9 Helpful / 1 Not
Solid Nine Holes
Start out with a multi-chain DGA practice basket surrounded by distance marker stones. There are restroom facilities and a water fountain by the parking lot. The parking lot is large enough that it probably never fills even when the course is overflowing with players. There are three or four pin positions with multi-chain baskets per hole that can give the course a significantly different feel on long vs. short. Pin position dials located on tee sign posts (see Cons). Fantastic yellow cord marking OB lines on park boundaries and paths; not sure if that's there all the time or just left over from a recent tourney. Rubber tee pads here are done right with properly levelled foundations they seem to be holding up well. Nice, accurate map online here. The park looks to be exclusive to disc golf so you shouldn't get much interference from non-golfers. The golf here is good, there aren't any "throw away" holes. Players from beginners to top Advanced players should all have fun here.
Many of the different pins don't really change the throwing lines just the distance. Some new pin positions have been added that are not on the map or tee signs, e.g. #5's D position. Most of the pin position dials on the tee sign posts were incorrect or freely rotating, and thus useless and frustrating. Lots of blind baskets making first timers walk ahead to see where they're throwing. Several pairs of holes throwing back and forth on each other can make for dangerous conditions when the park is full of golfers.
There's a hidden creek that runs along the left side of #5, beware of discs fading out early getting wet/lost. This course is closer to the upper end of the challenge range (especially with the OB); after only one round here that beat me up pretty good I want another crack at this one knowing where the baskets are.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Its the best course in San Jose. the locals are plentiful and courteous. Seems like there is an organized event every afternoon.
Cons: Can get crowded in the afternoon. Seems like there is an organized event every afternoon.
Other Thoughts: This is the finest 9 hole course I've ever played. They could have crammed in 9 more holes but it would have sucked. Instead its 9 very unique, long, tight and challenging holes. I would have given it a higher rating but it is what it is. With 9 holes it can be very crowded, so much so that sometimes I show up to play and pass on it and go over to Hellyer instead.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 4 Not
fun nine holer, friendly locals
Pros: Good signage, well-marked OB. Locals were really friendly. No boring holes, good mix of distance and lines! A great nine-holer!
Cons: Course is closely monitored by park staff and a smoking ban is in effect. They close the course promptly at sundown and will kick you out.
Other Thoughts: It's advisable to either play with a local or walk the course first as a few of the pins and tees are a little hard to find. Beware of the hidden creek/pond along the left side of 5's fairway, I almost lost a disc in there!
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 3 Not
Callenging gem of a course
Pros: Parking lot is next to the practice tee area, picnic tables, BBQ, bathrooms, drinking water and marquis with a lay out of this moderately wooded 9 hole course. A very clean and maintained course throughout. Large rubber tee pads at all holes with a sturdy wood border and uniquely designed tee signs displaying multiple pin placements with pin dials below. This course has large tree with low ceiling limbs throughout with roped off O.B. areas and a dry water hazard. It will challenge every shot in your bag. Blind baskets on holes #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #7 depending on pin placements
Cons: Can be busy on weekends and usually around 3:00 pm there is a surge of DG'rs. Some noise from Hwy 101 may be an annoyance. Ranger is prepared to lock the gates up dusk.
Other Thoughts: What was once a picnic area just off HWY 101 is now another great course design by local Tom Schot. The local SVDG club takes pride of their gem here and is always improving and maintaining. Great use of the existing picnic area IMO this course is a distinct disc golf course That is now open year round. Don't under estimate this 9 hole course it always seems to get the better half of me!
12 of 15 people found this review helpful.
A shining beacon of great course design!
21 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Summary: Parque de la Raza is an extremely well-designed and thought out 9 hole course in a small community park. This course should be the "city on a hill" example of how good disc golf courses are laid out in that many designers would have found it very easy to cram in 18 holes on this property and create a really terrible course. Fortunately, the designer(s) opted for 9 great holes and it shows, I'll take this kind of quality over quantity any day!
