5 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!
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
A little gem in the woods.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
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.
8 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.
8 of 8 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.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Wonderful Redwoods Golf!
Pros: -In the redwoods
-Good variety of short holes
-In the redwoods
-Surprisingly easy to navigate with a map (The GOOGLE map linked here, not the other one)
-Fantastic seclusion from the world
-In the redwoods
Cons: -No big-arm shots
-Very little signage (only a few on tees and none provided accurate info)
-Restricted playing times
-More than enough blinds, but the course is short so they usually require only a short walk
Other Thoughts: Black Mouse plays along a heavily wooded hillside behind a Middle School. The redwoods tower above the holes while smaller trees grow closer to the bottom of the course, and ground cover varies from beautiful green ferns to bare, spongy dirt. Some of the trees were much taller than the holes were long. For me, this is heaven.
The course is very tight, both in the design of the holes and the course itself; the 18 holes cover a surprisingly small area. With a map, though, we had no issue navigating. There was always a trail that headed precisely in the direction the map told us to.
Upon arriving at the top of the stairs, you are immediately greeted with the first tee, which plays uphill into the forest. You end up near the school a couple of times in the first few holes, but after hole 7 its just you and the woods. Hole 6 is a wonderful downhill hole, narrow, steep, and scenic.
Hole 7 appeared to us to have three tee pads. No other holes had obvious multiple tees, but this one did. Perhaps this is one of those 'confusing' parts of the course, but we were pretty easily able to figure it out.
The back half of the course is really just a peaceful, secluded experience in the woods. Voices echo, the sun is hidden, and everything maintains a universal calm. A deer grazing right off the course fit right into the scene. Places with multiple trails usually had signs indicating 'next tee,' and we never spent more than a minute figuring out where the next hole is (except for the three tee's on 7). Other groups in the area could be heard but not always seen. All the while, you are...oh yeah... playing disc!
The final 5 holes or so play in the same general region, following more or less a back and forward pattern working its way downhill. These were by far the most 'typical' golf holes, with no extreme elevation or crazy tree riddled fairways. 18 itself is a short right turning dogleg (as are quite a few holes here), but down a steep hill. It ends within feet of hole 1, begging you to go for a 2nd round.
This is a course I will make some time for every time I am in the Santa Cruz area. While DeLaveaga is the obvious destination course, and even has a couple holes sort of like the ones at Black Mouse, there is just a really really cool solitary vibe up here that can't be had anywhere south. The big arms may complain that they can't open up, and the ultra-beginners may find some 'un-fairways,' however after a round here, it's hard to leave without a big smile on your face and a little bit of peace of mind.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Black Mouse might not be a fantastic championship caliber course like some of its nearby brothers, but it certainly is a Funtastic challenge through tight woods and great elevation. Along with this Funtastic rating, the course also caters to a wide variety of skill levels. Newer players will find several uber short holes where they can find some birdies and harder holes where they'll have to hit safe landing zones. More skilled players are going to have to throw accurately through some tightly wooded fairways and probably have to make a good save or two for a clean round.
Terrain and variety: Most of the holes here are moderately to tightly wooded and shortish so players won't really have too much opportunity to air out big drives but everyone will be required to throw a variety of shots off the tee. Several downhill holes require keen distance control on putter/midrange shots and several uphill holes complement this nicely with demands on accuracy and power. All types of twists and turns will have players reaching for backhands, sidearms, and perhaps a tomahawk or thumber to achieve maximum opportunities for birdies.
Natural beauty: This course really feels like a quiet walk in the woods even though you are just a few hundred feet from a large playfield and several residences. There are points which are quite serene and beautiful, especially when bumping up against a few old giants of the forest - huge tree trunks that must be very old indeed.
Cons: Distance/Challenge: The Black Mouse needs just a bit more evilness if you ask me. Many holes require only a long putter or midrange and there aren't really any true multiple shot holes although the potential is certainly there for a few bigger holes. If I had my way, I'd likely cut down on the total number of holes (a violation of the 'magic number', 18) and put in a couple of bigger par four holes to complement the variety of par threes already available.
Navigation: For the most part, it isn't that hard to find your way around but near the end, the course plays back and forth over a small side hill where the holes aren't numbered all that well. There isn't much signage here, or through the rest of the course, but this is the section that seemed particularly challenging to navigate and we had to back track more than once to make sure we found all of the holes.
Other Thoughts: Black Mouse has one of the best methods of raising course funds that I've ever seen - players have outfitted an old metal blocker post with a small hole and locking hinge that you can drop a few bucks in to help support the course. Of course we dropped a few dollars in before the round and after playing, felt compelled to clean out the rest of the change from our disc golf bags as a testament to the fun we had playing the course. Really this course aims to please a wide range of skill levels from somewhat new players who will find a great challenge to veterans who will rack up bunches of birdies but will have to throw good shots to do so.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Beautiful redwood grove that this course is in provides shade and cool from the summer heat
- On the grounds of a School so Kids get exposed to the sport
- Tight and technical course with lots of good lines through the woods. Requires accuracy not distance.
