Great Weekend at Long Beach Open!

Word out in SoCal Disc Golf-land is that the 2012 Long Beach Open presented by West Coast Disc Golf was a big success!  Full fields on both days and a very smoothly run event.  Congrats to Jeff Spohr and his band of volunteers for a great effort.  Here’s how the event was summarized on the West Coast Facebook page:

We had a great weekend hosting the West Coast Disc Golf 2012 Long Beach Open. Congratulations to the winners and new proud owners of a pair of brand new Oakley sunglasses: Men’s Open winner Steve Rico, Women’s Open winner McKayla Thomas, Masters winner Mike Bush, Women’s Masters winner Indigo Brude, Grandmasters winner Dan Henton, Senior Grandmasters winner Dennis DenDog Gordon, Legends winner Ray Carr, Mens Advanced AM winner Kyle Maddox, Advanced Masters winner Anthony Bassett, Intermediate winner Aaron Hagner, and Recreational winner Andy Tith. Would also like to thank our sponsors Legacy Discs, Innova, Gateway, Kinetic Disc Golf, and Play It Again Sports Los Alamitos. And an extra special THANK YOU to our West Coast Team for helping things run smoothly: Ryan Spohr, Davis Masey-Miller, Tommy Eckmann, Robert McIntee, Dave Pechi, Matt Spies, Robert Smith, Liam Watson, and Kory Allen.

Congrats to all the winners!  The large size of the field may have shaken up the points race in a few divisions.  Next up….SoCal Championships @ Kit Carson and Brengle Terrace Parks in North County San Diego!

Coming Up: SoCal Championships!

The final events of the SoCal Series, the SoCal Disc Golf Championships, will be held over two weekends in November – November 10 & 11 for amateurs and November 17 & 18 for Professionals.  Both weekends will be held on courses in North County San Diego: Kit Carson Park in Escondido and The San Diego Aces Disc Golf Course @ Brengle Terrace Park in Vista.  Each tournament will have golfers playing three rounds, two on Saturday and one on Sunday.  Details on which courses on which days is forthcoming.  Registration for both weekends is being held online at, with separate signup pages for Ams and Pros.

Tournament Director and SoCal President Randy Wylot is promising a smoothly-run event, with lunch available for players on Saturday.  Innova Disc Golf is back once again as the major sponsor of the SoCal Championships, which means a great payout.  Additional sponsors are, SDSF Pro Shop @ KCP and the San Diego Aces Disc Golf Association.

Very important!!!  Sign-ups for the tournament are restricted for SoCal members only until Nov. 1st.  After Nov. 1st registration will open up for players who are not SoCal members.  If you are a SoCal member, now is the time to sign up!

Additional info is available on the SoCal Championships Flyer, and on DiscGolfU.


Green Valley & Long Beach Loom Large in SoCal Series Race

With the SoCal Disc Golf Series winding down to a close, several division races are still very close coming down to the wire, and these last few events may be the deciders.  Two SoCal events are on tap for October: the Green Valley Open, being held at Yucaipa Regional Park on October 6&7; and the Long Beach Open, held at El Dorado Park on October 20&21.  Both events still have spots open and have online registration available through  Click on the tournament names above to go to the registration site.  Eric Audet’s Oak Valley boys always deliver a fun event, but probably without the Sunday morning round in the snow at the Am tournament held this Spring.  Reasonably-priced camping, available at the park, makes this a great event for the budget-conscious player.  The Long Beach Open, presented by Jeff Spohr’s West Coast Disc Golf, will feature separate Am and Pro days, which allows more players into the event.  WDGC has reportedly put together a great player pack for Ams, and solid payout for top finishers on both days.

With just one month to go before the SoCal Championships, here’s how the points series races are shaping up:


MPO: Steve Rico currently leads Philo Braithwaite by one point, 219 to 218, with Max Nichols in third (205).  This race is so close it will definitely come down to the wire.  Max still has a chance to catch up, especially since the SoCal Championships will be held on one course he helped design (Brengle Terrace) and one he has played very well on in the past (Kit Carson).

FPO: Indigo Brude has a very solid lead over Kimmy Jones – 82 to 50.  There really aren’t enough events left with big FPO fields to make up that difference.

MPM: Jerry Goff holds a 23-point lead over three players: Richard Hoffa, Dan Duron and Mike Bush, 138 to 115.  They’ll need a big field at SoCal Champs to catch him.

FPM & FPG: These two divisions share players – it really depends on who’s showing up at each event to decide which division they’ll play in.  Emina Weaver leads Helen Wilson in FPM, 15 to 12; and Susie Horn (31 points) leads Suzette Simons (19), Helen Wilson (17) and Emina Weaver (16).  The front-runners hold a distinct advantage.

MPG: One of the closesr, most-contested divisions.  Marcus Cisneros (94) leads Steve Killian (91), Todd Banks (89) and Randy Wylot (87) by just a few points.  This could be decided the final weekend.

