Bridge to Bridge Not the Safest Place to Play
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Established in 2012 in the wonderful city of
Santa Cruz, Bridge to Bridge is a nine hole pitch n' putt located along the river on a narrow stretch of park land. Intended as an introductory course to those new to the sport, it WOULD be the ideal place to work on mechanics for putts and approaches. However, due to its location within the city, it is not recommended primarily due to safety (more on this later).
Par for the course is 27, with holes ranging anywhere from 142 -200'. Pins are easily approachable from the tee, often requiring some navigating between small trees and shrubs which add to the overall challenge and enjoyment. Elevation comes in to play at times, but is most prevalent on hole eight. Every hole on the course also has a high probability of an ace! The park itself has potential to be beautiful if under more supervision from the city.
As mentioned by previous reviewers, this course was installed to move a lot of the homeless population out of the park. The city had the right intentions when they built the course but unfortunately the planners never truly succeeded in their mission. Due to lack of police presence, even though there is a police station right there, the park is often used as a place to buy and use hard drugs. Although an occasional group of people taking a lunch break or stroll along the river can be seen, it is primarily filled with homeless camps or those up to no good. Even though the majority of them seemed harmless, I still came in contact with several who were irrational and/or mentally unstable.
Being that I am from the area (Los Gatos), I knew what I was getting myself into and just tried to be civil and friendly and NEVER stayed long enough in one spot to overly engage. The day I went with my buddy we played in the middle of the day and still felt uncomfortable, which is why we only brought putters and quickly walked the course so that I could add another course played. Now that I have played it I will not be back unless there are some serious improvements which I sadly feel may never happen. Tom Schot did a terrific job with the design but it unfortunately sits in a sketchy area that is unsafe for those who contribute to society. Skip it and play ANYWHERE else in the area as there is a ton of amazing disc golf to be had!
Although Bridge to Bridge is not worth the time, there is a lot of fun to be had in the area. Due to its proximity, the drive along the coast is truly magnificent. You can head south toward Monterey and visit the aquarium and Canary Row or north toward Mavericks or Half Moon Bay. If you stay local, you can hit up the Beach Boardwalk, Crow's Nest, or downtown Capitola. No matter the way, it's a win-win! You'll always find great beaches, shopping, surfing, and people. Just be sure that if you find time to disc golf, you head to De La!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: If there were no homeless people, this would be a great approach practice course.
Cons: No tee pads
Lots and lots of homeless people everywhere and for some reason they decide to camp out near each basket
Unplayable for the most part.
Other Thoughts: I work about 5 minutes away from this course and will never be back.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 1 Not
The bums are moving on
Pros: Leave it to Tom Shot to find a way to construct a course where no hole is over 200', but where even experienced players still find themselves carding a lot of 3s unless their finesse upshot and putting game is tight. This is a great practice course, particularly if you want/need to tighten up the P&A aspect of your game. It is also a great course for beginners, where they actually have a chance at scoring some birdies, but without the difficulty of DeLaveaga where the learning curve is much much steeper.
The course is also very pretty, winding through trees next to the river, and along the grassy green benchlands. This will only improve with time, as fresh grass is planted along the fairways and they become a simple extension of the grassy field.
Cons: The course is still in less than top condition, but it is changing so rapidly that I think it will become cherry after the ground is graded (where necessary) and grass is planted.
There are still a few bums out there, but far fewer than even a month ago (see Other Thoughts below).
If the river floods again, this course will be underwater. It may call for a complete rebuild.
Other Thoughts: I think the early reviews of this course are not very useful, as they occurred in the very beginning and don't consider how much the situation has improved. Even a week makes a difference out here.
When I first came to this park last year, there were hundreds of homeless and tweakers stumbling around this park, like a zombie army. You would never take your kids to this park, and nobody used it except for the large population of homeless, and drifters, and criminals, drunken ex-cons, needle-users, etc.. The bums had taken over San Lorenzo Park, and the residents of Santa Cruz were not very willing to take it back from them, they surrendered. Given the huge population of these kinds of people in Santa Cruz, if you don't use a park, you'll surely lose it.
