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.
33 Helpful / 5 Not
Recommended, but not the best
Nice pro-shop with discs for sale. Large variety of shots required to compete on the course. Good terrain mix, with lots of elevation changes. Friendly locals. Awesome practice basket with bricks marking distances from 10'-40'. Best I've seen of that. #27 signature "top of the world" hole is a great view of the basket (and easy to lose a disc with a RHBH throw that hyzer's too much).
For a supposedly legendary course I thought it felt kinda trashy, the tee signs were in need of repair, there was trash about, there were old sofas sitting out in the open. Basket #17 has been removed due to erosion and there's no sign saying that. The tee sign for #17 is also gone, so you could waste some time wondering what happened and looking around for naught. Several crossing fairways. Multiple pin positions indicated on the tee signs, but not all signs have distances for all pins. "Current pin" pinwheels on the tee posts may or may not be correct. Some blind holes not very accurately represented on tee sign maps. A temporary con but, road construction made it somewhat difficult to find the park.
Hole #8A was added between #8 & #9. That's noted on the DGCR course map as the "?" hole. The basket removed from #17 was moved to make a new hole between #26 & #27 called "#26A". This hole is not noted on the DGCR map. When we played in July the ground was very dry and hard which produced a lot of skipping discs. It was a nice course, but I didn't get that overwhelming "ohhh-ahhh" that I was expecting from the reputation this course has.
33 of 38 people found this review helpful.
18 Helpful / 4 Not
Maby one of the best
Pros: -Open and tight holes while not too open on the open ones and not too tight on the tight ones
-Left and Right handed holes
-Uses every shot in your bag
-Hole 27 "Top of the World" is one of the most amazing shots in disc golf
-Concrete tee pads
-There's a guy with a van in the parking lot that sells drinks, snacks and discs, both used and new at good prices.
Cons: -Some tee pads getting old and beat up
-One hole is completly blind (though I almost aced it)
-A few holes are not the best, but when you have 27, one or two being ok is not too bad
Other Thoughts: This course is rated as one of the best in the world, but I still think that there is room for improvement. The tees on some holes being worn out is just a fact of life when you have a course that gets as much use as this one.
I would recomend this course to anyone traveling through the area.
18 of 22 people found this review helpful.
19 Helpful / 8 Not
Pros: Very long, so it's good for those who like to really haul off and throw it. I think this course might be a lot of fun once you know it very well, but it's definitely unfriendly to newcomers.
Cons: Poor signage. In many cases, it's really impossible to figure out where the basket is, unless you ask someone.
Very crowded, even at 2:00 on a Monday afternoon.
Dusty, hard fairways mean that discs skip and fly far beyond what you'd expect.
Finally, a number of holes are next to a deep gorge, which means a poor throw results in a dangerous climb down a steep hill to retrieve your disc.
This course is very difficult, really to point of being not fun. I like a challenge, but unless you know this course inside-out, forget it - don't even bother to keep score. Many baskets are placed in the middle of a clump of trees - there is simply no way to get a decent score.
Also, some of the other reviews talk about how scenic it is. I didn't see it. I brought my camera, and I didn't take a single picture. There's nothing striking or beautiful, other than the ball golf course you drive through to get to the disc golf course.
I'd heard about this course and read the reviews on this website, but it's not worth it. I've played many other courses that were far superior to this one.
I'm sure I'll get poor ratings from people who play this course a lot, but if you've played at any other well-regarded courses, you know that this one is good but definitely not great.
19 of 27 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 3 Not
Not quite up to expectation
Pros: Amazing variation of shots, with a number of challenging holes utilizing length, and pin placement. Some good fairways and very nice elevation change.
Locals seem quite helpful as well.
Cons: Not quite what I had expected. There were way to many holes that just seemed like gamble shots with very little to absolutely NO fairway. I personally don't see PRISON pin locations as golf holes. There were are 4 rather short holes that had basically no possible line to hit basket no matter how amazing a shot you had, and thus seems like poor holes to me. Even with a stunning shot, it still feels like pulling on a slot machine hoping you don't hit a tree. There is a couple of blind holes with VERY VERY poor tee signs... they would be completely impossible to find and play without a local guide or some extensive searching. Maybe after playing the course a few times this would be seen differently.
There are also a couple of crossing fairways, and on big crush holes too. There is lots of traffic and many blind holes, had to send out spotters and many holes and had people playing into us on about 5 holes because they didn't send out spotters.
Other Thoughts: Again, not exactly what I had expected, but after played a few times I'm sure it is an awesome place to play.
13 of 16 people found this review helpful.
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.
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