- Short distances around the course help even out rounds betwen big armed throwers and people who can't get it over 300'
- Benches around the course
- Holes vary from straight ahead to hyzer and even anhyzer shots.
- Lots of elevation change providing up hills, down hills and side hills
- Well manicured fairways with alot of the underbrush taken out
- Small next white tee signs around course help with flow
- Easy to find course, close to highway 9
- Close to De LaVeaga
Cons: - No real "grip it and rip it" holes, most are around 200-250
- Can be hard to find your way around the first time, even with a map
- Tee pads are sometimes shorter than I would like, but you usualy don't need a run up.
- You can only play after school hours
- Baskets are tucked up behind trees and you will often have to walk up the hole to see where the basket is
- Some poison oak and blackberrys off the fairway
- Numbering is wrong on some baskets
- On school grounds so no drinking / smoking
Other Thoughts: Just minutes off of Highway 9 lies the beautiful little 18 hole course known as Black Mouse. Located in the redwoods next to the local school this course is perfect to take beginers and pros to. Elevation comes into play constantly on the course and you need to keep your accuracy in check. Your better off here if you can throw 200-250' accuratly than if you can throw 500' in an open field. The redwoods provide shade and cool from the summer heat, as well as reminding me of home (my home course is The Redwood Curtain). Signs around the course are prety trashed, but you have to expect this when it's on the grounds of a school. I was lucky and had a guide when I was finding my way around, he made sure to point out to me that there were these little white next tee signs around the course. Keep a lookout for them. Definatly worth a visit if your traveling through. If your there on a weekend play it as a warm up to DeLa, on a weekday it makes a good cool down round.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Black Mouse DGC
Minutes from Highway 9, Black Mouse DGC is located on a middle school property in Felton, a quaint little town located in the Santa Cruz Mountains. This beautiful 18 hole course is overwhelming in both challenge and scenery, with tight fairways and massive Redwoods. The course plays along the hillside behind the school, where elevation constantly comes in to play. The course shows no bias, with doglegs and straight on shots alike, players will be forced to show much accuracy if they want to shoot well.
The flow to this course seemed to transition well, and fairways were well defined and manicured. The course was also clean of litter even though it is heavily used by locals, with benches on nearly every hole and garbage cans near the entrance. However, it can become congested at times due to players looking for lost discs, so if you're there on a busy day don't expect to play the course quickly. The layout though was well designed, weaving well through the woods, making the front nine technical but more spaced out than the back. Although this is a fairly short course with most holes between 125-250 feet, plan to bring water and hiking shoes because the course plays on a slope and can be strenuous at times. Fortunately, there is a lot of shade and is the perfect place to be on hot summer days.
Course navigation can be an issue at times,
but fortunately there are several little "next tee" signs on the ground after each hole, so look down! I had little issue finding hole #9 due to the advice from all the other reviews, but still had trouble some on the back nine, especially locating tee #13. Printing off a map will be a must for first time players, cause without it I might have never made it.
Although the fairways are well defined on this course, I can imagine that deflections can be quite harsh at times, so keeping an eye on your disc will be crucial throughout the entire round! The ground is quite thick off the beaten path and poison oak grows wild in certain areas so long pants might be a good idea.
Because many of the tee signs on this course have been vandalized or are gone altogether, it was difficult to locate a few tee signs and pins. With all the growth off the fairways, many times I had to walk the hole in order to see where to throw. Once played enough times, I know navigation and locations are no longer an issue but first timers just beware. The basket numbers are off too, which is a little frustrating.
This is yet another example of a well designed course in the beautiful Santa Cruz area. The local club and volunteers have done a great job getting this course in the ground and maintaining it. I had a wonderful time there with my wife, and felt privileged to finally get the chance to play in Felton. It is about 15 minutes from the beach, and has a lot of great food nearby. If given the chance, Black Mouse, De LaVeaga, and Aptos are all a must! They all bring a little something different, but will all be challenging and scenic. I was very impressed with the whole area and glad I made the time to visit.
Also, please donate to the course fund!
Doubles on Sundays at 9:30
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Short, technical course with all kinds of shots required.I played it with my 5 year old and had a blast.Great setting in a redwood forest, nice and cool under the trees.
Cons: Trees, trees and more trees, it makes up the character of the course but its tight. A little poison oak, but not to bad. Hard to navigate, easy once you know but with out a map or someone whos played it before you might get confused.
Other Thoughts: Had a lot of fun out there and will be going back for sure. We played on a sat afternoon and there was only 1 guy coming off of 18 and as we finished there was a 3some teeing off. Great short course, put my stingray to the test.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: A cool Red Woods course not to far from Dela.
Great Topography. Not a huge course but lots of cool shots.
Cons: Where in the world are holes 3-5????
Other Thoughts: Now that is some California Dreamin'.
Easy course that would be a great warm up for a Dela round
1 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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