Course Info

City of Santa Cruz Parks and Rec

DeLaveaga Disc Golf Course is located within the City of Santa Cruz's Upper DeLaveaga Park.

1468 Upper Park Rd, Santa Cruz, CA 95065
Directions to the course

Park Hours - sunrise to sunset

Dogs must be on leash at all times. Dogs are prohibited on athletic fields. 

PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES: Fires, camping, littering, wood gathering, collection of plants or animals, hunting, archery except within the designated archery range. No amplified music. Excessive noise prohibited. No alcohol, except in reservable picnic areas designated and approved by the Director of the Parks and Recreation Department.

EQUIPMENT: Equipment is not available to rent but can be purchased at the nearby Golf Pro Shop.

FEES: Course use is free.  Daily parking permits are $2.00 and annual passes are $40.00.

Disc Golf Annual Parking Pass Application - download the form here to apply for an annual $40 pass for the Disc Golf Course parking lot. Open with restrictions, please visit the website for details. 

DeLaveaga Disc Golf Course Voted #1 in California and #15 in the World 2021 on uDisc

The World's Top 100 Disc Golf Courses 2021 - DeLaveaga Disc Golf Course #15

The 5 Best Disc Golf Courses In Each U.S. State: 2021 - DeLaveaga Disc Golf Course #1

Top 10 Courses In The World (2020)
DeLaveaga Park

UDisc wrote an article going through the Top 100 courses in the World, and our little slice of paradise was featured as one of the Top 10 courses in the World. Today, we received a little mail from UDisc, and we wanted to share it with you all. Below you will see the letter they sent us, along with a framed certificate commemorating our courses achievement. 

Course Ground Rules

Course Etiquette

Every course has a set of local customs, including regular rules of play and etiquette, and DeLaveaga is no different. Following is a partial list of customs observed at DeLaveaga:

Parking Info

The city of Santa Cruz requires a $2 daily use fee for those using the parking lot in Upper DeLaveaga Wilderness Park. Please pay at the iron ranger in the parking lot to avoid a ticket. Free parking is also available around the (ball) golf course for those wishing to walk in and avoid a fee (e.g., above the pond to the right, just before the disc golf course).

If you plan to play the course regularly, an annual parking pass is available from the Parks and Recreation department.
Disc Golf Annual Parking Pass Application - download the form here to apply for an annual $40 pass for the Disc Golf Course parking lot. Open with restrictions, please visit the website for details.

Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation
323 Church Street (across the parking lot from the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium)
Santa Cruz CA 95060

Hours: Monday-Thursday 8AM-5PM
Phone: 831-420-5270

Course History

Historically, disc golf was first played in the Santa Cruz area utilizing object courses. Certain trees, posts, or other objects were defined as the target for completing a hole. Much of the early disc golf activity in Santa Cruz took place on the campus of the University of California, Santa Cruz. Disc golf had also been played informally using objects in DeLaveaga Park, some in the same area that is now part of the DeLaveaga Disc Golf Course.

DeLaveaga Park itself is part of a complex land trust donated to the government for recreational and educational purposes, near the end of the 19th century. The legal status of the trust long remained uncertain owing to laws restricting the allocation of private estates to the public. The branch of government that utilized the DeLaveaga park land most was the California National Guard, for purposes of training and readiness. During World War II the ridge that now hosts hole 27 (Top of the World) was used by the military as a lookout post (note: the trees were not so tall back then, so the view of the sea was much more expansive). In the early days of DeLaveaga disc golf, it was not uncommon to see tanks or other tracked vehicles making their way through parts of the park property.

Many residents of Santa Cruz had a different relationship with DeLaveaga Park. Prior to the foundation of the DDGC, the property had been used as an unofficial garbage dump for particularly large items (appliances, cars and car parts, etc.) that could not otherwise be easily disposed. Many portions of the park had also become completely choked with undergrowth, including poison oak. The park grounds were full of squatter camps and refuges for all kinds of outcasts. After World War II, Top of the World became the top destination in Santa Cruz for local teenagers to hang out, make out, and party hard. There is a road that goes up to Top of the World that used to be open (now it is controlled by a gate), and what is now the fairway of hole 26a was the parking lot…it used to become completely filled with cars on weekend nights. It was a common tradition for local teens to throw their empty bottles below, onto what is now the fairway of hole 2. So much broken glass accumulated that it is now part of the very soil on the hillside, and impossible to clean up. Some also threw bottles down the hill to what is now the fairway of hole 25.

In 1984, Tom Schot received permission to build the first official 18 hole disc golf course in Upper DeLaveaga Park as part of the 1984 World Disc Championships. The task was not easy. Many tons of garbage, debris, dense underbrush and poison oak, old cars, etc., had to be cleared out by the original club members. Under their combined effort, they were able to pitch in and help develop DeLaveaga DGC into one of the world’s finest disc golf courses. The original course used 4×4 wooden posts as targets; these were replaced a few years later by pole hole targets. The map of the original 18 holes, as published in the 1984 World Disc Championships official program, is shown above (click on the image for a larger resolution version).

The introduction of disc golf into Upper DeLaveaga Wilderness Park completely transformed the property. The presence of regular park users drove away unwanted elements and discouraged bad behavior. Hundreds of truck loads of refuse was removed to proper dumps. Soon the teen parties on Top of the World, which had been growing more dangerous and out-of-control with increasing weapons and gang activity, was pushed entirely out of the park. The taming of Upper DeLaveaga Wilderness Park by the DDGC also substantially increased the value of real estate surrounding the park, creating value for neighboring property owners as well as offering effective buffers against crime and wildfires.

Today it is estimated that DeLaveaga Disc Golf Course serves approximately 200 users every day, on average. There is no fee for playing the course, although the city of Santa Cruz now requires those using the parking lot to pay a $2 parking fee (annual parking permits are available from the city for $40).