6 Helpful / 2 Not
UC Santa Cruz
UC Santa Cruz is nestled in the foothills of Santa Cruz, just minutes away from downtown. The DG course is located on the outskirts of campus near the intramural fields, about five to seven minutes away once you turn down Bay Street.
As I made my way toward the course for the first time, what caught my eye was how serene the landscape of the tall dry grass appeared as it undulated along the hillside. As I made my way into the parking lot and up the walkway toward campus, a gorgeous intramural field awaited, with vibrant green grass and an incredible 180 degree view of the Monterey Sanctuary (coastline). The way the course was set up in 1979, it plays along the hillside above and around the entire sports field. With anywhere from gentle to hard western winds always coming in from the water, disc flight will usually be altered to some degree so an overstable disc might be useful on this course. When I went with my friend, we both only played with a Buzzz, which made the course more challenging and enjoyable. There is no reason to bring out a tour bag considering the course is wide open with little to no obstacles. However, with the elevation, wind, and at times distance, the holes can still require some skill to par. Holes appear to range anywhere from 150-350 feet, with elevation on every hole.
This course is located in one of the more beautiful areas I have had a chance to play in yet! It is unfortunate however, that the course doesn't seem to measure up to the landscape. As the previous reviewer stated, the course is unplayable without a map and the chances of obtaining one are quite difficult. Because of this, Safari is your best bet. If moving clockwise or counter clockwise around the perimeter most of the holes can eventually be figured out. Finding the tee pads on the other hand is another story. Tee pads are extremely difficult to find, although there are some of the original metal tee signs standing above ground three feet high which may be of some help at times. The rest of the pads are just worn away in particular spots along the course. Tee posts are all over the place, although there are the original ones with numbers toward the top, and then others which appear like the originals, and others that are there just to be confusing.
What drew me to this course was the notion that it was installed in 1979, four years before De LaVeaga in 1983. Growing up in the Santa Cruz Mountains for over 20 years, Santa Cruz has always been my home away from home. With world class disc golfing and ball golfing nearby, as well as breathtaking beaches, fine cuisine ,and colorful people, you are guaranteed to enjoy yourself in this quaint little city.
6 of 8 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Campus is gorgeous, lots of redwoods, etc., so a lot of potential exists for wonderful disc golf.
Cons: Object course. Disc golf course is impossible to navigate without a map. Maps are impossible to obtain on site.
Other Thoughts: If you want to play here, be sure to contact the intramural sports center on campus well in advance to obtain a map (maybe ask them to mail it, since the folks working in the reception center have no clue). Otherwise you'll be doing safari or nothing. They might be able to put you in touch with a disc golf club there.
UPDATE: I now live in Santa Cruz, and work sometimes on the UCSC campus. I really would love to see a disc golf course that is navigable and playable here on the campus, but I've learned a little bit of history that maybe explains a few things...
...The UCSC campus was procured by the state of California in the late 1960s from a land owner whose family had used the fields on the terraces for farming, and there were also several large quarries on the property. Santa Cruz locals had already been playing safari disc golf in the hills around Monterey Bay for some time, and UCSC-to-be was one of the favorite gathering spots. Some of the holes they played regularly threw over the deep quarries, through densely forested valleys and ridge lines, and along the edges of fields.
The new UCSC administration took a hostile attitude toward the residents of their host city, and sent police to harass and kick out all their neighbors who were playing disc golf on the land. (To this very day, they still have guard stations at the entrance to campus meant to keep out anyone other than those on official campus business.)
Local disc golfers found another refuge in the hills to the east of UCSC on a plot of little-used national guard land up in some tall pines. This other property had long been a sort of dumping ground for people in the city looking to get rid of old cars, large appliances, etc., and was grown over with poison oak. However, a lot of high school-aged kids gathered there to party and throw beer bottles off a hill. This place was literally a trash heap and party spot, but the hilltop had a gorgeous view over the city and of Monterey Bay.
The disc golfers transformed this new refuge, and cleaned it up, hauling out the refuse and recovering land from the grip of poison oak.
DeLaveaga disc golf course was thus established.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
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