MPS: Tom Clickner leads the division with 85 points.  Glenn Triemstra (55), Phil Ganshert (43) and Mark Horn (41) could all catch him, but only if they play the final few events.  Tom has played 5, the others only 2 or 3 (best 5 point totals count).

MPL:  Bill Richards (34 points) has another title locked up.


MA1: A.J. Risley leads this large division with 143 points, ahead of Jeff Russell (132), Steve Valencia (131) and Patrick Paramore (123).  Jeff and Steve could still catch A.J. if they were to finish at the top of a large field at the SoCal Championships, at least ten spots better than A.J.

FA1, FM1, FA2: Helen Wilson leads Karie Fisher in FA1, 32 to 15.  Helen also has the FM1 title wrapped up with 44 points, while Karie will surely win FA2 with 33 points so far.

MM1: Roger Snider (90 points) may ride his win over the series’ largest field at the Wintertime Open all the way to the title.  His 90 points will be hard to catch for Anthony Bassett (81) and Jon Ventress (79).

MG1: Mark Hauser leads Gary Abraham 78 to 72 so far.  In order to catch Mark, Gary needs to win an event with a large field…and have Mark stumble.

MS1: Jeffery Brown has this locked up.

MA2: Justin Proffitt (136 points) leads Joshua Fisher (124) and Aaron Hagner (123), and once again, they need to beat a large field and have him falter  or not show up in order to catch him.

MA3: Matthew Garber and Troy Coffin are tied, with 111 points apiece!  A strong showing in the last few events will decide the title.  Indigo Brude (104) has a slim outside chance.

MA4: Another close one.  Mike Ventress (33 points), Steve Reinhard (32) and Corbin Brown (30) could each take the title.

MJ1: Caleb Phillips leads Martin Arcos, 17 to 15.

Many of these series titles depend on the last few events of the season, most notably the neck-and-neck Men’s Open battle between Rico and Braithwaite.  Let’s pack these last few tournaments!

Paul McBeth Brings World Title Glory to SoCal!

PDGA Worlds 2012 in Charotte, NC was an amazing experience!  Over 1,100 disc golfers competing, loads of volunteers, sponsors, spectators and all-around hospitable Charlottians (or whatever you call them.  And there was the heat – 95 to 98 degrees each day with 90-95+% humidity.  And the tight courses (can you say “Angry Beaver”?).

But one thing is for certain.  The best disc golf played in Charlotte last week was played by SoCal disc golfer Paul McBeth (of Huntington Beach), who blistered the bark off the trees on his way to a 5-shot win in the Open Pro division.  The “McBeast” was beastly (and Roc-ly, Aviar P&A-ly and Destroyer-ly), catching North Carolina local Michael Johannsen at the end of the week and besting Innova teammates Will Schusterick and Ricky Wysocki.  Paul has had a great year on tour, with big wins at the Wintertime Open, Memorial and Masters Cup; along with top-5 finishes at the Gentlemen’s Club, St. Patrick’s Classic, Glass Blown Open, Kansas City Wide Open and total prize money (so far) of over $14,000.  But being World Champ?  How do you top that!  Maybe with a signature disc?  Hmmmm….

For more detailed coverage of Worlds 2012, click on the link from PDGA below and check out the video too!

Dramatic Finish to Worlds | Professional Disc Golf Association.

Rico Tames The Goat!

Alternate Shot-Doubles-Skins in the dark with the sprinklers on at a ball golf course is a crazy way to end a tournament, but if you’re Steve Rico…you gotta love it.  And the extra $400 to split with your partner helps.  Rico had earlier made up a three-shot deficit in the second round, firing a 1050-rated, 10-under par 54 on the 10,811 foot Goat Hill layout to take the $410 1st prize in the Men’s Open division of The Challenge @ Goat Hill in Oceanside, California.  You might say he had a good afternoon.

This was the second year that Bellows Golf Management, who runs Goat Hill for the City of Oceanside, hosted The Challenge – a PDGA C-tier tournament.  108 players converged on the course, playing two rounds of cart-enhanced disc golf under sunny skies and a persistent wind.  Innova Disc Golf supplied great player-pack schwag while Disc Golf Values supplied beautiful Metal Flake and Blizzard tournament discs.  In the Men’s Open division, local San Diegan Micah Dorius and Huntington Beach’s Jeff Spohr jumped out to an early lead with matching 6-under 57’s.  Trey McKelvey was two shots back with a 59, with Rico and Philo Braithwaite lurking one stoke further back at 60.  But Rico’s 2nd-round 54 was four shots better than anyone else’s score, and eclipsed the field. Brothers Max and Alex Nichols of nearby Ramona, CA rounded out the list of cashing pros in MPO.

