top three Cali courses

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top three Cali courses

Postby Jesse B 707 » Sun Dec 30, 2007 10:05 am

i know most folks who post on this site are not from the west coast so i don't expect much but what are your top 3 california courses.
i havn't been to that many but mine are as follows
1. stafford lake, novato
2. golden gate park, SF
3. skyline wilderness park, Napa
never been to de la,lake casitas or any of the more widely popular ones though :cry:
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Re: top three Cali courses

Postby plastic_fondler » Sun Dec 30, 2007 10:23 am

1. Stafford
2. DeLa
3. Ammon Ranch

I also haven't been to Lake Casitas, but I've heard good things.
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Postby Jesse B 707 » Sun Dec 30, 2007 10:31 am

WOW im kinda shocked to see stafford on top of someone elses list. do you play there often?
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Postby dflaschiii » Sun Dec 30, 2007 2:14 pm

Visited my friend in San Jose over XMas and played 5 courses in two days. My ratings:

Stafford Lake: A++++
Delaveaga: A
Golden Gate Park: A
San Jose: C+
Monterey, CSU campus: D-

Stafford Lake was not only the best course on this trip, it was the best course I have ever played. It's really not even close, only Idlewild, KY can compete. When I stepped up to the first tee, after a very pleasant walk to the course, and was confronted with a 400ft hole with +100 elevation, I knew I was in for something amazing. The area is just plain gorgeous, green hills overlooking the lake (and far away from any civilization, that scores major points in my book). I heard at other times of the year the grass is high and yellow, but over XMas it was deep green and very short. We even had a group of four deer following us along the back nine! The course is so challenging, not only for its length (several true par 4s and even a 5), but also the very tough greens. This course and Idlewild are the only two I've played that seemed like a ball golf course, in that a 60-70 would be a decent score for a full round. I was so excited about the course, and so blown away by every hole, that I didn't even think about my score and didn't keep track (that never happens!). I will return to Novato as soon as possible, this is the course I've always dreamed of.

Delaveaga was also great. Woke up XMas morning at 7 and got to the course by 9AM thinking we'd be the only ones playing, but there were already 7 cars there! That's a hell of a disc golf community! Tough course, must have great accuracy. I was very happy to shoot +7 on 27 holes (two triple bogies, ugh). The "Top of the World" hole is one of the best veiws from any teebox in the country.

For a course in the middle of a huge city, Golden Gate Park is amazing. Primarily a wooded course, I loved the holes that ran along the edge of the park, so you overlooked some of San Fran's residential areas. Some really cool tunnel shots, overall very challenging. Also very well maintained with walkways throughout. Another reason why San Fran is one of the best cities in the world.

Stupidly, we went to Monterey instead of Napa, but I'll go back next month and play it (live in Reno, only a four hour drive). But between Stafford, Dela, and Golden Gate, looks like the Bay area has some of the best disc golf in the country.
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Postby plastic_fondler » Mon Dec 31, 2007 11:39 am

I live behind Stafford...over the hills past the ball golf course. So yes, I play it about 3 times a week. We have a mixed dubs weekly for 5 bucks on Saturdays at noon. It's a great way to play with some local pros, very low key and fun.

Funny you mention Idlewild. I've heard Stafford compared to this course due to overall beauty. Stafford must play easier due to it being more open though? Did either of you play hole 4A? It's above the basket for hole 4...a tight little tunnel shot..ace run short and tough bird from the long. You will end up right at the mega long tee for 5 after finishing hole 4A. Play it soon though as we might be pulling the basket for the winter.

Funny...4 deer rounds are good luck for me. The grass does get very high...but the past year was decent due to the ranger's tractor being fixed. Right now is a great time of year until the real rain gets here.

Stafford has a few par 4's, but no par 5's. Hole 1 long to D postion is a par 4. Hole 3 from the long to C position is a par4. Hole 9 to either basket position is only a par 4 despite the 1000 feet. Finally, hole 17 to the D position around the corner is a par 4. Its a max 58 with it normally being a par 55 course.

If you enjoy larger courses though....plan to check out Ammon Ranch outside of Willow Creek. It only has baskets for Par Infinity events and its so fun. 27 holes, A few par 4's, a few par 5's, hanging baskets and the second day you play the course reverse. Did I mention the rams and smokestacks?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DA4OC-qmPk

Just so you understand how the locals play hole 9. Last weekly we had a local get to pin high on his second drive!!! That's 1050ft on two drives. Missed the putt though. Only a few dubs team's have gotten a 3 on hole 9. About half a dozen.
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Postby dflaschiii » Mon Dec 31, 2007 1:06 pm

Live behind Stafford? Will you sell me your house? When I got home I actually started searching listings for houses in Novato, ha ha. A bit out of my price range right now.

