9 Helpful / 0 Not
Lives up to its reputation
Pros: Featuring a massive 27 hole layout (which was 29 for me due to the Masters Cup), I was amazed that most of the holes were very unique with no repetition. This course has a variety of extreme elevation, open shots, tight shots, canyons to punish mistakes, and did I mention all the gorgeous trees everywhere? Yah, they will punish you too!
There's absolutely no chance to sit back and relax here. This course will get into your mind because it forces different shot-making decisions on every hole. I would say it's mostly a finesse course, because there is so much danger from errant throws (canyons on the edge of fairways that are very steep and wooded), and from sloped greens that go (you guessed it) into those canyons. You will have to play smart at times, because the course will easily serve up bogeys when you make an errant drive/approach/putt. This is discin' at its best!
The folks here are pretty friendly and two separate groups allowed me to join them (I did not want to play through, due to a million people playing).
Cons: Crowds are prevalent here. It is a part of life at Delaveaga from what the locals tell me. (I turned this into a pro, by asking to join a group I'd just met. Way better than cutting through groups all day long. Adding holes probably wouldn't improve this situation. As a matter of opinion - I think they could cut down the amount of holes to make the course a little safer.
I would not take a newbie here, (we had one in my group). They will be hiking those canyons all day long and may get a little discouraged. If they had alternate tee pads, that may help a little....
Many of what I would normally list as Cons, I will list in Other Thoughts this time. The reason? The things that normally would be considered bad course design didn't seem to be a big problem here.
Other Thoughts: The numerous intersecting holes (5 & 6, 13 & 16) would normally be really bad, but all the people here were patient and knew where to look for danger.
Your drive from The Top of the World shot on #27 can easily end up on holes #1, 2, 5, 6, 25 or the parking lot. Once again, the locals yell out the affected Hole # and "Fore", and everybody in that area knows that somebody is sending love from the Top. Everybody seemed to take this into stride and if they can run a World's tournament with this "hazard", then I see some symbiosis here.
Bring your own water, as there's none here, and I hear it gets quite hot in this area.
Minor nitpick, but I would still print a map - the signage is really good, but there are some long walks to some tees, and an arrow can be vague sometimes.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 21 Not
Pros: De Laveaga Disc Golf Course is one of the most highly rated disc golf courses in the world. It is famous for its inspiring natural setting, as well as for its uncompromising challenge
Cons: You will get a few overpar strokes if you don't pay attention to every shot.
Other Thoughts: Scenic , Beautiful course.
0 of 21 people found this review helpful.
16 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: + You need every throw that exists
+ Perfectly maintained all year long
+ Perfect baskets and tee pads
+ Perfect signage, especially with the addition of untamperable pin placement markers
+ Every shot all day is risk/reward: drives, approaches, and especially putts.
+ Pro shop on site
+ Constantly shifting pin placements mean a fresh look
+ Portable bathroom on site
Cons: - Crowds
- Crowds of families throwing lids 20ft at a time who would have had a better time at Aptos
- Crowds of tourists that don't know course rules, some of which are there for safety
- If you are a beginner, expect to waste a good deal of time pulling discs out of ravines, or bring cash to buy extra discs in the parking lot
- Central coast poison oak (PO)
- Brutal, occasionally sneaky, difficulty
- Only a couple spots for the wide open big bombs...you'll never get to relax and just throw
-$2 to park, which makes it the only pay-to-play for many miles (though I wish it were more expensive to cut down on #1, #2, and #3)
- Um...no water fountain on site, I guess. I'm really reaching.
Other Thoughts: Notes:
I have put off writing this review for a while now. DeLa is DeLa, ya' know? It's not like it needs me shilling for it. Considering all factors, it's clearly the best course in this part of the country.
The important points are listed above, so I'm just going to talk about the course a little bit. I don't need to talk you into trying out DeLa. If you're a disc golfer and you're visiting the area, it's a no-brainer. If you're a disc golfer and you're living in the area, you've played DeLa. If you're not a disc golfer, you're not reading this.
Delaveaga has always been my home course. I started out playing there in the late 90's with nothing but a Shark. A few hours at DeLa meant at least three beers and three hours, often without seeing another set of golfers. It was just a part of living in SC, like jogging along West Cliff, or not remembering how you got home from the Red Room.
I didn't begin playing DG with a purpose until summer 2011. As my distance crept up, so did the amount of time I spent searching for discs in ravines. In my opinion, this course is toughest on low intermediate players with the arm to put the disc far into trouble. Thinking back, during that phase of my development, I actually avoided the course for quite a while without really realizing it. I was spending more than a half-hour per round clambering, and a few times repelling, through PO.
Every hole at DeLa is a par 3. This doesn't mean that 3 is the average number of strokes it takes people to put the disc in the basket...just that the par is always 3. A pattern I've noticed with many courses is that designers try to make sure that one of those three shots is tough; at DeLa, unless you truly park one of your first two, every shot is likely to be difficult, making it one of the great risk/reward courses. On most of the holes, the only way to park the shot is to mix a little bravery in with your skill. Most of the fairways are full of obstacles. Most of the greens are guarded and are fast/sloped/littered with roots, making even simple upshots nerve-racking. I promised myself that I wouldn't write this review until I started to put together regular par or better rounds--it only took 14 years.
