23 Helpful / 1 Not
The best in CA.
Pros: Beautiful course, in one of the most ideal disc golf settings imaginable. Big Monterey pines and scrubby oaks along a ridge-line with deep inscribed canyons make up the natural backdrop of the course, all of which look down over the city of Santa Cruz and Monterey Bay. Simply gorgeous. There are at least a dozen epic ocean views at various spots on the course, if one pays attention.
The challenge here is amazing. Mistakes are punished brutally in subsequent throws...e.g., stray only a few feet off the fairway into the big trees on most of the holes, and you'll be hard pressed to have a subsequent upshot at the pin.
The variety of shots on this course is wonderful. You'll find just about every kind of throw will be needed just to stay at par. Uphill, downhill, right, left, flat, open, tight, tunnel, gut shots, low ceilings, you name it. Nevertheless, the route to perfection is possible, and each hole tantalizes the player with the possibility for that perfect shot off the tee.
Hole 13 is the most difficult "par 3" I've ever seen. The locals call it "I-5" as one is lucky to get there in 5 throws. If you have a big arm, try to hyzer a shot into the trees and get a big skip back toward the tee. Otherwise lay up in the meadow and try to navigate the oak limbs.
The old school locals and the Club at DeLaveaga are of course legendary, you'll run into numerous world champions, disc golf hall of famers, disc golf professors, and everything in between. The distance of the park from the city center ensures that only disc golfers will be encountered up here, so it is a bit like a disc golf nation. Good stuff. Lots of different age groups play at DeLaveaga, from under 10 to over 80 years old!
UPDATE, February 2011: New tees on holes 1, 5, 14, 15, 26, and 26a, and lots of new erosion control, wood chips, retention walls being installed. The course is getting a huge makeover for the 2011 PDGA Pro Worlds.
Cons: Some of the holes are thrown in seemingly as afterthoughts, in order to connect one hole to the next. But these still offer great play.
The only drawback I can possibly think of is that the park road figures prominently in vicinity to most of the holes/fairways/baskets, so one's peace is a bit disturbed by cars going to and fro, and the ever-present OB hazard of the road itself is a bit annoying, even if adding to the challenge (I would prefer if it were a river instead). But it is hard to think of anything that could realistically be done about it.
Other Thoughts: I would rate this course a 5, but I must hold out and think there will be an even better course out there somewhere...at least, that is the way it seems in my dreams.
23 of 24 people found this review helpful.
20 Helpful / 1 Not
More Course Than I Could Handle!
Pros: The general diversity of the course is amazing. The beauty with the Pacific Ocean in the distance. The overall challenge of the course. The fast greens, how treachorous they can be to quickly turn a birdie opportunity into a bogey 4. The competition a player can find there. If you are a top player or think you are or want to become a pro, then you need to make the effort to play this course. The chance to play #27 which is probably the single most famous hole on any disc golf anywhere. I don't think it the prettiest hole I've ever played but it's the one that I'd like to return to play again and again.
Cons: The two crossing fairways is not a preferred option. Playing up the hill to get to #27. As a weak, armed, amatuer type player, I felt the course was too "big" for me. Not too long off the tees neccessarily like Paw Paw or the Texas Circle R Ranch courses, just the overall experience.
Other Thoughts: Can the average ball golfer duffer enjoy a round of golf on a championship course that challenges Tiger Woods? I say yes to some degree and in other ways, it just leads to degrees of frustration. Maybe DeLaveaga is that. But in stating that, Golly, I want to go back and play #27 again.
20 of 21 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 4 Not
Dela Local Loves DG
Pros: Nice Tee Pads, Fairways, Drop Offs, Trees to go around and through, makes one think out to throw off the tree and throw there 2nd throw.
Has some beautiful view of Santa Cruz. Has a world champ as a course pro and some Big Guns that are up and comers.
Cons: Crossing fairways/crowds/dumb people/etc.
Smokers and the ones that don't pick up their
butts. Some Pin Positions stay the same(yes I know the "there is no alt Pin on that hole") sorry that does do.
Other Thoughts: Grip It To Rip It
Teach people Disc Golf
If you see a beginner on a course, take some time out and teach/show them a bit about either driving or putting.
