Anniversary of the Hambrick Day Ace

I’m not really a ‘rare’ disc collector. My home office has more than 30 discs on the wall (plus the single framed Marty Hapner created Masters Cup composition-of-many-years’ stamps disc remaining in my house), but nearly all of them are really valuable only to me. There are the discs from tournaments I’ve won, tournaments that stick out from other reasons, and there are a few ace discs. I haven’t meticulously preserved all my aces discs, though, because – as I’ve said before – most of my aces have been accidents, when it comes right down to it. I was trying to nestle it up close for a birdie . . . and . . . ching! A nice surprise. Sound familiar?

But I do have one ace disc that might be more than an accident, and that disc caught my eye just now. Stan my go-to man when I want to know potential collector value of a disc, tells me it’s maybe worth $40-$50 because it’s an 8-time KC Pro Cheetah in almost mint condition. But probably not, because in Sharpie on the front is written “Ace!, Hole #8, 8/14/97, 3:40 PM, and on the back, in Sharpie also, are the signatures of my playing partners that day- Brad Schick, M. Schick (his Dad), Brian Schick (his brother), and ‘DJ,’ a friend of theirs.

I was taking advantage of a business trip to play in an Ohio supertour (Hall of Chains Classic) on my way to the Am Worlds in Wisconsin, and decided to stop by and play the famous Hoover Dam course. As it turns out, on that day a memorial was being installed next to a tree planted a year earlier to honor the memory of Brent Hambrick. For those that didn’t discover disc golf until recently, Brent was the local legendary driving force of the sport’s growth before being cut down by cancer. There was even a camera grew from a local TV station setting up to cover the dedication of the memorial as we approached the tee.

As it also turns out, the Schick’s and DJ were close friend of Brent’s, and they grew quiet as we prepared to tee off. When it was my turn, I asked where the basket was since it was blind from the tee. They informed me that I wanted to throw around 250 feet up the wide-open, then cut the disc to the right, down into a protected green. I selected the aforementioned Cheetah, let fly based solely on their description, and heard the unmistakable sound of agitated chains. The guys got almost tearful rather than the usual yelling and high-fives, which is understandable given their connection to Brent Hambrick and the fact that the memorial was being dedicated that day. But get this:

  • The hole, #8, was well-known to be Brent’s favorite on the course
  • My home course is DeLaveaga, well-known to be his favorite course. The Masters Cup was also his favorite tournament. He traveled from Ohio numerous times to participate
  • I am left-handed, and Brent was left handed
  • The Cheetah I threw had never been thrown before, by me (I had never even thrown ANY Cheetah before) or anyone else. In fact, that trip from my (and Maybe Brent’s) hand to the basket was the only flight it would ever make.

Add those things together, and it’s no wonder my group reacted the way it did. Yes, I threw a disc I had never thrown before on a hole I had never played to a basket I couldn’t see . . . but it was no ‘accidental’ ace.

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