Iconic course, variety of elevation, difficulty, length, starting to feel years of wear and tear
5 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Top of the world - hole 27 is epic. I hit the chains on my birdie shot, which was super rewarding as I normally can't drive even 300.' Elevation changes. Nice baskets. Multiple pin placements. Variety of difficulties and hole lengths. Cement tee boxes. Pro shop is pretty awesome. They have a spreadsheet for lost discs where they hold them for 30 days before selling them for $5 if you don't pick them up. Camaraderie among locals and patrons is second to none. Everyone was super friendly, social, and helpful.
Cons: Pay for parking. A couple of holes require a spotter or need to be skipped unless you want to lose a disc (at least for an amateur like me.). This is hole 15 in particular. As a RHBH player, I just don't know where to throw this one as it is a steep cliff to the left. Can get busy as it is an iconic course. The course is definitely feeling the effects of the constant heavy foot traffic. Perhaps at some point in the future, they could touch up the landscaping some.
Other Thoughts: A must play, destination course, one I hope to play annually at a minimum. It's only just over an hour away for me and definitely worth the trip. I played first thing in the morning, which is recommenced if you want to avoid the crowds.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
12 Helpful / 0 Not
iconic course is more impressive in person
Pros: -amazing terrain for disc golf with big and small elevation, old growth trees, lots of tunnels, and a few open spots to rip one
-nice concrete tees, Mach baskets in good condition
-multiple basket locations on most holes
-tee signs are useful but don't always show all distances to various pin positions and don't show current position
-variety of shots uphill and downhill, tunnels, finishing right and left, huge bombs, and opportunities to use any and all kinds of shots off the tee or to get out of trouble
-super dangerous greens with major slopes, roots, and trees inside the circle; forces you to think about your landing angles
-small disc shop
-lost and found disc bin
Cons: -poison oak
-top of the world throws onto potentially 7 or 8 other holes plus the parking lot; a fun shot but really not very safe
-some brutally punishing rough off the fairways and especially down the ravines, plus the poison oak
-several holes that could easily play into the road
-tough to navigate without a map, make sure you bring one
-a daunting course for beginners; you really need to be able to throw straight, keep it in the fairway, and play smart to keep all your plastic out here, let alone actually score well
Other Thoughts: DeLaveaga Park is iconic. I've heard about this course for years and seen it in numerous tournament coverage videos. It's interesting playing a course for the first time but feeling like you know the course already. It definitely helps with the navigation, which can get tricky out here so bring a map or follow some locals.
The variety of elevation across fairways shaped by the Monterey Pines, Oaks, and scrubby brush makes for a great challenge and beautiful scenery. Elevation changes both major and minor are in play on most holes. There is early and late danger on most holes and the greens are incredibly dangerous. Roots, trees, steep drop offs, and completely sloped ground are abundant on the greens so you have to think about it on all shots: drives, approaches, and putts.
There are a number of alternate basket positions but it looks like some of the more memorable holes stay in their typical positions. I'm curious how often they change but with 29 holes, there are no issues with variety. The tee signs are decent but I would love to see the current pin locations indicated on the signs.
Speaking of 29 holes, are they really necessary? Holes 5 and 6 cross each other as do holes 13 and 16. I'm not a fan of crossing fairways but at least these ones have decent lines of sight. Top of the World hole 27 is definitely unsafe but I can't imagine it would ever go away. Don't be shy about yelling "fore".
DeLaveaga is definitely a destination course where you can spend the whole day enjoying the expansive property and varied holes. I look forward to coming back and trying to improve my score. At this point, it's both the best and my favorite course I've played in California.
**Like this review? Hate it? Message me and let me know why! I want to make them better!**
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 2 Not
If you are in the area you have to play this course. if you aren't you still have to play this course
Pros: Beautiful drive to the parking lot for the first tee. Has a great parking lot and disc golf store if you are looking to buy new discs. Well marked holes with big cement tee pads. Map of the course available at the disc golf store. $2 parking pass will allow you to stay until sunset (worth it I promise). There are some great challenging tunnel shots, elevation changes, wooded, open and shots that will challenge anyone from beginner to pro. Holes 12 and 15 are for the brave, but read the sign about the fridge that will surely bring a smile to your face. Big pine trees and some wonderful natural obstacles will have you challenged.. This is still a great course for beginners to the more experienced. A beautiful setting so be sure to take your time to enjoy your surroundings.
Cons: There are no trash bins on the course so be prepared to carry out what you carry in. Make sure you take a map of the course with you as there are a few holes that benefit from this. The basket placement is not always what you might expect so be sure to know which basket you are shooting at before you commit.
Other Thoughts: This is a beautiful course that is well worth checking out. This course will take you among beautiful scenery with lots of elevation changes with an abundance of shade. Enjoy nature on this one, you will not be dissapointed
6 of 8 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: Just a great course to challenge yourself. Having to attack this course with multiple shot types. Secondary basket locations to add change to the course. A lot more elevation then what there appears to be on video.
Cons: Only thing I didn't like was that a couple of fairways crossed
Other Thoughts: Had an absolute blast! Only let 3 holes kick my butt.