11 of 15 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Elevation, diversity, and beautiful scenery. What folks have said about getting to use every shot in your bag is true. Outstanding use of elevation, and not just for the Top of the World drive (#27), some of the side-hill looks give you an awful lot to consider (especially #15). #12 is a cool shot from the top of a hill. When the pin is to the right you have a choice, a long straight anhyzer out to the left or the adventurous can try to cut the dogleg off to the right. Be prepared for a long search if you try this route and are unsuccessful. Most holes you're (me anyway) happy with a par but tehre are some birdie opportunities mixed in
Cons: Two sets of crossing fairways, 5 & 6 and 13 & 16. This course is where I found out I have an immunity to poison oak as I've spent hours trapsing through the rough here. Tough to navigate the first time you play.
Other Thoughts: When playing for the first time and you're approaching the pin and you see the ground drop off on either side of the green, don't throw there, it's worse than you can imagine. This course does have some things that could be improved, particularly the crossing fairways, but it's simply the one course I would choose to play if I could only pick one, and I've played close to 100. There are tougher courses, and some maybe even as pretty, just none that are more fun to me which is why I've pegged it at a 5. If you're coming from San Jose take your time and take care, highway 17 is beautiful and dicey. If it's raining beware of mudslides.
15 of 18 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 4 Not
One of the alltime greats
Pros: Most would rate this the best course in the country. I can understand why. 27 holes with many elevation changes, open and wooded holes. A tough course yet at the same time very fun. I went on a non-tournament day and the course was literally packed. I would love to play this course in a tournament. Every shot in your bag will be used. Must earn all birdies. Lots of fast greens, and each hole was distinctly different. (Big plus)
Cons: I wish I could play this course more.
12 of 16 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: - There are 23 absolutely unique holes at De La Veaga and 4 holes that are essentially the same, give or take 15ft on the pin position. By far the greatest diversity in holes that i've ever seen.
- As the last poster had mentioned, hole #27(top of the world) is a quite amazing hole that can be thrown at so many ways because of the height you're at.
-Home course of Nate Doss. His dad is the gentlemen selling discs over by the parking lot holes. This guy is young and amazing, want to see him ace that hole #27 with his mid-range, would be awesome in person
Cons: -Santa Cruz is a very interesting city, but it has some people who protest the college students by writing things like "No Slugs," on tee signs out there. I'm not a slug first of all(UCSC student) but it's immature and downright retarded to bash the people that fund Santa Cruz(especially at this time, when Santa Cruz is broke with all this road work we've been putting off).
Other Thoughts: With that being said, i've never had any bad encounters out there and everyone has been as friendly as can be(minus one guy who yelled at us cause he couldnt find his disc and thought we stole it, as we politely told him where it did land. douche)
12 of 17 people found this review helpful.
Where it all began for me...
29 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Everything! This course is well layed out and very challenging. Located in the Santa Cruz mountains about 15 minutes from downtown, this 28 hole pro layout will require you to play your best.
DeLa provides endless possibilities as to which discs are necessary to use due to its multiple approaches on each and every hole.
The terrain is unique as you play with massive Redwoods, Eucalyptus, and many other trees and local folliage. Huge elevation changes throughout, and fast moving fairways play a major factor so just know that once your disc hits the ground it may continue to travel another 20-50 feet (which can be a pro or con depending on where it lands).
Along the way you will run into long tunnel shots, tight fairways, several doglegs left and right, and multiple uphill and downhill approach shots that require much finesse. On this course you will also come upon OB's which include asphalt roads/parking lot, and VERY steep ravines that most likely will not give your disc back.
The course layout has you starting from the parking lot having you throw in the NW direction and looping back four times throughout as you have a chance to stop at the parking lot for a drink, more discs from local vendors, lunch, or the restroom if needed.
The flow moves well due to the size of this course as it is large enough to keep people moving at a good pace (although some weekends can get pretty bad). The overall design is fantastic and the enjoyment factor here is second to none and the level of competition is some of the best in the world.
Cons: Tees signs are a little broken down and the bathrooms can get pretty ripe on those really hot days considering the amount of foot traffic that comes in and out of there so you might want to try to go before you get there.
