8 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.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Beautiful + Challenging
* Beautiful old redwoods provide a classic Californian background for this course *
* Many holes are tightly wooded, requiring careful shots *
* Soccer field right before first teepad lends itself to a great warm-up practice *
* High difficulty due to tight shots, elevations changes, and a rugged hike *
* The whole course is shaded from the sun *
* Many teepads are too small, also with some scary drop-offs, off of the front of the pads even *
* Almost every hole can be described as "dog leg to the right, basket is out of sight" *
* Course is located on a middle school, not playable during the school hours *
This course is a great course, however needs some upgrades and maintenance. I would like it so much more if there were formal teepads on every hole, instead of the dirt pads with roots popping out of them, knocking you off into steep declines, and breaking your ankle or neck.
Also since there is a ton of shade, and elevation changes, its easy for your disc to fall out of sight, and into some bushy clusters. Keep an eye on that flight at all costs.
7 of 7 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.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Beatiful Course in the Redwoods
Pros: The Santa Cruz Mountains rising up above the central coast are innately beautiful, combining very rugged hills, mountain streams, and giant redwood forests. The communities are quaint and cute in the small town way, with a mountain refuge-like feel. Many organizations have getaway camps in this region, for good reason.
San Lorenzo Valley has several schools bunched together on a very large sprawling property, which includes some rather beautiful redwood forest-covered hills over-looking all the campuses. It is a wonderful thing to be able to install a disc golf course on this property, as it is yet another ideal setting for our sport.
When locals in Santa Cruz say that we have every kind of course and disc golf hole imaginable, we aren't joking. Black Mouse is the rugged, tightly-wooded, technical course of the Santa Cruz area collection of disc golf course. There are simply no holes that having a big arm will help you score better. Throwing with a nice careful clean snap is key. Shot and disc selection are critical Only holes 7 and 11 require more power if you have any hope of getting a deuce, but just getting a 3 on these holes will be satisfaction enough.
The first time you play Black Mouse, you won't know all the routes available, and you might be tempted to start with the impression that this is just a "huck and good luck" kind of course. But it isn't true. There are many interesting routes and lines available on most holes, you just need to play it a few times to learn the ins-and-outs, then choose the one that you can execute best, and that gives you the best risk-reward trade-off.
Cons: The tee pads are indeed irregular in some places, and the dirt pads are often not the greatest to throw from. However, given that the course is not long, you really don't need a run up to throw on any of the holes. If you're concerned about footing, just throw without a run-up, and you'll be fine.
The restriction to non-school hours can be a hassle sometimes, but that's not a bad price to pay for having them let us onto their property in the first place.
Other Thoughts: I printed off a map of the course from the google maps link, and I didn't have any problems finding every hole on the course the first time around. I also found a lot of signs pointing to the next holes. Perhaps these weren't available when some of the earlier reviewers played this course. The course is not crowded, so you won't be able to rely on other groups to help guide you as much as you could at other courses. Come prepared, and you'll be happy. Also helps if you're not in a huge hurry, and take a minute to relax and enjoy the gorgeous redwood stands all around you.
Come out for Sunday morning doubles here if you get the chance. A lot of the pro women players in the region play these dubs, and you can see how regulars choose their routes and score well in this tight course.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 1 Not
The Black Hole Of Black Mouse!
Pros: As it says on the the on-line map, "It's the Maze." That's the way we felt after playing it one very warm August afternoon. Luckily, we arrived just as school was letting out. We found the start of the course easily enough after crossing the soccer field and walking up the stairs into the redwood forrest. The shade was a welcome relief from the August heat wave. The course plays up and down a hillside on a middle school property in the Santa Cruz Mts. The site features many mature redwood trees and lots of thick underbrush. The course is short (most holes are 150' to 250') and very technical in nature. Accuracy not distance is the key here. There are benches to sit on. There are some little white next tee signs. They help some. Being next to a middle school, the regular tee signs have either vanished or been vandalized.
Cons: For us navigation was a real issue. Even with the on-line map, we were stumbling around wasting a lot of time. always having to walk ahead, spotting for each other, sometimes throwing to the wrong basket. Having the wrong numbers on many of the baskets didn't help matters. As previous reviewers have mentioned, the pads aren't great. They're really inconisistent, some are blocks, some are just worn spots, some we just guessed at. Watch for the poison oak.
Other Thoughts: This is really a great little piece of land for a course. The first and most basic thing to do to help us first time players here is to get the correct numbers on the baskets. Now I realize that the constant barrage of gothic middle schoolers dressed in black, pissed at their teachers, parents and everyone else, are going to get their licks in. So every sign that goes in on a course here has to be rock proof or boot proof. It has to be mounted high enough up in the tree so that the little bastards can't get to it. Maybe get a local HS kid to make the tee signs out of strong metal in his metal shop class. I've seen them recently at a new Washington course. They're not the prettiest but they're virtually indestructible.
To the local disc club-Good Luck in this war against the local Youth Natzis! Fight the Good Fight! This course is worth it. I know I'd really enjoy playing this course if I had only known where in the hell in the Santa Cruz Mountains I Was and where the baskets were.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 4 Not
Hard to Review
Pros: Not much to add. I agree with most of the "Pros" already listed here.
Cons: Very difficult to navigate even with a map.
Actually it wasn't too difficult to find each tee with the map.
My gripe is about the holes themselves. There are so many "hidden" baskets that even after you find the tee you have only a general idea where you need to throw. I think on 7 of the first 9 holes I had to walk at least half way down the hole to spy the pin and then back to the tee.
This course is hilly and wooded (beautiful location) so walking each hole 1.5 to 2 times got to be a drag.
Obviously playing with a local would have helped but if you are there solo you're screwed.
I know how difficult it is to acquire and maintain decent tee signs so I can't find fault in that.
I would suggest that some enterprising local (like the guy who took the time to print out the white rat/black mouse helpful hints fliers) to put out a more detailed map including more specific pin locations.
2 of 6 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.
9 Helpful / 3 Not
Great Course, Tons of Fun
Pros: -Beautiful course in the redwoods of the Santa Cruz mountains
-Great variety of shots required
-Tight & Technical course that requires accuracy
-Elevation used to great effect on a number of holes
-Benches on most holes
-Good flow (although a little tricky), "Next Tee" signs are very helpful
Cons: -Some Tee Pads are a little small for my taste, esp. for some of the required shots
-Tee Signs that exist are poor
-The numbering on the baskets is often wrong
Other Thoughts: An extremely fun course in a heavily wooded area near Santa Cruz. It's so secluded you can't even see it from the middle school its located directly behind. A map should definitely be brought and I would suggest playing with others. A disc that defects off of one of these trees could always use another set of eyes. An awesome place to play in the heat of the summer as nearly the whole course is shaded by the trees.
A must play, along with Delaveaga, if in the Santa Cruz area. Probably the most fun I've had playing disc golf on both occasions I've been there.
9 of 12 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 4 Not
great fun course
Pros: fun, tightly wound course ,some new locations on 3 baskets, locals play more than 18 holes,recently the course has been cleaned up
Cons: none really, except , no play during school hours
Other Thoughts: no guide needed, easy navigation ,small signs great fun shaded course
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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