16 Helpful / 1 Not
Look Out Below!
28 (!) holes. Variety of hole-types and shots needed. Concrete teepads. Signs showing the various basket positions for each hole. Practice basket. Excellent map. Clubhouse ˝ mile away. Area dedicated to disc golf. Baskets #6, tee numbers 20, 23, and 25 are all near the parking lot, if you need to re-load with water - or discs.
Hole #27 needs to be experienced - words don't do it justice. Take a break, sit on the bench for a bit, and enjoy the expansive views you have of the entire course below you, and the forest and hills you can see for miles about you. Imagine the glorious flight of your disc will experience as it glides effortlessly down the long hill. Anticipate with joy as you release your disc into the clear sky, wondering if you'll actually hear the chains being struck so far away. Experience the horror of seeing your normally stable disc get caught in the wind, and begin turning towards basket #5 … no, tee #1 … wait, fairway #6, wondering if they'll hear you yell "fore" from so far away. Relief as your disc settles between basket #6 and tee #1, and then hustling down to make sure nobody finds and makes off with your apparently-abandoned disc!
Crossing fairways: #5 plays perpendicular across the midpoint of #6's fairway; #13's and #16's form an X-shape. #20/#22 can interfere with one another. Some basket locations and/or "typical" flight-paths can put some tees at risk - Tee #1, in particular, risks being hit on throws from #6 and #27. An errant throw (may my Squall rest-in-peace - or be found by a deserving soul) on #12 or #15 can end-up in a difficult-to-traverse ravine that contains quite a bit of broken glass.
The current-position marker at each sign was inconsistent - sometimes it was correct, sometimes not, at other times it wasn't set at all! A victim of its popularity - crowds. On a random summer early afternoon, there was already a decent amount of people on the course. Some groups are savvy, and know when to let a single player play past, and others, well not so - twice I had to skip a pair of holes when groups wouldn't let me play through. By the time I left, people were already double-parking in the lot. $2 to park.
- contours: some quite flat, some with very gentle changes in elevation, yet others with extreme up or down
- distances: good drives will sometimes lead to birdie opportunities, sometimes leave you with moderate approach shots, yet sometimes you'll still need to make a fairly-difficult second shot.
- shape of shots: left-turning, right-turning, S-shape, up-n-over, a roller if you care (I'm sure there were other opportunities, but I'm limited in my abilities)
- tightness: a few grip-n-rip drives, but you typically have to deal with trees at some point. Where the trees came into play varied - beginning/mid/end of opening drive, and/or near to the basket - and a few times, the entire length of the hole.
Challenging and fair - there was no hole, practically no shot, where I thought either a) this is too easy, or b) this is impossible. All baskets were accessible, but most every one had a tree, or more, nearby. Very fair fairways- nothing ridiculous. Hole #17 appears to be no more. There is an extra hole between 8/9, and another one between 26/27 (teepad to right as you reach top of ridge, basket farther to the left).
If you find yourself in the Bay area, it is certainly worth making a diversion to play this varied and challenging course- its worth the effort, and with the beach/rides at Santa Cruz not too far away, there are other things to do in the area.
16 of 17 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 8 Not
Worth the Pilgrimage
Pros: Breathtaking setting supported by awesome disc golf community.
I simply was in awe and enjoyed every second on the course.
Risk / Reward shots and extreme elevation changes challenge your mental and physical game.
Well worth my journey from the east coast!
Cons: That might be your disc you see 100ft down the ravine.
A couple of errant throws or unkind kicks might have you mountain climbing (which is a Pro) but throwing your disc out of there is undesirable.
Other Thoughts: If you are not local, make the pilgrimage!!!
4 of 12 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 13 Not
Not much to add
Pros: 27 holes. This course is a great challenge for both pros and ams. There is a great variety of layouts - big open hucks, technical shots throuh wood with OBs, up hill, down hill, blind dog legs. Excellent use of land/ topography. Friendly locals. This is a big fun course that will improve your game for sure.
Cons: Some holes play too close to each other. The course gets crowded.
Other Thoughts: I hear that the number of holes was being reduced from 27 to 18. I hope not.
0 of 13 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.
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.
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