What did you think of the course? I played it for the first time this summer and I'd give it a C+/B- as an 18 hole course overall. There were definitely some fun holes, but a lot of redundant ones as well. Also, navigating the course was a big pain the the butt at a couple spots, namely trying to figure out what/where hole one was.
I did like the extra challenge from all of the artificial O.B. though, that was pretty fun.
I think C+ is a bit harsh; maybe B-/B. You're right though, a lot of the holes are similar. Of course, as is the case with many courses, they did the best with the land they had. Actually, in this case you have to give them credit for going above and beyond what they had (O.B. areas, islands, mounds, etc.). Overall, if you like Hyzer Pines, you'll like University of OB. And you can't beat the location: right off the freeway in a stunningly beautiful corner of Northern California.
As for navigation, there's a note near the parking lot explaining that Hole #1 is out of commission, with a description of how to find #2. I didn't think it was too hard to navigate, since every hole had benches and a sign that you could look for. But for future reference, I took a photo of the map by the parking lot, cleaned it up, and put it on my site: