24 Helpful / 6 Not
EPIC destination course!!
Pros: OVERVIEW: This course is grand on a scale that dwarfs human endeavor. One does not "conquer" Casitas: one survives it, endures it, and becomes a better person for having played it.
DETAILS: The setting is pure coastal California. Huge grass-covered (probably long & dry in the summer) hills, spectacular views, an abundance of nature in all directions. Nearby Ojai is an artist colony / tourist mecca where non-golfers can enjoy [fill in the blank - it's all there]. The course itself occupies a very small part of a very large campground / nature area that offers multiple opportunities for fun, including boating, fishing, hiking, and generally communing with the great outdoors.
Course design was probably a challenge: how do you fit 18 holes into a scene that it seems could easily support 36 without getting boring? The end result shows a lot of thought by people who know the game inside and out. You have uphills, downhills, a TON of mandatory shot-shaping, some uber-fun holes (#4 comes to mind immediately, with its crazy through-the-hole mando), and fresh surprises around every corner.
The day I played was right after a huge rainstorm moved through, which meant that not only was the course itself a challenge, but the gusty, swirling wind and residual water on the ground just added to the fun factor.
Mechanically, the course was perfect. Baskets in good shape, signage excellent (including really nifty pin-position indicators), concrete tee pads placed well, in good shape, and surface-rough for traction. One MAJOR plus was the benches at every tee - those hills enforce the need to take a load off!
Cons: The only real "con" was the trash cans, bathroom facilities, and water, of which there were not enough. Ten bucks to get into the park is steep but totally fair, considering the multitude of activities available for the whole fam dambly. (If DG was the only thing there, it would be a bit of a rip.)
Other Thoughts: All in all, you play this course and you know you've had an experience to treasure for a lifetime. It's not really comparable to any other So Cal course except maybe Wrightwood (or whatever they're calling that now) - an epic destination to travel to from wherever you happen to be sitting right now.
24 of 30 people found this review helpful.
18 Helpful / 1 Not
Disc Golf at its Best
Pros: - Spectacular scenery, with views of the lake and mountains.
- Rugged terrain with massive elevation changes on every hole.
- Great variety of shots, pleanty of opportunities to air it out mixed in with some tight tunnel shots that require shorter range precision.
- Multiple tee positions on every hole.
- Benches and signs at every tee with a washer that indicates the tee placement.
- Signature holes everywhere. Hole 16 is the common favorite and most memorable however each hole is unique with no "filler" holes.
- Camping onsite, this would be an excellent place to camp and disc golf for a weekend.
- Baskets are in great shape with flags on top.
Cons: I feel like I'm reaching here to find cons. Obviously the $10 entry fee is a bit steep, the most I've ever paid for disc golf. It is definitely worth it as a destination course but it would be a bit steep as a home course.
It would be nice to have more garbage cans here, but again I feel like I'm reaching to find cons.
Other Thoughts: Out of the 50+ courses I've played this is far and away the best of them all. In my opinion this course offers the perfect balance of challenge and fun. The layout is technical with a lot to think about, however it isn't so difficult that it isn't fun for the average disc golfer.
A spotter is must, there are plenty of blind shots that require the use of a spotter Or else you could be searching a long time. Fortunately the terrain isn't so thick that you can't find your disc, however you can be searching a long time.
Be sure to plan ahead for this course. Make sure you bring lunch and plenty of water. Rounds can take a while due to the terrain, and if you play once you will want to play again.
18 of 19 people found this review helpful.
15 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Fantastic variety of hole types, difficulties, necessary throws, and blind / distant pins. Tremendous elevation changes makes this a very exciting course.
Good signage, altho when I played the pictures at the tboxes were a bit off, the placements were not all accurate, however the distances seemed to be.
There's a 'vibe' here. It just seems special, like nothing you've played before. Well, I had yet to play something as epic as this.
Even with a full course, we rarely had to wait or warn players we were throwing. Good use of the space allowed. I will say, though, they could probably fit a 27 into the area no problem.
Cons: Not the easiest to traverse. I had to keep watching my footing, granted I was wearing flat Adidas instead of something with more tread.
