Disc Golfing in the Bay Area


Back From Disc Golfing in the Bay Area

I was fortunate enough to spend a little over a week in the Bay Area, home to stunning natural landscapes, breathtaking vistas, and a vibrant disc golf community.

Whether you’re a seasoned disc golfer or a beginner eager to explore a new sport, the Bay Area offers a plethora of courses that cater to all skill levels.

In this blog post, we will dive into the world of disc golf in the Bay Area, highlighting some of the top courses, the ones I played and sharing tips for an unforgettable disc golf experience.

Golden Gate Park Disc Golf Course

Located in the heart of San Francisco, Golden Gate Park Disc Golf Course is a true gem. Nestled amidst the park’s lush greenery and giant Eucalyptus trees, this 18-hole course provides a perfect balance of challenge and beauty.

As you navigate through the course, you’ll encounter diverse terrain, including open fairways, wooded areas, and plenty of elevation changes. The course is well-maintained in my experience and is an absolute must if traveling through the area.

The locals tell me it can get pretty crowded during the week so maybe a weekday trip or even a trip in a light drizzle can offer a bit more seclusion and better flow of play. It also is home to the rising in popularity PoCaWoCha, or Polecat World Championships.

For those of you looking for a challenge, grab one of the cult like favorite Innova Polecats and head out!

Stafford Lake Disc Golf Course

Just a short drive north of the Golden Gate Bridge in Novato, Stafford Lake Disc Golf Course is a must-visit destination for disc golf enthusiasts. Known for its breathtaking scenery and challenging layout, this 26-hole course offers a unique disc golf experience.

You’ll find yourself throwing across rolling hills, dense forests, and picturesque lakes. The course has a reputation for its long and technical holes, providing a thrilling adventure for experienced players.

I once heard it referred to as “the King Kong of disc golf courses”. Unfortunately time didn’t allow us to travel over to this course but all the locals refer to it as a must play, and judging by the pictures I can’t disagree.

DeLaveaga Disc Golf Course

Traveling south to Santa Cruz, you’ll discover DeLaveaga Disc Golf Course, a world-renowned disc golf destination. This very challenging course is nestled in the Santa Cruz Mountains, offering players an unforgettable experience.

Prepare to test your skills and your quads and calves with tight fairways, steep elevation changes, and some of the most iconic holes in the sport. Once you’ve thrown from top of the world it’s tough to go anywhere else.

DeLaveaga’s stunning views of the coastline and lush vegetation add to the allure of this legendary course. Be ready for roll aways, they don’t call it getting De La’d for nothing.

Make sure to bring plenty of water and an extra set of clothes because it can get hot. Don’t worry though the ocean and plenty of cold brews aren’t very far away.

Ryan Ranch Disc Golf Course

Located in Monterey, Ryan Ranch Disc Golf Course is a beautiful location that provides a mix of open fairways and technical shots. Set against a backdrop of rolling hills and oak trees, this 31-hole, 10 layout course is a local favorite.

The course offers different tee pad options, catering to players of all abilities. Ryan Ranch also hosts several tournaments throughout the year, making it a great place to connect with the disc golf community.

While you’re there be sure and head over to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. There is no other aquarium quite like this one I promise. And after that take the ride down to the famous Pebble Beach, you won’t be disappointed but you will feel a lot poorer. Seriously, I really made some wrong career moves.

Some Honorable Mentions

Now if you really want the locals vibe and want to see some of the courses that started the disc golf movement you should check out a few of the lesser known courses.

One course I was fortunate enough to play was Parque de la Raza or La Raza for short. Supposedly the 2nd course ever installed in the area. Simon Lizotte was once quoted saying, “La Raza in longs might be one of the hardest disc golf courses ever”.

The reason? Its all par 3, and with some holes being over 500ft I can 100% see why. I personally lost two discs there.

Another fantastic course is Kelley Park. This 20 hole course offers a ton of challenges. Whether it’s the wind, the vegetation, or the tight, low ceiling fairways, this course will give you its best.

Like many Bay area courses, pants or gators are highly recommended. Trust me, you will be glad you did.

And last but not least is a cool little course called Villa Maria. This 11 hole course is tucked away in the hills and taken care of by Jim Challas PDGA#160, so he knows a little about the sport and was very willing to share his knowledge.

This is a fun little course that has a number of ace runs and can be played over and over. I was pretty fortunate that I had a local showing me around.

I can tell you from experience that there is a deep and rich community of dedicated disc golfers here. So do yourself a favor and make the trip.

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