Strong Showing by Southern California Disc Golfers at 2014 Am Worlds


Things are just getting back to normal on the disc golf courses around Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota after the hubbub of 612 disc golfers competing for the PDGA Amateur World Championships.  But a few Southern California disc golfers brought some of that excitement back home with them.

San Diego’s Vanessa Van Dyken kept her perfect PDGA tournament record alive at 7-0 by winning the Advanced Women’s division (FA1) at this year’s Am Worlds.  Vanessa took the lead after shooting the hot round (53) in the 3rd round and never looked back on her way to a 6-shot win.  Smashboxxtv was providing lots of live video coverage of the tournament play, and you can see their full round played at Bryant Lake here.

Santa Barbara’s Mark Hauser is a fixture in SoCal Disc Golf.  Mark has 38 PDGA wins since 2001, including seven (yes, seven!) Tim Selinske U.S. Masters titles in the Advanced Grandmaster division.  Mark had come in second twice, third and fifth at Am Worlds, but this year he took the title in Men’s Advanced Senior Grandmasters (MS1)!  After dueling with Florida’s Michael Schweitzer for the first three rounds, Mark took the lead in round #4 and cruised to a 19-shot victory.  Congrats Dr. Mark!

Perhaps the most buzz around SoCal last week was generated by the play of Robert “Robot” Smith of Fountain Valley, playing in the Advanced Men’s division (MA1).  Robot shot out of the gate quickly with a 1030-rated first round and held the lead after the first, second and third rounds.  He stumbled a little during the fourth round to drop into second place but quickly stormed back in the fifth round to regain the lead.  His cardmates picked up strokes on him in round six and the semi-finals as the top four players were all tied up going in to the 9-hole finals.  Robot stumbled on the first few holes of the final and ended up taking third place, but he was an obvious crowd favorite with his massive drives.  Several of Robot’s rounds are available for viewing on Smashboxxtv’s YouTube page.

Congrats to all of the SoCal disc golfers who made the trip to Minnesota, and thanks for representing us proudly!

SoCal Expands to Bakersfield!


At the SoCal member meeting held back in December at Prado Regional Park, many members expressed that they would like to see the SoCal Championships rotate to different locations.  You asked for it, you got it!2014 Champ logo

The 2014 SoCal Championships will be held November 8-9 (Ams) and November 15-16 (Pros) at Hart Park in Bakersfield, using both the mountain and flats courses.  Rocky Brown is merging his popular Sharktooth Open tournament with the SoCal Championships, sharing the TD duties with SoCal President Randy Wylot.  Registration will be available soon on DGU and a flyer is available for download here.

The plan for future years is to rotate the championship tournaments between different locations in SoCal, such as Santa Maria, Lake Casitas, La Mirada and north San Diego.  Doing this will require the assistance of TDs and volunteers at these locations, so be ready to help when the SoCal Championships are in your backyard!

The SoCal Championships at Hart Park will top off a SoCal Series that has seen it’s greatest number of events ever, with new tournament locations and new TDs joining the SoCal Series.  See you in Bako!\

Recent update (7/28/2014) from Rocky Brown: “Host hotel is the Marriott on Truxtun avenue. I am negotiating rooms at $69 they are very nice rooms and about as close as you can get to the course in a hotel.

Santa Maria Returns to SoCal Series!


Details are sketchy so far, but the great news is that Santa Maria is back on the SoCal scheduleRegistration opens up on DGU June 30th, so there should be more details by then.  According to our highly-placed sources, there are a few additional events in the works on courses that have been off the series schedule for a while, or have never been a SoCal event.  Keep watching our Upcoming Events page for more info!

Disc Golf in Pasadena Senior Games!


From Mark Horn:

“Only two weeks till the Senior Olympics disc golf at Oak Grove. Come join us or if you aren’t old enough, let someone who is know. It’s a fun day of golf on the short course and then the tournament course with lunch and a t-shirt in the deal. Call me or e-mail for more details.”

The event is on Saturday, June 21 beginning at 8am.  You can find details on this flyer.  Many thanks to Mark and Susie for hosting this event!

