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.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
A Slice of Redwood Fun
Course is easy to find
Warm-up area on the soccer field
Baskets are in good shape
Difficult to navigate
Tee pads are hit and miss. Some are paved and/or defined. Some you'll have to look for posts, sticks, or worn areas to figure out where they are.
LOTS of Poison Oak, particularly on the front side
Very criss-crossy. Might not be an issue depending on the course congestion which wasn't bad on a Saturday afternoon.
Restrooms were all closed when I was there. Not sure if it's like that all the time, but you have been warned. There was a water fountain though that I used to wash up.
Your best friends on this course are the little white 8" square signs on the ground telling you where the next tee is. Be on the lookout.
Even so, a map is a MUST. Even with the maps, you're going to have trouble so definitely look ahead for baskets and tees. Speaking of which
When I was there, basket #1 had been moved to the far left.
I'm not completely sure but there might be mandos on 3 and 4.
Don't go long on 6. Something tells me going over that fence sucks.
Yes, 9 tee pad is past 10. Keep walking.
It seems that 13's tee pad is actually to the left of #12 basket, where 14A was? I never found a pad to the right as shown on the map, but that doesn't mean it's not there.
A spotter is not a bad idea, although not quite required. I suppose it depends on how tree-wacky your game is.
Throw short accurate shots. None of the baskets are as far as you think, and they're very frequently tucked into a tight grove of trees.
Lastly, a lot of baskets are misnumbered so don't trust that.
Pack out your trash people! I picked up as much as I could but there was still a fair bit left.
Donate to the course in the collection pole by the entrance.
So if you're a player that needs to work on threading a needle with a disc from 150-200', this course is for you. While you'll probably never throw full power on this course, it will have no bearing on your score. This is a very tightly wooded course that if you succeed in not hitting a tree will set you up nice for a birdie shot, but if you even nick one, you will likely be walking away with bogey. Baskets frequently only have 1 or 2 attack angles so missing the fairway is not a good idea. But here's the good news. It's beautiful in there! I actually stopped to take pictures in a couple spots because of how nice the trees are. And you're going to need a little peace because trying to find the next tee box is some kind of cruel experiment. It's a repeated exercise of 'find the little white sign and look for a flat area with scuff marks'. And then, you very likely can't see the basket. You'll have to walk ahead and find it and then figure out the best path to get there. But once you do all that, you do get rewarded with a challenging risk/reward shot.
Bottom Line: Despite the lackluster course conditions and frustrating navigation, this is a great course for working on your game. While short, it has a variety of shot shapes that demand precision and are fair in the risk/reward arena. Advanced players might decimate this course, but I, as a beginner/intermediate player, found it enjoyable and helpful. With a few improvements and a hostile takeover of the Poison Oak Posse, this course could really shine.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
totally under-rated bad ass course
Pros: Located in the Santa Cruz Mountains for starters. very secluded. beautiful scenery. long and short shots. pretty technical course. plenty of parking. never crowded. lots of shade (sometimes too much if you go too late) nice "hang out" areas throughout course. the donation box is cool. at least a few opportunities for an ace.
Cons: on school grounds. no smoking/drinking. trees galore. gets dark rather quick due to many tall trees. extremely hilly during a few areas of the course. only open after school hours. no restrooms. long walk to the first tee from parking lot. not a tee pad on every hole. also, you must walk from basket #8, past tee #10 (its weird) to get to tee #9.
Other Thoughts: lots of up n down walking. not so good for beginners except for the last 5 or 6 holes. dont throw your favorite discs there... use mid-ranges or putters... i only threw my driver on 1, 2, 6, 18 and maybe a couple others. i got a birdie on 4 holes in a row- i think 14,15,16 and 17. this is a very cool under-rated course. they finally (recently) added a few new benches and small tee signs guiding you through the confusing course... all they need are a few new tee pads and its on!!! its a MUST PLAY if anywhere near the area.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Birth of a Disc Golfer
Pros: Addicting, almost every basket begs for an ace but they always elude me. The greatest disc golfer I know, Jose J, can be seen playing here often. This is the course that got me addicted to the game, showing the potential for having a great time and getting some exercise while enjoying the beauty of a redwood forest. I have only lost one disc there and it happened my first time ever playing.
Cons: I got poison oak there once. If you don't have someone that knows the course with you, you might get confused at a couple spots.
Other Thoughts: I never pass up a chance to play. Even compared to the mighty DeLa it isn't a dissappointment to play here. If I lived close enough I would play every day until I aced every hole.
1 of 4 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.
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