Getting into Pinto
Pros: * First and last several holes have truly great topology: rolling or steep ground, abundant trees, etc.
* Plenty of opportunities to practice your big throws, but with several incentives to keep your throw under control--an interesting tension between those urges is the norm here
* Breezy in an interestingly challenging way (pace my coming complaints about the open-field holes)
* Quite good maps posted beside several tees
* Really pretty setting--the eutrophic lake appears often, and even the relatively boring open-field holes boast some nice trees in the distance
* Abundant trash cans, in case you happen to have some pieces of aluminum you'd rather carry no further
Cons: * Middle half of the course is a sun-exposed, fairly repetitious series of runs down generally flat fairways flanked by tall foxtail grass (which science has proven bears a pronounced appetite for plastic) -- not terrible, but not really presenting interesting choices either (unless the choice of when to give up the search for your disc is interesting)
* World's worth of poison oak surrounding the other half of the holes
* Maybe 3 or 4 times, the gap between holes requires a surprisingly long walk--in a couple of cases with weak or missing signage
Other Thoughts: If it weren't so far off the beaten path, I'm sure I would play this course much more often.
7 Helpful / 0 Not
Shoe-horned strong design, mixed impressions
Pros: - in good shape. good quality teepads and signage.
- some fun & challenging layouts (1, 2, 12, & 18). 1 starts out open then slopes right and down into the woods where the basket sits in a pocket of small trees. Hole 2 winds through a grass-covered creekbed. The pin is perched on a slope past a fenced line of OB. These were my 2 favorites of my round.
- Good variety of big open shots and tight lines. A bit on the flat side but there's enough creative use of elevation to keep it interesting.
Cons: - yup, lots of poison oak and thick brush
- the stretch of open prairie holes got a bit dull after awhile. I don't have a "big arm" to test and wind wasn't really a factor the day I played. I threw a couple feet into OB once. I just kind of shrugged it off, added a stroke and moved on. Meh.
- This course doesn't flow well. It starts out strong in the woods. You then hike up a hill to a looong string of wide open prairie throws. Then you're back into the bush for some awkward and sometime wicked layouts.
- Some holes were just plain weird and nasty (16 especially)
Other Thoughts: I guess I fall into more of the casual player category. I definitely want to be challenged but also have a fun, varied, pleasant day at the park. I was certainly challenged but I felt the course sometimes lacked the fun-factor. I had a mixed experience playing here.
It seems that the designers' main focus was to create a professional-caliber course. They've certainly accomplished that but in the process have made some sacrifices that prevent it from being more highly ranked and broadly appealing.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: -Defined variety between open and wooded
-Spread out with distinctly different holes
-2 Practice Baskets
-Cool distance markers along the holes, although they didn't always make sense
-Technical, lots of risk/reward in wooded holes
-Mixture of different pars, lots of par 4 and a par 6.
-Good views from course
Cons: -Poison Oak
-Navigation is a little quirky
-Open holes are out of the way
-3 separate loooong walks
-Pacing of the course is weird
Other Thoughts: Pinto Lake DGC is a combo course on two distinctly different pieces of land. The wooded holes lie on some rugged terrain covered with oak and eucalyptus trees and substantial ground cover, some poisonous and some not. These holes require distance and precision to keep your scores low. The open holes are all on a relatively flat meadow adjacent to the course.
This Worlds 2011 course has some great long, technical wooded holes that will challenge even the best of players, and starts right out with some quite difficult holes. OB comes in to play and is designated by yellow rope on the ground. Generally, the OB is in places you really don't want to be in the first place, and if you are OB, there is a good chance you are also lost forever in a sea of poison oak. Holes 1-4 are all high quality wooded courses that are clearly very well planned.
Holes 5-12 are in a meadow and all are open shots, and is a welcome sight after playing through some technical areas. Even though they may appear to be simple straightforward holes, they all have OB marked on both sides of the fairway, and the landing zones can be somewhat difficult to hit for those who need lots of space for full power drives. The land is also maintained between the OB ropes, but not outside of them. Hole 11 is a monster 1000+ foot hole with a valley in the middle.
After hole 12, you enter the woods again to finish off the last 6 holes of the course, all of which are once again technical. They were all pretty good, average wooded holes. As a whole they were less spectacular than the front.
Hole 13 to me was the definition of a filler hole. After doubling back alongside hole 12 and continuing to walk for around a quarter of a mile, you just reach a random teepad in the middle of the road, which shoots to a random basket down the road. It's like it was just plopped there to keep you busy. Oh, not to mention, if you throw anything that remotely fades in any direction, you will be in poison oak. It is obvious they did a good job eradicating the plant from necessary parts of the course, but it is definitely still there and needs to be steered clear of. Hole 13 is where the newer members of your group will learn to start throwing mids/putters off the tee, because they will lose their drivers to the oak.
