #15 (old #17) down to basket #17 (old #1). Then just go back up and play 15 again to it's normal basket.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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