I'd say Stafford is a prettier course than Idlewild, at least on the day I was there, and the ambiance of the course makes it number one on my list. Idlewild is a bit harder due to some lengthy tunnel holes, some that follow an s-curve path. Overall, a bad throw at Idlewild is likely to screw you more than a bad one at Stafford. But, for the same reason, Stafford is more fun.

Almost skipped that 4A hole but a local player on the next tee told us about it. Nice hole, and I imagine there are ways to add a few more holes onto that huge area, or even lengthen the existing ones to make a monstrous par 72 course.

Getting pin high after 1050 ft is especially impressive since that fairway is basically flat the whole way. Did he throw two rollers or two in the air? Either way, that man is a beast. Since only a few doubles teams ever birdie 9, it sounds like that hole ought to be par 5!

I'm going to try to make it out there again in Feb or March cause a few more of my friends are moving out to the Bay area (seems like everyone from the Midwest is moving there). We'll try and make it on a Saturday to play in doubles. When do the "real rains" end? I don't mind playing in what Californians call "cold" but I imagine navigating that course in the mud is tough.
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Postby plastic_fondler » Mon Dec 31, 2007 7:06 pm

Yes...house prices in all of the bay area are crazy. But....its so nice out here.

I agree with your logic about Idelwild punishing a bad shot more. The 4A area could lead to a few more technical holes up there. We used to have few holes behind the tee of 1. They were part of the Rustic Meadows temp course which is the area you walk through to get to course. That area is winddddy, a second course used for tournies.

No rollers.....Colin got there with two air shots! The second was a cruncher anny. The hole plays as a par 5 with the long basket position, but the short position screws it up as a par5. It's so much easier. I do agree that getting a 3 on it in the long is more an eagle than a bird.

Feb and March is prime for the wet muddy stuff. If you can time a trip with one day of non-rain before hand, the course will not be too bad. The plan is to install the rest of the cement pads asap. Its funny how much pacwest can get you used to playing in the rain.
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Postby Barbikes » Mon Dec 31, 2007 7:12 pm

I live in Seattle and there is no course in CA that I've played more than twice. I've never played Stafford or Golden Gate but of the ones I have played:
Win - Lake Casitas - Beautiful Scenery and lots of water hazards and elevation change
Place - De Laveaga - Another beautiful course with a great "top of the world hole"
(about 25 I think)
Show - La MIrada - There's a ball golf course right next to it and the disc golf course is maintained like the ball golf course. There are no courses in the Seattle area that are maintained like this one. It is also challenging and 27 holes.
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Postby niuvalleycane » Tue Jan 01, 2008 6:23 pm

For me:

De La

Auburn

La Mirada
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Postby Desafinado » Wed Jan 02, 2008 1:32 pm

It's pretty hard to nail down the top three, but here's mine with some brief reasoning.

1. De Laveaga - I just love the shot variety here, the fast greens, the mixture of open and tightly wooded. A course that makes me use every shot I know almost every time I play. Good local scene, lots of great golfers.

2. La Mirada (18 hole Golden State Classic layout- may no longer exist due to construction/modifications)

I know a lot has changed at La Ma, but when I played the Golden State Classic layout back in 2004, it was phenomenal. Several true par 4s and one or two true par 5s, beautifully manicured, lots of rollers, some water, really terrific.

3. Stafford Lake - I love being away from the city, no pedestrians, lots of big bombs. Maybe a teensy bit too wide open for my tastes, but it does feature some technical shots. Once all the cement tees are in, Stafford will probably move to #2 on my list- I just have a pet peeve about muddy teeboxes :P

Honorable mentions: Oaks Course in Monterey, Golden Gate Park, Condon Park in Grass Valley, Skyline Wilderness in Napa

Haven't played Lake Casitas or anything north of Ukiah.
Last edited by Desafinado on Thu Jan 03, 2008 2:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby plastic_fondler » Wed Jan 02, 2008 2:03 pm

Going by PDGA SSA for 18 hole courses, La Mirada looks to be the hardiest, followed by Ammon and then DeLa (85 SSA / 27)

For 27 hole versions, DeLa looks to be the hardiest. Ammon doesn't have a rated 27 hole, but I'd imagine it beats out DeLa.

