First Ace of 2008

I witnessed what I’m guessing was DeLa’s – and who knows, maybe the world’s – first ace of 2008. We were on hole 26, and he threw a heavy Cobra. In fact, it was the collectors disc Tom Schot sold before the Masters Cup last year for the spectators of the ‘Showcase Skins’ round to get the autographs of Climo, Nate, Des Reading and Stevie Rico. Gregory didn’t get the sigs, but he got the ace. In my book, that’s better. I especially appreciated it because when the disc hit the chains, it was ending it’s natural flight anyway, meaning it was more skill than luck. The sound was more like a that made by a disc thrown 50 feet as opposed to 250 feet. It turned out to be a close-to-personal best round for Gregory, too, so all the better.

A nice surprise

Nearly a year ago I accepted Josh Barnett’s invitation to check out the unofficial Santa’s Village course in Scotts Valley that he and Jammer designed. We tried to have a tourney, but the Scotts Valley police chased us outta there. Before that happened, though, I managed to lose a prized disc- a yellow Champion Cobra that was my go-to midrange disc. Out of the blue, a couple days ago, Josh called me and said he found it, in a hollow log, right where it disappeared. I saw him at the course the next day on hole 5, cleaned the weird fungus off of it, and threw it as my drive on hole7. Birdie! Look out world . . . I gots my yellow Cobra back!

Ace on hole 15

The view from hole 15 at DeLa (to the left, over the canyon) is pretty almost any time, but especially on a clear day, in the early morning. The backdrop was crisp and clear there today as we arrived at the halfway mark of our round, with Gregory and Assaf both giving me a run for my money (or in this case bagtag) once again. I think at that point Gregory was at +2, I was at +3, and Assaf had rallied back after a rough start and stood at +5.

I had the teepad, and promptly threw one of my most recently-purchased gummy Beasts a few feet from the pole. Assaf also put his close enough for an eventual birdie, and Gregory strolled from the place where we nornally wait our turn to the tee. As he walked over and then went through his back-healthy routine of simulating a left-handed drive (for spinal balance), I commented on the wisdom (or lack thereof) of a remark I had made in the beginning of the round. After Gregory had thrown a so-so drive on #1 and hit an early tree on his upshot, I said out loud ” I think Gregory is gonna be a pushover today. He has visions of sugarplums dancing in his head.” (Gregory is dating a new woman and seems quite enamoured). Anyway, I think Gregory used it (the comment- and maybe the woman too, come to think of it) as motiviation, as he played a very tenacious round and led most of the way.

As Assaf and I recalled my comment and how Gregory seemed to be feeding on it, he launched his drive. From the place we were standing – under the oaks to the left and in front of the tee – the disc is visible for the begiinning of the shot, then disappears for most of its flight. For that reason onlookers typically glue their eyes on the basket area waiting for the disc to reappear. I saw the red cobra emerge from the left, then slam the chains and settle in the cage maybe one second later. Assaf and I went crazy, and Gregory seemed stunned into momentary paralysis. We had to convince him it was in.

So that was pretty cool.

And then, as if there was still a little magic in the air, a father-and-daughter twosome played with us on 16 since it was their last hole. Dad nailed a 130-foot par ‘throw’ from a spot near the right pin placement. And that was pretty cool, too.