3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: * Abundant trees and slopes give every hole great potential for SNAFU. Or should I say "sna-FUN"?
* Decent variety of shots, with lots of elevation changes.
* Rarely crowded, friendly locals.
* Gorgeous, quiet setting on the side of a wooded valley. (Redwoods dominate.) Unless it's been very hot and dry lately, you'll pass several banana slugs.
Cons: * Holes are all pretty short.
* Though local volunteers regularly improve the markings, it can be pretty confusing to follow the course your first time.
* About half the tees are dirt.
* Relatively small window of time when you're allowed to play, since the middle school claims the grounds during the day.
* Always plenty of poison oak around. Some parts of the year, the overgrowth is really annoying, especially on the first 4 holes.
* Mosquitoes and ticks are also numerous at times.
* No facilities! Ladies will want to practice their peeing-in-the-woods skills first.
Other Thoughts: My home course, and the first course I ever played! The Mouse is great for honing your short game. (Hmm, but my long game still sucks...)
I tend to get beat up really badly on the front 9 or so, and try to rescue my score on the back.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 2 Not
Very fun, secluded
Pros: I really enjoy this course. Love the trees (great rain course), nice technical shots within redwoods. My first ace was here
Cons: A bit out of the way for me to get there now but that's part of its charm t oo.
Other Thoughts: used to play here a lot as an alternative to the busy DeLa but I movec north and havent played in many years. I hope its as fun as it used to be.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Quality course with stunning beauty
Pros: -Oasis in the redwood forest
-Very challenging shots
-Not busy, feels like you're the only ones there
-Nature at it's best
-Wide variety, makes you it your lines
Cons: -Can be difficult to find your way around
-Signage could be better
-On High School property so no "extra curricular" activities
-Good walk to get to the first tee
-Some holes are blind which can be tough since this is pretty thick woods.
Other Thoughts: -This is one of the most beautiful courses in the greater Bay Area. Redwoods are gorgeous!
-Even on very hot days it's cool and refreshing.
-A MUST play if in the area.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Among the Redwoods
Pros: Cool atmosphere-Redwoods everywhere. There was a good mix of mostly mid-range caliber type of shots and a couple longer drives. This was a fun and challenging course that would be suitable for beginners.
Cons: I thought the navigation was ok; I started on 17 by accident. Also, only a few tees had signs available and info was incorrect. For the locals: due to the location, this course is open later in the day during the week (open all weekend).
Other Thoughts: This course came as a recommendation from a local after I had finished up a course nearby. I'm glad I went here. The forest was very cool and I had not played in that kind of surrounding before. Although, the course had many blind shots, I actually enjoyed this technical-challenging aspect of the course. But, I wouldn't mind seeing 1-2 longer hole positions.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Beatiful Course in the Redwoods
Pros: The Santa Cruz Mountains rising up above the central coast are innately beautiful, combining very rugged hills, mountain streams, and giant redwood forests. The communities are quaint and cute in the small town way, with a mountain refuge-like feel. Many organizations have getaway camps in this region, for good reason.
San Lorenzo Valley has several schools bunched together on a very large sprawling property, which includes some rather beautiful redwood forest-covered hills over-looking all the campuses. It is a wonderful thing to be able to install a disc golf course on this property, as it is yet another ideal setting for our sport.
When locals in Santa Cruz say that we have every kind of course and disc golf hole imaginable, we aren't joking. Black Mouse is the rugged, tightly-wooded, technical course of the Santa Cruz area collection of disc golf course. There are simply no holes that having a big arm will help you score better. Throwing with a nice careful clean snap is key. Shot and disc selection are critical Only holes 7 and 11 require more power if you have any hope of getting a deuce, but just getting a 3 on these holes will be satisfaction enough.
The first time you play Black Mouse, you won't know all the routes available, and you might be tempted to start with the impression that this is just a "huck and good luck" kind of course. But it isn't true. There are many interesting routes and lines available on most holes, you just need to play it a few times to learn the ins-and-outs, then choose the one that you can execute best, and that gives you the best risk-reward trade-off.
Cons: The tee pads are indeed irregular in some places, and the dirt pads are often not the greatest to throw from. However, given that the course is not long, you really don't need a run up to throw on any of the holes. If you're concerned about footing, just throw without a run-up, and you'll be fine.
The restriction to non-school hours can be a hassle sometimes, but that's not a bad price to pay for having them let us onto their property in the first place.
Other Thoughts: I printed off a map of the course from the google maps link, and I didn't have any problems finding every hole on the course the first time around. I also found a lot of signs pointing to the next holes. Perhaps these weren't available when some of the earlier reviewers played this course. The course is not crowded, so you won't be able to rely on other groups to help guide you as much as you could at other courses. Come prepared, and you'll be happy. Also helps if you're not in a huge hurry, and take a minute to relax and enjoy the gorgeous redwood stands all around you.