Kimmy Jones, of Phoeniz, Arizona made the trip west a successful one, by taking first place in the Open Women’s division.  She battled with La Mirada’s Indigo Brude for the win, adding two strokes to her first-round one stroke lead and taking home the goat trophy.  There was a tight battle in Pro Masters, where good friends Chris Brophy and Dan Duron needed two holes of sudden death before Brophy earned the title.  Their final scores of 3-under were only one shot better than former World Champion Steve Wisecup (-2), followed by Las Vegas’ Jeff Jacquart (-1) and L.A.’s Rick Hoffa (E).  Steve Killian rode his collection of orange discs to a two-throw win in Pro Grandmasters, besting Marcus Cisneros (+4), Jeff Nichols (+7) and Rob Wilson (+7).

Three of the four amateur divisions contested required sudden-death playoffs to determine the winner.  In Men’s Advanced (sponsored by SDSF Pro Shop), A.J. Risley took the lead after the first round, firing a 1010-rated 59 to take a 2-shot lead over Ethan Wellin and Steve Evans, 3 shots over Matt Hutchings, Jeremy Barnes and Patrick Paramore.  Wellin’s steady play in round 2, however, allowed him to make up the deficit and force a playoff.  Ethan was able to hit his birdie putt on the treacherous peninsula hole (#2) to take the win.  In Men’s Intermediate (sponsored by Legacy Discs), Nick Wright won the 1st-place playoff over 1st-round leader Justin Carter, while Ben Walnum won the 3rd-place playoff over Kevin Christie.  A playoff was also needed to resolve the winner of the Men’s Recreational Division (sponsored by DGA), where Wes Scheider took the title over David Phillips.  Michael Brayton (+4), whose wife had secretly signed him up for the tournament as a gift, rode that high to first place in Advanced Masters (sponsored by the Las Vegas Disc Golf Club), just ahead of Paul Morgavo (+6), Bill Maury-Holmes (+8) and Anthony Bassett (+8). 

But the fun wasn’t over.  All day long, players and spectators had been buying raffle tickets for a chance to be paired with a pro player to compete in the VooDoo Disc Golf Final 4 Challenge.  Four pros were to be paired with four raffle winners (who also received VooDoo golf bags) to play four holes of alternate-shot doubles, with four $100 skins on the line.  Micah Dorius and Jeff Spohr got in based on their first-round 57’s, with Rico’s 54 and Max Nichols’ 58 in the second round filling the last two spots.  Even though the sun was setting, TD Allen Risley, fearing a riot (good-natured, of course), decided to let the contest go on.  The four pros each pulled a raffle ticket: Micah selected Scott Beyma (MM1), Max selected Greg Arimura (MM1), Jeff picked Stephen Brown (MA3) and Steve picked…his Sylmar homie, MPO player Alex Sardelich.  What happened next is not completely clear, since it was very dark.  But according to the scorekeeper the four teams pushed on all four holes, finishing the last hole (Hole 18) under sprinkler fire.  In the end, Rico and Sardelich took the $400 based on their overall low score.

Many thanks to major sponsors Bellows Golf Management, and Innova Disc Golf, as well as amateur divisional sponsors: SDSF Pro Shop, Legacy Discs, DGA and the Las Vegas Disc Golf Club.  Thank you also to Mark, owner of The CheeseSteak Grill, who supplied every player with a free 9” cheesesteak sandwich for lunch or dinner!

March and April Have Been Busy…

The past two months have been busy around here in SoCal website-land, what with several tournaments, work, local leagues, tournament planning, disc testing, taxes…etc.  So here’s a run-down of what’s been going on since we last reported to you.

The “White” Green Valley Amateur Challenge

The guys from Oak Valley were able to put together a very nice 2-day event for Ams on the permanent Yucaipa layout.  Of course, they forgot to check with Mother Nature first.  Or maybe they did?  Either way, players battled through a very rainy Saturday (the afternoon rain was delivered bucket-style) and contended with an Ice-Bowl-like snowy round on Sunday.  Very cool (pun intended)!!  Nick Newton and A.J. Risley in MA1 traded 1019-rated rounds on Saturday and coasted on Sunday to be the only two players under par for the weekend.  Nick’s other Saturday round was better than A.J.’s, however, good enough to give him a 2-shot victory and his first SoCal Series event win.  Noah Politzer, John Ryan and Steve Valencia rounded out the top 5 in MA1.

In Advanced Masters, Roger Snider took an early lead on Saturday, show his amphibious skills Saturday afternoon with a 991-rated round (55) and cruised to victory with a 3-over total.  That was eight shots ahead of second-place local Bill Maury-Holmes, two more better than third-place Jon Ventress.  Dave Coffey (15-over) held off Kevin Beath (+18) for the win in Grandmasters, and Jeffrey Brown was the lone Senior Grand, and hence, the winner.

Dallas “Rain and” Snow-Ramirez (+9) took advantage of his namesake weather, winning MA2 by 3 throws over Scott Miller (+12) and one more over Aaron Hagner and Chris Armacost (+13).  Darrin Stewart needed the hot divisional round on Sunday morning to beat Suzette Simons for the Rec division trophy (didn’t she come from the land of snow and ice?), and Eben Coenen won a playoff with Alexander Kaklamanos for the title in Novice.  Helen Wilson (Adv. Women), Cristina Scantlin (Int. Women) and Julia Hillman (Rec Women) all beat the most difficult opponent of all (themselves) to win their respective divisions.

