Monterey Mandatory Play!
3 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: 1. Tee Pads - Hard rubber mat with enough length for confidence in footing for almost any throwing style.
2. Cages/Pins- Ryan Ranch "Originals" cages created for the 2011 Pro Worlds which are in pristine condition. Multiple pin locations for each hole rotated regularly.
3. Layout- Great use of the abundantly available space with a logical layout that is pretty easy to navigate and starts and finishes in the same area. The design makes great use of the trees and elevation both up and down.
4. Variety of shots- This course does require a degree of skill that could border on intermediate. You will be challenged to try a variety of shots if you want to score low.
5. Scenery- Nice clean scenic DG park with wildlife sightings and elevated views of the peninsula.
6. Signage- There is ample signs scattered throughout to help an out of towner. Pay attention as some are small, but very helpful!
Cons: 1. Course Maintenance- Tall grass in some locations could cause a lost disc. Not a huge problem unless you're REALLY bad. Some people said you need a spotter, I didn't have a problem.
3. Amenities- Trash cans at start, but would be nice throughout, although the park was NOT trashed. No bag holders if you're into that sort of thing. No "pro-shop" or disc purchase/rental in the area, but at the group meet up days a guy comes with TONS of stuff.
4. There isn't any real water hazards to speak of if you're into that kind of challenge.
5. I only played the first 18 where the tee pads were good, but it would be cool if there was both AM and PRO tees.
Other Thoughts: This is a fun course that has a hole for every type of thrower. Most holes are technical with lots of trees, but there are some fun open bomb holes too. The locals are very friendly and can definitely help you with how to play each hole. Of the courses in the area I'd suggest this course 1st if only in Monterey for one day.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Shades of Ryan Ranch of old
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: + Changes of elevation. There are very few flat holes.
+ Mix of terrain, both wooded and meadow. Beautiful walk through rolling CA hills.
+ Mix of short and long holes. I love the short tech shots.
+ None of the crowds of DeLa,
+ For those who are good in the wind, some great chances to sky out your discs later in the course.
+ When it's groomed, it is my favorite spot in the area for a slow, strolling, casual game.
+ Apart from the tall grass, the course is in amazing shape. Beautiful tees and baskets, signage, etc.
Cons: - As stated on the main page, the rough is seriously rough. You would think that the woods would be the tough terrain for keeping an eye on your disc, but it's the grass that is getting out of hand again. You can carefully watch where a disc goes into the grass, and not find it for 30 minutes. It is so thick with stinging nettles, PO, and thistles. So, if you ever miss fairways, especially in the wind, consider throwing with a spotter, or just going elsewhere until it gets cleaned up again.
- I know this is generic, but it's the easiest of the better echelon of local courses. While some holes require technical throws, probably 2/3 can be tackled with a nice, lengthy, straight shot. In many ways, this simplicity is actually a positive, but for folks coming in from well out of town, you may want to skip Ryan.
- No standout signature holes might steer some out of towners away too. #3 is a neat hole, but it is the least difficult incarnation of that hole around (Think TOTW, Stafford, and even the Snowman at Aptos). It's a fun shot though, and it feels great to get a birdie from that high in the air.
- The last set of holes are a bit repetitive.
Other Thoughts: I write this review with a heavy heart. Ryan always had a bit of a bad rep due to the thick, tall meadows. It was groomed up beautifully for the 2011 worlds, and quickly became my favorite place to play when I visited my folks in that neck of the woods. I took a group here for my bachelor party just four months ago, and the course was still amazing (a strong 4.0). Since then, despite what looks like very hard work from the disc club, it has once again gone to seed.
I am far from a professional, but I'm good enough to sit just under or over par at most courses, depending on the day (2 under at Ryan today). I'm not good enough to play this course in its current shape without losing discs (including my OOP 171g, rainbow die, rainbow foil Beast...if you find it...). I found a Nuke today one foot off of the fairway, so well hidden in the grass, that it had been there long enough that there was no grass growing under it. One foot off the fairway.
Hopefully with the Jelly Jam coming up, the mowing will continue. Until then, the course is off of my list.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Huckin at the Ranch
Course is relatively easy to find
Nice location with some interesting scenery in the valley area
Baskets are in good shape and seem to all have hole number markers
A nice variety of shot shapes
Most of the tee pads on the first 18 are in good shape (rubber mat type)
Most of the holes have tee/distance makers, although some are inaccurate or contradictory where there are two markers.
Multiple basket positions and pads throughout the course
I like the Karma Box for lost discs
Not the easiest course to navigate. Could use some more "Next Tee" signage.
Signage is a bit inconsistent overall
Tee pads on 19-27 are practically non-existent.
Poison Oak around the back part of the course is thick. (Holes 3-5ish)
No restrooms/water that I could see.
A map or course guide/friend is an extremely good idea. We got lucky that we got in behind a friendly group that knew where to go. Thanks guys!
A spotter is not a bad idea, although not quite required. There are a couple holes where you may wish you had one though.