Come out for Sunday morning doubles here if you get the chance. A lot of the pro women players in the region play these dubs, and you can see how regulars choose their routes and score well in this tight course.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 3 Not
Great Course, Tons of Fun
Pros: -Beautiful course in the redwoods of the Santa Cruz mountains
-Great variety of shots required
-Tight & Technical course that requires accuracy
-Elevation used to great effect on a number of holes
-Benches on most holes
-Good flow (although a little tricky), "Next Tee" signs are very helpful
Cons: -Some Tee Pads are a little small for my taste, esp. for some of the required shots
-Tee Signs that exist are poor
-The numbering on the baskets is often wrong
Other Thoughts: An extremely fun course in a heavily wooded area near Santa Cruz. It's so secluded you can't even see it from the middle school its located directly behind. A map should definitely be brought and I would suggest playing with others. A disc that defects off of one of these trees could always use another set of eyes. An awesome place to play in the heat of the summer as nearly the whole course is shaded by the trees.
A must play, along with Delaveaga, if in the Santa Cruz area. Probably the most fun I've had playing disc golf on both occasions I've been there.
9 of 12 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
totally under-rated bad ass course
Pros: Located in the Santa Cruz Mountains for starters. very secluded. beautiful scenery. long and short shots. pretty technical course. plenty of parking. never crowded. lots of shade (sometimes too much if you go too late) nice "hang out" areas throughout course. the donation box is cool. at least a few opportunities for an ace.
Cons: on school grounds. no smoking/drinking. trees galore. gets dark rather quick due to many tall trees. extremely hilly during a few areas of the course. only open after school hours. no restrooms. long walk to the first tee from parking lot. not a tee pad on every hole. also, you must walk from basket #8, past tee #10 (its weird) to get to tee #9.
Other Thoughts: lots of up n down walking. not so good for beginners except for the last 5 or 6 holes. dont throw your favorite discs there... use mid-ranges or putters... i only threw my driver on 1, 2, 6, 18 and maybe a couple others. i got a birdie on 4 holes in a row- i think 14,15,16 and 17. this is a very cool under-rated course. they finally (recently) added a few new benches and small tee signs guiding you through the confusing course... all they need are a few new tee pads and its on!!! its a MUST PLAY if anywhere near the area.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Birth of a Disc Golfer
Pros: Addicting, almost every basket begs for an ace but they always elude me. The greatest disc golfer I know, Jose J, can be seen playing here often. This is the course that got me addicted to the game, showing the potential for having a great time and getting some exercise while enjoying the beauty of a redwood forest. I have only lost one disc there and it happened my first time ever playing.
Cons: I got poison oak there once. If you don't have someone that knows the course with you, you might get confused at a couple spots.
Other Thoughts: I never pass up a chance to play. Even compared to the mighty DeLa it isn't a dissappointment to play here. If I lived close enough I would play every day until I aced every hole.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
Heavily Wooded and lots of fun
Pros: Excellent Course to play during summer, school is out and the area is very shaded by trees. Tons of glorious elevation changes! Course is chalked full of interesting shots, as well as birdie chances.
The risk/reward aspect of this course also makes it very fun! For example you can go for the basket and take a difficult route, with the risk of hitting a tree and putting you in the rough. Or you can also play safer by keeping your shot low and setting yourself up for a managable second shot. Secluded layout actually takes you through a small portion of forest.
Cons: Biggest con is the Very Limited Signage it can be a little confusing navigating to the next hole, just look for the arrows.
There are some blind tee shots where you'll need to walk out onto the fairway to see the basket.
1 or 2 holes feel like you are throwing on the side of a hill, which wasn't too fun.
There can sometimes be a lot of poison oak around, but thats because you are in the Santa Cruz mountains!
Some tees are just flattened dirt, and some have those pesky mandatory flight routes (arrows on trees)
Other Thoughts: Course is a blast to play, bring a map just to be on the safe side. I liked this course because it is more about shot placement rather than power, very challenging. Highly recommended if you are in the area, or you are looking for something different than DeLa.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 1 Not
- Challenging without being too frustrating
- Elevation comes into play in a big way
- Course design makes excellent use of its environment
- Most fairways are well-defined and there isn't too much brush.
- Pretty good flow (if you know where to go)
- Amazing setting
- Closed during school hours
- Confusing labels on signs and baskets
- Only a few concrete tee pads
- A small amount of poison oak, mostly on #3 and #4
I first played Black Mouse back in 2002; someone explained to me that the numbers on the signs and baskets didn't quite match reality because a few holes down near the creek had to be removed. When I went back to play again four years later, and again in late 2008, I found that everything was STILL off by a few numbers. Eventually I'm sure they'll get it right... meanwhile, don't let it discourage you from playing here, just be sure to bring a map.
But signage issues aside, I love this course. Even though the longest hole is only about 300 feet, it's challenging and a great complement to the monster at DeLaveaga Park a few miles away. There are NO wide-open holes; with the exception of some live-oak terrain in the lower elevations near the school buildings, almost the entire course plays through a steep hillside full of big redwood trees. Some holes go straight downhill, and some play along the hillside -- with roll-aways an ever-present danger. (Curiously, only a couple of holes go uphill.) Some baskets are inside or just behind "fairy rings" of redwoods. Bring your mid-range game; a Stingray will be more useful than a Wraith here.
The biggest drawback to Black Mouse is that it's on the grounds of San Lorenzo Valley Junior High, which means you can only play the course after 3:00 or on weekends. The good news is, it plays well in all seasons; the redwoods keep it from getting too hot in the summer, and keep you from getting too wet in the winter.
Note: because this is school property, drinking and smoking are prohibited; please respect the rules, or the course could end up closed to the public or removed entirely.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
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