Pros: The course plays through two distinct pieces of the property. The beginning and end of the course play through a flat area with scattered trees and bushes. There are some longer holes here, and many where you have to get a little creative to place your shots where you won't end up behind an obstacle to your next shot.
The middle of the course is a lot more interesting. There are a couple shots with cool elevation changes, using a fairly small but very steep dropoff to create a tricky uphill shot, a fun downhill shot and a couple pins with roll away potential. This part of the course also brings a more wooded area into play, forcing some shorter but more technical line shaping. You'll have to have some diverse line shaping skills to score well in the dense small trees here, and missing your line will require creative shot making to recover.
Cons: Navigation is tricky if you want to play just the Oaks layout. Signage and concrete tees are only installed for the worlds layout and the numbering doesn't correspond to the original layout. There are also several changes to the layout from the original, so the map isn't quite accurate and the next tee signs on the course aren't always accurate either.
The open part of the course got a little repetitive. Lots of poison ivy in the woods, keep an eye out especially on the paths between holes. The tees that aren't on the worlds layout are often pretty soft sand and don't provide the best footing.
Other Thoughts: Parking is difficult, I found it easier to just pay for a metered spot than try to figure out where it was legal to park for free. You may want to park halfway between the two courses on site if you plan on playing both, the lot by the oaks course was gated off and there didn't seem to be much right by this course.
Beginners will find this course significantly tougher than the Cypress course, with more length and more holes that offer some punishment for errant shots. Experienced players will find some really nice challenges on some of the holes here. A guide would be really helpful to avoid wandering and missing holes.
(Note, my rating for the combined worlds layout would be higher than my ratings for either of the individual courses on site, it offers better variety and challenge and doesn't have the same tee and navigation issues.)
Pros: The course layout was very challenging, but fair. It required a pretty range of shots.
Wind can be a negative or a positive, but it good to get experience playing in wind.
Course navigation was good, so long as you have a map (use the worlds map)
I really liked the elevation usage, I.e on 2, 5, 12, 16 etc.
OB was in play on a number of holes and certainly added to the challenge on some open (and windy) holes.
The circular tee pads and signage were both good.
On several of the holes there were long PVC poles o getting discs out of trees. Very helpful and necessary.
Cons: It feels like a desert at times, very remote.
Play with a partner. I played alone without losing a disc, but a spotter or second set of eyes will help.
Almost all of the holes required a driver, with the exception of 3 or 4. Maybe some additional shorter technical holes would make it slightly better.
Trees do an excellent OB of catching discs, so take advantage of he poles that are provided on som holes.
A lack of benches and trash cans could be a negative for some.
Other Thoughts: This is a review based on the 2011 worlds layout. I really enjoyed the course, definitely a different experience than I am accustomed to in NC.
I had a good time playing in he wind, but bring appropriate discs.
I preferred this course over Ryan Ranch because it provided a different experience than I've had. For those ball golfers out there, I thinks this is similar to playing an Oceanside links course like kiawah.
A Surprisingly Enjoyable Walk
2 Helpful / 0 Not
The course is in great shape and challenging
Interesting terrain and scenery
A nice mix of interesting and unusual shots
Plenty of room to warm-up/practice
Fairly easy to navigate
Tees are all new concrete circles and the baskets are in great shape
Signs are all new although not completely clear in a couple spots
Wind can be fun (not a true Con)
Footing can be challenging in places with the ice plant, sand, and other fun things
No restrooms/water that I could find
Do take one of the Otter maps located here: http://www.dgcoursereview.com.../2b556208.jpg
Take water and use the restroom before you head out. It's also not a bad idea to tell someone where you're going. It's deserted out there. Or bring a spotter, which is not a bad idea.
I think you can still park on Engineer Lane for free in the lot near #9.
Save yourself some pain and start on #1 to get warmed up.
Pay attention to where #25's basket is. It's towards the road a little to the left of the tee box. As you can't see it from the tee, it's easy to throw to the wrong spot, and do ignore the white plastic pipe sticking up in the air. That's not a basket indicator.
