The 2014 Ice Bowl season has begun and the Golden Sombrero Series is back for another year. If you don’t already know, Ice Bowls are charity fund-raising tournaments held each January and February to benefit local food banks. For over 25 years the Ice Bowl movement has been bringing disc golfers out in the cold to help the hungry – this year there are over 200 events scheduled across the country. Find more info here: icebowlhq.org.
While we don’t get a lot of ice and snow in Southern California, we still like to play disc golf and help the hungry, so we participate in the Ice Bowl fun. Cliff Towne has been running the Ice Bowl in Paradise at various locations for over 10 years and six years ago, Bill Maury-Holmes created the Golden Sombrero Series – a collection of Ice Bowls in SoCal. Since there were four events that first year he came up with the name “Golden Sombrero”, which is a term used to describe going 0-4 with four strikeouts in a baseball game. He and Allen Risley have coordinated the GS series ever since, and this year is the biggest it’s been. And this will be the third year with actual ice at a GS Ice Bowl, since the series returns to Wrightwood on Feb 22.
The first event of the season was held last Saturday (1/4) in Redlands, where 55 players showed up at Ford Park to ring in the new disc golf year. After 18 holes of golf, Danny Zwolenski and Kerry Miller were tied at 19-under par, with the help of a few mulligans. Danny’s CTP tie-breaker shot was a bit closer, so he walked away with the trophy. That puts Danny in the lead for the Golden Sombrero Series title, which awards the winner a gold-painted sombrero and a portable basket. Points are awarded at each event for the number of players you beat, with your top four point totals counting towards the title.
Mulligans you ask? Yes, many of our Ice Bowls sell mulligans for $1 each to raise funds for their charity. And all of them have some type of prize raffle to raise money as well. Don’t expect a big prize payout since the point of these events is to feed the hungry. But you can expect a cool (no pun intended) custom-stamped disc and a chance to play a fun round with friends. If you’ve never played a tournament before, an Ice Bowl is a great, low-stress way to get started.
Here’s the remaining Golden Sombrero schedule for 2014 (click on event name for registration info):
- Sat, Jan 11 – Ice Bowl at Prado Regional Park, Chino (2 rounds, mulligans, 1st-time event)
- Sat, Jan 18 – Ice Bowl in Paradise, Chavez Ridge, LA (PDGA-sanctioned, no mulligans, 2 rounds)
- Sat, Feb 1 – Sycuan Ice Bowl, El Cajon (2 day rounds, glow round at night, mulligans)
- Sat, Feb 1 – Yucaipa Ice Bowl, Yucaipa Regional Park (1 round, disc and 3 mulligans included)
- Sun, Feb 2 – San Marcos Super Ice Bowl, Cal State San Marcos DGC (1 round, Super Class, no mulligans)
- Sat, Feb 15 – Murrieta Ice Bowl, Mountain Pride Park (1 round, lunch included, mulligans)
- Sat, Feb 22 – Wrightwood Ice Bowl, Sky High North (1 round, snow, mulligans)
- Sun, Feb 23 (tentative) – Mission Bay Ice Bowl, Mission Bat Golf Course, San Diego (1 round, night golf)
If you have questions about an individual event, go to its registration page to find contact info for the tournament director – they’ll be happy to help you out. And remember the Ice Bowl motto: “No Wimps, No Whiners!”