Santa Cruz, CA 
DeLaveaga Park Share
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 Believe the Hype

5+    10/11/2008   12/29/2008
Review By: bneely
Played: 41  Reviewed: 10  Exp: 16.2 Years
This review was updated on 1/5/2010
24 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: The location and nature of the terrain that the course sits upon is so perfect for disc golf, that it might be hard to better it with a ball golf course budget and an army of bulldozers. Rows of coastal redwoods line sharp hills, which slope down into dusty hardpan, with the whole course bordered by steep and sudden ravines.

This provides the backdrop for a course that is diabolical but fair in design. It's no coincidence that the reigning USDGC champion and two-time world champion Nate Doss cut his teeth at De La, where even a solid Advanced tournament player will be pleased to post a score of 81 for a 27 hole round. Fairways vary widely in distance, density of trees, shape, and elevation change. To score well here, the ability to throw a long distance through medium-to-narrow gaps is at a premium.

The aforementioned ravines are used to great effect on a number of pin positions, and most players will face one or two "death putts" each round, staring into the mouth of a dropoff into the redwood forest. Exposed tree roots provide barriers for rollers on some holes, but otherwise that shot can be used to great effect on several holes.

Tees and baskets are in good condition, and many holes offer an alternate position- for most of these pins, it's a 'hard or harder' option between the two settings, with very few easy birdies available on the course.

The Top of the World finishing hole gets all the publicity, and while it's a fantastic way to end a round(don't forget to note that there's OB twenty feet behind the pin!), I think that I-5 is the best test of golf on the course. Coming away with a 3 on the hole means you were either very good, very lucky, or more likely a bit of both!
Cons: Crossing fairways in three separate situations, which one tends to forgive because they were needed to allow for two great golf holes in each location.

Signage could definitely be improved- playing with a local the first time through isn't absolutely necessary but would make for a smoother experience.

There can be trash on some/many of the tee areas, which is unfortunate, but in my opinion doesn't detract greatly from the golf experience.

Not an appropriate course for beginners, and can frustrate intermediate players as well. Can still be enjoyable, as long as the expectation of a big score is understood.

Out of the 27 holes, about 4-5 are fairly uninteresting or flawed in design. Still means you're playing 20+ quality golf holes in one round, but there'd still be room for improvement/redesign.
Other Thoughts: De La is the course I use as a measuring stick for all other courses, often in conjunction with how far of a drive it is. E.g. "Would I drive as far on a random Saturday to play this course as I would De La?". On this scale, De La clocks in at about 3 hours. Lucky for me it's only 1.5 hours away!

As others have mentioned, there's food/drink/discs for sale in the parking lot most every day. Don't stop at the ball golf pro shop and buy discs, you'll be paying $3-5 more per disc and browsing a vastly smaller selection.

24 of 25 people found this review helpful.

 Pebble Beach of Disc Golf

5+    12/4/2006   12/4/2008
Review By: milow369
Played: 24  Reviewed: 13  Exp: 16.4 Years
This review was updated on 2/23/2009
13 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Will test every part of your game. 27 diverse holes offer the player a disc golf challenge like no other. Long holes, short holes, hyzer, anhyzer, uphill, downhill, tight, wide open, the list goes on. The course design fits right in with the terrain. Beautiful views, good parking, easily accessible. Several signature holes, Top of the world, I-5, the list goes on. Huge course can handle a weekend crowd. If I had to choose only one course to play the remainder of my days as a disc golfer, it would be Dela, Santa Cruz. Dedicated disc golf club keeps Dela in playing shape despite limited/no help from the city/county.
Cons: High fire danger at times, years-old rumors of the National Guard/city selling land and developing condos, and like just about everything in SC, an air of entitlement by the locals can make itself seen from time to time. Overall, most locals are friendly, helpful and simply love their course. Other cons, most of the tee signs have been vandalized in some way.
Other Thoughts: Soapbox Alert: This course is a gem. The SC city council, for a council so in tune with the tourism industry, needs to wake up and figure out what they've got right under their noses. They need to make some minor improvements (i.e., devote some budget to maintenance of the course) in order to cement Delaveaga as a major PDGA tour stop. (not that it isn't already) I, like many disc golfers across the nation will continue planning vacations in S.C. to play the course. As a beneficial side effect, we are also staying in area hotels, eating at several great SC restaurants, shopping downtown, etc. Since transplanting to Austin, Tx. about 3 years ago, Delaveaga disc golf is on the short list of things I miss most about Santa Cruz.

13 of 16 people found this review helpful.