Sylmar Open Belongs to Rico

Steve Rico is hard to beat out on tour.  Put him in his own backyard, he’s near unstoppable.  The April Fool’s Day Sylmar Open was another opportunity for Stevie to strut his stuff, and starting out with a 1050-rated 54 in the crazy windy conditions should have been a signal for the rest of the Open division that Stevie was playing for keeps.  His 3-round total of 159 (21-under) gave him a comfortable seven throw win over Wally Moore and Bryan Vagi (166/14-under), who played well but not well enough to keep up with #4666.  Rowan O’Neil was one more shot back at 13-under, while Philo Braithwaite and Paul McBeth came in at 10-under.  Todd Mitchell and Jerry Goff tied for 1st in Pro Masters (9-under), four shots ahead of Mike Roberts, Steve Valencia and Dan Duron.  Todd Banks (is he old enough?) was able to eke out a one shot win over Marcus Cisneros for the Grandmaster title.

Sylmar had a relatively small Advanced field (8 players), but that should not detract from John Ryan’s fine win where he stayed under par for the tournament (1-under/179).  John Jumped out to an early lead with the hot divisional rounds in rounds 1 and 2 and coasted in the final round for the win. A.J. Risley took his second consecutive second place at 4-over, followed by Jose Espinoza at 8-over.  Roger Snider made Sylmar his fourth win in a row in Advanced Masters (oh, to be 40 again…) with a 5-over 185, three shots ahead of 2nd place Jon Ventress and three more ahead of Mark Hauser. 

Matt Hutchings has a PDGA# over 50,000 (50509 to be exact) and most assuredly heard calls of “Bagger!” from the other players in Intermediate as he threw three 970+ rounds and finished at 2-under 178 (psssst…he would have won MA1…).  Aaron Hagner was in second at 13-over, one throw better than Sal Brambila and Josh Fisher.  Karie Fisher (not of Star Wars fame, I’m told) took the Intermediate Women win over Brooke Bianchi, Michael Olivarez won Rec with a +11 and John Mascarenas won the Novice Division.

Dan Shorkey Loves San Diego (and it loves him back)

The next stop on the schedule took SoCal players down to San Diego County, for the bi-polarish Ams on Saturday at Morley,  Pros on Sunday at Kit Carson Spring Fling, part of the Steady Ed Series.  This is the second year that Morley Course Pro Snapper Pierson and DGA-sponsored Mark Verrochi have teamed up to provide a weekend-long San Diego disc golf event in the Spring, and with very great success.

Crazy weather was once again part of the story for a 2012 SoCal event, as a blustery morning round on Saturday at Morley saw a 5-way tie at 57 in the Advanced division between Michael Homan, Shane “VooDoo” Dehner, Mike Tyberg, Tracey Crowder and Justin Martinez.  But on this Saturday, it was all about the second round.  Morley uber-local Josh Damron and SLO youngster Peter McBride smoked the course with a pair of 1020-rated 53’s on the way to a 1-2 finish.  Big Josh was the only player under par at Morley on Saturday (1-under) and took the MA1 win and a shiny new basket.  Peter took second at 1-over, while Homan slipped to 3rd at 2-over.  LA Steve Valencia, A.J. Risley and Misters Dehner and Tyberg tied for fourth, and were last seen sorting out their prize bags.  Kim Cottrell took the win in Advanced Women on the wings of a 912-rated 66 in the first round, holding off a late-charging Shonda Garcia.

Did we mention that Dan Shorkey had a good weekend?  It started on Saturday with a seven-throw win over second-place Steve Fawcett in Advanced Masters.  Dan put together 992 and 984-rated rounds and had the second-best score of the day for all divisions at even par.  Dan also took home a nice new basket courtesy of Snapper Pierson.  Local thespian Paul Morgavo finished in 3rd at 11-over, Anthony Bassett and Tom Millard tied for 4th at 13-over and Roger Snider finished 6th (14-over), ending his string of MM1 victories.  Mark Hauser had the best score both rounds amongst the Grandmasters to finish in 1st at 9-over, followed by local Christian Cullen in 2nd at 13-over.

Ben Neely also had the best scores both rounds in his division (61/957 and 59/965) , which therefore led to his win in Intermediate at 6-over par.  Daniel Vega was two shots back to take second place.  Chris Armacost, Taylor Mate, Paul DesMarais and Brian Vallance tied for 3rd.   Chad “Tomahawk” Nichter played way above his rating (883) in winning the Rec division, with consistent rounds of 62 (948-rated) and 61 (947).  He beat Chris Goodrich (13-over) by 4 and the 3rd-place pair of William Cooper and James Barnes by nine.  Shannon Wylot braved the elements to take Saturday’s Junior division title.

