Las Vegas provided the most memorable DG experiences of the holiday, a miraculous set of circumstances just all came together. The only info I had was that there was a course in ‘Sunset Park’, I had no map of the area, but when I saw a road called Sunset Boulevard I thought I’d give it a go. We followed the road for four miles and were about to turn around, when Kate spotted a Basket! Parking in the adjacent lot, I asked a young lady (bearing Disc) if there was a supply shop nearby, she pointed to a bloke standing near the first tee and suggested to test before you buy. It turned out that he was the Course Pro, he introduced himself as Vince and suggested I look in the back of his truck (complete with number plate FR1Z-B) if I needed Discs, so I loaded up with ‘Lightning’ toys and set off for a game.
The course at Sunset Park is completely flat, but Vince has done a great job of tree planting to create interesting holes (did I say course pro & creator! – the local council even pay him to maintain the course and promote the game) and using existing features for OB, such as fenced Baseball pitches and tennis courts. In terms of facilities it was excellent, the course has concrete tees (some holes had Pro and Am alternatives) and next to each was a hole map in playing for golf. Water fountains & ‘washrooms’ were also available throughout the park. It gets pretty hot in Vegas (well it is in the Desert) so some of the guys playing use converted Stick Golf Trolleys to carry their kit, complete with drinks coolers! This course really epitomised the friendliness of the game in the US, we played the course on two different occasions, each time meeting new faces.
Evergreen – Santa Barbara, CA
I was fortunate enough to have a contact number for this course; a friendly guy called Andy Schutette, who not only has done a great job of establishing the course, but has a DG shop called the ‘Back Nine’. I arranged to call in at the shop, which was great – he even had a couple of Baskets for sale, his disc selection probably wasn’t as extensive as Del Boy’s (but at least he would sell me a Mega Cube) and he gave me a ‘back-nine’ baseball cap. Most importantly, Andy had course maps – as there are no signs on the course. Evergreen is a good course with amazing machine, it has a nice mixture of open and wooded holes, that force a variety of shots, it’s not a long course, but I was happy with shooting +7, despite two double-bogeys on the first two holes The City of Santa Barbara is a great place to stay, and one I would recommend – the zoo makes a great diversion for those who are fed up with DG, or for those who need to buy a few favours.
DeLavega – Santa Cruz, CA
This course almost came as a disappointment, but then perhaps I’d expected too much. The ‘web’ had supplied many superlatives describing the course, most of which I suppose were justified, but there was one big problem; too many *!&%*& trees, and in some respect not enough thought (in my mind) had gone into the actual planning of the course – some holes seemed to be just a hack through the trees, with no logical flight path choice to the basket, which were often placed right in the middle of a copse. Despite these minor niggles I can see why the course is popular, and why there are awkward basket placements – the putting of some of the local players was just awesome, they expect to sink the 30+ foot putt, every time. The course is clearly a victim of its own success, tee and basket areas are suffering from erosion due to heavy use and this is despite concrete tees and a variety of basket locations. One ‘local’ said that at weekends the parking lot was usually full and it had been known to have to wait to play a round, perhaps not surprising that the club membership is approaching 200.