As Desafinado mentioned though, these are some very different style courses. DeLa in the long basket positions is some stressful putting with the fastest dirt greens I've ever played next to 40-80 foot ravines. Ammon is go big or go home.

http://www.pdga.com/tournament/course_r ... course.php

By SSA, all these cali courses are 10 strokes easier than Renny or Idlewild. I do agree with this, but the SSA seems to only take into account trees, not elevation change. That being said....Stafford is too wide open in its current 18 hole design. I'd like to add 7 technical woods holes to make a 27 version ala the current 4A. I love having tunnel shots mixed with open bombers.
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Postby Desafinado » Thu Jan 03, 2008 2:34 pm

dflaschiii wrote:Visited my friend in San Jose over XMas and played 5 courses in two days. My ratings:

Monterey, CSU campus: D-

Stupidly, we went to Monterey instead of Napa, .


Hey dflaschiii -

Did you play the Cypress course, or the Oaks course, or both? If you just played Cypress, I could _somewhat_ understand a D-, although I'd still rank it higher, but if you think the Oaks course is a D- then I don't understand.

Cypress is the one that weaves through abandoned dorms and plays through mostly open fields with big cypress trees.

Oaks is the course that's more "wild", and features three or four of the most scenic holes I've ever played, would definitely make my top 5 Cali list. It has a hole with an elevated tee where you throw over an abandoned baseball diamond, if you played it you should remember that one.

Napa is definitely better than the Cypress course in Monterey, but in my opinion the Oaks course is better than Napa.
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Postby dflaschiii » Thu Jan 03, 2008 9:53 pm

I played the 18 hole one next to abandoned dorms. An ugly area and a pretty boring and simple layout for the course. Even worse, there is concrete on many fairways, some of which are 400ft holes from elevated tees, so the disc is skipping hard off that concrete. I will never play this course again, and the only thing keeping it from getting an F is the fact that it has decent baskets.

However, I live in Reno, and the nearest course is 45 min away, so I'd be happy to have this course in my area :). But against Stafford, Dela, Golden Gate, and all the Tahoe courses, this one is a D.
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Postby Jesse B 707 » Fri Jan 04, 2008 9:54 am

dflaschiii wrote:Visited my friend in San Jose over XMas and played 5 courses in two days. My ratings:

Stafford Lake: A++++
Delaveaga: A
Golden Gate Park: A
San Jose: C+
Monterey, CSU campus: D-

Stafford Lake was not only the best course on this trip, it was the best course I have ever played. It's really not even close, only Idlewild, KY can compete. When I stepped up to the first tee, after a very pleasant walk to the course, and was confronted with a 400ft hole with +100 elevation, I knew I was in for something amazing. The area is just plain gorgeous, green hills overlooking the lake (and far away from any civilization, that scores major points in my book). I heard at other times of the year the grass is high and yellow, but over XMas it was deep green and very short. We even had a group of four deer following us along the back nine! The course is so challenging, not only for its length (several true par 4s and even a 5), but also the very tough greens. This course and Idlewild are the only two I've played that seemed like a ball golf course, in that a 60-70 would be a decent score for a full round. I was so excited about the course, and so blown away by every hole, that I didn't even think about my score and didn't keep track (that never happens!). I will return to Novato as soon as possible, this is the course I've always dreamed of.

Delaveaga was also great. Woke up XMas morning at 7 and got to the course by 9AM thinking we'd be the only ones playing, but there were already 7 cars there! That's a hell of a disc golf community! Tough course, must have great accuracy. I was very happy to shoot +7 on 27 holes (two triple bogies, ugh). The "Top of the World" hole is one of the best veiws from any teebox in the country.

For a course in the middle of a huge city, Golden Gate Park is amazing. Primarily a wooded course, I loved the holes that ran along the edge of the park, so you overlooked some of San Fran's residential areas. Some really cool tunnel shots, overall very challenging. Also very well maintained with walkways throughout. Another reason why San Fran is one of the best cities in the world.

Stupidly, we went to Monterey instead of Napa, but I'll go back next month and play it (live in Reno, only a four hour drive). But between Stafford, Dela, and Golden Gate, looks like the Bay area has some of the best disc golf in the country.

judging by the reasons you like stafford so much you will LOVE skyline wilderness in napa. id be sure to include it in your next trip, you wont be sorry you did
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Postby radsnowsurfer » Fri Jan 04, 2008 6:35 pm

I just took my first trip down through cali, De la wasn't my favorite, I loved playing Casitas, just beautiful. I'd probably go
1. Lake casitas
2. La mirada
3. De la/golden gate.
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