5+    10/29/2008   11/11/2008
Review By: BENFTS
Played: 93  Reviewed: 30  Exp: 23.6 Years
12 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: this place has every type of shot out there, you shoot uphill and downhill. tight shots and open shots that you can throw as hard as you want on.trees are a big factor on all hiles and cliffs come into play on 18 holes on this course. holes 13, 14, 15, are the hardest holes on the course, but the challenge and diversity of these holes represents what de la is.
Cons: santa cruz has now paved the parking lot, while this is nice there are around 15 - 20 less parking spots. $1000.00 fine for smoking anything, so be careful. rangers now come by and often park there truck on or aroud hole 8A and the fairway of 9 and 10. they will get out and walk around these holes and may even come to talk to you.
Other Thoughts: i live in san jose but make it over the hill at least twice a month to play de la. some say it is hard to navigate this course but once you play it more than once. i find this to be the case with all new disc golf courses that i play, you can easily navigate and even try new shots.

12 of 17 people found this review helpful.

 Milo without the grass

1    10/15/2008   10/22/2008
Review By: beauzen
Played: 24  Reviewed: 16  Exp: 39.1 Years
7 Helpful / 6 Not
Pros: Challenging with a good variety of holes; always fun to throw from an extreme elevation.
Cons: Need to update/improve the signage. Some 'prison' shots.
Other Thoughts: There was work being done on the parking lot, so the course had to be 'modified' somewhat - so there may be a kiosk with maps, etc. but it was difficult to know where to go due to some of the baskets being removed, etc. (I never did find a basket location for #17, I think?). I want to thank the 'disc dude' - the guy sitting on the tailgate of his truck who finds lost discs (and sells others). He retrieved mine from high in a tree and placed in on the windshield of my car while I was still out on the course, and he was gone before I could thank him. Do not use the 'map to course' link on the course page in your GPS, this will most likely take you to the lower park; follow the directions given.

7 of 13 people found this review helpful.

 Perfect for a challenge seeker

5+    10/4/2008   10/5/2008
Review By: benpalm
Played: 18  Reviewed: 6  Exp: 14.4 Years
10 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: each hole presents different challenges. there are the long holes where the big drive is advantageous, and there are the shorter holes where accuracy is a must. definitely a great course if you're coming out for a difficult day of disc golf
Cons: unless you've been there before, it's hard to know where to go. also, because of the parking lot construction, some holes are not playable
Other Thoughts: on busier days (saturdays, some weekday afternoons), there is a guy in a smaller white van that sells discs right in the parking lot. he sells new discs (innova, discraft, and others), and he buys and sells used discs. he also has buckets full of lost discs, so if you lost a disc there, it's possible it wound up in one of his buckets. if no one claims the disc after a certain amount of time (i don't know how long, but probably at least a few months), he puts it in the used for sale bucket.

10 of 14 people found this review helpful.

 The best I have ever played!

1    9/30/2002   9/30/2008
Review By: oakley doakley
Played: 84  Reviewed: 4  Exp: 19.3 Years
9 Helpful / 7 Not
Pros: Hole 27 is the most memorable hole I have ever played. This course really makes you bring your A game. You will need every shot in your bag. The locals were great. Good pro shop. I must for any disc golfer.
Cons: It was crowded, but unlike some courses I never really had it effect the group or I. No really bad water hazards. No golf carts. No beer girl driving around selling beers.
Other Thoughts: It was a while ago when I played this course. But decided it I should review it because it is the BEST COURSE I HAVE EVER PLAYED. There was not a trash problem when I was there. The locals were really great and made the experience even better. Their is some little things that could be better. Overall the best in my book.

9 of 16 people found this review helpful.

 Disc Golf Epicenter

1    9/5/2008   9/5/2008
Review By: DGtourist
Played: 188  Reviewed: 106  Exp: 14.5 Years
23 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: This place is the epicenter. I loved this course. The two holes I actually birdied I will cherish forever due to the uncompromising challenge on every hole. Dela has Crazy up hills, dog legging down hills. The course is in a beautiful setting surrounded with huge trees that make tunnels and guard baskets. I love standing on a tee box and thinking, looking into my bag and wondering, "Do I have the confidence to pull this shot off?" It never stops, there is not a throw away hole on the entire course.

This course is hard, and I wouldn't have it any other way. The holes are not unreachable either, they provide a doable challenge that keep your interest from one to twenty-seven. I feel that the layout has not been given enough props. 27 holes that sort of make a four nine hole loops from the parking lot meaning that you could easily skip part and play just one part and be back in the parking lot, and not have to follow the herd. Another impressive feat is that they have managed to accomplish all this beauty on donations. If charging were mandatory, then I feel they could have better signs and tee pads.