It's worth $10 (per auto) for someone like me; out-of-stater on the disc golf road trip. And whereas the cost was WELL worth it, if you lived nearby and played frequently $10 seems a bit steep. I'm not sure if they have a discount program or whatever.
If I had to dock this course a half a point, I would do so in the area of refinement. The course was all chopped up, very rocky, and didn't seem very 'polished'. Don't get me wrong it was fine, but, IMO, a 5 star course should be a bit more maintained in that respect.
Other Thoughts: What an amazing course! One of the best I've played....if not THE best.
My buddy & I got there at 1pm or so and still had time to play 36 holes. So, despite the terrain you can make good time if you're diligent with your throws and walking lines.
We met up with a solo player for our second round, and he was cool to throw with. People on CA courses are all friendly (420) and we didn't meet a single bum on our west coast disc golf trip!
15 of 16 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 5 Not
Top Notch Disc Golf
Pros: • Excellent scenery/setting
• Great tee signs
• Lots of hole variety
Cons: • $10 park fee per vehicle
• A bit of a drive off the highway
Other Thoughts: This review will be short & sweet, as the other reviews say all that needs to be said: phenomenal course. This is what a disc golf course should be.
The only real downside is that it takes a good drive to get there off the highway, and of course the $10 park fee which would get real old if you lived in the area and wanted to play regularly.
Spectacular scenery, well though out holes. Loved playing this course. It's a must-play if you are anywhere near the area.
5 of 10 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 10 Not
Pros: A course in the hills overlooking Lake Casitas. Just perfect terrain for a course. Lots of elevation, oaks and manzanitas. Nice concrete pads on every hole. Good signs that show the multiple basket positions. No repetitive holes, boring holes or gimmick holes. There are ups, downs and mandos to make you use all your shots. There are long holes, short holes,technical holes and let 'er rip holes. Great variety. I could play this course repeatedly, and never get bored. When you tee of down the hill on 1 it will give you an idea of what you have to look forward to playing. Just a really fun technical course.
Cons: $10/$15 to play a round.
The course plays very close to a camping area. There are multiple places where bike/walking paths cross fairways, and create some dangerous situations. I had to repeatedly wait for kids on bikes, or walkers to clear the fairway. In a couple cases it's hard to see tham coming.
Other Thoughts: I am not a fan of courses mixed in with other park facilities, but sometimes that's the only way a course gets installed. While the course itself is one of the best I have played in CA, the interference from other people spoils the fun. This course ranks up there with Stafford and Napa of the CA courses I've played. If at all possible the best way to handle this course would be to make a weekend of it and make use of the campground. Then you could turn a negative into a positive. Crawl out of your tent , and start throwing. If you like to fish or bike, there is plenty to do around the lake. That makes this a great destination course.
12 of 22 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 0 Not
Quite the Walk
Pros: Lots of variety
Lots of challenge
Very fun layout over the hiils and through the brush
Not a lot of ground cover to lose discs in
Awsome scenery in a great park
The elevated tee pads on 1, 5, 16 etc are a blast!
Cons: $10 day use fee
Course not marked on the main park map
Kinda poor directions to the parking area (ok yeah this ones a little nit-picky)
No swimming in the lake!? Ok I get it - this is a water supply resivour but really? The gas and oil mixed in the water from all the boats does not do damage? The bodily fluid mixing from the local wildlife is not detrimental? There's no water treatment regimine before drinking? (Sorry for the rant, I know it has nothing to do with DG, but this seems silly)
Other Thoughts: This has to be a destination course to play for anyone visting the area. Definitely one of the best I've played. I can see how this could get crowded on the weekend but I played on a Wednesday in August when it was 105 out. Only two other groups on the course the entire round.
Don't think you can park at the gate and walk in to skip the $10 fee (not that I tried and got a half mile in before realizing how big the park is and went back and happily paid the fee). It's 3 miles from the gate to the parking area.
The hole layout maps at each tee pad have a small washer on the upper left corner. The letter at the 12 o'clock position is the basket in play. (I know now that this is common practice but did not until I finished my round and a local clued me in).