Most holes are moderately wooded with small elevation changes. In the pins that we played, the holes varied from a short putter throw par 3 to a multishot par 4 hole. Pretty much all of the holes had multiple lines/choices off the tee and I couldn't resist throwing a few extra drives just to try out new lines. The lines themselves varied from low ceiling punches to big over-the-treetop shots to long rollers to controlled fairway driver shots. OB lurks on a few holes but its not "in your face" OB with the exception of one hole where you throw mostly over an artificial pond (parking area).
Baskets/Tees - Can't remember the specifics (think it was new Mach III's and rubber tees) but all are in great condition and look well maintained. Multiple pin placements (up to 4) on each hole look like they add quite a bit of variety to this course
Tee signs/navigation - there is one section (going back to hole 8 or 9 behind a small building) where you could get lost but the signage and fairly obvious flow makes navigation easy. The tee signs themselves are very professionally done and have a lot of creativity/heart which only adds to the course aura.
Skill level - I've only played it through once but it seemed like there were holes which provide challenge for all skill levels right up to lower gold rated players; but I think elite/top level players may find the course a bit light on the challenge side of things.
Friendly local players - We met several people on our 9 hole tour, all of which went out of their way to help show us where baskets were and what lines were best. The park just has a very relaxed feel to it, everyone is out there to have fun, socialize, and play disc golf.
Maintenance - The park was looking beautiful when we stopped by, short mowed green grass all over which made for great rollers. For the most part, it was also very clean and litter free.
Cons: Busy - When we went, it was a warm winter day with bright sunshine. This probably contributed a lot to the business of the course but it was slow going with some very large groups and some very slow casual players. All of the regulars we met were extremely friendly and helpful though!
NOTE: We played Hellyer (also a very nice course) right after Parque and found it pretty much empty in comparison, so when Parque gets busy, it looks like there is another very accessible option for good golf.
Skill level: I mentioned earlier that this course might not offer quite enough challenge for high gold and elite level players, but for the vast majority of us, its awesome!
I've "heard" that poison oak can be a problem here but we played late enough in fall that it wasn't really a problem...
Other Thoughts: Definitely one of the best 9 hole courses I've ever played. If I had to choose one dream home course out of all the courses I've played, I think the Hellyer Park/Parque de la Raza combo would be high on my list.
21 of 21 people found this review helpful.
Parque De La Raza DGC
18 Helpful / 2 Not
Right as you pull in to this course you can tell how much pride the locals have and how much work has been put in to this gem of a course. The directions getting here were easy to folllow as well as the ease of navigating oneself through for the first time as this course was very well thought out.
The rubber tee pads are fantastic! With wooden frames surrounding the mats to prevent erosion, these pads are very well thought out and constructed. Tee signs are very creative and artistic, showing very colorful illustrations of the layout and distance making it easy to see what lies ahead. The little washer below each sign informing you where the current pin is located is a major plus as well!
Bathrooms are located near hole #2's basket, #9's basket, and the practice basket. On the wall of the bathroom you will also find a hole by hole breakdown (identical to the tee signs) making it easier to follow for those whom are unfamiliar with the course.
The layout loops around nicely on this pro caliber course and each hole is very challenging including some if not all of the elements including elevation, tunnel shots, obstacles i.e. trees, bushes, asphalt, O.B.'s, restrooms, etc. Due to the distance of each hole and the amount of elements present, accuracy and shot selection is key to scoring well on this course.
Weather, although very hot during the summer because of the location (San Jose) is absollutely beautiful, especially during the morning and late afternoon.
Last, the locals. The people were very friendly and inviting when I came with my buddy. They had no problem pointing things out and answering my questions.
