Famous for a reason
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: 29 holes that will really test every aspect of your game. Some holes are more exciting to par than many other holes are to birdie. Maps and concrete tee pads on every hole. Multiple pin positions on most of the baskets, with some than can turn the easiest hole of the course to an absolute nightmare (I'm looking at you, "The Kitchen"). Lots of elevation changes and a wide variety of shots. The final shot, hole 29, is the (in)famous "top of the world" shot and will probably be one of your most memorable disc golf experiences. There is a van that parks in the lot that sells nearly every disc on the market for a good price. You can also trade in used discs for cash.
Cons: The popularity of this course is the source of most of its problems. Expect to get stuck behind other groups multiple times if you play during peak hours. Most players there are experienced and courteous, but on occasion you will find yourself stuck behind huge bunch of idiots who won't wait up to let you play through while they trash the course. The first 6 holes cross over each other a lot, so keep your head up and your ears open for other golfers calling FORE! (Make sure you call it yourself too!) A lot of the course is well worn & packed down, so discs tend to keep on rolling. This poses a problem for the numerous holes that drop off on all sides to a steep ravine. Expect to spend extra time looking for lost discs while avoiding poison oak. Also, this isn't the course's fault, but many people who play here seem to ignore the trash cans so there are often cans and cigarette butts everywhere. When you play here, please please PLEASE pick up your trash!
Other Thoughts: Parking is $2. Bring cash!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
not as good as the hype
0 Helpful / 14 Not
Pros: beautiful setting. very challenging. grand daddy type course.
Cons: too too many blind holes with a steep drop off behind basket. after the 5th or 6th time playing, have finally come to conclusion that i dont care for DeLa.
Other Thoughts: if i played with a bunch of locals, that would probably help. in the more difficult set ups, there are just too many tight fairways up hill that are 350 feet. which is fine, they are very parable. and i can throw 400+ feet in an open field. but realistically, 350 foot uphill tight holes are just a bunch of boring pars.
0 of 14 people found this review helpful.
24 Helpful / 5 Not
Best in NorCal? Hmm…
• Easy to find
• Secluded course - No real walk-through traffic
• 26 holes (26 you say? - more on this later)
• Beautiful scenery in a few areas
• Some interesting hole layouts
• Far and away the best retail disc shop I've seen thus far. They have just about every Innova disc in each plastic as well as some other brands. Every disc I was looking for was in this shop. There's also at least one person selling quite a few used discs out in the disc course parking lot.
• Has its own parking lot although it is normally $2 to park. It's free through the holidays though.
• Warm-up basket near the parking lot
• There's a sign by tee pad #1 dictating a mandatory $1 donation. Normally I don't mind giving a donation (and did); it was just odd to see a "mandatory" sign.
• Very difficult to navigate. You must take a map or a guide, and even with that, some of the holes are so close together and so woodsy that it's very easy to be throwing at the wrong hole, which we did three times, and very easy to walk to the wrong tee, which we did twice.
• A few holes have cross traffic with fast moving discs
• Quite crowded even on a weekday
• Erratic tee pads. Most are quite small requiring you to start from behind the pad and the surface itself is a bit rough. Fortunately, most holes aren't too lengthy so it's more about accuracy than distance. Maybe this is done on purpose to make it harder? I don't know.
• Inconsistent signage - more on this later
• Most holes are various blind tunnel shots through the trees. This, combined with some nearby cliffs (i.e. rollaways) can rack up some frustration points quite quickly, not just with trying to get your disc 'in the clear' but in trying to find it. It can also get a bit dangerous getting to your disc in a few areas.
• There are rest rooms in a couple places near the road by the 'ball' golf course, as well as in the clubhouse. I didn't see any at the disc course.
• Do stop in the clubhouse to check out the disc store.
• Although I still consider myself a beginner-intermediate player, and I did manage a half dozen pars and almost aced #21: This is not a beginner course. Bring a spotter, maybe two, particularly in the areas where there are cliffs/ravines nearby (and that's quite a few spots), and think hard about skipping a couple holes (#12 and #15 come to mind).
• Bring water/snacks, parking/course fees (parking is paid at a kiosk in the center of the parking lot) and a map! I can not emphasize this enough.
• Watch the ball golfers as you drive through the course. The road is practically on the course and I have to believe a few cars have been whacked.