If playing in the summer bring a water bottle! The store mentioned in the description is closed. There is a bait and tackle store over by the other boat ramp though (turn left as you get in the gate rather than right).
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: First of all, great course. Holes had plenty of variety of shots and distances. I threw every shot I had in the book. Only one mando from what I remember (hole 3?), but made a cake 100-some foot hole no gimme deuce. Hole 16 was spectacular too; sitting on top of the hole overlooking the beautiful park and lake and letting it fly to the basket, absolutely beautiful.
Cons: Very few downfalls, the only one I could think of was doing a better job letting the thrower know which basket to throw too. Quite a few holes are blind the only way to know which basket you're going to for sure is to run down and take a look around. A few holes need some markers stating where the next tee pad is as well. Even with a scorecard it is hard to locate the next tee pad off the map.
Other Thoughts: Great course, definitely one of my top 3. Has a great mixture of shots and just a beautiful view.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
25 Helpful / 2 Not
a great combo..."Disc and Camp"
Pros: Beautiful scenic course set on a huge piece of land with well manicured terrain, bring hiking boots or well soled shoes for this one, elevation changes are awesome on this course with uphill, hyzers to anhyzers, to thumbers to rollers, you will use every shot imaginable as well as a few different discs. Lots of trees come into play as well as shrubs, accuracy is a must have here, as a shanked drive or approach shot will be punished by landing in a shrub or tree. A few holes like #4 has an incredible tunnel shot (mandy) uphill skippable ace run, some air it out holes like #5 and #16 (my favorite) 16 is a hole where you can really take it all in with a beautiful few of lake casitas and its surroundings, I could set-up a chair with some cold ones and watch Dg'ers throw this signature hole all day. 18 holes here of pure beauty..not beginner friendly and I do recommend a spotter on a few of the holes that are blind holes with elevation changes that have no view of the basket, like hole #3 that plays a real low ceiling threw a tree and up and over to a basket resting on the down side. A must see for yourself course, as words cannot even come close to actually being there and playing this beauty.
•Tee pads are all concrete..a plus in my book.
•Tee signs are in excellent condition, best ive seen, Multiple pin positions with flight Path and footage marked for each, all tee signs are marked with a rotatable washer to show which basket to shoot for, A, B, C, D etc..every hole has a sponsor advertisement flyer next to the map..NICE!!! don't see that often. Baskets moved often by a local that runs the "monthly" (every second Saturday of the month) come out and show your skills whether its Pro, Am, or Rec..all skill levels welcome.
•Benches located at all tee pads.
•Some trash cans located as most teepads, could use a few more as I seen some litter spread out on the course.
•Camping available..Tent camping is located right off the course Section "M" for easy access to a few holes..and when nobody is shooting or in the fairway there is a few baskets to empty your bag on from camp. "ace run" …also you can watch and critique other Dg'ers from your site while sipping on a cold one.
•Rv campsites also available for those who like a little more comfort.
•There is a store on your way to the course that carries everything you need for a day on the course, like cold beverages, ice, Cool cups to keep that beverage cold, Hats, visors and even a good variety of discs are available but beware to pay top dollar as they are a little on the high side. Need a souvenir, grab it here.
•Definitely a lot of work went in to creating this course, Dg exclusive. So grab your camping gear and make it a weekend of disc golf.
Cons: Not really a con once you see the course..but a $10.00 park usage fee is accessed at the gate, good for all day use. Drinking fountains would be nice to see scattered through out the course.
Other Thoughts: Get over and play this one!!..it is on my top "10" a must see and play if you are in the area. try to bring a friend or other Dg'ers with you as i think this course will be difficult to play alone.
25 of 27 people found this review helpful.
26 Helpful / 1 Not
Bring some good shoes and a Snack
• Beautiful and breathtaking scenery, the best I have ever seen at a disc golf course. It is just postcard city wherever you look
• Excellent variety of angles, some of the best variety at any course I have played. Only about 4 or 5 holes play straight RHBH. There are a number of difficult RHFH/LHBH shots on the course.