There was not a lot that stood out to me that needed to be improved when I played the course as everything seemed very well thought out and maintenance of the course was present. However, I would recommend staying on the course and not throwing out of bounds because there were definately some hot spots (poison oak) in some of the areas but fortunately it was very easy to spot (three- leaved and red) this time of year. Also, getting there the neighborhood felt a little rough and intimidating at times if you are not familiar with the area although it didn't bother me as much as it did my friend (you just may not want to be there when the sun goes down).
This is the best nine hole course I have played yet! With over 100 courses under my belt in 12 states and 3 countries, I stand by my comment. It is very challenging and requires even the best out there think carefully before throwing.
Although I still prefer De Laveaga if in the area, I would highly recommend playing this course second if you have time. If you add Hellyer in after playing here you will have yourself the perfect DG trip. My hats off to the locals here because they have done one hell of a job and I will be back!
18 of 20 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
La Raza First Timer
Pros: Great teeboxes--with maps that are legible and not full of graffiti
complex and difficult with many doglegs that you can't see your hole from the teebox and many times not even from your second shot
Cons: Disc eating trees--we spent 20 minutes looking for a disc in a tree. Many smaller trees have ivy and oak in them making looking for a disc troublesome
the course was very dry with foxtails all over--I hate those things in my shoes
Poison oak--not in just the creek area either--it was everywhere--sometimes right in the middle of a walking path
Other Thoughts: Really a good course. I might have liked it more if I had not played Hellyer first. It is more difficult than Hellyer but not by a whole bunch. Iwent out on Memorial Day and was looking for fun. This course was definitely fun, but since it was my first time on the course, I would have had a better time knowing and being able to see the holes a little earlier. I bet I will like it a whole lot more the next time I go. I shot a 40 for 9 holes
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: -no easy holes what-so-ever, but none are unfairly difficult.
-good for big arms, but well placed shots will get you par. lots of risk/reward. It felt like every tee shot had a limited window to hit, calling for different throws and discs often.
-probably not too easy for any skill level.
-most entertaining and difficult 9 hole i've seen by FAR.
-Good signage and fairly easy to navigate (after 5 you will see 2 teeboxes from the basket. 6 is out of view behind a tree to the left of the visible tees)
-3 different basket positions per hole
-nice rubber teepads of satisfying length and width
Cons: -trees eat discs, but there are plenty of baseball sized rocks laying around.
-lots of poison oak in the rough.
-the teebox for 9 was near the basket for 5.
-Rubber tee pads are very slippery when wet (6 only. bailed hard.)
-no signage on 8 (over the parking lot- basket is hidden behind trees and undergrowth on small hill)
-reviews for this course seem not to be helpful to readers, even the in-depth, informative ones.
Other Thoughts: -When I look at the courses I've rated at 4, I can't bring myself to give a 9 hole a 4, even if it is about the best 9 hole you could dream up. Can't wait to return and try to better my +6.
-Can be hard to find, but i had an easy time finding it on google maps. I kind of like that its a bit hard to find.
6 of 9 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: A fun course, and some very challenging holes. The first hole has a full S-shaped fairway path through heavy shrubby trees to the basket...even though the distance is short, this is a definite par 3. Hole 2 is a nice one to try your big S-throws to hit the pin on the drive. Holes 4, 5, and 9 are longer holes played through some challenging low-hanging limbed trees...it is tough to find a line that doesn't hit a branch somewhere. Holes 3 and 6 are the shortest and easiest. Hole 8 is across a closed OB parking lot, which is also fun. Wonderful rubber tee pads, and fantastically maintained. A nice little park too, somewhat quiet and surprisingly secluded even though it is right next to the 101 freeway.
Cons: The tee maps (although very nice art and professionally done) are not always very helpful given the complexity of the course. Few tee shots have a view of the baskets, so some familiarization is necessary to begin.
Other Thoughts: Take a walk-through or practice round of the course before playing it more seriously in order to get a feel for basket locations. We saw park rangers patrolling, so keep your beers, etc., low profile around here.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
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