Is NorCal truly the Epicenter of Disc Golf?

You may have noticed the slogan ‘Epicenter of Disc Golf’ attached to the DeLaveaga Disc Golf Club logo on shirts, discs, and the club website. Our claim to such a lofty label has historically been twofold. First of all, the slogan’s origin was back in 1989, shortly after the famous earthquake that postponed the opening of the World Series between the SF Giants and Oakland A’s. The epicenter – or point of origin – of that earthquake was Loma Prieta in Santa Cruz, only several miles from the DeLaveaga Disc Golf Course. So in one sense the slogan was a play on words. But back then there were far fewer total courses in the world, and DeLaveaga was unanimously considered the best in the world. So the claim, coursewise, did have some validity (and still does, considering many pros and ams still deem DeLa tops in the world). But now I’m thinking the claim has validity in regards to disc golf players as well.

Think about it. Santa Cruz is where Nate Doss calls home, and Nate is a pretty hot disc golfer right now. The 2005 World Champion has won two of the past 4 National Tour events, and is ranked 1st by Marshall Street Disc Golf ( Nate is also 2nd in NT points, 3rd in cash on tour, and his PDGA player rating of 1031 ranks 2nd. Pretty hot. But an epicenter doesn’t really mean much unless it radiates in all directions, with its effects noticed the most nearby. Note: This is the real point I’m trying to make. Head a little bit Northeast, and you’ll be in the stomping grounds of Josh Anton, winner of the Masters Cup NT event in Santa Cruz. Go south a couple hundred miles and you’re in Santa Maria, home of KC Wide Open winner Kyle Crabtree. Further South you’ll come across Steve Rico and Micah Dorius, but at that point you’re in SoCal, not NorCal.

Here’s another way of looking at it: What do Nate Doss, Josh Anton, Steve Rico, Kyle Crabtree, Greg Barsby, and Micah Dorius have in common, besides being top-notch disc golfers? They all play primarily or part-time on the NorCal tour, and they have six of the top 12 spots for NT points. Among them are four of the top six-rated golfers in the world, and six of the top 12 money leaders this year. Although my assertion that Santa Cruz is the Epicenter of the Disc Golfer world is a little bit tongue in cheek, I think there is good evidence that more talent is based in Northern California than any other region in the country. I’d love to hear a case for an area of the same size that can top us. OK, you in the Northwest . . . you’re close, but not quite!

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