Hole 16 was a little weird, it shoots down a path, then up a hill, to a pin that is quite elevated. This one seemed fun to play if you are familiar with the course but is definitely one that caused a lot of head scratching for our first timer group.
Hole 17 is a great short shot across a ravine, and is a welcome ace attempt with a good chance at birding. Hole 18 was my favorite of the whole course, a wonderful down-then-up right turning dogleg with a double mandatory. With its OB's and technical layout, it was definitely worthy of Worlds competition.
The open holes felt very 'PDGA' and the wooded holes were, for the most part, very well done. The only complaints are the crazy long walks and the poison oak. The walk from 4 to 5 is long and steep and the gratuitous poison oak medication advertisement didn't make any of us laugh. The walk from 12 to 13 was really ridiculous, and then the walk from 13 to 14 just started getting annoying. Not to beat a dead horse, but regarding the poison oak; I have read the reviews and understand that it is 'better than before,' but on some holes it really did get in the way and I had little interest in actually playing the hole correctly; instead just hucking a putter down the 'fairway' till I got to the basket. Also, I feel like the open shots and the wooded shots should be two separate 9 hole courses, and hole 13 needs to be re-imagined all together.
Overall, we felt that there are better courses to play in the area but this one is also nice. It just seemed more rugged and dirty than the other ones, but at minimal fault to the designer. You can tell care has been put into the property with meticulous maintenance of the fairways and OB designations, however with the constant fear of hitting poison oak on more than a few of the holes, this is not a course I would want to play on a regular basis casually. Several holes are worthy of a 4.5 rating, but with the walks, the poison oak, and the lack of flow, it really brought my rating down. A better way to connect the meadow with the rest of the course and some more poison oak eradication would make this another top notch course for the Monterey/Santa Cruz area.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 5 Not
very long and tough course with no map to the back 9
Pros: front 9 are awesome but hella long shots, old barns and buildings...kinda cool, bathrooms, not much traffic, free parking- and lots of it, front 9 is very easy to get through without a map or guide..
Cons: very narrow shots on alot of holes, very long shots on alot of holes, lots of poison oak, way too many OB's, the dumb map AND course do not tell you where the effing back 9 is, the lake will eat your disc if you try too hard to shoot far on #5...LOL
Other Thoughts: apparently the back 9 is on some little trail going around the lake near hole #4 if im not mistaken, lots of free parking, somebody HAS to put a new map up and a sign towards the back 9, dont keep it a secret dummy's... id play it if youre on a road trip or in the area, but its a doozy!!
2 of 7 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Not for beginners
- Varied terrain, beautiful setting
- Challenging for advanced golfers
- Tee signs at every hole
- Two practice baskets, so you can putt back and forth
- Poison oak, and lots of it
- Long, narrow fairways will frustrate all but the best players
This course is for people with big arms, pinpoint accuracy, and/or a masochistic streak. Things start out fairly promising with hole #1, a downhill shot through some live oaks. #2 is a very pretty hole over a creek, but so long that it takes two perfect shots to get there. Then, starting with #3, it starts getting ugly. Not in the aesthetic sense -- it's a really great-looking course -- but most of the holes are long, a couple of them are ridiculously long, and almost all of them require you to thread your shot through very small pathways.
I don't necessarily have any issues with a course being longer than usual, or even the fact that the fairways are so narrow. The biggest problem here is that the fairways on the longest (500'+) holes -- and also #6, which plays along a ridge -- are lined with impenetrable clumps of poison oak (not to mention blackberries and stinging nettles). If your disc goes deep into one of those thickets, it may as well be at the bottom of the lake.
I have to rate this course at least 3 stars -- "Good" on the DGCR scale -- because it looks great, and I can see that a lot of work went into it, and I assume even more work will be done in the future (hopefully a lot of which will involve clearing the toxic vegetation). It's clearly designed to be a challenging venue for advanced players who think DeLaveaga isn't working them over badly enough; but I think the typical disc golfer might only have a 1- or 2-star experience here.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Beautiful setting, challenging shots; a lot of hard and very good work put into the tees, signs, etc... You can go and play this course on your own without a guide, no problem--it's so well signed.
Cons: Very tough!! Consider hole 5: it's 500 plus feet with a 15 foot fairway. If you land your disc to the left of the fairway your second shot is from a steep hill, and you've still got probably 250 feet to go. If you land it to the right it's OB in the poison oak.
Speaking of poison oak...it's everywhere on the course.
Other Thoughts: I'll definitely be back to play this incredibly challenging course and look forward to seeing what the back nine look like once they're completed.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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