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.
20 Helpful / 0 Not
Challenging Course/More Challenging Terrain!
Pros: To start with, this is just a wonderful piece of ground to have a course. The views are lovely with the lake alway present in the near distance. Epic "Top of The World" holes especially # 16, 508' staight downhill. There is elevation to contend with on almost every hole. Like mentioned before, even the shorter, so called easier holes, all have some element which adds to the degree of difficulty. This happens in the form of low lying branches which you must throw under, extreme elevation gain or loss, or right or left turns or in one case, nothing more than a long, straight, extremely tight tunnel type shot. I feel, while the course is a challenge for sure, the more challenging aspect was the grueling terrain. I was dog tired with about 5 holes to go. Playing two or three tournament rounds here in one day would be a grueling event physically. The signs are excellent with 3-4 basket placements for each hole. They are indicated on the signs with a washer with A, B, C, or D on it. Unfortunately, one or two washers were dialed to the wrong letter leaving me and my spotter wife slightly confused at times. My hats off to the designers of Coyote Point. I haven't played many courses where I was more impressed with the course variety and overall, general flow and ebb of the course.
Cons: I think of the general up and down terrain as a Con as well as a Pro. When you pay $10 to get into the park, I think most players would like to play multiple rounds. I played on an extremely comfortable day, temperature wise, and I would have needed some lag time to regroup before challenging it again. It's not a course one could play alone. Spotters are most helpful. It certainly isn't somewhere to teach someone the game.
Other Thoughts: This is a destination course! It's absolutely one of the best designs that I've encountered. It's a tremendous challenge, both to your disc golf abilities as well as your physical stamina. Bring water! Bring your power drink! Bring a lunch for between your rounds! Play in a group to help so you have some spotters. I would feel pretty confident stating that this is one of California's top courses.
20 of 20 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 13 Not
Pros: This course has a wide variety of obstacles. There is a ton of elevation change, so you gotta have up and down hill shots. Also have to be prepared for a trek. (not a stroll through the park) I am a mediocre player and i found the course to be very satisfying. I think it would be enjoyable for all skill levels.
This is a very scenic course located near a lake. Perfect if your trying to make a camping trip out of it, seeing as it is located on a campground. Also a good combination of technical shots and some long shots.Signs and flags on baskets for every hole, making it easy to follow. Also not very crowded.
Overall, i found this course to be very amusing, while somewhat challenging.
Cons: The course can get windy and has a few blind pin locations. Also its somewhat easy to loose discs if your not paying attention. There is brush covering a lot of the course which can swallow discs.
2 of 15 people found this review helpful.
24 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Lake Casitas is Ventura's water reservoir, and is tucked back in the picturesque hills and mountains that rise to the north from the coast. The landscape offers big hillsides and deep valleys (at least several hundred feet of elevation change over the entire course), along with spectacular views of the surrounding region. Plant life exhibits the typical SoCal variety, from beautiful shade trees, to ice plants, to salad weeds, to mowed grass, to chaparral, some mesquite-like shrubbery, etc..
This is the best maintained and equipped 18 hole course I've played thus far. There are up to four basket locations at every hole, and all are well-marked and sighted. Nice picnic tables are situated at every tee (and bonus picnic spots can be found elsewhere around the course). Clean bathrooms are available, and even hot coin-operated showers near tee 15. The tee signs are fantastic: each displays a photograph looking from the tee down the fairway, and lines/arrows are drawn on top of the photos to show the various basket locations and distances. There is no way that you can mistake the position of the basket, even on the first play. The course flow is also very nice, with few long walks between tees (8-9 is probably the longest and most awkward, but the placement of 9 makes it worth it), a front and back 9 loop coming back to the parking area, etc..