As I slip into my internet flame retardant suit, let me first say that I was REALLY looking forward to playing here. I had put it off for a while because I wanted to make sure I felt comfortable with my disc control first, and it's 90 miles away from my home base. But last week, we decided it was time to check it out, and with a break in the weather and finding all the discs I was looking for in the shop, it was turning into a good omen/gorgeous day. But…I'm forced to admit that I was quite disappointed in this course. For being 25 years old and one of the most highly rated courses in Northern California, I was expecting it to be the best of the Bay Area. I was surprised to find that wasn't the case. Starting with the course conditions: from the tee pads being small, inconsistent, and somewhat hazardous, to the signage being difficult to read, missing in some locations, not showing the next tee pad, etc…, to the holes/baskets themselves being difficult to find and in some cases the numbers on top of the baskets were pointing the wrong way, thus adding to the confusion, and we were quite frustrated by the mid-point of the round. Had we not met a nice group on 17 (BIIIIG thanks to Rick and Mikey!) we would have only grown more frustrated. Fortunately, they had played there many times in the past and helped us navigate the rest of the course. One of the first golden nuggets of wisdom handed out was that #17 has been removed. Of course, there's no sign stating that…so I pointlessly launched my disc down into the ravine (and it was a decent throw too). But, as I said, thanks mostly to Rick and Mikey, the final 9 holes finished up much better: the tee pads seem newer, and they're also a more balanced mix of shots, finishing, of course, with the legendary 'Top of the World' shot, which is quite a beautiful shot and view. I have a video, which I might figure out how to post, but I'm sure there are more out there.
Bottom Line: Maybe I just caught this course on a bad day, but if this course were just 18 holes, I really wouldn't understand what all the tremendous hype would be about. Yes, it demands some serious disc control to get through the trees and makes you pull out every shot in the bag, including the ones you may not own or have mastered yet, but you can get this same type of challenge at Golden Gate or Stafford Lake or even Skyline, and get much better course conditions to boot. So for me it comes down to how much those additional 8 holes are worth, which is not insignificant. 26 holes is nothing to sneeze at (and no I didn't see the rumored 28th hole). But having said that, even considering those significant 'pros', I just can't rate this course higher than the ones I just mentioned. It would be a disservice to the tremendous work the folks have done at those courses (if there were a 3.9 rating it would own it but for now it'll be my benchmark 3.5). DeLaveaga is a very nice course and has the potential to be fantastic, but it needs some care and feeding. Definitely check it out but you may want to ratchet the expectations down a notch.
24 of 29 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 27 Not
A B+ Destination Course - A "Must Play!"
Pros: What I like and how this course stacks up:
1) Holes with good risk/reward -- B
2) Holes that have rewarding birdie opportunities -- B-
3) More wooded than open - lots of variety of shots required caused by hole shape and topography -- B
4) Natural beauty (Appalachian beauty preferred) and seclusion -- A+
5) Multi-shot holes with defined landing zones, good risk/reward and multiple options to play them -- C
Other Thoughts: I ranked this course subjectively based on my own personal enjoyment factor…more accurately my "personal addiction factor". Since I have played a decent number of courses (115 18-hole, 50 9-hole as of early 2009), my hope is that players/explorers who have similar tastes will find my ratings list helpful as they chose courses to play and explore.
Over time, I expect to fill some of my reviews in with more descriptive verbiage…if what I say adds anything to what has already been written. For now, my list is more important to me than the verbiage of my reviews.
I fully expect others with different tastes/philosophies to disagree with me. See my profile for my rating philosophy.
9 of 36 people found this review helpful.
26 Helpful / 6 Not
Good - but over rated
Pros: Plenty of challenge here, good variety of the types of shots required. From a purely technical standpoint, this is an excellent course.
Cons: Not beginner friendly.
Signage is poor at best or was when I was there last - hopefully it has improved.
Several crossing fairways make it dangerous in places considering how frequently you have to throw hard.
The "beauty" espoused by so many in reference to this course is a misnomer. Unless you find hard packed dirt beautiful I suppose. Couple that with uncontrolled erosion, and I think the DeLa club is lucky the course hasn't been pulled - as I have seen such conditions be the cause for other courses to be yanked.
Other Thoughts: DeLA was one of the early true distance courses, and as such - earned a reputation for its challenge. There really were very few or no other courses that matched its difficulty back in the 80's. Disc technology has caught up to it though, and it has been surpassed on many levels (beauty, technical challenge, variety, you name it) by a number of other courses.
Don't let the CONS keep you from paying a visit if you are in the San Fran/NorCal area - it is definitely a must play. But if MECCA is what you want, try Leister, MA, Charlotte, NC, or Paw Paw, WV
26 of 32 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 3 Not
Not quite up to expectation
Pros: Amazing variation of shots, with a number of challenging holes utilizing length, and pin placement. Some good fairways and very nice elevation change.
Locals seem quite helpful as well.
Cons: Not quite what I had expected. There were way to many holes that just seemed like gamble shots with very little to absolutely NO fairway. I personally don't see PRISON pin locations as golf holes. There were are 4 rather short holes that had basically no possible line to hit basket no matter how amazing a shot you had, and thus seems like poor holes to me. Even with a stunning shot, it still feels like pulling on a slot machine hoping you don't hit a tree. There is a couple of blind holes with VERY VERY poor tee signs... they would be completely impossible to find and play without a local guide or some extensive searching. Maybe after playing the course a few times this would be seen differently.
There are also a couple of crossing fairways, and on big crush holes too. There is lots of traffic and many blind holes, had to send out spotters and many holes and had people playing into us on about 5 holes because they didn't send out spotters.
Other Thoughts: Again, not exactly what I had expected, but after played a few times I'm sure it is an awesome place to play.
13 of 16 people found this review helpful.
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