Final Golden Sombrero Report


Finally, a new Golden Sombrero Series champion!  Hearty congratulations go out to Jason Perdue, who bested the largest Golden Sombrero field yet to take the 2014 title and the fancy-schmancy crown that goes with it.

2014 saw the largest number of events so far in the Golden Sombrero Ice Bowl Series (9), the largest amount of money donated to charity ($11,000+) and the largest number of players in the series (410).  Jason finished the series with a total score of 256 points, beating second-place finisher Chris Horn (225) by 31 points.  Four-time GS champion A.J. Risley finished third with 214 points, followed by Danny Zwolenski (190) and Jason Fitzgerald (174).

The points race puts a premium on beating other players – competitors receive one point for each player that they beat at a Golden Sombrero event, with their top four event totals being used for the series title race.  This format also gives an advantage to players that play in (and do well in) larger events, where they can earn more points.  In past years this meant that the champion had to play the largest Ice Bowl in SoCal – The Ice Bowl in Paradise @ Chavez Ridge.  That looked to be true again in 2014, as going into the final weekend, A.J. held a comfortable 38-point lead over Danny and 41 points over Chris, due to a 2nd-place finish at Chavez.  But this year, the landscape changed…

Participation was great at this year’s Ice Bowls, with 55 players at Redlands, 47 at Prado, 83 at Chavez, 64 at Yucaipa, 44 at Sycuan, 51 at San Marcos, 64 at Murrieta, 54 at Wrightwood and a whopping 101 at Mission Bay!  Chris’ strong 2nd place finish at Wrightwwod moved him into the lead on Saturday evening of the final weekend, while Jason’s win leap-frogged him into 3rd place overnight.

Standings after Wrightwood:
Place   Name                        Points      Events
1          Chris Horn                 225               4
2          A.J. Risley                  214               5
3          Jason Perdue             201              4
4          Danny Zwolenski      190               7
5          Mark Horn                163                3
6          Mark Verrochi          160               3
7          Allen Risley               152                5
8         Bill Maury-Holmes   148                3
9         Tim Caldwell              137                3
10       David Patrick             123               4

Jason’s strong second-place finish at Mission Bay, coupled with the humongous number of players in that event vaulted him into first place when the dust (or fog) settled on Sunday evening.  To his credit, he finished the series with three wins (Sycuan, San Marcos and Wrightwood) and one second-place finish – Jason kicked sombrero butt!

Final Standings (after Mission Bay):
Place    Name                        Points        Events
1           Jason Perdue             256               5
2          Chris Horn                  225               4
3          A.J. Risley                   214               5
4          Danny Zwolenski       190               8
5          Jason Fitzgerald         174               3
6          Mark Horn                  163               3
7          Mark Verrochi            160               3
8          Allen Risley                 152               5
9          Patrick Paramore      150               3
10        Bill Maury-Holmes   148                3

Golden Sombrero full results.

Golden Sombrero Series Wraps Up This Weekend


The 2014 Golden Sombrero of Ice Bowls has will be the biggesttournament logo in the series’ history.  Begun as the “Triple Crown of Ice Bowls” (Redlands, Palm Desert, San Marcos) in 2008 by Bill Maury-Holmes and Allen Risley, the series has evolved into nine charity events crammed into the first two months of the year.  The series changed its name one year later with the addition of a fourth event (Sun Valley/San Diego) to the Golden Sombrero Series and has kept that moniker ever since.

Each year the series has crowned a champion, who is awarded a golden, decorated sombrero at the series-closing event.  In the early years the champion was the player who beat the most other players at all of the events combined.  As the series grew it was decided to put a cap on the number of events included in a player’s points total, and that cap has been set at four events.  Players receive a point for each other player in an event who they beat (no points for players tied).  Since many of the Ice Bowl events allow for the use of mulligans ($1 each), some have argued that it’s possible to buy a series win.  With the addition of the Ice Bowl in Paradise in 2011 and inclusion of the San Marcos Super Ice Bowl – neither of which included mulligan use – that claim is harder to defend.