Let me first state that the course(s) are still set-up for the Worlds tournament that occurred last year, so this is really a review of that set-up versus the original Oaks course (i.e. 19 holes on the Oaks and 8 on Cypress). Having said that, I had a surprisingly good time out there. Now I did make the mistake of starting on #11: a 705 foot ass kicker of a not-a-good-warmup-hole with few precious desirable landing spots. Nothing like a 6 right out of the gate. And truthfully, I think the difficult holes are really on the Oaks course, which is why I recommend you start on #1 over on Cypress to give yourself a chance to get warmed up. But even with that error, I really really enjoyed this course. After reading the reviews, I was a bit trepidatious about playing this course, and while I certainly see the complaints (the ice plant, the poison oak, the dense shrubbery), I believe the positives about this course far outweigh the negatives. This course changes its personality every few holes. You start out in a lightly wooded area and then you're out in a lake bed, and then you're in the deep woods, and then you're back out in the open, and then back in the woods. There is constantly interesting terrain around you and it's quite enjoyable to not just play through but walk through. It's also kinda cool/creepy to walk through the abandoned baseball fields in those spots. It's like you're disc golfing in an abandoned city. Anyway, as for the holes themselves, well, you're going to need every shot in your bag and you're going to need to be precise
in the wind. There are few places on this course where you can just rear back and let fly. You always have to be thinking about your path and landing zone on this course. Not just because there's a tremendous amount of OB on this course, but because there's precious few desirable landing spots. And by desirable landing spot I mean: non-OB, decent footing, visibility of the basket, and a desirable attack angle on the basket. And this is in play on every shot. Not just the tee shot. And if that weren't challenging enough, the wind is JeckyllyHydy out there. It's not blowing one minute, gusting the next. I threw back to back tee shots that landed 100 feet apart because I misjudged the wind at that moment. You're also dealing with a lot of elevation changes both uphill and downhill. Combine that with the wind, and once again you're using a lot of brain power before you throw. As far as signature holes, I would say I liked #14 because you not only throw over the lake bed on your first throw but you have to hit a billiard like shot uphill into a pocket of trees on your second shot. #15 is an enjoyable tunnel shot in a visually interesting forest. #17/18 are fun (yet butt puckering) bomber shots. I liked #9s demand of precision, and I enjoyed missing the island green on #4. I also enjoyed the challenge of the long and tree filled #27 which will demand 2 if not 3 precise throws. So with all that said, how did I do out there? What can one expect? Well, I'm probably an Intermediate/Lower Advanced player at this point in my disc journey. I'm typically right around par on the courses I play. For the 27 holes out there that day, I walked out with +9 including ~3 penalty strokes, which I felt was quite fair. Most of the time, the strokes I gave away were my fault versus anything 'unfair' on the course. So I really have no complaints about the course set-up. It seems like the right amount of difficult yet fun to me.
Of the courses I've been to thus far, I think this one may be the one that has the most elements of what makes disc golf fun: elevation changes, trees, terrain changes, long shots, short shots, left shots, right shots, OB, precise landing zones, wind, etc
The only thing really missing there is water. Is it a tough course? Absolutely. Is it beginner friendly? Noooot really. But I really enjoyed my time on this course and look forward to going back. Bravo!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Pro Worlds 2011 Layout
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I was fortunate to play the 2011 Worlds layout in advance of the event with course designer Merle Witvoet. The map for the 2011 Pro Worlds layout (and the updated Oaks layout) should be available by 7-1-11. Many holes have been redesigned and new placements installed in the past few weeks in preparation for Worlds. Some holes were permanently relocated, especially around the "ropes area".
Land is dedicated to disc golf only, although there may be an occasional dog walker or hiker.
The new tees are 10 foot concrete circles. With constantly shifting winds and multiple pin placements these round tees allow for approaches from all directions. Definitely better than playing from the sand.
Multiple pin placements on almost every established hole with more to be installed on newer holes.
Course is built on coastal sand dunes. There are many oaks, ice plants and grasses. This is a rugged piece of property with its own special beauty.
Great variety of holes utilizing the elevation change, wind and vegetation.
Prevailing winds add to the challenge especially on more open holes. Windier in the afternoon or when weather moves in.
This course is challenging both in design and ruggedness of the terrain. Not recommended for beginning players or those with physical limitations. Course is sandy and many areas are covered with large patches of ice plants adding to the challenge. Oak trees are very dense and make it difficult to retrieve discs and to get out of trouble.
OB areas are well marked and add to the challenge.
Cons: Sand and ice plants make for challenging footing on the fairways.
As with all courses in this area, there is poison oak. Be prepared if it is a problem for you.
No restroom facilities of any kind. Ample opportunity to rough it.
Due to elevation changes and/or vegetation, some pin locations for Pro Worlds are blind. Designer is already working to install flags and trim vegetation to increase visibility.
Not recommended for beginning players or those with physical limitations. It would be near impossible to use a stroller or cart. Would recommend the CSUMB Cypress Course across the street instead.
Would not recommend playing alone. Vegetation can be very dense and lost discs are a definite possibility. Again, play the Cypress Course instead.
Other Thoughts: This course really is exposed to the coastal winds. Players not familiar with wind play will suffer. Bring a jacket or sweatshirt as the constant ocean breeze can get chilly after a while.
Pro Worlds will use the redesigned 18 holes for the Oaks course plus 7 from the Cypress Course across the street. Pro Worlds numbering is different, with normal Hole 1 on the Oaks being called Hole 11 for Worlds.
The hard working volunteers are finishing the installation of all new tees by July 1st.
I had a chance to play the seven holes from the Cypress Course. While they are set on more typical park land with grass and sidewalks, there was still challenge from the wind and elevation changes. OB roads and sidewalks are well marked and add challenge to these holes. (Other extra holes will not be set up until Pro Worlds.)
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 0 Not
Challenging yet Disappointing
Pros: The Oaks course gives you everything you want in a course. Elevation changes, wind, woods, open areas, left hand shots, right hand shots......beautiful scenery, distance....the works!
