1 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Set in an a beautiful and exotic environment, the elevation makes it even better. Good variation of holes and a nice challenge for a pro player. Some very cool trees were used nicely as guardians on the fairway making me struggle with a game plan.
Cons: Poison oak, rattle snakes
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
A challenge and a pleasure
Pros: Tee pads were good. Signage and directions were good. The recently acquired riding mower has been put to excellent use by creating nice fairways. The long grass in the rough still swallows discs so it's no walk in the park.
Loved the elevation changes in and out of valleys. Loved the challenging shots around and over trees.
Very scenic. We started at sunrise both days and that was a bonus.
Players we met were friendly.
Cons: Very few. Unfortunately hole 1 is over an something like a rough earth parking lot. But then you get right into the beautiful stuff.
Other Thoughts: Second play was even better once we got a feel for the course.
I was playing with a newish player and there was no way she would reach the fairway from a couple of tee pads. So maybe a couple of am pads on the long/difficult holes?
There is poison oak, so take care and wear long pants.
Great course. Thank you to the volunteers!
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 1 Not
Big ol' Jet Airliner
Pros: Jets landing at airport fly right over head, pretty cool, well marked to next tee, multiple challenges with trees and elevation, twin warm up baskets, benches at almost every hole, shade to sit at usually, decent maintenance, nice views
Cons: No water fountain anywhere, tees are rubber, heavy poison oak on hole 4 and light poison oak almost throughout.
Other Thoughts: 29 holes, bring extra water and a snack.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 2 Not
Ryan's Ranch rocks!
Pros: Ryan's ranch DG course was a wonderful course, some wide open and long holes, loved hole #3 so much I ran back up and played it 2X. Excellent tee pads and tee-off seating in tree shade for many of first 18 holes, some very challenging holes, would definitely play it again!
Signage was good, really enjoyed the course.
Cons: Not many, perhaps consider having amateur tee pads, perhaps a little more color or flag to mark the baskets for first timers to the course.
Other Thoughts: Great job guys in designing this course, well done!
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Wide Open Spaces
- Free course with donation box
- Crapper on location
- Practice baskets
- Good signage
- Rubber tees
- Variations in fairway elevation
- Long bomber holes
- Multiple pins
- Most holes were wide open
- Lacking directional signs
- Confusing layout
- Same shots over and over again
- Lack of basket numbering
- Blind shots on rollaway hills
- No pin position indicator
- Seems like a windy course
- Baskets need more color/flag
Fun course, but a bit repetitive for what shots it forces you to take. More often than not I just hyzered something overstable because of the wind and the fairway openness. At times the layout was a bit confusing too. I didn't have anyone to follow most of the time, which had me doing a bit of wandering between holes in some areas of the course. The satellite map came in handy for those moments. I liked that there were multiple pin placements on all the holes. Not always knowing where to throw was a bummer though. Current pin position indicators would have helped cut down the extra time I spend wandering up the fairways before committing to my more likely hyzer type drive.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: Great course, great people who play there. Great lay out.
Cons: Lost some good disc on hole 3, thick bushes to the right and trees and shrubs to the left.
Other Thoughts: Everyone should try this course to improve your skills, it sure helped mine.
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: The course plays through a sprawling park with no interference from other park uses. The course makes good use of nice elevation changes, nothing drastic but you will have to throw some uphill and downhill shots. There are a couple pin placements with some rollaway potential as well.
A number of the holes play through the trees on the property. You'll have to shape some lines and avoid the mature oaks to score well on these holes. I felt like they offered a pretty good balance of hole shapes with some nice low ceilings for added challenge. The rest of the course is open and longer, offering plenty of chances to bomb a drive and some scattered rough to punish some errant drives.
Cons: The grass was long on a lot of this course. I find it a bit frustrating when you have to search for a disc in the middle of the fairway, and I don't think prairie grass provides a great disc golf challenge as the rough off the fairway. The course is a little open for my tastes.
With a lot of holes where there just isn't a ton of punishment for throwing an errant drive I didn't feel like I had a ton of pressure on most of the tees. Navigation is a little tricky in spots, some next tee signs would go a long way here. The third nine feels added on and doesn't have the same level of challenge or fun as the other 18.
Other Thoughts: Beginners will find this course pretty long, with a lot of holes that are out of range to reach on a drive but are open enough that it's easy to card a boring three. More experienced players with a longer arm will enjoy the chance to air out some drives, but technical challenges aren't the main focus of this course at all.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Monterey Mandatory Play!
Pros: 1. Tee Pads - Hard rubber mat with enough length for confidence in footing for almost any throwing style.
2. Cages/Pins- Ryan Ranch "Originals" cages created for the 2011 Pro Worlds which are in pristine condition. Multiple pin locations for each hole rotated regularly.
3. Layout- Great use of the abundantly available space with a logical layout that is pretty easy to navigate and starts and finishes in the same area. The design makes great use of the trees and elevation both up and down.
4. Variety of shots- This course does require a degree of skill that could border on intermediate. You will be challenged to try a variety of shots if you want to score low.
5. Scenery- Nice clean scenic DG park with wildlife sightings and elevated views of the peninsula.
6. Signage- There is ample signs scattered throughout to help an out of towner. Pay attention as some are small, but very helpful!
Cons: 1. Course Maintenance- Tall grass in some locations could cause a lost disc. Not a huge problem unless you're REALLY bad. Some people said you need a spotter, I didn't have a problem.
3. Amenities- Trash cans at start, but would be nice throughout, although the park was NOT trashed. No bag holders if you're into that sort of thing. No "pro-shop" or disc purchase/rental in the area, but at the group meet up days a guy comes with TONS of stuff.
