4 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!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
A little gem in the woods.
2 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.
2 of 2 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.
Quality course with stunning beauty
5 Helpful / 1 Not
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.
FUN in the woods
7 Helpful / 0 Not
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.
7 of 7 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.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Among the Redwoods
Pros: Cool atmosphere-Redwoods everywhere. There was a good mix of mostly mid-range caliber type of shots and a couple longer drives. This was a fun and challenging course that would be suitable for beginners.
Cons: I thought the navigation was ok; I started on 17 by accident. Also, only a few tees had signs available and info was incorrect. For the locals: due to the location, this course is open later in the day during the week (open all weekend).
Other Thoughts: This course came as a recommendation from a local after I had finished up a course nearby. I'm glad I went here. The forest was very cool and I had not played in that kind of surrounding before. Although, the course had many blind shots, I actually enjoyed this technical-challenging aspect of the course. But, I wouldn't mind seeing 1-2 longer hole positions.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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.
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