One year ends and another begins, and in the disc golf world that means…….Ice Bowl Season is here! 2015 will be the 8th year of the Golden Sombrero Series of Ice Bowls, and it looks like it will be the biggest yet. What started several years ago with three events (Redlands, San Marcos and Palm Desert) has grown into a series with nine charity disc golf events (and maybe more…).
For those of you who aren’t sure what I’m talking about, here’s a quick synopsis: over 35 years ago a group of disc golfers in Missouri decided that they wanted to play disc golf, even if there was snow on the ground. They rounded up a few friends, made a big pot of chili on the Coleman stove and voilá, the Ice Bowl was born! Soon after the first event the Ice Bowl’s Chief Instigator (Rick Rothstein: PDGA board member, disc golf publisher and owner of Disc Golf World in Kansas City) decided to add a charity component to the winter gathering. Ice Bowls became dedicated to raising funds to feed the hungry in the community and over the years over $2 million have been raised at over 3,000 Ice Bowl events. You can learn more about Ice Bowl history at this link.
The Ice Bowl season runs for two months (January and February) so the nine events will fill the weekends. One of the ways we have generated interest in the series in the past is to award the Golden Sombrero Championship to an outstanding Ice Bowl competitor (more details below). Last year’s champ was San Diego’s Jason Perdue, who received a sparkling gold sombrero as his trophy at the end of the series. Jason will be back to defend his title this year as players will compete for a new golden sombrero and the grand prize of an Innova Discatcher Traveller Portable basket. Disc Golf United and Disc Golf World have teamed up this year to make these portable baskets easily available as Ice Bowl prizes – any Ice Bowl that pre-registers 20 players through DiscGolfU.com will receive a Traveller basket to be used as a prize.
Keep in mind that above all, Ice Bowls are charity events aimed at feeding our hungry neighbors. Most events will have some way for you to contribute to the cause, either through raffles, cash donations or the sale of mulligans. The lineup (so far) for the 2015 Golden Sombrero Series is as follows:
• 8th Annual Redlands Ice Bowl at Ford Park – Saturday, Jan. 3rd.
• Prado Ice Bowl – Saturday, Jan. 10th
• Ice Bowl in Paradise (Chavez Ridge) – Saturday, Jan. 17th
• Murrieta Ice Bowl – Sunday, Jan. 18th
• Sycuan Ice Bowl (El Cajon) – Sunday, Jan. 25th
• Yucaipa Ice Bowl – Saturday, Jan. 31st
• 8th Annual San Marcos Super Ice Bowl – Sunday, Feb.1st
• Wrightwood Ice Bowl – Saturday, Feb. 21st
• Mission Bay Ice Bowl – Sunday, Feb. 22nd
(More events may be added, links will be updated as they become available)
The most important part of the Ice Bowl experience is the friendship and camaraderie that comes with communal activities that help others. Ice Bowl events usually don’t have prize payouts based on your score but some have cool homemade trophies. But for those of you with a competitive streak, you can compete for the overall Golden Sombrero Championship title. The winner each year receives a hand-decorated golden sombrero hat and this year will also receive a portable basket. Past Golden Sombrero champions include 2014 winner Jason Perdue, multiple year winner A.J. Risley and Golden Sombrero co-Instigator Allen Risley.
How does it work? At each event, each player receives one point for each player they beat in total score, no matter what division, no matter whether mulligans were used or not. Across the series, each player’s four best point totals count towards the series title, so you don’t have to play all the events to compete but you had better play the big ones (e.g., Mission Bay, Chavez). Above all, the series is meant to be fun for all and is a great way to play your first “tournament”.
Enjoy the season and let the Ice Bowls begin!