Like all truly great courses, there are tight steep downhill throws (hole 5), big downhill tosses (hole 16), medium to long fairways over gently down-sloping terrain (holes 6, 7), medium to long fairways over gently up-sloping terrain (hole 8,12), blind throws (hole 3), holes over (sometimes water hazarded) valleys (hole 1,9), holes into tight corridors or gaps (holes 9,10,11,13,14,17), big uphill shots/climbs (hole 15,18). But I was very impressed with the creativity of the holes at this course. Several holes (e.g., 4 and 10) are very short, but have added challenges. For example, hole 4 is only 150' or so up a bumpy hillside, but it is a right-turning fairway that ducks under a mando low-arching tree branch of a shade tree whose flank is guarded by a 2' tall fierce-looking wooden warrior statue. (I also enjoyed the palm frond art displayed on hole 13.) Hole 15 is probably the most difficult by my assessment, with a grueling, 300'-ish feet slight uphill and then 100'-ish+ feet up a very steep hill into a nice hillside oasis enveloped by a beautiful tree and a shaded old picnic table where we ate lunch. Some of the holes are also more psychologically challenging, such as 14, where a low-hanging tree branch is just in front of the tee but the hole requires a strong uphill left-turning throw. I have played a large variety of courses, but never have I seen the kind of variety on display at Casitas, especially while maintaining a high level of challenge. These aren't gimmicks, they are genius!
There is a small pro shop and camping supply store on the way to the course, though I didn't buy anything. As far as we could tell, alcohol is permitted in the park.
Cons: No real cons. This is as close to a perfect course as I have ever seen. Reading through some of the previous reviews, it seems some people don't like some of the holes because they are different or challenging, but I see all these as pros, rather than cons.
OK, one nit-pick: the $10 day use fee is a bit steep. But still very well worth it. We camped out overnight, so we didn't pay anything extra beyond just the camping fee itself.
Other Thoughts: This is the very first time I'm rating a course as a 5 out of 5. And I mean it: so far this is my top-rated course, and it exceeded all my expectations in every possible category. Hats off to the Ventura Disc Golf Club and the sponsors for putting together such an amazing course!
24 of 25 people found this review helpful.
29 Helpful / 1 Not
Awesome DG course!!
Pros: -Most variety you will find in Southern California.
-Starts off with a BANG! Long downhill throw across a typically dry section of lake.
-Camping literally right next to the course on both sides ("I" and "M")
-Very informative signs at all the tees, and full color score cards available at the beginning of the course.
-There were at least three 'top of the world' tees.
-Basically DG exclusive, had no problems with other people.
-Was not busy.
-It is legal to drink in this park.
-Snack shop providing discs, drinks, food, and camping supplies is about halfway to the course from the entrance. Stop by here before you find the course if you plan on doing so, its a good 5-10 minute drive from the course.
-Flat & Grippy concrete.
-High flags on open pins to make them more visible.
Cons: -Some shots go into some pretty terrible brush that can make disc finding a fun group bonding experience.
-Weeds making their way into the socks became annoying after a while. If it is not too hot, pants are a good idea. Hiking boots too...no joke.
-Some long walks between baskets and tees, but it is all worth it. Keep a map handy the first round or two.
Other Thoughts: Lake Casitas's course covers a huge area, and contains every kind of hole imaginable. The terrain varies from heavily wooded to wide open, with the ground mostly being dirt and weeds (complete with fox-tails).
The extremely helpful course maps describe in detail what the course provides. Almost none of the holes are really flat; large hills are found throughout the course.
Plan for a round of 18 to take a bit longer than at your usual course. Many cover a good amount of distance, tees are far, and it is inevitable that you or one of your buddies will need to spend some time looking for discs. In one full day, we only had the time/energy for two rounds.
Some of the more unique holes are 3 and 4. Three throws from underneath an oak tree with a low hanging branch, then over a hill, and behind a large tree. 4 is a short uphill shot that throws through a small tunnel like mandatory tree branch (tee sign explains it).
While mostly DG exclusive, Lake Casitas also considers the area a cross country running area, so there are roads and there are occasionally people using them.
Seriously: Tight holes. Epic downhills. Long uphills. Busy areas. Desolate areas. Across the hill. Through a tree. On the side of a hill. Over the hill. A park like hole. Risk/Reward shots. It's all here. And it even loops back the parking lot for 'refills' after 9.