2010GS Winners

2010 Golden Sombrero top finishers: 1st – A.J. Risley, 2nd – Patrick Paramore

This year’s series has had a record number of players so far, with 318 participating in the first seven events, thanks to big turnouts at Chavez (83), Yucaipa (64) and Murrieta (64).  This year’s series championship is still up for grabs going into the final two events this weekend – the Wrightwood Ice Bowl and the San Diego Ice Bowl @ Mission Bay.  The current top 5 players are listed below with their point totals (and number of events played in parentheses):

  1. A.J. Risley – 214 points (5 events played)
  2. Danny Zwolenski – 176 (6)
  3. Chris Horn 173 (3)
  4. Allen Risley 152 (5)
  5. (tie) Bill Maury-Holmes 148 (3), Jason Perdue 148 (3)

Four-time defending champion A.J. Risley is currently in the lead with 214 points.  Since neither A.J. nor 2009 champ Allen Risley are playing in Ice Bowls this weekend, their scores will not change.  But other players still have a shot:

  • Danny Zwolenski can catch A.J. if he can beat 72 players in one of the events and none of the other top players pass him.
  • Likewise for Chris Horn, who needs to beat 42 players at Wrightwood to pass A.J. (Chris needs to hope for more walk-up entrants on Saturday, current registration is 37).
  • Bill Maury-Holmes needs to beat at least 67 players at Wrightwood, which is not likely to happen (sorry Bill).
  • Jason Perdue needs to beat 67 players at either Wrightwood or Mission Bay to pass A.J.  He is unlikely to have enough players in the field at Wrightwood, but the Mission Bay field is 94 players, which gives him a strong chance.

So don’t expect to know the outcome of the Golden Sombrero championship race until late in the evening on Sunday (Mission Bay is played under the lights).  But we already know the big winners from this year’s Golden Sombrero Series of Ice Bowls – the local charities that will be receiving cash and canned food donated by our players!

SoCal Board Approves Change to SoCal Series Points Rules


The SoCal Disc Golf Association board met on Saturday, January 4th for its first meeting of the new year.  In addition to the typical housekeeping and procedural issues, the board also discussed the points system used to award SoCal Series divisional championships.  A lively discussion had been held at the SoCal end-of-year banquet regarding the points system, with critics of the current system expressing the opinion that the points system was giving too much weight to events that featured large fields or more than two rounds of golf and not enough credit to winners of smaller, one-day events.  A proposal  for changes to the points system was made at the general membership meeting that occurs as part of the year-end banquet, but that proposal failed to garner enough votes to make changes.

The board continued this discussion at the Jan. 4th meeting.  There was general agreement that the series had become dominated by a small number of large-field, two-day events.  For example, since the series points system only counted the best 4 tournament point totals for Ams and best 5 for Pros, players could place highly in the standings by playing only the series’ 2-day events (Wintertime Open, La Mirada, Summertime Open, Cannonball Run, Goleta, Wrightwood, Sun Valley, Blue Heron, SoCal Championships), with no 1-day events  contributing to their points totals.  Board members generally agreed  that it would be good to find a way to support increased participation in the often smaller, 1-day events.  The board did not feel comfortable with making major changes to the points system without considerable input from the membership.  The board did, however, feel that it could make minor adjustments that would not radically change the current system.

The compromise reached was to increase the number of events included in a players’ series points total to seven events for both Am and Pro players.  This change would increase the likelihood that more 1-day events would be used in players’ point totals.  There was concern that this change would greatly increase the number of events that players seeking division titles would have to play, thus increasing the financial burden for players wishing to be competitive in the title chase.  But an analysis of the number of events played by top competitors for the points titles (defined as the top 1/3 of each division in the final points totals) found that top Am players played an average of 7 events in 2013, while top Pro players played an average of 8 events.  Thus, players who were seriously competing for the titles were already playing as many events as the rule change called for.

The increase in number of events included in series point totals will go into effect for the current (2014) points series.  All other components of the series points system (5 participation points per 18-hole round, 1 point per player beat or tied, 1 bonus point for a win, up to 10 bonus points for number of events played awarded for participation in series championship event) will stay as is.  The board encourages members to use this season to discuss both the goals of and the mechanism for the points series in preparation for December’s year-end players meeting.

