2 Helpful / 17 Not
Dela is the Real Deal
Pros: I mean come on.....If you didnt figure it out Dela will test everything you got in the most ridiculous location. Truly EPIC disc golf. On my top five list out of 250 courses. You can play it hundreds of times and learn something every time you go.
Cons: People who smoke on Dela and risk its stability.
Other Thoughts: I would live in Santa Cruz if just to play that course. Its that good!
2 of 19 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.
17 Helpful / 5 Not
Other Thoughts: No need to rate my "review"...I have nothing new to add to the comments before me...I just wanted to add to the many voices praising this course.
I've waited years to play this course and finally got to today as part of a DG road trip my wife and I are taking...12-15 courses in 7 days (DG in the mornings and early afternoons...wine tasting the rest of the time win-win)
This course is well worth seeking out...well worth making the cornerstone of a DG road trip on the West Coast.
The locals I ran into were extremely helpful and friendly.
The placements were on the "long settings" for the pins and even though it kicked my but (21 over par for 28 holes) I never felt overly frustrated and felt I was actually doing good by parring 5 and getting one eagle) I ended on cloud 9 by parring the top of the world!
This course lived up to all the "press" and my lofty expectations.
One special treat of the day was at the Pinto Lake course not far away (also designed by Tom Schott) as we were teeing off on hole 6 a truck pulled up and it was Tom himself as he was working on desgning the back 9 at Pinto...we talked for about an hour about his courses, including a new one in Belize and got pictures with him (we are total DG geeks)
I'm still buzzed from today...and haven't even got to the wine yet :)
One special treat
17 of 22 people found this review helpful.
10 Helpful / 3 Not
The Best in the West!
Pros: The best course in CA! This place is awesome, tons of really tough holes... anyone who can play the whole course at par or better is an awesome player. Tons of tough shots of all types, especially some awesome downhill shots where you can really bomb it. Great views, beautiful setting! Very long, both individual holes (some are over 500 ft) and total course (27 holes)! The final hole, the legendary "Top of the World" offers not only a great hole, but also an awesome view of the Monterey bay.
Cons: Not very beginner friendly... course is very hard, and there are lots of spots where a bad shot can result in your disc ending up at the bottom of a steep ravine filled with poison oak. This course can be very frustrating for beginners due to its length and difficulty. Very possible to lose a disc, even for a good player. Still, this danger just makes playing the course that much more exciting and fun... no room for error, one mistake could be the last time you see your disc!
Other Thoughts: This place is the best... bring your A game and prepare to be humbled by this awesome course, and the amazing locals who play it! In my opinion, anyone who doesn't like this course is either a crappy player, an idiot, or both.
10 of 13 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.
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.
16 Helpful / 2 Not
Best Course in the Area
Pros: DeLa is a spectacular course. I affectionately refer to it as the "Augusta National of Disc Golf" because it combines natural beauty with a high level of difficulty.
There are uphill holes, downhill holes, long holes, short holes, technical holes, and wide open holes. You need it all in order to shoot well at DeLa. It is a tough course, but a fair course.
When I score well here I feel like I have every aspect of my game working. Good shots are rewarded. Bad shots can be devastating to your score.
The ravines next to many of the fairways are beautiful and unforgiving.
The locals are friendly and proud of their course. Cheap snacks and a good selection of discs are available on most days in the parking lot.
There are multiple pin locations on most holes. The course is well maintained.
Cons: There's a lot of poison oak in the ravines and off the edge of the fairways.
The hole numbers are slightly off but it's only because new holes have been added within the last few years and hole 17 was removed. 17 does appear for big tournaments though.
The signage is not as good as some other courses.
Other Thoughts: I rated this course a "5" because I hold all other courses up to it.
Construction on a new parking lot and drainage system was completed in November of 2008. Holes 6, 19, 20, 22, 23, 24, and 27 were affected but are all currently still in place. It's my opinion that the course became slightly easier because many of those holes became permanently shorter. It seems that the long pin placements on those holes won't be in use in the future.
Smoking and drinking are not allowed. Rangers and Santa Cruz Police regularly patrol the area and will not hesitate to pass out tickets if they see you from the road (I know from experience). Any serious disc golfer visiting Northern California must play here. If you enjoy a challenging and beautiful disc golf course, you will love DeLaveaga.
16 of 18 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 13 Not
Pros: -28 holes of every flavor you can imagine.