For some strange reason, pro disc golf events have a hard time filling up in San Diego.  Maybe it’s because Micah Dorius lives down here?  No matter – TD Mark Verrochi had a plan for filling the field: add a trophy-only option!  The result was an Open field of 59 players and a tidy payout of $600 to winner (who else?) Micah Dorius.  Micah had identical rounds of 49 (and was the only player to shoot under 50 both rounds) on the way to a 12-under total of 98, one shot better than up-and-comer Max Nichols in 2nd place.  Steve Rico came down south from Sylmar to capture 3rd (9-under) and Mike Lust had an impressive showing with two 1000+-rated rounds on his way to 4th (8-under).  There was some grumbling out on the course from pros who were frustrated with the heavy pedestrian traffic and the inexperience shown by some trophy-only players, but it provided a great payout for the winners and a great experience for these newer players.

Kim Cottrell made it two wins in two days by taking the Open Women title over Cristina Scantlin, and Allison Wylot walked away with the Masters Women title.

And don’t forget about Dan!  Dan Shorkey also made it two-for-two for the weekend, running away with the Masters division title by eight strokes (7-under) over Paul Morgavo (1-over).  These two guys were playing trophy-only, so the cash payout fell to 3rd-place Todd Mitchell (4-over) and 4th-place Mike Westerman (also 4-over).  Shorkey also had the best score for the day amongst all trophy-only players, which earned him another little golden basket trophy (and I think a new full-size basket?).  The Grandmasters division was hotly-contested, with Marcus Cisneros and Greg Olsen tying for first at 2-over.  Greg conceded the win to Marcus, who got both the trophy and $195.  Tied for third two strokes back were Randy Wylot, Steve Killian and Allen Risley.  Perennial San Diego Pro Glenn Triemstra jumped out to a big lead in the first round and held on to win the Senior Grandmasters division with a 2-over total, besting upside-down guru Tom Clickner (9-over).  Phil Ganshert, who had the lowest PDGA# of the day (777) took last cash in an oldest dude division that was larger (8 players) than the older dude division (7 Grandmasters) and old dude division (7 Masters).  Let’s hear it for the Senior Grands!

We have a few more weeks before our next SoCal event, the Pro/Am Fling XVI at Chavez Ridge, but don’t wait to long to sign up – events have been filling this year!  In the meantime, there are some interesting non-SoCal things coming up (Cinco de Mayo at La Quinta May 5th, Verdugo ball/disc golf doubles on May 6th and the Women’s Worldwide event at various courses on May 12th) along with the usual collection of local monthlies and weeklies.  Check out the “Courses” page on the SoCal website for info on these local events and keep your eyes on the SoCal Disc Golf Association Facebook page for other random stuff that comes up.  And June will be hoppin’, with the Cannonball Run, Evergreen Open and Challenge @ Goat Hill on the horizon.

Rico Master’s Night Golf at Verdugo Hills

If the second round of the tournament ends after midnight, does that make it a 2-day tournament?  That was the question filtering through the crowd of players congregating outside the Verdugo Hills Golf Course Pro Shop a little after midnight this past Saturday night.  Play had just ended for the second round of the One Night Stand @ Verdugo Hills and the wear and tear of a long day was showing on many faces.  So Much so that a planned 6-hole final for the top four Open players  was nixed because of the late hour.

One Night Stand, played under the lights. - Photo courtesy of Arroyo Disc Sports

It probably was also deleted because the 2nd, 3rd and 4th place players knew it would be pretty tough to catch 1st-place Stevie Rico.  Rico’s 3-shot margin of victory opened with a blistering 1063-rated 41 in the first round, followed by an average (for him) 1031-rated 48 in the second round on a somewhat longer and darker layout.  Bobby Musick finished comfortably in 2nd with a 2-round total of 92.  Chris Traven, hot off a close 2nd in the Am Wintertime Open and cashing at the Pro Wintertime came in third with a 14-under 94, while Bert McIntee finished in 4th at 12-under.

In Masters, Dan Duron and Jerry Goff both started out hot with 44’s, but Dan’s second-round 51 (95 total) bettered Jerry’s 54 (98 total) to give him the win.  Dennis Bohanon was 3rd at 9-under 99 and Dave Owens was 4th at 6-under 102.

Rahim Dhalla and Steve Valencia battled for 1st in Advanced, with Rahim’s 4-under 104 taking the title over Steve’s 3-under 103.  Advanced Masters was also a close race, with Roger Snider (2-under 106)making up ground in the second round to take a one strike victory over Robert Arzate (1-under 107).  John Babin’s 2-over 110 was good enough to take the victory in Advanced Grandmasters.

Almost half of the field was made up of players in the Intermediate (13), Recreational (13) and Novice (6) divisions – a great turnout of local players.  Ben Neely and Brian Newmark both finished under par for the tournament, with Ben’s 4-under 104 besting Brian’s 1-under 107 to take the win in Intermediate.  The Recreational division was won by Bryson Williams, whose 1-over 109 beat 2nd place Mario Martinez (113) by 4 throws.  Steven Reinhard probably heard a few calls of “bagger”, as his score of even par gave him an eleven-shot victory in the Novice division.