• Multiple tee positions (generally 4 per hole) that seem to be changed regularly. There were some really tough positions and some that made holes quite a bit easier.
• Solid, uniform length concrete pads (my favorite!)
• Excellent tee signs with a rotating washer system to show you which basket position you are playing to. Especially helpful on the blind holes (which is more than half of them)
• Extreme Difficulty: Definitely a pro. Playing singles I didn't manage a single birdie in 2 rounds. Playing doubles we managed about 5 in one round. I can see playing this course regularly and it still kicking my butt score-wise. We're not talking 800 foot flat ground holes either. That's for the birds (no pun intended). Every hole is technical and even the 400-500 footers are reachable.
• Camping right on the course, with baskets located right next to campsites M20 through M28. Makes for some great Ace runs.
• Lots of huge trees that force you to shape lines, and some that make extremely creative mandos (Like Hole 3 and Hole 4)
• Benches at practically every tee. I can't remember a single tee that didn't have a bench. This is a huge plus and something that isn't always normal for Socal.
• LOTS of secluded break spots, and you'll need them with the constant walking up and down the hills.
• Bathrooms all over the course
• General store on the way to the course and campgrounds that actually has a decent disc selection, plus they sell camping supplies and all kinds of beverages. They even had beer and ice at reasonable prices. I saw some of the Coyote Classic 2008 discs there at the shop
• Extremely friendly locals who seem to be very proud of their course
• Dedicated DG Exclusive area - I'd like to see those picnickers give it a try on this course!
• Water did NOT come into play on any of the holes even though the lake is omnipresent. Looks like Hole 1 and Hole 9 have water when that finger of the lake actually is full of water. Hole 7 also seems like it could come into play with the "D" position
• Could use a few more trashcans
• How about a few drinking fountains? It is at a lake after all...
Lake Casitas is without a doubt the most beautiful and challenging course that I have had the pleasure thus far to play. This course is the definition of the phrase "destination course": it is definitely worth it to travel from afar to come and play this beautiful piece of land. It is situated on a swath of rugged hills and ridges abutted up against the lake, with several holes playing down to or around the water. No swimming in the lake as it is a water reservoir, but apparently boats are OK. Saw a bunch of rowers out there as well.
Make sure that you take some good hiking shoes with you and pants are recommended - there is a bunch of poison oak out there especially in the summertime. This course is a grueling workout and not for casual players. You will need to be in decent shape and if you are not, it will be a struggle to play more than one round. I am kind of a big guy but have a predilection for punishing my body, and was able to play 3 rounds within a 24 hour period. I was sore for 2 days afterward, especially the hips/ankles/legs from the extensive amount of downhill walking.
The plethora of Signature holes is overwhelming but welcomed. Here's my summary of what I thought were the signature holes here:
Hole 16: 570 foot in the long position and ~ 100 ft of elevation change make this a monster "top of the world" shot. On one shot I tried to turnover my Monarch and it hyzered, ending up 400 feet to the left of the hole. With the air time being around 15 seconds minimum, you either need a MEGA hyzer line or a fast turnover shot with a tight tunnel variation. The longest shot we saw on this day was a tight anhyzer with a Destroyer that went 750 feet (woot). Spotter heavily recommended.
Hole 7: Plays out of a small opening in the trees to a basket that is generally around 460 feet away, with a possible long position at 585. This one plays right down to the water and boasts some of the most beautiful waterside scenery on the course. Tricky anhyzer to fade angle that hardly anyone got right the entire time we were there. Spotter heavily recommended.
Hole 4: Tough uphill shot through a tree mandy window. Plays at about 150 feet but is a tough angle to meet. The tree forces a drastic anhyzer line for RHBH players.
Hole 13: Wow. Just wow. Got my first 6 in almost a year on this hole, then followed that up with a 7. Felt like I was 10 and playing miniature golf again. Narrow tunnel shot leading up to a 12 foot limestone wall, with the basket tucked into a grove of trees on top of the hill and about 80 feet back. Without a doubt the toughest hole on the course.