Pack out your trash people! Although there's a dump nearby, which incidentally provides a sparkling aroma on #2, so it's hard to say how much garbage is blown in from there versus dropped by naughty discers.
Bring water and use the restroom before you go out.
Ryan Ranch is an interesting course, in that, almost every basket is dead straight ahead, but yet, on each hole you're presented with new challenges on how exactly to get there. It also seemed quite long to me with many holes over 350 feet (which I like), and the short one's being quite nasty. Speaking of which, this site has every hole listed as a par 3. Ouch! I personally believe in the ~400 foot par 4 and ~500 foot par 5, but that's just me. With those set of rules, I threw +3 for the full 27. Without them, I probably threw +8.
Additional random thoughts on the holes:
#1 is a great starter hole because it's wide open and long thus allowing you to get a bit warmed up.
By #2, your warm-up is over because you're presented with a left to right that is unforgivable if you go right and not particularly nice if you go too far left.
#3 is this course's 'Top of the World' shot. It's a beautiful deceptively long downhill bomb into the valley with planes coming in for a landing overhead. Very cool.
#4 is an OK slightly uphill shot but #4A is one of the meanest holes I've ever seen. Straight up hill through the trees and hard right with Poison Oak all over the place. Yowza!
#5-#8 is where you can open 'er up a bit but do pick your landing spot somewhat carefully.
#9 & #10 will absolutely make you pay for going left. Don't go left. Really.
#11 almost got me my first ace thanks to a friendly ricochet off a nearby tree. Disc ended up UNDER the basket. Good times.
#12 is a very difficult hooded forest shot. Stay low or dive bomb it I guess. I don't have that shot in my bag though.
#13 & #14 I can't recall much about for some reason. Brian freeze apparently.
#15 & #16 you can open 'er up again. #15 basket is tucked into the hollow on the left.
#17 is an elevator up and out shot.
#18 you'll want to steer clear of the reedy area to the right. Nasty in there. Tip: #18 basket is the one on the left.
#19 is all about the landing spot off the tee.
#20 is trying hard to take the title of meanest hole from #4A. There is an extremely narrow spot between the fenced parking lot and the tree line that you'll need to hit on your first throw. So yea
I had to climb the fence. If you don't see #20s basket in the open, it's past the tree line and to the left. I mistakenly thought the pole marking one of the baskets positions was an object pin. Figured it out later.
#21 and #22 are fairly straight forward.
#23's tee position is tricky. I'm guessing there are two. I found the one in the tree grove thanks to a large arrow dug into the ground. Never found the one on the map.
#24 LET FLY!!!
#25 Barely found the tee area. Only found a pole. Perhaps there's a basket somewhere. I also saw another tee pad nearby. Maybe #23's?
#26 LET FLY AGAIN!!! Just don't go left. Yea
I went left.
#27 Looking back, I'm pretty sure I used #26A tee area for #27, so I'm not too much help here. I didn't realize 'til later I should've walked way right to find it. But hey, it was a tougher shot and I parred it, so there.
I sense a lot of love in this course. The baskets are all in great shape and numbered. There are nice benches around the course, as well as trash cans. You can also see progress being made on the tee pads and signage. Unfortunately, that progress is a bit uneven as you move through the first 18, and 19-27 still feel a bit like a work in progress. With that said, I suspect over the next little while that the love will finish things off nicely and this course will really shine. Overall, this is a very fair and fun course that I would probably slot in the intermediate skill level zone depending on your feelings about par. I also suspect that in the winter months this course gets a lot tougher as water flows and grass grows. But don't let all this stop you from going because we had a good time out there and quite enjoyed the scenery. I look forward to going back and seeing the progress. Good job Jellies!
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Give it time and this will be the Mecca
Pros: A lot of variety.Uphill shots, downhill shots ect.
Beautiful setting. LOTS of room. Uphill shots, downhill shots.Technical enough that you have to use different discs to actually see what they and you are made of. You will have a good story after playing the course
Cons: Parking - There pretty much isn't any
Discs- Be prepared to search or lose one or two
Distance between tees- Long
Location - Hard to locate but is worth it once you do
Markers- For this hole there might be one on a rock, on this one maybe on a piece of wood or maybe not at all.
You may have to be Ken Climo to par this course. Oh and poison oak, wear pants.
Other Thoughts: I was fortunate enough to run into people that have played the course before and I joined them. I found out you can park right by the first tee if you have a code to the gate. Other wise you have to fight for parking in a lot filled with workers at some building.
I read a review about the Don Dahvee course and someone described it roughly as; a project for the builders and their friends. I kind of feel that way as well. HOWEVER I do RESPECT all the time and effort these guys have put into the area. But... Don Dahvee like Ryan Ranch is impossible without a guide in my opinion. Both of the official Monterey courses don't seem too "Out of town friendly".
And again I'm not trying to put down the progress that the city and surrounding areas have made but, if we put up more markers,more info etc.....Monterey will explode.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
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