So many great holes, it is hard to figure out what ones I like that most, aside from the top of the world hole, which is the best hole I have ever played. 26A is a beauty, with a dangerous drop off, in fact there are dangerous drop offs present throughout. I only wish that I could play this course everyday. I do not think I would ever grow tired of it and for that reason, I am totally jealous of all the people of Santa Cruz.
Cons: There has been a lot mentioned about the 'trashyness' of this place, and as much as I wish I could deny it, I cannot. Plus I cannot not forgive them for claiming to be the best yet not updating their map to show that 17 is missing and 26A is in place. Honestly though, the people and the "scene" of it make up for it completely. Open your mouth get out of your shell and ask one local and they'd be glad to help you. I struggled with my rating for this course, wanting to give it a 5, yet knowing that these flaws exist. If I could give it a 4.75 I would, in the end I just feel that the challenge and uniqueness if every single hole deserve a five.
Other Thoughts: The scene at the parking lot made me feel that I was in the most popular disc golf course in the world. It is a party, a celebration of the sport I love. I felt like a tourist, I bought a stamped De Laveaga disc in the parking lot from a prominent local pros dad, if they had other tourist things like those you'd find in a tourist trap gift shop I would have bought them too because I was so excited to be there, and play a round of challenging golf on such a famous course. Ever since I started traveling to play disc golf people have told me to come here. Now that I been here, I can say it is the best course I have ever played (as of, 9-5-08).

23 of 27 people found this review helpful.

 Recommended, but not the best

1    7/11/2008   7/22/2008
Review By: ERicJ
Played: 224  Reviewed: 154  Exp: 9.9 Years
This review was updated on 8/11/2008
34 Helpful / 5 Not
Nice pro-shop with discs for sale. Large variety of shots required to compete on the course. Good terrain mix, with lots of elevation changes. Friendly locals. Awesome practice basket with bricks marking distances from 10'-40'. Best I've seen of that. #27 signature "top of the world" hole is a great view of the basket (and easy to lose a disc with a RHBH throw that hyzer's too much).
For a supposedly legendary course I thought it felt kinda trashy, the tee signs were in need of repair, there was trash about, there were old sofas sitting out in the open. Basket #17 has been removed due to erosion and there's no sign saying that. The tee sign for #17 is also gone, so you could waste some time wondering what happened and looking around for naught. Several crossing fairways. Multiple pin positions indicated on the tee signs, but not all signs have distances for all pins. "Current pin" pinwheels on the tee posts may or may not be correct. Some blind holes not very accurately represented on tee sign maps. A temporary con but, road construction made it somewhat difficult to find the park.
Other Thoughts:
Hole #8A was added between #8 & #9. That's noted on the DGCR course map as the "?" hole. The basket removed from #17 was moved to make a new hole between #26 & #27 called "#26A". This hole is not noted on the DGCR map. When we played in July the ground was very dry and hard which produced a lot of skipping discs. It was a nice course, but I didn't get that overwhelming "ohhh-ahhh" that I was expecting from the reputation this course has.

34 of 39 people found this review helpful.

 Maby one of the best

1    7/11/2008   7/21/2008
Review By: humchris85
Played: 135  Reviewed: 78  Exp: 12.4 Years
This review was updated on 8/11/2008
19 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: -Open and tight holes while not too open on the open ones and not too tight on the tight ones
-Tunnel holes
-Left and Right handed holes
-Uses every shot in your bag
-Hole 27 "Top of the World" is one of the most amazing shots in disc golf
-Friendly Locals
-Great Variety
-Concrete tee pads
-There's a guy with a van in the parking lot that sells drinks, snacks and discs, both used and new at good prices.
Cons: -Some tee pads getting old and beat up
-One hole is completly blind (though I almost aced it)
-A few holes are not the best, but when you have 27, one or two being ok is not too bad
Other Thoughts: This course is rated as one of the best in the world, but I still think that there is room for improvement. The tees on some holes being worn out is just a fact of life when you have a course that gets as much use as this one.

I would recomend this course to anyone traveling through the area.

19 of 23 people found this review helpful.

 Quite disappointing

6/30/2008   7/2/2008
Review By: Caribbeing
Played: 17  Reviewed: 12  Exp: 18.4 Years
20 Helpful / 8 Not
Pros: Very long, so it's good for those who like to really haul off and throw it. I think this course might be a lot of fun once you know it very well, but it's definitely unfriendly to newcomers.
Cons: Poor signage. In many cases, it's really impossible to figure out where the basket is, unless you ask someone.

Very crowded, even at 2:00 on a Monday afternoon.

Dusty, hard fairways mean that discs skip and fly far beyond what you'd expect.

Finally, a number of holes are next to a deep gorge, which means a poor throw results in a dangerous climb down a steep hill to retrieve your disc.

This course is very difficult, really to point of being not fun. I like a challenge, but unless you know this course inside-out, forget it - don't even bother to keep score. Many baskets are placed in the middle of a clump of trees - there is simply no way to get a decent score.

Also, some of the other reviews talk about how scenic it is. I didn't see it. I brought my camera, and I didn't take a single picture. There's nothing striking or beautiful, other than the ball golf course you drive through to get to the disc golf course.

I'd heard about this course and read the reviews on this website, but it's not worth it. I've played many other courses that were far superior to this one.

I'm sure I'll get poor ratings from people who play this course a lot, but if you've played at any other well-regarded courses, you know that this one is good but definitely not great.

20 of 28 people found this review helpful.

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