This was the third ball golf course to host a SoCal Series tournament in recent years, and the players definitely enjoyed the combination of tightly-mown fairways, gentle hill and precarious pin positions that characterized the Verdugo Hills layout.  While some of the tees on the 2nd-round “long” layout required players to tee off from the dark, the course was well-lit around the greens and regular fairways.  Many of the holes sported alternate pin positions for the second round, which added to the variety.  A between-rounds CTP contest for Ams kept the crowd busy and if you were hungry there were fantastic-smelling (didn’t get to taste one) burgers available in the 19th hole bar in the clubhouse.  I also heard that they sold beer.

TD Gary Sandoval is to be congratulated for the great disc golf layout and Verdugo Hills GM John Mascarenas should be thanked for the hospitality shown to the disc golfers.  It looks like John has been bitten by the disc golf bug, as this new PDGA and SoCal member joined the field in the Novice division.  John is possibly the only SoCal member to be both a PDGA member and a card-carrying PGA pro.  He is hoping to combine these two loves in a disc golf/ball golf combo event sometime in the near future.

Those of us who played in the One Night Stand had a great time.  It did make for a long night though – this writer didn’t put head to pillow until nearly 7am, after getting some chow and then the 2-hour drive back to San Diego County.  But don’t take that as a complaint – I’ll be back for the next one.

Full results available here.

Horn and Pelg Wrap up the Ice Bowl Season with Wins

The final two Ice Bowls of the 7-event Golden Sombrero Series were held this past weekend, one in the snow and one by the ocean.  And while this season of Ice Bowls saw a few  firsts (Sycuan and Wrightwood added to the SG Series) and set some records (293 total players, over $8,000 raised), the Golden Sombrero trophy (which is, in fact, a gold-painted sombrero) went home with a familiar face.

Thirty hearty souls gathered for the 2nd Wrightwood Ice Bowl, the first one at this location since 1999.  Playing on the front-nine winter layout at Sky High Disc Golf at Mt. High North, players were graced with clear and bright skies and fairly warm temperatures for the time of year and altitude.  While there was no whining there were discs last seen flying far from their owners into downhill airspace, and the requisite nasty encounters with buckthorn.

Chris Horn journeyed up the hill and took a commanding victory for event #6 of the Golden Sombrero Winter Series 2012, besting Bama Civitak by five strokes and Bill Maury-Holmes and Nick Wright by seven.  Several of the resort’s hard-working crew partook of the competition as well for the local bragging rights, which will be claimed in loud fashion until another tournament gives them chance to one-up each other anew.  And special props are to be given to Julie Martinez who played solidly in her first tourney since recently giving birth to her son.  With the proceeds from entry fees and aggressive mulligan usage the tourney will be donating $445 and 3 cans of food to the High Desert Challengers 4-H Club for their important work in the local community.  Special thanks go to Joe Affleck of Mt. High for his generous hosting and Innova Champion Disc Golf for their constant support.

Mission Bay Golf Course hosted the final Ice Bowl of both the 2012 Golden Sombrero Series and the entire 2012 Ice Bowl season on Sunday, February 26th.  San Diego’s Ice Bowl got these distinctions by being held on Sunday night under the lights at Mission Bay Golf Course.  TD Randy Wylot (with design help from Snapper Pierson) set up 18 challenging temporary holes on the 18-hole executive ball golf course and drew a crowd of 81 players for the event (one from Sweden!), raising $1,480 and collecting 300 lbs of food for the San Diego Food Bank.  It is hoped that hosting a few successful demonstration events at this golf course might pave the way for a permanent installation of baskets.

In the Open division, Carlo Pelg shot a lights out 46 and broke the course record by two strokes, using only three mulligans. Micah Dorius had set the record last year with no mulligans.  Carlo’s 12-under round beat 2nd place finisher Brad Armstrong by five shots, with Luke Christensen and Deano Porter two more throws back.  Kim Cottrell squeaked out a win in the Women’s Open division with a 74, one shot ahead of Shonda Garcia and two over Allison Wylot.

Golden Sombrero Top 4, from left: Patrick Paramore, A.J. Risley, Daniel Lichtman, Carl Renda

A.J. Risley won the Advanced division with a 6-under 52, three shots better than a group of four golfers at 3-under (Matt Howard, Daniel Lichtman, Patrick Paramore and Jon Yergler).  The Advanced division was the center of competition for the Golden Sombrero title, the overall crown for the 7-event GS series.  Going into this tournament, Carl Renda held the lead, followed by A.J., Daniel and Patrick, so these four played on the same card at Mission Bay. A.J.’s margin of victory over the others allowed him to jump into the winner’s spot for the Golden Sombrero, with Daniel taking second, Carl third and Patrick fourth.  A.J. took home his fourth gold-painted sombrero and a Discatcher Pro basket with the win.

The Intermediate and Recreational divisions both featured close competition.  Brian Vallance shot a 2-under 56 for the win in Intermediate, one shot ahead of Hans Degner and Doug Larhette.  In Rec, Brett Camack beat out a field of 30 disc golfers with another 2-under 56, one throw better than Daniel Flores.  Juniors David Kyhlstedt and Shannon Wylot won the under-13 Boys and under-10 girls divisions, respectively.

