Worth the drive!
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Multiple pin placements
Varied hole styles
Concrete tee pads
Lots of poison oak
"pro shop" not open when I was there
Runners and Mt. Bikers riding down some fairways.
Other Thoughts: On a recent business trip I had the chance to drive from Si Valley to play here. It was definitely worth the trip! You guys have seen the videos and read the reviews. It's a pretty awesome place. All holes are par 3's. The holes on one side of the street are essentially all along a hill side, while the holes on the other are mostly on a plateau. The ground was basically devoid of grass when I was here so rollaways (I'm looking at you hole 25) and skip always were common so plan your approaches appropriately. The trees in this part of CA are much different than what we have where I am from (New England). For the most part, in N.E., maple and oak trees can sometimes be punched through with a hard throw due to the volume of the leaves and the way the branches grow. The trees in CA are very gnarly and very random how the branches grow in all directions. They grab discs. If your disc goes into a tree, it will not come out the other side, it likely will not even drop down. So stay out of trees. Also, there are ravines and cliffs everywhere at DeLaveaga. There is also no shortage of death putt opportunities. If you miss a putt, you better hit something and land pancake style. Most holes demand a very precise placement of your drive for a chance at par with lots of opportunity to lose discs on errant drives into ravines. There are several tunnel shots here that require really straight and precise drives, otherwise you're playing pinball the rest of the hole. All the teepads were textured concrete.
The scenery was pretty cool with a huge variety of trees and occasional views of the ocean. It wasn't quite what I expected being almost the Mecca of CA disc golf, but it was definitely awesome. The holes tend to criss cross one another somewhat so listen up, watch out, and call out "fore" especially on holes like 27. this was the most challenging of the three courses I played. It was also the busiest. Even on a Wednesday afternoon/early evening there were people everywhere. It must be a total madhouse on weekends.
The ball golf course down the street sells discs. Which is good for me because the "shop" at the course was not open while I was there and I needed a disc. I would have loved to have purchased some logo discs, but the hours are sporadic according to my playing partners.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
An oldie but a goodie
15 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This course has been around a while, but a lot of the design elements were ahead of their time. This course plays like a newer course, and still offers great challenges 30 years after it was first installed. The terrain here is great, with tough uphill shots, the obligatory top of the world bomb, and lots of fun elevation in between. Several of the baskets are placed next to dropoffs or in spots that make you really think about whether going for the pin is worth the potential punishment. It's always fun to have that kind of challenge in the short game.
There is great variety, both in hole length and hole shape. Some ace runs are mixed in, though generally going for that ace has lurking danger around the pin, and there are some chances to open up and throw a driver as well. Most of the course plays through scattered trees or denser woods with just a couple open holes mixed in for variety. I felt like I needed to throw a great mix of lines to be successful here, and the shots never felt repetitive.
The alternate pin placements looked like they would add to the variety, and it's always really nice to have the current pin position marked on the signs. The tees are nice concrete pads, and the baskets are in good shape.
Cons: There are some major safety issues here, and with how popular this course seems to be (crowded on the Thursday morning I played) that only magnifies those problems. There are multiple spots where holes cross one another, and even more areas where fairways overlap and errant shots can easily end up on other holes. The top of the world shot is a really fun way to finish the course, but it also sprays discs onto several other holes as well as the street and parking lot.
Navigation is fairly easy, but there are a few spots where the directional arrow to the next tee on the tee sign isn't quite enough. Print a map or pull one up on your phone and it's easy to figure out where to go. There are some major issues with compaction and erosion, tough to avoid with a dryer climate and a ton of foot traffic over the years.
Other Thoughts: I really wanted to give this course a 4.5, the individual holes deserve that rating and I would play here again if I were in the area. The safety issues are the big thing bringing my personal rating down here, especially since they seem to be avoidable with how much room there is around the course.
Beginners might find this course a little daunting, with some distance, lots of tough lines and moderate punishment on many holes for missing the fairway. Experienced players will find some great tests here, you'll need a complete game to score well and even then you're likely to have a blow up hole or two.
15 of 15 people found this review helpful.
Scary but great
0 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: Each shot on it's own is pretty unique and amazing. There are shots that you'll dream about for a long time. Shot's you wish you had to play on a daily basis. I love having a donation box. Great view, Top of the World is awesome.
Cons: Scary, good place to get hurt. The crossing fairways are no bueno! Some of the greens need loosening to provide a putt to reward a good drive. Terracing is badly needed for erosion control. Roll a ways are to prevalent.
Other Thoughts: I would have loved to have seen/played this with pretty grass fairways in the 80's. Seems like it needs to be reduced to a 21 or an 18 hole course.
0 of 7 people found this review helpful.
20 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: One of the most unique aspects of the course at DeLaveaga is the use of superfast 'greens' which put a premium on distance control (and good putting for those having to make come-back putts). In combination with the midrange distance of many of the holes (~300-350), definitely exploited one of the major weaknesses in my game in that I do not have a reliable slow, straight midrange shot. I can throw KC Aviars all day to the upper 200's with precision but these shots were just barely out of that range. Needless to say, my next disc up (beatup Star TL's) did not make the cut on the faster greens with a lot of skip aways and shots that went far beyond the hole. Any time a course can exploit such a weakness in my game (and do it multiple times during a single round!), I have major respect for the designer/course. As other reviewers have gone over in detail, this course also maximizes challenges associated with elevation. You will rarely find a hole that doesn't incorporate a large uphill/downhill grade or a sidehill that, in combination with fast greens, forces you to think about where you want to land your disc (as opposed to finally end up).
Cons: While we were visiting, the course was in a bit of transition and one of the traditional holes which plays near the big gulley had been relocated because of erosion to the top of the hill right before the top of the world shot. While there was great signage in getting us to the additional hole, there wasn't any indication that the traditional hole had been pulled so we walked around for quite awhile trying to find the pulled basket. Other than this really minor problem though, we were able to find our way through the course with few major problems. The local players were always more than happy to guide us noob's around and show us where the following holes were. My main con with the design of the course had to do with several holes in which the major obstacle to achieving a good putt was placed directly near the hole - In my opinion this is a poor plan, not because it makes the shot too hard, but in fact that it takes away rewards for accuracy. To be more clear, the problem is when players can use obstacles as distance control instead of their own finesse. As an example, when I played hole #23 I believe, the most probable shot for birdie as I saw it was to land a big sky hyzer IN the large bush that covers the pin. If I were to recreate such a hole (with no pre-existing limitations), I would either place the bush IN FRONT of the hole so as to ensure punishment for shots that were in nacurate or place the bush far enough BEHIND (at least 40') the hole as to punish players who did not properly manage the fast green. In this way, players would be unable to 'game' the hole by using the designer's obstacle as a backstop. As other reviewers have mentioned, the criss-crossing fairways were a bit surprising to find on a course that is 1) so highly acclaimed and 2) so highly utilized. During our round though, it was little more than a surprise, not causing any major inconvenience.
Other Thoughts: Playing DeLaveaga definitely fufilled a DG dream for me (as I guess it does for quite a few golfers). Growing up in the Midwest, I'd heard rumors of "the course" since high school and was so excited to finally get out and play it. While I can understand why this was such an exceptional course for such a long time, I wouldn't go so far as to say that today it is 'best of the best'. At the same time, I'd highly recommend all types of golfers to take the trip out because DeLa has been the benchmark for many golfers of what a great course should be. This along with the storied history of the course and the aura of legend that surrounds it is reason enough to make the trek out!
20 of 22 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 9 Not
Pros: Course was excellent! A lot of disc golf in a big park! No two holes were similar, and you need a lot of different shots in your arsenal for this one. The lines were well thought out and you could definitely see where you should be throwing it, even if you couldn't get it there. Overall was a tough course that was very enjoyable.
Cons: Even though it was only $2 to park it's still sucks paying to dg., taking a local is a necessity as the holes can be tough to find on your own. Could use a few easier holes, I know you don't want to make it too easy, but there's really only one hole on the front 9 that's an easy one. Tee pads for most holes are way to short and need another 5 foot added on.
0 of 9 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
Mostly lives up to the hype
Pros: • 27 holes, and most are good if not great
• excellent scenery
• course flows well
• friendly locals
• active disc golfer community at the course
Cons: • a few holes cross over each other
• some holes are confusing
Other Thoughts: I'm keeping this one short and sweet, the other reviews sum it up. It's a great course, and was very cool to see an active disc golfer community at the course.
