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Introducing Disc Golf to the X-Games crowd

May 3, 2011

Representatives of the San Diego Aces recently had the chance to take part in a unique charitable event: the 9th Annual Rob Machado Golf Experience, held at The Crossings Golf Course in Carlsbad.  A resident of Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Rob Machado  is one of the world’s best competitive surfers, well-known for his laid-back and fun-loving surfing style.  The Rob Machado Golf Experience is an annual event held to raise money for the Rob Machado Foundation, an organization with a mission of supporting environmental programs and education in Southern California.  This year’s event theme was “Super Heroes” and sure enough, teams of four players each dressed up as their favorite comic book and movie super heroes to take part in this event.  Each of the 30 teams paid $1,400 to participate in the event, with teams made up of pro surfers, X-Games athletes, representatives from sporting goods and apparel manufacturers and other “sporting celebrities”, all in support of the Rob Machado Foundation.

The San Diego Aces were asked to set up a disc golf hole on the golf course as part of this charity event. Imagine you are a golfer (dressed up as Iron Man) and after playing several “regular” golf holes you step up to the next tee to find out you don’t need a club or a ball to complete the hole. Instead, the hole is a disc golf hole and your score is based on the number of throws it takes you to get a “plastic saucer” into that “chain thingy” down the fairway. Well that is just what happened!  Players arrived at Hole 8 to receive instruction from Aces members Randy and Allison Wylot on the basics of throwing disc golf discs before trying out a practice disc golf hole of about 180 feet.  Participants were given Disc Golf Association (DGA) Aftershocks and Innova Aviars to complete the hole.

Aces Ryan Meyer and Greg Olsen drove the super heroes’ carts as they WALKED up the fairway to play their next shot (well, The Flash probably ran).  After finishing the practice basket, Mark Verrochi met them on Hole 8 – a 215 foot par 3 disc golf hole that played up a hill and to the left with a crosswind from left to right.  After some brief instructions, the group played the hole and the lowest score obtained by one of the group members was used as their score for the hole and was included as part of their ACTUAL SCORE for the golf event!

Out of the 120 participants and a few guests, about five of them had previously thrown a disc golf disc.  None of the groups ended the day with birdie on the hole but there were many pars and about 6-8 bogeys.  Innova and DGA donated prizes that were given away to participants that came closest to the basket and to participants who threw the farthest throughout the day, along with mini discs for every participant.

Overall the hole was a great success and nearly everyone enjoyed the opportunity to try out disc golf.  many thanks to Randy Wylot for organizing the Aces’ efforts and to Rob Machado for including disc golf as a part of this wonderful event.

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