Cons: With all those great pros, the course is in shambles. No one seems to know where the first teepad should be, several baskets in th 8-10 positions are missing and the navigation is downright cumbersome. My group of four experienced players who had all played the course before, spent more time looking for where we were supposed to throw then actually playing. After playing a new and improved Ryan's Ranch in the morning, this course was just frustrating. You can definitely see how great this course could be if it were cleaned up and navigation provided! This local club has lots of courses to maintain so I don't blame them, they do great work!
Other Thoughts: DO NOT FOLLOW LINK FOR MAP ON DGCR, IT IS OUT OF DATE!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 1 Not
The Oaks Course
Pros: Very challenging pin locations and green variations. This course has excellent flow and plenty of natural beauty to compliment the design. Definitely a championship caliber course, with a great mix of long fairways and tight wooded greens. New O.B. areas make for even more of a challenge. Certainly a rugged course, with no forgiveness for bad shots. There are also some great look-out spots in which you can see the entire Monterey Bay. The wind does add another challenging factor into the course design, since about half the holes are w/ tail wind, and the other with a stiff head.
All in all, I can see why the local tournaments held at the Oaks probably draw so many World Champions and NT point leaders each year; and is also most certainly deserving of the 2011 Pro World's!
Cons: No concrete tee-pads yet. Lots of wind on a breezy day (almost everyday), can make it a challenge for those not used to such conditions.
Other Thoughts: Definitely worth playing if ever given a chance!
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 2 Not
I Experienced It Once!
Pros: California State University @ Monterey Bay Oaks Disc Golf Course is even longer and more cumbersome than it's name. It sits on land that was abandoned by the US Army. There are two old ball fields complete with rusting scoreboards and fences, old training grounds and buildings in the distances. The terrain is rocky, sandy with overgrown bushes, native trees, lots of cypruss trees and a constant wind a'howling. And I happen to agree with the army. I'd abandon this land too. I didn't find it redeeming or attractive in any way. The course was made even more challenging with the ever present winds. Perfect shots landed in trees never to be found. This is a course one could never play alone or as dusk approaches.
Cons: For me, pretty much the entire Oaks course was a con. Start with the navigation. Even with the map, we were helplessly lost after # 1. Luckily (?) we went back to the parking lot and hooked up with CSUMB students Alec and Colby who guided us through the course. The teepads were sandy natural and were not good. There were some majorly challengingly holes there. I will admit that. My playing partner is an advanced player who does not back down from a challenge and he too, had nothing good to say about this course. The lack of fairways, poison oak and wind left me wanting my round to be over.
Other Thoughts: On our Bay area trip I was able to play a number of wonderful 18 hole courses that one could maybe compare to CSUMB Oaks. They are Stafford Lake, Skyline Wildnerness Park in Napa, DeLaveaga and Ryan's Ranch. All have that Cali ruggedness to them. All have that extreme challenge. IMO what differentiates the other four from CSUMB Oaks is they have a natural beauty to their courses and while extremely challenging, they are fair and therefore enjoyable! I didn't find the Oaks course to be fair, enjoyable or otherwise enjoyable in any particular way. Sorry!
6 of 8 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: How do I start? Other reviewers who loved this course are dead on. Lots of variation, blind pins and huge wind. A few amazingly long holes, several are uphill shots that have to go up a "cliff face". The few short holes are killer too; #6 is one of the hardest tiny holes I have ever played kind of like the very end of I-5 at DeLa off the tee but tighter. I think I could throw that hole 100 times in a row.
The Ice plants that cover the ground, the namesake oak trees and the oddball debris and ghost Bball fields just add to the odd mystique. I could go on and oh yea the ocean is just over the hill.
Cons: The sandy "tee areas" are very tough at times. The course is very hard to navigate the first time even with the map (but is doable.)
No signs is a short coming. No facilities; water or toilets etc.
Other Thoughts: If this course had "real" teepads and signs it would be a challenger for DeLa as best in the area. If it had 27 too it would really be a challenger.
You will need good navigation skills to learn the layout get the best map you can.
All in all a KILLER course! NorCal rocks!
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Lots of variety of shots. Alternate tees provide alternate shots not just shorter ones. Great variety of holes. Very challenging with a good mix of lengths. Almost always have the course to yourself. Easy enough to create your own alternate tees to suit your mood and/or conditions on the course.
Cons: The wind is extreme. It blows very hard everyday especially in the afternoon. Can be nearly impossible from the long tees when the wind is at it strongest. Flow could be better with just a few minor adjustments to pin location. Cosmetics are neglected like on most Monterey courses: few actual tee pads, not a lot of places to sit, rugged terrain. (As a local this has never bothered me considering the layout is still world class, and this is how all of our courses seem to be.)
Other Thoughts: This may be my favorite course when played from the white tees. The wind is ever present here so bring some overstable discs. This course will make you a good wind player if played enough.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: + Good use of the elevation
+ Easy to distinguish alternate tee pads with white and blue stones/flags
+ Nice views
+ Seats and trash cans at some holes
+ Practice basket
Cons: - Most holes are long, not too many short ones
- Still needs tee pads on all the holes
Other Thoughts: This is another course where a guide or map would be more than helpful. The wind picks up pretty strong in the bay area in the afternoon but that can help to get some big throws.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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