0 of 6 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: A great course with a new challenge at every hole. Ups downs and valleys are just a few of the holes types up in the santa cruz mountains. The man that runs the shack i the parking lot is nice and always gives a nice deal on all his discs. The trademark hole, Top of the world, is a great hole with a lot of challenge for all but the best golfers. It's a semi short hole that can be birdied by any player that can get their disc down the ill without hooking it.
Cons: There's only a few bad things on the course, mainly just holes that eat up discs and a few badly placed trees but overall a great course.
Other Thoughts: Mainly a awesome course but a fe disc eating holes,enough holes to play a full 2.5-3 hour match if you play all 29. every player on the course is helpful and nice.Play the course if you're staying anywhere in santa cruz, and stop by at dj's mini mart, it's on the way and has every kind of disc. overall a 8-10 course.
3 of 9 people found this review helpful.
16 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: What I really like about this course is the specific type of skill it challenges and lack there of it exploits. There aren't a ton of courses (where I come from at least) that challenge spot placement and landing angle. On most of these greens if you throw a disc not being careful of the landing angle you will be putting uphill and forty feet farther than you thought you were. Almost every hole on the course challenges you in this way and with the different lines and type of shots you are forced to use here if you aren't proficient at this you're not going to score well so you may want to re think that spike hyzer near the basket on every hole.
Good variety here between open and slightly wooded; nothing I would call super tight lines though. Punishment off the fairways is usually moderately severe with a few giant 'sand traps' full of sticker bushes or brush. Saving par on bad throws is difficult or on discs that rolled away.
Cons: Some may say that having 27+ holes is awesome and while I don't totally disagree with that I have to question multiple crossing fairways on a piece of land this large with this many holes on it. In my opinion the crossing holes are some of the worst on the course and only play in that direction in order to get to the next hole. A few of these holes could be taken out or maybe re worked, I'm not sure but as is there are dumb holes in the middle of the course crossing each other. Going in that same thinking there are no par four holes here and I see no reason why some of the more questionable holes couldn't be scrapped or extended to create a difficult par four here and there. This would be a better use of the land with fewer holes (number of holes doesn't matter) than trying to just get more holes in play if you ask me.
'Top of the world'. I've been hearing about this hole for years before ever playing it and finally seeing I was incredible underwhelmed and disappointed. Not only is this is a relatively easy downhill (not even that far downhill) putter throw but you are throwing into no less than three other fairways and the road and parking lot. I can see someone getting hit in the head with a disc or breaking the window on a car, not exactly the safest hole.
Other Thoughts: I went with some friends that have played the course multiple times so I didn't have to worry about navigation. I don't think it should be that difficult seems pretty straight forward except for a few areas but the course is always busy so I'm sure you could just follow the group in front of you or ask someone nearby.
I liked the course for a few great holes and a bunch of good/decent holes but like I said there are still some really bad holes and issues here. The course has held up well over the years it seems and still hasn't gave up it's difficulty even to new technological advances in plastic, though there is signs (or lack there of) of vandalism and heavy use. Overall this is a great course to play if you are in the area but don't get overly excited about playing a legendary course and the top of the world because it's slightly over blown.
16 of 17 people found this review helpful.
9 Helpful / 1 Not
Worth the drive!
Pros: Multiple pin placements
Varied hole styles
Concrete tee pads
Lots of poison oak
"pro shop" not open when I was there
Runners and Mt. Bikers riding down some fairways.
Other Thoughts: On a recent business trip I had the chance to drive from Si Valley to play here. It was definitely worth the trip! You guys have seen the videos and read the reviews. It's a pretty awesome place. All holes are par 3's. The holes on one side of the street are essentially all along a hill side, while the holes on the other are mostly on a plateau. The ground was basically devoid of grass when I was here so rollaways (I'm looking at you hole 25) and skip always were common so plan your approaches appropriately. The trees in this part of CA are much different than what we have where I am from (New England). For the most part, in N.E., maple and oak trees can sometimes be punched through with a hard throw due to the volume of the leaves and the way the branches grow. The trees in CA are very gnarly and very random how the branches grow in all directions. They grab discs. If your disc goes into a tree, it will not come out the other side, it likely will not even drop down. So stay out of trees. Also, there are ravines and cliffs everywhere at DeLaveaga. There is also no shortage of death putt opportunities. If you miss a putt, you better hit something and land pancake style. Most holes demand a very precise placement of your drive for a chance at par with lots of opportunity to lose discs on errant drives into ravines. There are several tunnel shots here that require really straight and precise drives, otherwise you're playing pinball the rest of the hole. All the teepads were textured concrete.
The scenery was pretty cool with a huge variety of trees and occasional views of the ocean. It wasn't quite what I expected being almost the Mecca of CA disc golf, but it was definitely awesome. The holes tend to criss cross one another somewhat so listen up, watch out, and call out "fore" especially on holes like 27. this was the most challenging of the three courses I played. It was also the busiest. Even on a Wednesday afternoon/early evening there were people everywhere. It must be a total madhouse on weekends.
The ball golf course down the street sells discs. Which is good for me because the "shop" at the course was not open while I was there and I needed a disc. I would have loved to have purchased some logo discs, but the hours are sporadic according to my playing partners.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
24 Helpful / 0 Not
An oldie but a goodie
Pros: This course has been around a while, but a lot of the design elements were ahead of their time. This course plays like a newer course, and still offers great challenges 30 years after it was first installed. The terrain here is great, with tough uphill shots, the obligatory top of the world bomb, and lots of fun elevation in between. Several of the baskets are placed next to dropoffs or in spots that make you really think about whether going for the pin is worth the potential punishment. It's always fun to have that kind of challenge in the short game.
There is great variety, both in hole length and hole shape. Some ace runs are mixed in, though generally going for that ace has lurking danger around the pin, and there are some chances to open up and throw a driver as well. Most of the course plays through scattered trees or denser woods with just a couple open holes mixed in for variety. I felt like I needed to throw a great mix of lines to be successful here, and the shots never felt repetitive.
The alternate pin placements looked like they would add to the variety, and it's always really nice to have the current pin position marked on the signs. The tees are nice concrete pads, and the baskets are in good shape.
Cons: There are some major safety issues here, and with how popular this course seems to be (crowded on the Thursday morning I played) that only magnifies those problems. There are multiple spots where holes cross one another, and even more areas where fairways overlap and errant shots can easily end up on other holes. The top of the world shot is a really fun way to finish the course, but it also sprays discs onto several other holes as well as the street and parking lot.
Navigation is fairly easy, but there are a few spots where the directional arrow to the next tee on the tee sign isn't quite enough. Print a map or pull one up on your phone and it's easy to figure out where to go. There are some major issues with compaction and erosion, tough to avoid with a dryer climate and a ton of foot traffic over the years.
Other Thoughts: I really wanted to give this course a 4.5, the individual holes deserve that rating and I would play here again if I were in the area. The safety issues are the big thing bringing my personal rating down here, especially since they seem to be avoidable with how much room there is around the course.
Beginners might find this course a little daunting, with some distance, lots of tough lines and moderate punishment on many holes for missing the fairway. Experienced players will find some great tests here, you'll need a complete game to score well and even then you're likely to have a blow up hole or two.
24 of 24 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Lives up to its reputation
Pros: Featuring a massive 27 hole layout (which was 29 for me due to the Masters Cup), I was amazed that most of the holes were very unique with no repetition. This course has a variety of extreme elevation, open shots, tight shots, canyons to punish mistakes, and did I mention all the gorgeous trees everywhere? Yah, they will punish you too!
There's absolutely no chance to sit back and relax here. This course will get into your mind because it forces different shot-making decisions on every hole. I would say it's mostly a finesse course, because there is so much danger from errant throws (canyons on the edge of fairways that are very steep and wooded), and from sloped greens that go (you guessed it) into those canyons. You will have to play smart at times, because the course will easily serve up bogeys when you make an errant drive/approach/putt. This is discin' at its best!
The folks here are pretty friendly and two separate groups allowed me to join them (I did not want to play through, due to a million people playing).
Cons: Crowds are prevalent here. It is a part of life at Delaveaga from what the locals tell me. (I turned this into a pro, by asking to join a group I'd just met. Way better than cutting through groups all day long. Adding holes probably wouldn't improve this situation. As a matter of opinion - I think they could cut down the amount of holes to make the course a little safer.
I would not take a newbie here, (we had one in my group). They will be hiking those canyons all day long and may get a little discouraged. If they had alternate tee pads, that may help a little....
Many of what I would normally list as Cons, I will list in Other Thoughts this time. The reason? The things that normally would be considered bad course design didn't seem to be a big problem here.
Other Thoughts: The numerous intersecting holes (5 & 6, 13 & 16) would normally be really bad, but all the people here were patient and knew where to look for danger.
Your drive from The Top of the World shot on #27 can easily end up on holes #1, 2, 5, 6, 25 or the parking lot. Once again, the locals yell out the affected Hole # and "Fore", and everybody in that area knows that somebody is sending love from the Top. Everybody seemed to take this into stride and if they can run a World's tournament with this "hazard", then I see some symbiosis here.
Bring your own water, as there's none here, and I hear it gets quite hot in this area.
Minor nitpick, but I would still print a map - the signage is really good, but there are some long walks to some tees, and an arrow can be vague sometimes.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 7 Not
Scary but great
Pros: Each shot on it's own is pretty unique and amazing. There are shots that you'll dream about for a long time. Shot's you wish you had to play on a daily basis. I love having a donation box. Great view, Top of the World is awesome.
Cons: Scary, good place to get hurt. The crossing fairways are no bueno! Some of the greens need loosening to provide a putt to reward a good drive. Terracing is badly needed for erosion control. Roll a ways are to prevalent.
Other Thoughts: I would have loved to have seen/played this with pretty grass fairways in the 80's. Seems like it needs to be reduced to a 21 or an 18 hole course.
0 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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