This course is highly recommended, but not for the casual player. You'll need to plan a day around it if you want to play more than a round. Camping is really the best option here. Play a round or two one day, rest and eat (you'll need it) and then play more the next day. I dreaded looking up at the walk from the 15 basket to the Hole 16 Tee on my 3rd round, but once I got there and caught my breath for 2 minutes it was worth the trek. Watch your footing here! I stepped in the Hole on 8 and received a minor ankle sprain. I still was able to play 1.5 more rounds though. I'm a masochist, what can I say?
I can't find a single noticeable con with this course and am thus rating it a full 5 discs. This course is the best I have seen to this date, although I have played only in California, it seems even out of state players who visit this course have similar sentiments. It is unlike anything you will ever play. Truly a unique experience. If you like elevation change (this is a key for a high rating with me) then you will greatly enjoy this course.
Don't miss this one if you are in the L.A. / Ventura / Santa Barbara area. I came from Orange County and it was WELL worth the trip. I can't wait to go back. From what I hear the Coyote Classic is one of the best tournaments out there, I'm sure it is worth checking out if you are a competitive player. Remember: Good shoes, lots of fluids, and some food to keep you going. You'll burn it off quick.
26 of 27 people found this review helpful.
27 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: -Slick, very clear (photographic) tee signs.
-Course design. Where do I begin? The land upon which the Casitas DG course is situated is a course designer's dream. Lots of drastic elevation loss and gain and all used marvelously. Zero cheap holes. Add thick (often manipulated) oak trees and other vegetation for some REALLY nice holes.
-More signature holes than one can shake a stick at. I got up to shoot one hole and thought "wow. Finally an easy one that I can just hyzer it over the top." Nope. Hell-mando requiring you throw UNDER an arching branch over the path, uphill. Then there is hole nine, shooting about 350' over a (dry) finger of the lake and then up a steep hill to a basket protected by a grove of trees. Or hole sixteen. Oh holy hole sixteen. My top top-of-the-world hole in DG. In the deep location it's 570' and about 80' drop in elevation to a basket tucked away in some shrubs.
-Plenty of bathrooms strewn about the course.
-Camping adjacent to the course.
-Camp store has a (pretty expensive) disc selection.
-Large cement tees
-Baskets are top-notch. Each pin has a flag on top, which I found invaluable for gauging the trade winds that kick up off the lake in the afternoons. I understand some hippy changes the pin locations weekly.;)
-Tons of wildlife and super clean, fresh air.
Cons: -$10/day or $25/night for camping. A little bit steep, but this is a destination course. Pile in the posse and split it!
-Grueling workout. Bring lots of water and beer and plan on recharging the old batteries in between rounds (it's nice that the course layout hits the parking lot after nine. Park there and pack less when you start out). I've ran marathons that burn fewer calories than 45 holes at Casitas.
-Plenty of places to lose plastic. The combo of quite a few blind baskets and thick brush mean spotters are a must. Consequently, between lost discs and the rough terrain, rounds at Casitas typically take much longer than rounds anywhere else I have played. Not really a con...just something to plan for.:)
-Few trashcans on the course. Quite a few beer cans strewn about.
Other Thoughts: My oh my I don't know how Casitas has gone under my radar for so long. Just returned from a two day camp out with a few friends and could not be more impressed. We were told by someone in-the-know what camp site to request. We get there and there's a SWEET little 220' shot out and down across a valley. We all emptied our bag on it over and over again. SUCH a great way to pass the time, enjoy a brew and the stunning natural beauty of the Casitas recreation area. Camp when you come to play Casitas. You'll thank me.
Make sure you're in shape. I could see this course breaking a lot of disc golfers who are used to primarily flat disc golf courses.
That said, the elevation swings are what make this course. No boring, straight uphill holes here. Every line must be shaped well to have a shot at getting par on each hole. Few courses feel better to birdie at.
This is not the course to bring your girlfriend who is just learning. Or your kids who like to fart around, tagging along while you shoot a round. This is no place for beginners who don't have a grasp on how to shape lines.
This is a destination for HARDCORE disc golfers ONLY. Frustrating, exhausting and robust.
...And as sexy as disc golf courses get. :)
27 of 30 people found this review helpful.
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