There was great chemistry among players throughout the tournament. The SDSF Pro shop @ KCP set up a table with awesome selection of discs and apparel. They also gave generously to the raffle. Play It Again Sports in Pacific Beach donated golf discs and a bag to the raffle, as well as a disc and mini for the top three finishers in each of the 7 divisions.  This tournament wrapped up the Golden Sombrero Series, in which 293 players played in seven events across Southern California (Redlands, San Marcos, Los Angeles, Beaumont, El Cajon (Sycuan), Wrightwood and San Diego), raising $8, 545 for charities that feed the hungry.

Last year’s rain prevented carts, but this year the weather was cool and clear throughout the round, allowing many players to take advantage of riding in a cart.  The set up and tear down of the temporary course was well choreographed by the many volunteers that helped throughout the night. Many thanks to Mission Bay Golf Course for the opportunity to hold the tournament and congrats to TD Randy Wylot for a well-run event.

Full Mission Bay results at

Full Golden Sombrero Series Points.

McBeth sets new Oak Grove course record…Oh, and he wins the Wintertime Open too!

In disc golf, when you see “10th Annual” or “20th Annual” as part of a tournament’s name you know it’s an event that has passed the test of time.  But 34th Annual?  In disc golf? Yes, that’s the Wintertime Open, the grandaddy of disc golf tournaments on the west coast, and the pros took their turn over the weekend to tour the venerable Oak Grove Disc Golf Course.  Mark, Susie and Chris Horn were great hosts for the event as was Mother Nature, who hasn’t cooperated in years past.  Sixty-nine players enjoyed clear skies and mild temperatures as well as great golf.

It’s often difficult to know how a tournament is unfolding when you’re playing in it, unless you’re living on the lead card.  You can look at the leaderboard between rounds and hear the stories, but there’s nothing like seeing how the top players are throwing to show you who is the star on a given weekend.  That’s why they play the final 9 – so we can all see who the star is that week.  Well, based on the final nine at Oak Grove on Sunday, the star of the tournament was Paul McBeth‘s pink Destroyer.  Paul and that disc put on a show for the gallery Sunday afternoon, especially on the stretched out holes of the Oak Grove tournament layout.  But we’re getting ahead of the story…

There were thirty other players in the Open division at Oak Grove, and Philo Braithwaite displayed his skill and local knowledge of Hahamonga Saturday morning by posting a 1052-rated opening round score of 52, taking the first round lead over McBeth (54) and Legacy Discs’s Steve Rico (55).  Brian Vagi, John Tompkins and Shelby Klein were one more stroke back at 56, but this was destined to be a 3-man contest.  Philo maintained his mastery as the wind came up in the afternoon with a 54 for a 106 total, two shots ahead of Paul (55/108)  and five ahead of Steve (56/111). 

But the tables turned on Sunday, as McBeth tore up the course in the morning with an 11-under 50, setting a new course record and taking the lead at 158.  Braithwaite stumbled a bit Sunday morning with a 58, which kept him in second place, but six throws back at 164.  Rico’s morning was solid, with a 7-under 54 that pulled him within one shot of Philo.  Fourth place was ten more shots back, but notable because it was held by Chris Travern, whose heroics during the final nine of the previous weekend helped him make up 6 shots to almost pull off the Wintertime Open Am title.  Chris showed that that was no fluke, and took home a check for $185 to celebrate his joining the ranks of PDGA pros.

Which set the stage for what might possibly be a perfunctory final 9.  With six and seven shot leads over his rivals, McBeth could seemingly put it on cruise control, play safe and walk home with 1st place cash.  However, on hole #1, whether because of adrenaline, the uphill teepad or the ghost of Wild Bill, Paul juiced his tee shot too far past the corner created by the mando tree and into the road, O.B.  The resulting bogey tightened the race a little, and after watching a near-collapse final 9, the gallery was wondering if drama was on the horizon.  Well…yes and no.  Drama was coming, but not because of a collapsing lead.

On three of the next four holes, Paul gave the gallery a glimpse of why he would drive away with the Wintertime Open title.  On the 506ft hole #3 (regular tee #3 to basket #4) McBeth blasted a drive to a spot nearly pin high, giving him a run at an eagle 2.  Then on the next hole, the 625ft hole #6 (regular tee #6 to basket #8) he launched the pink Destroyer up and over the oak trees with a monster flex shot.  The crowd at the tee had no idea where it went.  The crowd in the soccer field saw it pop over the tree line headed towards the basket but behind more trees.  Only those who were still hanging out near the parking lot saw the pink disc come out of its right turn, fade left, and land gently in the open grass, 80 feet from the basket.  Paul made a run at eagle with his R-Pro Roc that had the crowd holding it’s breath until it dropped under the basket for an “easy” three.  At the same time, Steve and Philo were making what would normally be recognized as great 3’s any other afternoon.  Two holes later on 498ft #8 (regular tee #10 to basket #11) the pink Destroyer soared again, up and over the canopy of trees, around the mando pole and a long putt away from possible eagle.  While Paul didn’t cash in on these eagle opportunities, it was clear that this relentless pressure was the difference this weekend.  To their credit, Steve and Philo continued to battle, with Rico’s error-free 27 allowing him to leapfrog into second place.

