5.0-Best of the Best - It already says it
5 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: Played the BYOD @ BOP on the 17th with my girlfriend this year. I can't believe this course, between the views and the terrain, it's by far my favorite course I've ever played. I love the elevation changes, the greens for baskets are beautiful and make the course feel very well established in the rough terrain. It is something similar to a West Coast Brackett's Bluff. Not the course itself but just the families dedication to a true Disc Golf course and atmosphere. The tournament was awesome, great people, awesome prizes, just all-around fun. My girlfriend and I finished +1
Cons: I can't say much for con's, every con that is listed is really only a comfort thing. It's a little hard to get to. Not that anything in the norcal coast is easy for driving. Not really such a bad thing though, could be a Pro. Hard to get on the course to play, once again though almost adds to the "mystique." None of the con's I could think of are really only con's if you don't want an adventure.
Other Thoughts: I usually am more thorough in my reviews, but I feel that everything I could think of has been said in previous reviews. Caleb and the family are gracious hosts, and since I live in the area now, I hope to play out there again in a casual round or tourney, I don't care, any way I can get to play Birds again. There were new rubber tee pads added for the tournament, as well as some key benches put in through out. which is huge. They also mentioned purchasing more rubber tee pads to be added soon.
5 of 10 people found this review helpful.
14 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course is a monster in every sense of the good kind. Its challenging, has length, massive hills with a large surrounding valley, and 27 holes of the best golf I have played. I have played half the state and this course has to be right up there as one of the best, if not thee best course. I loved the views, wild looking holes, and even some of the teepads that really gave your bum the pucker factor with the huge drop at the end of the pad. This place has a ton of defining holes, a few par 4's and a 5. Course guide was good to have and I liked the chill factor here. You feel like you have this place to yourself so there is never any rush to play quick. This course needs to be soaked up and played multiple times. Parking and restrooms werent an issue for me and should be fine for all. Course was easy to navigate and I noticed there are multiple people that can guide if the course is open to the public on certain days. Course played smooth with no hiccups, no lost discs for us, and I even heard they check the ponds every once and a while so you can get your plastic back. Come play here and experience yourself or message me and I will tell you all you need to know.
Cons: Bumpy road into the course. Course is a way off the grid. No actual hole or course complaints, but I'm bummed to hear that a few holes will be going away, but that does make me interested to come back and see what holes were created to fill those in. A con could be that the course requires alot of walking and for some of us old timers it can be alot. Expect to do alot of walking and wear gaiters in the spring and summer
Other Thoughts: I would love to camp here and soak up a weekend of golf here. Love the wildlife and land. You definitely need to bring all your food and beverage with you. Drive in a larger vehicle and make sure your gassed up. No gas within 20 miles I believe. I only wish I could hunt and disc golf while camping. That would be king.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
35 Helpful / 0 Not
Lived up to the Legend
Pros: 1. The course was so majestic and quiet. No crowds, or freeways, or noisy from roads or players. Just you, the wind, and nature. Private course that doesnt get traffic.
2. When you arrive there is tons of parking that is strategically placed near hole 1 and and many of the middle hols so you can always go back to the car for drinks or food during the round.
3. Views, WOW. The course is littered with views. The property contains 550 acres and with that much room, you get the opportunity to check out the entire valley in all directions. Gives you many opportunities to take scenic pictures and golf from spots that some only dream of.
4. Unique Teepads! Sure most of the holes have natural pads, but the ones that dont are unique, especially when your teeing off of rock structures or boulders. Very cool and thrilling all in one.
5. Course comes with a guide. The host was very nice and accommodating to me. I literally asked to play the course 3 months out from the date I wanted and he made it happen. He was very nice to open the facillity for all players that day and guide first timers through. Playing the round with the guide/course designer made it very easy to play the course. I understand why there are no signs here. Once you play the course and feel the flow of it, its very easy to follow and signs arent necessary on a private course. Also layed out the land micely for my group showing us the lines and were there might be poison oak or spots you should avoid.
