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.
12 Helpful / 3 Not
Pebble Beach of Disc Golf
Pros: Will test every part of your game. 27 diverse holes offer the player a disc golf challenge like no other. Long holes, short holes, hyzer, anhyzer, uphill, downhill, tight, wide open, the list goes on. The course design fits right in with the terrain. Beautiful views, good parking, easily accessible. Several signature holes, Top of the world, I-5, the list goes on. Huge course can handle a weekend crowd. If I had to choose only one course to play the remainder of my days as a disc golfer, it would be Dela, Santa Cruz. Dedicated disc golf club keeps Dela in playing shape despite limited/no help from the city/county.
Cons: High fire danger at times, years-old rumors of the National Guard/city selling land and developing condos, and like just about everything in SC, an air of entitlement by the locals can make itself seen from time to time. Overall, most locals are friendly, helpful and simply love their course. Other cons, most of the tee signs have been vandalized in some way.
Other Thoughts: Soapbox Alert: This course is a gem. The SC city council, for a council so in tune with the tourism industry, needs to wake up and figure out what they've got right under their noses. They need to make some minor improvements (i.e., devote some budget to maintenance of the course) in order to cement Delaveaga as a major PDGA tour stop. (not that it isn't already) I, like many disc golfers across the nation will continue planning vacations in S.C. to play the course. As a beneficial side effect, we are also staying in area hotels, eating at several great SC restaurants, shopping downtown, etc. Since transplanting to Austin, Tx. about 3 years ago, Delaveaga disc golf is on the short list of things I miss most about Santa Cruz.
12 of 15 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: this place has every type of shot out there, you shoot uphill and downhill. tight shots and open shots that you can throw as hard as you want on.trees are a big factor on all hiles and cliffs come into play on 18 holes on this course. holes 13, 14, 15, are the hardest holes on the course, but the challenge and diversity of these holes represents what de la is.
Cons: santa cruz has now paved the parking lot, while this is nice there are around 15 - 20 less parking spots. $1000.00 fine for smoking anything, so be careful. rangers now come by and often park there truck on or aroud hole 8A and the fairway of 9 and 10. they will get out and walk around these holes and may even come to talk to you.
Other Thoughts: i live in san jose but make it over the hill at least twice a month to play de la. some say it is hard to navigate this course but once you play it more than once. i find this to be the case with all new disc golf courses that i play, you can easily navigate and even try new shots.
11 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.
9 Helpful / 4 Not
Perfect for a challenge seeker
Pros: each hole presents different challenges. there are the long holes where the big drive is advantageous, and there are the shorter holes where accuracy is a must. definitely a great course if you're coming out for a difficult day of disc golf
Cons: unless you've been there before, it's hard to know where to go. also, because of the parking lot construction, some holes are not playable
Other Thoughts: on busier days (saturdays, some weekday afternoons), there is a guy in a smaller white van that sells discs right in the parking lot. he sells new discs (innova, discraft, and others), and he buys and sells used discs. he also has buckets full of lost discs, so if you lost a disc there, it's possible it wound up in one of his buckets. if no one claims the disc after a certain amount of time (i don't know how long, but probably at least a few months), he puts it in the used for sale bucket.
9 of 13 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 7 Not
The best I have ever played!
Pros: Hole 27 is the most memorable hole I have ever played. This course really makes you bring your A game. You will need every shot in your bag. The locals were great. Good pro shop. I must for any disc golfer.
Cons: It was crowded, but unlike some courses I never really had it effect the group or I. No really bad water hazards. No golf carts. No beer girl driving around selling beers.
Other Thoughts: It was a while ago when I played this course. But decided it I should review it because it is the BEST COURSE I HAVE EVER PLAYED. There was not a trash problem when I was there. The locals were really great and made the experience even better. Their is some little things that could be better. Overall the best in my book.
8 of 15 people found this review helpful.
22 Helpful / 4 Not
Disc Golf Epicenter
Pros: This place is the epicenter. I loved this course. The two holes I actually birdied I will cherish forever due to the uncompromising challenge on every hole. Dela has Crazy up hills, dog legging down hills. The course is in a beautiful setting surrounded with huge trees that make tunnels and guard baskets. I love standing on a tee box and thinking, looking into my bag and wondering, "Do I have the confidence to pull this shot off?" It never stops, there is not a throw away hole on the entire course.
This course is hard, and I wouldn't have it any other way. The holes are not unreachable either, they provide a doable challenge that keep your interest from one to twenty-seven. I feel that the layout has not been given enough props. 27 holes that sort of make a four nine hole loops from the parking lot meaning that you could easily skip part and play just one part and be back in the parking lot, and not have to follow the herd. Another impressive feat is that they have managed to accomplish all this beauty on donations. If charging were mandatory, then I feel they could have better signs and tee pads.
So many great holes, it is hard to figure out what ones I like that most, aside from the top of the world hole, which is the best hole I have ever played. 26A is a beauty, with a dangerous drop off, in fact there are dangerous drop offs present throughout. I only wish that I could play this course everyday. I do not think I would ever grow tired of it and for that reason, I am totally jealous of all the people of Santa Cruz.
Cons: There has been a lot mentioned about the 'trashyness' of this place, and as much as I wish I could deny it, I cannot. Plus I cannot not forgive them for claiming to be the best yet not updating their map to show that 17 is missing and 26A is in place. Honestly though, the people and the "scene" of it make up for it completely. Open your mouth get out of your shell and ask one local and they'd be glad to help you. I struggled with my rating for this course, wanting to give it a 5, yet knowing that these flaws exist. If I could give it a 4.75 I would, in the end I just feel that the challenge and uniqueness if every single hole deserve a five.
Other Thoughts: The scene at the parking lot made me feel that I was in the most popular disc golf course in the world. It is a party, a celebration of the sport I love. I felt like a tourist, I bought a stamped De Laveaga disc in the parking lot from a prominent local pros dad, if they had other tourist things like those you'd find in a tourist trap gift shop I would have bought them too because I was so excited to be there, and play a round of challenging golf on such a famous course. Ever since I started traveling to play disc golf people have told me to come here. Now that I been here, I can say it is the best course I have ever played (as of, 9-5-08).
22 of 26 people found this review helpful.
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