Other Thoughts: This is where it all began for me and I have always been partial to this course for giving me its all and more. I feel at home here and it brings back a lot of happy memories. The view's are incredible including the epic "Top of the World", but has many other holes that are truely amazing. DeLa also hosts wonderful tournaments with a lot of history and prestige.
This course is "Disneyland" for adults. The locals are friendly and pick up games are quite competative. Although some people dislike the idea of paying to park, I think it is vital to maintaining such a prestigous course such as this. I recommend this place to anyone in the area. The experience is second to none in California and perhaps the entire west coast.
29 of 29 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 7 Not
A Great Challenge
Pros: Never played a course this challenging. Dying to play it again sometime. The variety of shots was amazing.
Cons: Hole 27 is breathtaking, but having those teeing off and yelling is only useful if one is acquainted enough to know where they are standing. It was a bit scary hearing "___ tee!!!!" and thinking hard to figure out where I was. The port-o-potty was filthy and overflowing.
8 of 15 people found this review helpful.
17 Helpful / 1 Not
Elite NorCal Course
Pros: Length, layout, variety, wild, beautiful setting, design, elevation changes.
Cons: At least one crossing fairway, other minor flow issues.
Other Thoughts: This course deserves every accolade it gets; it is in many ways one of the best and most interesting courses I've ever played. Like Novato but wilder and woolier, DeLaveaga is whole different game. Way up a hill and in the wilderness, this course is surrounded by canyons and well wooded. Except for water, this course has plenty of every challenge possible: uphill, downhill, trees, in the open, dog leg challenges, elevated teepads, and just plain long holes. None are unreasonable in their demands, but each is just challenging enough. I'll also remember this course for the abundance of serious players. Lots of friendly people who could really throw were out the day we were.
DeLaveaga features mid-size concrete teepads and good signs, and if you use the color map on their Web site it should be a real easy course to follow. Without a map, though, it was a challenge. Lots of baskets are up big hills or down big hills or way back in the trees and it's tough to know where to throw.
Overall, if you're in the area at all, you've got to play this course. The layout and unique challenges and sheer scope of the course make it one of the best courses in the world.
Favorite Hole - #27 - launch off top of huge hill with view of the Pacific on a good day down over tall trees.
17 of 18 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 12 Not
worlds top courses
Pros: this course has it all!
everything in your bag will be used, and will make you a better player as a result.
it seems this course has suffered from when i played it las,t based on other reviews. i think i need to make a road trip....
Cons: certain level of skill needed for maximum experience, not for beginners.
Other Thoughts: one of the top courses in the world.
Time for an update. Finally made it back to this course. Tournament setting only, all holes were set long. This course has changed dramatically since I was last there in '96. the terrain is the same but the foliage is completely changed. Trees and bushes are much taller and bigger, the pin placements in the long position for the most part are new from '96, and the teepads are in different spots for 25% of the course. For tournament play the long positions were awesomely tough for an average pro, I cant imagine how frustrating it would be for a beginner. Fairways are well established from high usage, no grass to speak of except for the first part of the course, and I-5 (hole 13?). Alternate pin placements were examined and it looked like it would still be technically and physically demanding compared to an average course. So Delaveaga in my mind is still one of the premier courses to play, whether recreationally, or competitively, as the course definitely has what it takes to challenge all levels of disc golfers.
Yes there is erosion on the course, but show me an area around there that wouldn't be with high usage like that, in other words its not a detraction, it's a natural change to the landscape from people playing disc golf, and it doesn't make the course play any better or worse except for maybe a few tree roots sticking out on some fairways that may give you a bad bounce from an errant throw.
What I didn't like: Some of the tee signs show neglect, are missing information about new pin placements. You now have to pay to park where the course is, its only a couple of bucks but still......and one last thing, I forgot about, crossing fairways. There are two areas that cross, there is no re-design to change that fact. Holes 5 and 6 cross which is not so bad since tee pad 6 is elevated, and the fairways on holes 13 and 16 cross. I don't care what course it is, this is fundamentally wrong for course design and should be avoided at all costs if only for the safety/liability issues. I believe I gave this course a 4.5 orginally, but because of the negatives I just listed it goes down to a 4. This is still one of my favorite courses, the beauty and atmosphere cant be beat, and I always want to play it again no matter how poorly I play there.
7 of 19 people found this review helpful.
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