By Mike Corbett
I am writing this summary of a great event in the hopes of catching the interest of other masters players, pro and Am, to attend a very cool event next year. The U.S. Masters Disc Golf Championship. The tournament took place this November 12-14 in L.A. at the La Mirada course, and was put on by Innova with many other sponsors. Tim Selinske and his staff did a terrific job running the 3 day event. The format was three days of play with all players over 40 years of age. Innova puts on a very classy event. Upon arrival we were handed a players package with a tournament collared shirt, two discs, one a Starfire with the tournament logo, and a brand new item, the Sidewinder. Said to be a cross of a Valk and a Stingray, I think, also a tournament logoed mini, a new sticker and pencil. Good stuff!
On Friday everyone played the two 18 hole La Mirada layout. Saturday and Sunday featured a very long 18 hole layout covering the previous two18 holes set up very long.
Budweiser was a late added sponsor, and hosted two different parties. Friday night at a local sports bar where everybody got a chance to kick it together and hang out. Saturday night we were treated to a great buffet dinner at another local sports bar & grill complete with a very good live blues band. After the first band set Tim Selinske and crew hosted a raffle where everybody won something from Innova. That raffle was followed by a fund raising raffle for Star Light Star Bright where over $500 was raised by the enthusiastic crowd. Lots of cool Innova stuff and Budweiser gear was given away, and all the winners got to hug the extra hot Bud girls. Oh Yeah!
Every morning the staff had out fresh donuts and fruit for the competitors, and they hosted a killer Tri Tip lunch for all after Sunday’s round. The payout for the Ams was very generous, with each higher qualifier walking away with a larger bag of good Innova schwag. Great discs, hats shirts, towels and other cool stuff. I don’t think the pros were disappointed either. All of the qualifiers walked with checks growing steadily larger.
I attended this same event in 2002 and had an equally good time with just as much cool stuff in the players package even though it was a pro only event. 2004 was the first year Ams were invited.
Sadly this event suffers from poor attendance, which is hard to figure out since it is such a class act, and so well run. 54 spots were held open for the Ams, with only 14 showing up. 5 Masters, and 9 Grandmasters. The pro field was much larger, but still not a sellout. Nor Cal was well represented, and a full overview can be found at www.pdga.com
Saturday and Sunday this year featured staggered tee times ranging from early morning to early afternoon which allowed us early Ams to watch the Pros play after we were done which was a blast. The galleries were fairly large and enthusiastic.
The event is being moved to September 16-18 next year to attract a larger field. I recommend attendance, this event will only get better, and the purse higher with more players and sponsors.
It was great to go south and play an awesome course for 3 days and meet a bunch of other players from all over, and see old So Cal friends form my early days playing down there.
The hotel rate for the tournament was very reasonable, and the entry fee was excellent, especially considering all the fringe benefits and giveaways. Ask anyone who went and you will probably get the same story. Anybody old enough should consider the trip. It’s a great getaway, and well worth the time.
Happy Trails, Mike Corbett 17353