And yes, there were other divisions playing this weekend.  Suzette Simons displayed rock-solid consistency in winning Open Women, firing 71-71-72 to finish at 214, four shots ahead of first-round leader Indigo BrudeDan Duron shot an opening round 56 in the Masters division, one throw ahead of Dagoberto Bribiesca and two better than Chris Brophy, and held on through the weekend for the win.  Brophy pulled within one shot after the second round, but fell victim to his third-shift work schedule and didn’t make it back for Sunday’s round.  Jerry Goff did though.  He tied for the best score in the second and third rounds for the Masters, pulling in to 2nd place as the only master other than Duron to break parr for the weekend.  In the Grandmasters division, Steve Killian got off to a hot start along with Marcus Cisneros with 59’s, and held off a charge from 2nd-place finisher Randy Wylot to take the win.  Tournament co-hostess Susie Horn cruised to the Women’s Grandmaster title.

The winner of the Senior Grandmasters division was a player who had not played in the Wintertime Open in twenty-five years.  Mark Horn.  As he explained at the post-tournament awards ceremony: “the tournament runs so smoothly now with all of the knowledgeable players around, I figured I might as well play.”  PDGA #67 recorded the best score in his division two out of the three rounds and cruised to a 9-throw win over Glenn Triemstra in 2nd, who was two shots ahead of another Hall-of-Famer, Snapper Pierson.  In the biggest cliffhanger of the weekend, Legends division players Bill Richards and Ray Carr finished tied for 1st place at 233 after three rounds.  Bill had watched his large lead splash away on hole #12 of the final round, but was able to prevail after three sudden-life rounds of rock-paper-scissors to take home the trophy.

Local Logan Wins Wintertime Am Side

Logan Turner started off hot on Saturday and made it interesting in Sunday’s final 9, but held on to squeak out a one-stroke win in the 34th Annual Wintertime Open – Am side.  The Pasadena resident finished with a total of 217 after three full rounds and a final 9, which was two throws better than the 219 he scored in 2011.  That 219 was good enough for second place last year, and would have got him the same finishing spot this year, but one year and two shots made the difference between first and second place. His first round score of 57 was good enough for the first round lead over John Ryan and Chuck Powell at 60, and turned out to be the only sub-60 score of the first day. A second-round 64 was good enough for Logan to hold onto a 3-throw overnight lead over Patrick Paramore. 

Sunday morning’s round saw no change in the lead, but several players who had stumbled on Saturday stepped up with sub-60 rounds.  Nick Newton’s hot round of 58 pulled him into a four-way tie for 3rd place with Chris Traven, Noah Politzer (who had 59’s) and Paramore, one shot behind 2nd place A.J. Risley, who also had a 59.  It looked like Logan would cruise to victory, with a five shot lead over A.J. and six over the rest.  That was until Chris fired a blistering 29 in the final nine, almost catching Logan for the win. Turner’s 217 total was one better than Traven and three better than Newton in 3rd place, who had hop-scotched Risley in 4th.  An exciting finish for sure!

Phikounthong Scoggins cruised to a 34 shot win in Advanced Women – ’nuff said.  Roger Snider became the newest Advanced Master winner, as the newly-minted MM1 engineered a 187 total, good enough for a 10-shot win over Osha Mishan.  Ice Bowl MM1 champ Anthony Bassett was another 6 shots back.  Helen Wilson was unopposed in her Women’s Advanced Masters win, while John Babin broke out of an overnight tie with Gary Abraham by shooting 63 in Sunday’s round, good enough for the Advanced Grandmaster win.

Matthew Hutchings was one of two players in the 24-player intermediate field to throw three rounds in the 60’s.  He was also the only MA2 player to finish under 200, with a final score of 198.  That was good enough for a four shot win over the other player with three sub-70 rounds, Brandon Bies.  Matthew Garber and Mario Martinez finished in a tie for the top score in MA3 (216), three better than Chad Nichter and Troy Coffin.  Garber won the playoff, and the 1st place title.

This weekend the Pros take over Oak Grove.  As of this posting the field was not full, but with competitors like 2011 SoCal Points Champ Steve Rico, Paul McBeth and Philo Braithwaite already signed up, you know there will be good golf on display.  There’s been a few local Avery Jenkins sightings on Twitter and Foursquare, so who knows?  He may show up too.  But take a scroll down the registration list and you see quite a few 3-digit PDGA numbers, as well as two two-digits and one single-digit.  If you want to see some of disc golf’s history-makers strut their stuff, make it out to Oak Grove this weekend.

Full W.O. Am results at


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