Practice basket is on the hill to the right of the tees. Having this on a slope is great because you probably will not be putting flat very often here, so its appropriate to let you practice for that.
If you are within 100 miles, you owe it to yourself to check this place out. It covers a huge area and is one of two courses in the area that feels 'epic' to me.
Campground Info: We found the best campgrounds for disc golfers are M20-M28; M22, M25, and M28 are the best; and K1-4. The "I" campground is primarily for use by RV's (Little shade, hook-up boxes, and parking spot shaped sites).
29 of 30 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Big Disc Golf
Pros: This is one of my favorite disc golf destinations. I love the elevation shots, the variety of holes, the broad spectrum of shots required and the locals. Fantastic scenery, serenity and fun is what Lake Casitas is all about.
One of the best tournaments and tournament courses around is at Coyote Point every year.
Cons: I think the layout is kind of screwball in some spots because I think it was designed with shots and holes in mind not necessarily flow. Also you have to pay to enter the park.
Other Thoughts: Not for the out of shape or non-adventure types. If you like throwing discs off big hills and watching them fly and fly then you'll have fun. If you like throwing through tight windows and up hills then you'll have fun. If you like playing in natural environments with laid back locals then you'll have fun. If you think a DG course requires park-like grass and perfectly manicured greens then you won't like it much.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: This course has it all. Short, technical holes and long downhills where you can really rip it....some of the most creative holes you will find. Tees and baskets are easy to find since they give you an excellent course map and every tee has a picture of the hole with all possible basket locations and flight paths clearly marked. Every tee has a place to sit, most had picnic benches, if you need to wait on the group ahead of you or just want to relax a bit. Wasn't hard at all to find a friendly local to help out with anything you needed.
Cons: Fee to enter park raised to $15 fee per car. Lots of hiking up and down hills may be considered by some to be a negative, but for a guy not super fit, it wasn't that big of a deal.
Other Thoughts: Very fun course, and worth the drive. Was my first time out and we played the whole course twice and a few of our favorites we played a 3rd time until we ran out of daylight. Met a few of the guys that designed the course and you can tell they really care about making this course the best around, and they've done a great job. This is a MUST play for all CA residents.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: Seeing as this was the first time for both myself and my husband playing DG we can't find any cons. We had a blast! The first tee off I thought OMG, I can't do this...but after warming up on the first two I thought different. I can only imagine what my arms going to feel like in the morning. =0/ The view of the lake is beautiful and while the course is challenging we didn't find it discouraging. It was great to be able to rest in the shade under oaks to catch your breath after hiking to the next tee off. Can't wait to go back and do 10 to 18. Wind is a factor but you can compensate for it. We played in the AM so I'm sure by the PM it's a whole different disc game. All I can say is we're hooked!
Other Thoughts: Make sure you take plenty of water. It's a real good workout.
6 of 13 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 13 Not
Pros: beautiful views nice park camp grounds many variations per hole it is super fun
Cons: high winds in the afternoon many spots to loose plastic look out for rattlesnakes on hot days $8 day fee $10 on weekends
Other Thoughts: this is a great place to take the fam some bros the boat a tent and stay a couple of days
2 of 15 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Crazy elevation (holes 1, 9 and 16 were my favorites), beautiful natural setting, well-marked and maintained course with multiple pin placements that are rotated regularly.
Cons: There is a fee per vehicle to enter the faciility - bring a carful of friends to make it more cost effective. Pretty far from the interstate along a windy, twisting two-lane highway into the mountains. Wind, particularly in the afternoon, is a serious problem, and make many of the holes extremely difficult. Loss of discs is highly likely. There is a real possibility of running into rattlesnakes and mountain lions. Sunscreen and water are absolute musts. Wear good shoes and bring a hat.
Other Thoughts: A magnificent DG experience. There is camping and lots of other outdoor recreation there (including a kiddie water park) - imagine taking the family camping and getting in 36 holes every day you're there.
9 of 13 people found this review helpful.
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