More on Aptos and the rest of the Santa Cruz DG scene

Didn’t mention it in the last post, but big props and thanks to Jake and his minions for first getting a course approved at Aptos High School, then making it a reality, and finally for continuing to make improvements to the layout, design and amenities.

It doesn’t seem that long ago that, during a round a DeLa, I said to someone “Just imagine: in about a year we’ll have FOUR courses in Santa Cruz county!” At the time we had DeLa and Black Mouse, but the Mouse was in a state of disrepair with less than 18 holes, and no way for first-time visitors to figure out the layout. Now look at us.

DeLa- What can you say . . . it’s DeLa!

Black Mouse- Although the original layout was better, at least the course is back to 18 holes. Plus, thanks to a great volunteer effort (sometimes it seems like elves come at night and refine paths from hole-to-hole), cement teepads are slowly beginning to increase and small signs help people find the next hole. This course is short, and carved into an extremely wooded and hilly 30 acres. A great contrast to the area’s other courses.

Pinto Lake- The work to get that course installed (both politically and sweat-of-the-brow style) is a great testimony to why Tom Schot is a member of the Disc Golf Hall of Fame. After getting the first nine completely installed, with cement pads, DGA signs, Mach III baskets, and tons of OB markers, the ‘back nine’ is well on the way to being completed as well. Reviews of this course are mixed, but no one can deny that it’s tough score-wise and endurance-wise, that it’s a beautiful bird sanctuary, and that it has the potential to one day become DeLa’s predecessor as a world-class disc golf challenge.

Aptos High School- This course is the perfect compliment to the other three. It’s the best choice for beginners due to its moderate length and openness, but the elevation changes, design, and wind keep it interesting for more accomplished players. It already has cement pads on all 18 holes, and Jake just announced the planned addition of alternate pin positions. Considering the steady progress they’ve achieved there, expect those new positions soon!

First Tournament at Aptos High School DGC

I’m pleased to say that despite rain before, during, and after, the first tourney at Aptos was a success in all ways imaginable. The turnout was great, the whole thing ran smoothly, we started pretty close to on time, lunch was sausage on rolls from Corralitos Market, and the distribution of tags afterward was amazingly fast. Most of all, I was really happy to see how many people paid $40 to play in the rain, with no chance of ‘winning’ anything. It tells me that people understand that the money to pay for courses has to come from somewhere, and also that more and more people feel strongly enough about the benefits of disc golf to also believe that $40 or even $100 here and there is nothing if it means another glorious frisbee playground. To see pictures, click here.

  • I played with a couple Aptos High students in my group, and the father of another student. None of them was particularly prepared for the weather (no umbrellas, for one thing), but not one of them complained even one time. It was the first tournament of any kind for all three of them, and we had a blast.
  • Speaking of weather, my combination of Sealskinz waterproof socks and Solomon watershoes worked perfectly. Having a synthetic shammy and a couple regular towels allowed me to throw pretty dry discs, too.
  • I started off with seven pars, then birdied seven of the last 11 holes to finish -7. It was good enough to get the #1 tag, so I guess I won the tournament, and that means that I’ve played in the inaugural tournaments of two courses (Black Mouse is the other) and won them both. What I remember most about the Black Mouse event, though, is the 20-minute walk with Steady Ed from the parking lot tournament central.
  • One of the kids in my group told us that he owns three snakes (one a seven-foot Python!), and this same kid, right after we finish our last hole and start to head back, nearly steps on a large lizard. But this wasn’t just any lizard- this thing had the longest tail I’ve ever seen!