6. Flow of the course is very smooth and it all connects with no long hikes between holes. Some holes require long walks, but thats only because your throwing a few top of the world style shots.
7. Signature holes. The course has half a dozen that will stick in your head and that are very memorable. Some courses don't have any, but Birds has quite a few and there terrific to play.
8. Honest play. The course has its share of water hazards, tree hazards, OB lines, roll aways, large revines that will suck your disc in if you turn it over, and massive cliffs to keep all players honest. Well placed baskets keep most players honest and offer the true risk and reward option if you go for it. I witnessed all hazards come into play over a round. Brutal.
9. All the holes have baskets on this private course and they were in good shape. No complainents. I even liked the hanging basket after the Par 5 hole, good addition.
10. Good mixture of Length. Holes range from the high 100's to 700+ in feet. It was nice to see a Par 5 and two Par 4's on the course. Those holes were well structured and very challenging. I never felt like a hole was just there as a filler hole. All the holes had there own challenges and were fun.
11. Score, this course offered plenty of birdies. Even some of the longer holes were birdie oppotunities with the elevation drops on a few holes. Sure there are long 400+ foot par 3's that might not be reachable by some players, but it didnt mean you couldn't finish under par with a solid round of golf played. Good scores are possible.
12. Course had a good mixture of elevation and wooded holes. I want to say that three quarters of the holes had elevation changes and that a third of the holes were wooded. There were very few flat holes on the course, and if they were flat then they were wooded or had tight wooded lines. Keeps many players honest and wanting more.
13. If planned in advance I'm sure camping during certain weekends, or tourneys, or matchplay events would be possible and there is plenty of room to do so.
14. Land, is amazing to have a course with a stream, rolling hills, woods, massive rock structures, and a private road. The course is maintained pretty good. With the owner and local disc golfers helping out at times the course gets a good weed wacking and mow every once and awhile. The Fall and Spring bring amazing colors to the property. The summer brings plenty of wildlife. The course is maintained as best as it could be with all the land it has. No complainents there.
15. Free to play. The course doesnt ask for a fee to play it and thats very cool. If you want to donate something then do, but your not required.
16. Midway thru the course there is a good area to chill with plenty of chairs and shade. The course had plenty of benches throughout to sit on and plenty of shade on the course. The sun will not beat you down here. Course is probably 20 miles from the coast.
16. Course is one of those courses you need to play the entire day at. Plan to be there the hole day, especially to make it worth your wild since its not open a lot.
17. Course is very clean, no trash or garbage littered around.
18 will add more..............on an update
Cons: I didnt feel like there was any cons for the actual course. Here are a few things that might be good to make awhere before people show up:
1. gravel road into course is a little rough and can be hard on cars. Recommend SUV or trucks when coming to course.
2. Pack your own trash out.
3. Nature is your latrine and a well designated spot would be cool in case you camped.
4. Bring lots of food and water when showing up. None are available on site or nearby.
5. Pretty much pack like your going camping if your coming for the day and are from out of town.
6. I would like to maybe see a calender posted somewhere online of future dates the course might be open or be put on an email list that get dates the course will be open for play.
7. Have the option to rent the course for the day.
8. Maybe a lost disc bin somewhere on the course in case you find a disc out there. (There was a hole where we actually found a few discs, would of came in handy if we werent playing with the owner)
