I was living in Scottsdale, Arizona during the year 1998, and had on four occasions the opportunity to travel to California to play disc golf. On the first road trip, my friend Jon Poole and I drove all over the state playing as many courses as we could discover. This particular disc golf story took place at the DeLaveaga disc golf course in Santa Cruz.
Prior to leaving, some locals at the Shelly Sharpe Memorial disc golf course at Vista del Camino Park had suggested that we visit Delaveaga while in California. Taking their advice, it was a challenging course with a diverse variety of hole layouts and elevation changes, and to this day remains one of my favorite courses ever played.
After arriving, we played more than 2 rounds before it became too dark to continue, and also played another round the following morning.
During our first round, my friend and I were each tied at a score of 4 over par heading into the last hole, referred to as the “Top of the World” for its elevated mountain view. We approached the tee area, encountering a local player who asked if he could join us to throw the 27th hole. As we looked over the fairway below with the basket set at a distance of 550 feet, he remarked that this hole was renowned for its difficulty, and, as my friend and I had never seen this course before, such sentiment seemed reasonable.
As a side note, the world distance record in disc golf had been broken earlier that year by professional disc golfer Scott Stokely, using a Discraft 167 gram XL to throw 693.3 feet.
I had honors to throw first and aimed my 169 gram XL to the right, released slightly downward with an anhyzer angle. The shot drifted to the right so much that, for a moment, I wasn’t sure if I’d ever see my disc again. But then it dipped back, turning left and floating for what seemed like forever.
When the disc finally landed, it was roughly 25 feet from the basket and almost out of bounds near the road. Jon put his approach shot near the basket, and I sank my putt to finish 3 over par.