All the locals were very friendly when I was there. Was great to see DGers of all ages out there playing, and just about all of them knew what they were doing.
There was a bit of confusion on some holes, and hole 17 was removed (although it seemed a killer hole) so that will throw you off a bit. One time through and you'll have it down.
Hole 27 "Top of the World" is indeed a great hole to throw. We even hiked back up to throw again just for fun.
Have to say this is in the top 3 for sure. I'm a big fan of wooded, slightly technical courses and this one was a dream for that factor. You'll need every disc/throw in your bag/arm for De LaVeaga.
I didn't find the course littered as a previous reviewer mentioned. Nor was it overcrowded, but I was there on a weekday afternoon.
I have to go with those who say the course lives up to the hype -- glad I made the trip down to Santa Cruz with my brother while visiting him in San Fran. We both had a blast and agreed it was a great course.
Update 2010-09: Played this course again and wasn't as enthralled with it as I was the first time. Forgot how much of the front nine hugs the main road. Dropping my score to 4.0 from 4.5. After playing Coyote Point at Lake Casitas, there was no way I could give DeLaveaga as a high rating as I did previously.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: 28 holes with good variety of shots. Great scenery; some wide open shots; others highly technical and everything in between. Final hole is epic, but still a close second in Northern California to Stafford hole #6 in my book. Discs at pro shop and parking lot.
Cons: Crowded and locals are a mixed bunch of friendly and not so. Parking is tough if not arriving early.
Other Thoughts: Definitely one of the best in Northen California, but didn't live up to the hype for me. Broken glass littered many holes. I'll put in it my top five in Nor Cal.
2 of 7 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 1 Not
Loyalty and Experience
Pros: This course is laid out amazingly well in a setting that makes you feel like you have the best of a park course as well as the best of any mountains course. There are some incredible elevation changes. There are great signs at each hole, some that have some great stories behind them and the history of the course. I specifically liked the hole where the old refridgerator used to be. Great variation in types of shots that you will have to play. Everything becomes a good challenge and every bad shot will be punished. There is an incredible local crowd that loves and cares for this course. This course will be a memorable experience no matter how your round goes, especially with thier Top of the World as the last hole.
Cons: There are many holes where you could easily loose a disc if you do not know the terrain very well. You do have to pay to park at this course though it is possible to walk in from somewhere. Even though I was at this course very early in the morning there was a good size crowd there so I would imagine that this course can get super busy and when it gets super busy, watch out for discs flying at you from other holes. I thought there was a lack of consistency amongst tee pads that threw me for a loop once or twice.
Other Thoughts: This is just one of those courses that you have to play. It is really an experience like no other. There is a good chance that you will spend a good bit of time looking for your disc on several holes, which only makes your round that much longer. The better you know this course the better you will fare. The locals take a lot of pride in their course and if you do not show it the respect they think it deserves they will get on your case. You should defiantely throw nothing faster than a mid range off Top of the World. My drive went over the parking lot and through the fairway of 24, oops.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 13 Not
Great, rugged monster DGC
Pros: Epic "Top of the World" hole. 27 holes. Cool locals, Great long course with multiple discipline challenges. Fun hiking the mountainside with beautiful views.
Cons: Heavily wooded and not well maintained in the more rugged spots, makes for long searches if you're not paying attention. A long day on the course.
Other Thoughts: Bring your A game or stay home. OK, still go, it's worth it.
3 of 16 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 6 Not
Milo without the grass
Pros: Challenging with a good variety of holes; always fun to throw from an extreme elevation.
Cons: Need to update/improve the signage. Some 'prison' shots.
Other Thoughts: There was work being done on the parking lot, so the course had to be 'modified' somewhat - so there may be a kiosk with maps, etc. but it was difficult to know where to go due to some of the baskets being removed, etc. (I never did find a basket location for #17, I think?). I want to thank the 'disc dude' - the guy sitting on the tailgate of his truck who finds lost discs (and sells others). He retrieved mine from high in a tree and placed in on the windshield of my car while I was still out on the course, and he was gone before I could thank him. Do not use the 'map to course' link on the course page in your GPS, this will most likely take you to the lower park; follow the directions given.
6 of 12 people found this review helpful.
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