9. Once the course does get settled in, maps would be cool if large groups show up on certain days.
10. On open days maybe sell drinks there, would help with any future costs for the course.
Other Thoughts: There was alot of hype heading to the course and for me personally it held up to what I was expecting. I went with others and most of them didnt like the course as much as I did. Mostly because of the length I believe which is lame. I cannot wait to go back and play it again especially after hearing that the course is still evolving 8 years after its birth. With new structures going in on the property, certain holes will be retired and others birthed. The Host Caleb was fantastic and cool in general, easy going. He was very patient and accommodating. I showed up late to play and didnt think I was going to finish the course in time, but with Caleb's smart planning and smart guiding we did complete the round in around 4 hours with plenty of breaks for pictures and drinks in the round. If you come to play this course I would drive a truck or SUV or if you have to bring a car make sure its not weighed down. The property has a road you take for like a mile up a hill to where you park, but its not paved and is gravel. The drive can be rough going up and down. If your coming from North of the course via the 101 freeway, the exit before the course Myers First I believe it is has a Market and deli. I would stock up there before heading into the course. The course has a private gate and bridge you have to cross/access to get on the property. Once on you definitely dont want to go anywhere to get supplies. The drive from the freeway is like 6 miles to hole 1 and can take some time do to alot of turns and tight roads. I will be back here with friends and family. My group and I donated some cash and plastic to the course guide Kaleb. We hope this helps with any future renovations. I have played over 250 courses in the state of California and this course is definitely in the top 5 in the state. Its in my top 3, where it falls I will be the only one who knows.
35 of 35 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: I got to play this course for the Buddha Tree tourney. I had been hearing about it for years from my brother and finally got the chance to come up and see it. It is amazing! The views are too beautiful to describe, and even pictures don't seem to do it justice. The golf was out of this world. 27 holes with more different shots than I have ever seen on a course. Some that stick out in my mind are the big downhill off of the rock (not the best tee pad), the par 5 that goes across a huge canyon with OB all along the side, the big uphill par 4 that I only saw 1 person birdie during the whole weekend. There were some really short holes that you could ace too, but they were so tight that none of them were a gimme. There are holes that play both to the left and right, making the course play fair for both lefty's and righty's. There was drinking water around the course in a few different spots, which is really helpful when you are playing a course this big. There is even a bar near a couple of holes.
Cons: There are only dirt tee pads (though they are in pretty good shape) and one tee that throws off of the top of a rock on the top of a hill, the rock tee pad is really uneven and short probably the worst part of the course, despite the shot being so cool. There was also some poison oak around, but not as bad as other courses that I've played.
Other Thoughts: The Buddha Tree tourney that I got to play up here was one of the funnest tournaments that I have ever played. The people were as fun as the golf. There was a stage set up and even a free taco feed and show on Saturday night. The owner was very friendly and he has designed one of the funnest mountain golf course experiences ever.
8 of 11 people found this review helpful.
26 Helpful / 0 Not
Biased Review by course designer.....
Pros: Tons of awesome terrain, well utilized.
Big arm holes.
Shorter holes are not gimmes...dangerous shots that require skill.
Uphill, downhill, lefts rights, double dogleg. MOstly par 3 but 2 par 4 and "the par 5".....
Now all baskets: 1-13 DB-5's 14-27 Mach 2. Most baskets have xtra chains added...all should have xtra chains by summer 2012.
Water on hole 24 (believe humchris posted a pic of this hole).
Aside from small tweaks here and there the 27 hole layout is set. Most holes have alt pin or tee placements. Infinite 9 or 18 hole layouts possible with mix and match tee/pin capabilities. A true disc golf playground.
Cons: Tee boxes will (most likely) never be cement. My folks (and myself honestly) don't want to pour cement tees. Rubber mats are a possibility and may be in as early as summer 2012 if all goes well. Tee's are very nice regardless and never get muddy or rutty.
Hard to get on the course. Its on my folks property and I live an hour away. Its behind a locked gate. Basically I have to be available to go there with you, or there is one other person available on Wed. or Sun. Otherwise tournaments are your best bet. Bring your own doubles in March. BOP Matchplay Championship in August.
27 hole layout requires a lot of time...and energy to play. This course has a lot of elevation and requires a great deal of hiking. If you are a flatland only player this will test you. Hot in the summer. Some poison oak but it is very limited, only on certain holes and only find it with an errant shot.
Other Thoughts: I grew up on this property, and several years ago I moved back home. My wife and I lived in a teepee on the first hole. Roll out of bed, stretch...tee it up....that was the life! Now I live in Arcata, Ca.(about an hour north) but try and make it to Birds whenever I can.