-DG cultural hub. I felt i joined the DG community here. great discs and snacks. available at the parking lot/ tee for 17.
-Felt like the course had 5-6 signature holes. i've never been so excited walking up to the next tee pad
-plenty of every shot in the bag will be demanded here.
-friendly, helpful people
-soil was fairly soft and sandy with low ground cover mostly
-very nice long level concrete tee pads
-most intimidating course i've played
Cons: -crowded with a couple crossing fairways
-lots of erosion some spots
-i'm not a big arm, so i preferred the wooded holes earlier in the round to the open field blast offs later.
-not hard to sail one into the parking lot from top of the world (my friend did twice)
-a bit out of my ability range. my best round is +6 or 8, i think... and i was on.
Other Thoughts: -this course will show you who's daddy.
-big selection of some really cool custom stamped discs available there...
-donation box at the tee pad for 1.
-porta potties were the only bathrooms and there were snacks, but no meals available on grounds.
9 of 22 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 4 Not
NorCal at its Best
Pros: Every hole is fun and challenging. Requires every shot in the bag. Different pin positions that completely change the layout. Skip shots, rollers, tunnel shots, crushes, finesse shots, this courses demands it all. And the wicked fast greens demand great respect. A simple lay-up can lead to disaster.
Cons: Incredibly nasty poison oak infested valleys of doom if your disk kicks the wrong way off a tree. Very crowded, with some crossing fairways.
Other Thoughts: Juliana Korver once asked me "What disc do you throw off of Top of the World?" I answered "All of them." My favorite 24 hours of golf ever was playing DeLa in the late afternoon, catching the Red-eye back to Baltimore, then driving to Paw Paw, WV for a late morning round at the Woodshed.
12 of 16 people found this review helpful.
23 Helpful / 1 Not
Believe the Hype
Pros: The location and nature of the terrain that the course sits upon is so perfect for disc golf, that it might be hard to better it with a ball golf course budget and an army of bulldozers. Rows of coastal redwoods line sharp hills, which slope down into dusty hardpan, with the whole course bordered by steep and sudden ravines.
This provides the backdrop for a course that is diabolical but fair in design. It's no coincidence that the reigning USDGC champion and two-time world champion Nate Doss cut his teeth at De La, where even a solid Advanced tournament player will be pleased to post a score of 81 for a 27 hole round. Fairways vary widely in distance, density of trees, shape, and elevation change. To score well here, the ability to throw a long distance through medium-to-narrow gaps is at a premium.
The aforementioned ravines are used to great effect on a number of pin positions, and most players will face one or two "death putts" each round, staring into the mouth of a dropoff into the redwood forest. Exposed tree roots provide barriers for rollers on some holes, but otherwise that shot can be used to great effect on several holes.
Tees and baskets are in good condition, and many holes offer an alternate position- for most of these pins, it's a 'hard or harder' option between the two settings, with very few easy birdies available on the course.
The Top of the World finishing hole gets all the publicity, and while it's a fantastic way to end a round(don't forget to note that there's OB twenty feet behind the pin!), I think that I-5 is the best test of golf on the course. Coming away with a 3 on the hole means you were either very good, very lucky, or more likely a bit of both!
Cons: Crossing fairways in three separate situations, which one tends to forgive because they were needed to allow for two great golf holes in each location.
Signage could definitely be improved- playing with a local the first time through isn't absolutely necessary but would make for a smoother experience.
There can be trash on some/many of the tee areas, which is unfortunate, but in my opinion doesn't detract greatly from the golf experience.
Not an appropriate course for beginners, and can frustrate intermediate players as well. Can still be enjoyable, as long as the expectation of a big score is understood.
Out of the 27 holes, about 4-5 are fairly uninteresting or flawed in design. Still means you're playing 20+ quality golf holes in one round, but there'd still be room for improvement/redesign.
Other Thoughts: De La is the course I use as a measuring stick for all other courses, often in conjunction with how far of a drive it is. E.g. "Would I drive as far on a random Saturday to play this course as I would De La?". On this scale, De La clocks in at about 3 hours. Lucky for me it's only 1.5 hours away!
As others have mentioned, there's food/drink/discs for sale in the parking lot most every day. Don't stop at the ball golf pro shop and buy discs, you'll be paying $3-5 more per disc and browsing a vastly smaller selection.
23 of 24 people found this review helpful.
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