4. There isn't any real water hazards to speak of if you're into that kind of challenge.
5. I only played the first 18 where the tee pads were good, but it would be cool if there was both AM and PRO tees.
Other Thoughts: This is a fun course that has a hole for every type of thrower. Most holes are technical with lots of trees, but there are some fun open bomb holes too. The locals are very friendly and can definitely help you with how to play each hole. Of the courses in the area I'd suggest this course 1st if only in Monterey for one day.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 0 Not
Shades of Ryan Ranch of old
Pros: + Changes of elevation. There are very few flat holes.
+ Mix of terrain, both wooded and meadow. Beautiful walk through rolling CA hills.
+ Mix of short and long holes. I love the short tech shots.
+ None of the crowds of DeLa,
+ For those who are good in the wind, some great chances to sky out your discs later in the course.
+ When it's groomed, it is my favorite spot in the area for a slow, strolling, casual game.
+ Apart from the tall grass, the course is in amazing shape. Beautiful tees and baskets, signage, etc.
Cons: - As stated on the main page, the rough is seriously rough. You would think that the woods would be the tough terrain for keeping an eye on your disc, but it's the grass that is getting out of hand again. You can carefully watch where a disc goes into the grass, and not find it for 30 minutes. It is so thick with stinging nettles, PO, and thistles. So, if you ever miss fairways, especially in the wind, consider throwing with a spotter, or just going elsewhere until it gets cleaned up again.
- I know this is generic, but it's the easiest of the better echelon of local courses. While some holes require technical throws, probably 2/3 can be tackled with a nice, lengthy, straight shot. In many ways, this simplicity is actually a positive, but for folks coming in from well out of town, you may want to skip Ryan.
- No standout signature holes might steer some out of towners away too. #3 is a neat hole, but it is the least difficult incarnation of that hole around (Think TOTW, Stafford, and even the Snowman at Aptos). It's a fun shot though, and it feels great to get a birdie from that high in the air.
- The last set of holes are a bit repetitive.
Other Thoughts: I write this review with a heavy heart. Ryan always had a bit of a bad rep due to the thick, tall meadows. It was groomed up beautifully for the 2011 worlds, and quickly became my favorite place to play when I visited my folks in that neck of the woods. I took a group here for my bachelor party just four months ago, and the course was still amazing (a strong 4.0). Since then, despite what looks like very hard work from the disc club, it has once again gone to seed.
I am far from a professional, but I'm good enough to sit just under or over par at most courses, depending on the day (2 under at Ryan today). I'm not good enough to play this course in its current shape without losing discs (including my OOP 171g, rainbow die, rainbow foil Beast...if you find it...). I found a Nuke today one foot off of the fairway, so well hidden in the grass, that it had been there long enough that there was no grass growing under it. One foot off the fairway.
Hopefully with the Jelly Jam coming up, the mowing will continue. Until then, the course is off of my list.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 1 Not
Premier Course on the Central Coast
Pros: -True pro disc golf course
-Variety variety variety
-Innovative tree protection
-Fantastic use of land
-Amazing course flow
-Framed rubber tees
-Cool port-o-potty shack
Cons: -No dedicated practice basket
-Proximity to office buildings is a little bizarre
-Crazy huge gopher holes...watch your footing!
(really stretching for cons here)
Other Thoughts: Ryan Ranch is a wonderful course set on an inland ridge of Monterey Bay. It truly is a quintessential California disc golf experience with field shots, elevation, and technical woods. Oak trees and various forms of underbrush create the technical parts of the course while elevation keeps the more open shots interesting. Poison Oak existed behind tee pads here and there but was a non-issue while playing.
The course starts off unassuming with a straightforward first hole down a slight hill. By hole two though, you quickly realize that this is not 'just another disc golf course' with its well defined tunnel to another downhill situated pin. Three holes in and there is no way not to be in love with it; this wonderful downhill mid-range shot is usually something you run into much later on a course but here you start right off with it.
You then continues through the woods, where you encounter large black screens to protect the oak trees. They actually add an artificial challenge because if you hit them, you are not going to bank off and still have a possible good shot. Your disc will just fall and leave you with a likely difficult upshot. We really liked this effort to protect the old trees.
After 5 holes, you head into the meadows for a few open shots, but all still have some kind of protection on either the tee, fairway, or pin. They require a solid long drive but will also demand precision to score well. Hole 7 wrapped around an active office building which was kinda weird to see while in the middle of a round. The course quickly heads back into the woods after a few open shots. The course continues moving back and forward between woods and meadows several times for the remainder of the first 18.
The final 9 were really some great holes, as well. More than a few incorporated tee + pin protection with a wide open fairway, which you don't see very often in this state. It called for some long distance line shaping and made you think hard about where you wanted your shot to land. Combined with some pretty solid elevation, these generally longer holes all presented very specific and different challenges. Keep in mind that this is where we encountered the most gopher holes, they are large and often covered by grass so keep your eyes open and be ready for unstable footing in the meadows.
I know everybody loves to say that a course has a ton of variety, I know I do it all the time; but Ryan Ranch truly had it all. Each of the 27 holes was unique with very few forgettable moments. Most courses have a bunch of wooded shots, then a bunch of meadows, then you work your way up for 3 holes, etc etc. Ryan Ranch mixed all of these aspects up so you never get used to the current foliage and situation, making it incredibly fun for all skill levels. We all agreed that Ryan Ranch is the most re-playable course in the Monterey / Santa Cruz area, and naturally our favorite (yes, more-so than DeLaveaga). It is one of those rare gems that makes a great destination course and would be awesome to have as a home course as well. Congratulations to the local club for creating this wonderful adventure.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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