In early 2012, beloved local resident and downtown business owner Shannon Collins was brutally stabbed to death in the middle of the day by a violent schizophrenic criminal who had been released early from state prison, and had been hanging out along the San Lorenzo River benchlands since his release. While the city had already been hoping to get disc golf started in San Lorenzo Park, and discussions were underway with the DeLaveaga Disc Golf Club, this incident seemed to light a fire and everyone living in the downtown area took up the cause of taking back the park from the bums.
The course went in as an object course in April. The baskets were installed in early June. By late June the number of homeless hanging out around and nearby the course had already dropped to just a few dozen. Early use of the course, and increased pedestrian traffic were already having a positive impact. (Note that there are many new uses of the park that are contributing to increased traffic, from story-telling time for kids, yoga classes, impromptu soccer matches, kite-flying, etc.) Once these people figure out that the people of Santa Cruz are coming to take the park back, the bad elements move somewhere else...they are not willing to stand their ground in the long run.
By late July, there is only a single contingent of needle-heads that still hang out near hole 5 basket, and a few other homeless who haven't been around long enough to know about the disc golf course. The group near hole 5 are the last hold-outs. Once they're gone, we'll have the course all to ourselves, so long as we keep coming to San Lorenzo Park to play it.
An early reviewer said that these are problems of the city of Santa Cruz, and that it isn't our responsibility to help solve them. I couldn't imagine a more wrong-headed perspective, they obviously don't get it, but maybe not surprised since the collapse of civic values in our society is so evident in comments like this one. In fact, we ARE the city of Santa Cruz, and it is OUR responsibility as a community! Don't sit on your asses waiting for the gov't to solve these problems, get out there and do something about it, yourself! That is what disc golf in the Monterey Bay is all about...it is all about the effort to improve our parks by civic volunteer efforts, in lean economic times, and it works!
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 4 Not
Bum to Bum
Pros: The course itself looks like it could be a fun course if it was really possible to play. The cons here just way outweigh the pros.
Cons: The homeless!!! There were close to a hundred homeless people camping in the park the day we chose to play rendering the course pretty much unplayable. Rampant drug use and many mentally unstable people on the course threatning us.
Other Thoughts: This course was developed to help push the homeless out of this park. What it does is put disc golfers in harms way. This park is a social commentary on the amount of homeless in CA and where they should go, and what government should do and a whole plethora of other social issues. But without getting into all that what this course does do is put discgolfers in a unsafe environment fighting the city of Santa Cruz's problems for them. We were in a fairly large group but I cant imagine a family or singles trying to play this course. As it was we had a confrontation with someone on the course that was either strung out, mentally gone or both. This course is dangerous and if Santa Cruz is serious about making this a course the police and local sheriff should be the ones clearing this park not disc golfers.
6 of 10 people found this review helpful.
17 Helpful / 2 Not
Are the Bum's OB?
Pros: The course plays in a completely straight line for the first seven holes along the San Lorenzo River with no holes over 200ft. That being said, the course is very well designed with a good mix of tee shots. The tees, as well as the baskets, are strategically placed near trees demanding precise lines for ace runs. Every hole on the course is ace/birdieable with no real opportunities for losing discs. The 9 holes take about 20/30 minutes to play and with massive DeLaveaga less than 3 miles away, it is a great place to warm up.
Cons: This place is the homeless/drug using headquarters of downtown Santa Cruz. Starting with the first hole, there were two guys sleeping right next to the basket. After a close call, we walked up to the baskets before we threw and asked the bums to watch out for incoming discs. All but two were very friendly, but that one woman went on a rant that she wasn't going to watch out and told us to go play somewhere else. (We still threw, and without any further altercations). Another disc went close to a congregation of bums and one guy picked up the disc and slammed it in the basket. There was definitely a lot of hard drug use going on in that park.
Other Thoughts: This is meant to be a beginner course, in a beautiful park. The course itself was strategically placed by the city of Santa Cruz to increase foot traffic in this area to mitigate the illegal activities taking place in the park. It would be a great place to bring new players and young kids, especially in comparison to Tom Schot's other courses in the area, and hopefully the longer this course is here and the more popular it becomes, this problem will subside, but I would not bring young children here. That is unless you want to explain to them what that guy is doing in the trees and why he's tying off. If you and some friends want to throw a well laid out warm up 9 before DeLa, come here, but this is NOT yet the short family park course it has the potential to be.
17 of 19 people found this review helpful.
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