My favorite times to play: Spring, when the grass is growing, the flowers are blooming, and the weather is warm but not hot yet. Fall, when the leaves are down and the trees are less dense, there is new grass growing up under the cut grass from summer, the air is crisp and the wind is down. I will play (and have) in just about any weather conditions though...howling winds, sideways rain, played in snow before...100+ degree heat, you name it. If you come out be prepared with food. Great mountain spring water is available. Tall grass and burrs when you get off of nicely mowed fairways so plan on wearing gaiters, boots with pants, or just sacrificing a pair of socks with a fresh set waiting in the car. There is also plenty of wildlife on the course, and different things can be spotted at different times of year (this is a very rural area). All sorts of mammals and birds (tons of birsd!) snakes etc..including rattlesnakes which have been spotted on at least two spots on the course, so keep your heads up. Also this land was inhabited by native peoples in a previous time. Any artifacts etc found on the land must remain there (thanks for understanding). That goes for deer antlers too, we put them on top of the baskets.
I am hoping to add another smaller 18 hole course on a different area of the property this spring (2012) so check back on that.
Free to play but suggested donation of $20 per car to the chain fund/maintenance fund (mason jar on hole 1). Also course ace jar ($1 entry) located on hole 1. Only 1 ace currently on the whole course on a tone pole before baskets were up. No basket aces ever recorded at BOP (on current holes...1 recorded on a hole that doesn't exist any more.....) as of 2/6/12....
Please respect the property owners (my parents) and do not show up at the gate without me or prior permission to be there....using your GPS and finding the driveway will NOT GET YOU ON THE COURSE!
Being courteous and lucky will....
26 of 26 people found this review helpful.
16 Helpful / 0 Not
Birds of Paradise=EPIC
Land is perfect for disc golf! As if the disc golf gods forged every hill and every rock, every crevice, nook and cranny.
27 great holes! No fillers! 1 par 5 and 2 par 4s. (Caleb mentioned he might add some more holes as well)
Tee shots that take your breath away, beautiful landscapes and challenging pin locations.
Truly unique holes, quite a few signature holes as well, but THE signature hole has to be 'the cliff shot.'
Tons of elevation changes. Just about every hole has significant elevation changes, Uphill/downhill
Extremely balanced course. Plenty of straight, left and right. Tight windows, even tighter windows, long bomber holes to air it out completely.
Great Risk vs. Reward. I cannot stress this quality enough! The contours of the land as well, some wind and some tricky pin placements make for some heart in your throat golf! Watch out for the roll away!
Very challenging course. I take that back, this course is hard! And interesting, did not become repetitive at any point even after 5 rounds during the weekend.
Highest fun factor I have experienced from a course. I never would have thought I'd say that after playing in the very fun San Francisco Safari Tournament two weeks earlier.
So many Standout holes-(I can't remember all the hole numbers)
'The cliff shot' - Shooting down to pin, elevation change is the most extreme I have ever seen. Bigger downhill drop than Delaveaga's top of the world, and a longer shot as well . As Caleb told me, aim low and toss your Buzzz.
#5 - tee off basket is about 350ft? to the right, almost level with tee pad. Huge drop off to the left and a branch sticking out in front of the tee pad a little bit, just enough to scare you. a shot that fades left might be lost, or at least will take some time to find.
'The big rock shot' - uphill shot, basket is a few feet directly behind a big boulder, with a tree on the right side of the rock. You can shoot to either side of the rock as well.
'the big par 5' - Downhill shot, Across the field and up the hill. Then throw left of the big white tee pee about 350 ft with tough tight lines to the basket. To score a 3 on this hole seems impossible, but with the perfect storm of circumstances, I guess it could be done. Most people should be happy with par.
'The little dinker after the par five' - a very tight 200 ft-ish hole with many lines for lefty or righty, many types of throws can work, but you have to hit your gap. Don't kick off a tree to the right!
'The small cliff to small cliff shot' - a short hole, 250 ft-ish, with lots of danger. Trees on the right and elevation dropoff below and left.
'The pond shot' - teepad between two trees with a low ceiling, over a muddy little pond and straight out 250ish feet. tough shot. Do you lay it up and make par or do you go for it over the pond for the deuce.