Blast From the Past Disc Golf Videos!


Ever hear the 50+ year old disc golfers talk about the “old days”?  About how baskets were smaller, discs were bigger, shorts were shorter and porn-star mustaches were everywhere? Well, fresh from the video vault of Snapper Pierson come some videos of disc golf at Morley Field from back in the ’80’s.  So far there are a handful of videos from the Southwestern Team Tournaments of the late 80’s available on YouTube, posted under the account “Morley Field”.  They are rather long, 1-2 hours at least, raw footage, so there are a few shots of the ground or the sky when the cameraman forgot to turn off the camera, and there is very little narration.

These videos are a great piece of disc golf history and we thank Snapper for having them converted and posted for the world to see.  It’s very interesting to see which holes have remained nearly unchanged for 25-30 years and to try to recognize some of our now-Master/Grandmaster/Senior Grandmaster/Legend players back when their hair wasn’t gray (or it existed), they didn’t have pot bellies and they didn’t creak and groan when they threw.  A couple of things to note:

  • Attire: Dri-fit shirts were 25 years in the future.  Short shorts or sweatpants (sometimes both at the same time) were the norm.  Trucker hats were the only hats you could get.
  • Discs: Lots of Aviars, Aeros, Super Puppies, XDs, Stingrays, Kitty Hawks. Those big ones with the numbers on them were Midnight Flyers.
  • Putting: We’ve gotten better.
  • Morley: A lot of the Morley layout hasn’t changed in 25-30 years.  Some trees look about the same as they do now, some are tiny (or non-existent).
  • Players: So far I think I’ve seen Snapper (looks remarkably the same), Dan “Stork” Roddick, Sam Ferrans, Marcus Cisneros, John Ahart, Steve Killian, possibly Jerry Goff or Dan Shorkey.

I encourage you to take a look at these videos when you have the time.  If you played back then or are psychic, help us ID these golfers!  In the comments section list who you think you saw, the time stamp on the video, and what they were wearing.  Maybe we can get someone to put together a viewer’s guide?

You can find the videos here.  Once again, big thanks to Snapper!  Enjoy!!

2014 Ice Bowl Season is Here!


The 2014 Ice Bowl season has beguntournament logo 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!”

SoCal Year-End Event Coming Up!


Join So Cal DGA for an 18 hole event at Prado Regional Park in Chino followed by the annual awards banquet and full membership meeting.  Early registration is requested so the proper amount of meals can be ordered.  Sign up ASAP at DiscGolfU.com: http://www.discgolfunited.com/disc-golf-tournaments/tournament-dashboard.cfm/tourn_id/1048

Check in 8:30am – Player Meeting 10:00 – Tee to follow – Banquet Begins appx 1:30pm.  Banquet takes place at the meeting hall and banquet facility in Prado Park.  Alcohol is legal in Prado Park, however no alcohol will be available (BYOB).  If you or a friend won a series championship this year (or came close), show up so the assembled SoCal players can give you a round of applause…and you can pick up your prize!

This is a flighted event.  Your final score will determine how you will place in one of three flights.  Minimal prizes will be awarded throughout each flight.  Other prizes will be awarded during the raffle held during the full membership meeting and So Cal Series Awards banquet.   Players may join an optional side action bet on the day of the event.  Everyone who joins or renews with So Cal DGA at the event (or online registration) may pick up the 2014 So Cal Bag Tag and Membership disc.  So Cal will also offer $5.00 discount on all PDGA memberships and renewals taken at the event  (or online registration).

But wait! There’s more!  SoCal will be holding a Hott Shott putting contest during the day’s festivities!  $1 to enter (up to 3 times, all proceeds go to EDGE) – compete for a State or National Championship.  More info at: http://www.pdga.com/be-a-hott-shott

If you are interested in serving on the 2014 Board of Directors, please contact Suzette at 909-481-6266.

Prado Regional Park – 16700 Euclid Avenue, Chino, CA  91708  (909) 597-4260.  Park gates open at 7:30am.

PRADO CHARGES $10.00 PER CARLOAD FOR ENTRY ON WEEKENDS.  Entry into park is NOT included in event/banquet fees.

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