Celebrate your pars, take your birdies where you can get them, and when you do get a bogey, smile and remember that you're in Santa Cruz, playing disc golf at one of the greatest courses in the world.
16 of 17 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 7 Not
Scary but great
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.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
I <3 DeLa
Pros: This is a fantastic course with all kinds of shots. Depending on what pin position the baskets are in there can be quite a bit of diffrence in how you have to shoot the hole. The greens are fast and dangerous, but that makes you think about your shot that much more. There are 27 holes here and none of them seem the same. You will need to bring your A-game to shoot well out here.
Cons: Paying to park kinda sucks, but it helps keep down the jerks out there. The top of the world shot while fun is dangerous as it plays over a few other holes, and if it's overthrown bad enough you can end up in the parking lot. The course also gets prety crowded on the weekends, especialy in the summer.
Other Thoughts: There's a guy in the parking lot who sells discs sometimes, I've gotten some great deals from him. The shop as you are coming in by the ball golf course sells discs as well, but their prices are much higher.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
19 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Upon arrival at Dela I was very excited to play this course I had heard so much about. My wife and I were met on hole 1 by a gentleman named Jacob. Jacob offered to give us a tour through the course. This was valuable in navigating the course. He was also a very good disc golfer. He could throw further than me, even though he had left his prosthesis at home and played on crutches. He didn't slow us down. If anything it was the opposite. I did enjoy the terrain and most of the holes were well conceived. The terrain was not as brutal as all the hype and the greens were not as cruel as all the hype. Make no mistake, if you missed bad you were going to pay, but somehow my mind and all the years of talk had created much more of a monster in my minds eye. The disc golf experience there was worth more than a 3, but there were cons for me.
Cons: With all the property this course sets on I don't see why there are crossing fairways. With all the property this course sets on I don't like how shots from the last hole, Top of the World, can fly wildly in so many directions that people on at least 4 other holes are in jeopardy. I heard this a lot, "Fore on 1", "Fore on 2", "Fore on 4" or Fore on 5". I am not exaggerating. I had a wonderful talk with Marty Hapner and friends after playing the course and I heard it while playing and I heard it after playing. It may sound odd coming from me, a designer who likes tight fairways, but there were holes that had large brush/bushes in the fairways line of flight and branches of trees above them. There were many places where I had really low branches obstructing a putt and the 10 meter green invaded by bushes. The course seemed to me to need a lot of love and attention and erosion control. The soil is soft and there is a lot of play there. I played on Wednesday around noon and probably half the holes had players on them. Tough to keep up with that kind of foot traffic without some terracing and erosion control plans.
Other Thoughts: In my opinion, and I realize that many others will not agree ( and I do not begrudge them their opinions), this course should be reduced to an 18 hole course in an effort to negate the conflict that exists between the current holes.
19 of 22 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 14 Not
not as good as the hype
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.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Once Wasn't Enough
Pros: Challenging in so many ways. If you've never played it, and this was my first go at it, it's everything you've heard. Tee box views that will blow you away. Blind shots, uphill and down hill. Good friendly help and locals.
Cons: Glad I had a guide! I did grab a map of DeLa from the Bolf course, just down the road. Still, course knowledge is so important. Beware of Rollers and skips on certain holes. Them's some steeeep canyons! Garbage cans lacking but servicing them could be pretty taxing. Carry out what you brought in. Watch out for the police, they have mountain bikes too.
Other Thoughts: I was on vaca for a week. Had played down the coast at Waller Park once and Heilman 4 rounds in two days. (I'd like to thank this site very much for the guidance!) De LaVeaga was my last stop before heading back to Sac.
Blew my mind! Some out of this world shots. The Kitchen on 12 was intimidating as all get out. Hooking up with a player who knew the course was so invaluable. Thank you Kari Rose and Fumi!
The crew maintaining the place take a lot of pride in what they do and the Pro-Shop/Snack bar guy is as helpful as can be.
Time to plan a camping trip in the area with the friends that got me hooked on this game.
The 3 hour drive, one way, will require more then one round.
BTW- You have to pay to park. $2.00. Don't overpay (like me) thinking the extra goes to the course, there is a donation box on the 1st hole for that. DOH!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 4 Not
Excellent View from 27
Pros: Many have wish-listed this place and for good reason. This is where the Pro's play and sharpen their game. Good use of tech and finesse shots. Multiple pin placements. Great elevation changes and use of land. Great scenery all around and particularly from 27.
Cons: Had I not gone to the Ball Golf pro shop (down the road) prior to my round, navigation would have been an issue on some of the holes. Generally, I'd say it's not suited for first-timers.
Other Thoughts: Overall, this was a very challenging course and what I needed. It brought my game a new perspective; it's a long way to the top...
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 14 Not
Top of the World
Pros: Excellent use of terrain and natural features. Concrete pads with multiple pin positions on many of the holes. Great club with a good following of pros and ams alike.
Cons: Cigarettes are off limits as the park is a high fire area.
Other Thoughts: Pay your parking fee!!!
1 of 15 people found this review helpful.
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