#27 - Uphill shot with with one big tree as obsticle, basket behind and left or tree. Not only is this a fun and challenging hole, but there is another great view from the teepad.
Humboldt style natural tees. Just flatten it out a little bit and get yourself some sure footing.
No tee signs, but that helps keep it private, and Caleb will tell you where it's at or where to aim for.
Way out there, driving on back roads (this could be a pro also-completely secluded)
A couple spots could have used a little more mowing, but with such a huge property, it's completely understandable that not everything is mowed. Just stay on the fairways!
Stickers all over to get in your socks and distract you from your game, so bring gaiters.
Poison Oak off the fairways (this is Humboldt)
Other Thoughts: Where to begin? First and foremost, I must say that Caleb is a very gracious host and he designed an unforgettable course. He also planned and operated a very fun tournament, Birds of Paradise- Matchplay Championship.
I felt quite privileged to play this course as I had only heard good things about this private course. I hear Dave Feldberg really wants to play it. This course lives up the hype.
So how do I justify giving a 5 star rating to a course with natural tee pads and no tee signs? I wrestled with this question myself, and it comes down to the quality of the golf. Because this course has it all! So many different shots and so much fun! Truely Epic Course, and if you EVER EVER get a chance to play it, DO NOT MISS IT!
16 of 16 people found this review helpful.
21 Helpful / 0 Not
Top Notch Course
Pros: - EPIC! This course is nothing short of epic.
- All Baskets 27 holes. (possibly changing to 36 or more)
- Huge Elevation change on some holes, more than I've ever seen on a course.
-Every hole feels really different from the one before it, no holes are throw away holes.
- Great Scenery, on top of a mountain in So-Hum with excellent views. Everywhere you look looks like it could be a painting. It's magic this place is so beautiful that even if you are shooting like garbage, you just have to look out off the ridge and see an inspiring view and all of a sudden you have forgotten about all your bad shots.
- Big holes to really test out how far you can rip it, as well as shorter more technical holes.
- A good variety of holes that will force you to throw left, right, up big hills and down even bigger ones.
- Deer antlers that the owner found around his property top many of the baskets, making them not only easier to see, but also look cool.
- Multiple tees on every hole are different enough to make it feel like a new hole.
- New holes, tees, pin positions etc. being created all the time, when I was out there I helped Caleb design 2 new holes one with two different pin positions that would make it an entirely different hole.
- Every hole has at least a little elevation change on it.
- Multiple huge par 4 holes, as well as a huge par 5. All of which will challenge your game, and not give up easy birdies.
- Water hazards on multiple holes
- Well mowed for how huge of a property it is
Cons: - Private course. It can be a bit hard to get a tee time out here, but when you do it is an epic experience
- Dirt tee pads
- No signs, but you shouldn't be out here without a guide, so this shouldn't make too big of a difference
- Poison Oak on some holes, though we took a lot of it back before our last big tourney out there.
- Not a good course for beginners or people that have a hard time walking up and down hills.
Other Thoughts: This course is what all other courses wish they could be. There is epic scenery in every direction. You're on top of a mountain in Southern Humboldt County with views that can't be beat. You play between mixtures of rolling open meadows and tightly wooded hills. This course has lots of elevation change and is not intended for people who have a hard time with a big hike. But if you are in shape to handle this course you're in for the experience of your life. The land feels like it was made for disc golf. Every hole challenges your game in a different way, making you have to work with your full bag of tricks to pull off a good score out here. There are creeks that run through the property during the spring and a couple ponds.
The drive in can be a little dangerous as some of the locals will fly along that road, and it's pretty narrow. So take your time and drive slow and safe.
This is a private course and you need to contact Caleb before you try to go out there and play. It can be a bit hard to get a tee time out here, but when you do it is an epic experience. The owner is a really cool guy that loves to have people out to play his course, if you're going to be traveling through SoHum give him a call or shoot him a line on here he goes by "Birds".
21 of 21 people found this review helpful.
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