Disc Golf Center
Santa Cruz, CA 
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Uploaded By: Adam Schneider   (Taken 2/2013)

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 The bums are moving on

5+    7/27/2012   7/29/2012
Review By: JHern
Played: 82  Reviewed: 50  Exp: 10.3 Years
11 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Leave it to Tom Shot to find a way to construct a course where no hole is over 200', but where even experienced players still find themselves carding a lot of 3s unless their finesse upshot and putting game is tight. This is a great practice course, particularly if you want/need to tighten up the P&A aspect of your game. It is also a great course for beginners, where they actually have a chance at scoring some birdies, but without the difficulty of DeLaveaga where the learning curve is much much steeper.

The course is also very pretty, winding through trees next to the river, and along the grassy green benchlands. This will only improve with time, as fresh grass is planted along the fairways and they become a simple extension of the grassy field.
Cons: The course is still in less than top condition, but it is changing so rapidly that I think it will become cherry after the ground is graded (where necessary) and grass is planted.

There are still a few bums out there, but far fewer than even a month ago (see Other Thoughts below).

If the river floods again, this course will be underwater. It may call for a complete rebuild.
Other Thoughts: I think the early reviews of this course are not very useful, as they occurred in the very beginning and don't consider how much the situation has improved. Even a week makes a difference out here.

When I first came to this park last year, there were hundreds of homeless and tweakers stumbling around this park, like a zombie army. You would never take your kids to this park, and nobody used it except for the large population of homeless, and drifters, and criminals, drunken ex-cons, needle-users, etc.. The bums had taken over San Lorenzo Park, and the residents of Santa Cruz were not very willing to take it back from them, they surrendered. Given the huge population of these kinds of people in Santa Cruz, if you don't use a park, you'll surely lose it.

In early 2012, beloved local resident and downtown business owner Shannon Collins was brutally stabbed to death in the middle of the day by a violent schizophrenic criminal who had been released early from state prison, and had been hanging out along the San Lorenzo River benchlands since his release. While the city had already been hoping to get disc golf started in San Lorenzo Park, and discussions were underway with the DeLaveaga Disc Golf Club, this incident seemed to light a fire and everyone living in the downtown area took up the cause of taking back the park from the bums.

The course went in as an object course in April. The baskets were installed in early June. By late June the number of homeless hanging out around and nearby the course had already dropped to just a few dozen. Early use of the course, and increased pedestrian traffic were already having a positive impact. (Note that there are many new uses of the park that are contributing to increased traffic, from story-telling time for kids, yoga classes, impromptu soccer matches, kite-flying, etc.) Once these people figure out that the people of Santa Cruz are coming to take the park back, the bad elements move somewhere else...they are not willing to stand their ground in the long run.

By late July, there is only a single contingent of needle-heads that still hang out near hole 5 basket, and a few other homeless who haven't been around long enough to know about the disc golf course. The group near hole 5 are the last hold-outs. Once they're gone, we'll have the course all to ourselves, so long as we keep coming to San Lorenzo Park to play it.

An early reviewer said that these are problems of the city of Santa Cruz, and that it isn't our responsibility to help solve them. I couldn't imagine a more wrong-headed perspective, they obviously don't get it, but maybe not surprised since the collapse of civic values in our society is so evident in comments like this one. In fact, we ARE the city of Santa Cruz, and it is OUR responsibility as a community! Don't sit on your asses waiting for the gov't to solve these problems, get out there and do something about it, yourself! That is what disc golf in the Monterey Bay is all about...it is all about the effort to improve our parks by civic volunteer efforts, in lean economic times, and it works!

11 of 13 people found this review helpful.

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