On Sunday at the Mount McIntyre Disc Golf Course, it was time to “run chains or go home.”
That’s what the discs everyone were throwing read.
It wasn’t about long drives or strategic approach shots, it was all about getting holes-in-one (a.k.a. aces) at the 2015 Ace Race, hosted by the Whitehorse Disc Golf Association.
“It was great. It was very relaxed and fun, and I played with different people who I haven’t played with before and that was really nice,” said Dan Reimer. “There was a real mix of ages and ability levels and anyone could throw that – it was cool.”
For the event, organizers turned 15 of the course’s 18 par-3 holes into par 2s. Each player took one shot at each hole, ultimately attempting to get an ace or at least a “metal” – contact with the basket structure, including its web of chains that are meant to absorb the impact of a disc to help land it inside.
“We missed lots, hit chains and fell out … And some that weren’t even close,” said Reimer. “I went a whole bunch of holes with nothing, nothing, nothing and suddenly – boom – I hit a couple.”
Reimer finished in first place with one ace and four metals over 36 holes on Sunday. He had two metals in the first round and two metals and an ace on hole 6 in the second round.
There was also a four-way tie for second with four golfers at one ace, three metals.
More than half of the 32 participants, all of whom received two discs, a T-shirt and other swag to take home, failed to secure an ace in their two rounds.
After playing his final shot after 36 holes, WDGA president Ryan Norquay ruminated: “I thought it would be easier.”
“I was hoping for a little more. I’ve seen these guys make these putts before,” said Norquay, who finished with four metals but no aces. “Getting used to new discs … and getting used to this format as well. It’s new to everybody and might have thrown people off as well. You’re not getting as many hands on the disc as you do in a regular round.”
To settle the four-way tie for second, Benjamin Monkman, Adam George, Jesse Devost and Donny Richardson set off to play another nine.
Monkman hit metal on hole 8 for second place, George came closest to the pin on hole 9 for third.
“This is the perfect introduction to disc golf,” said Monkman. “Playing in large groups, everyone joins in and everyone has the same advantage.
“I liked it. It was good we had a good community here, a lot of people came out and I think everyone had a really good time.”
Sunday marked two in a row for Carole Dumont. After winning the novice women’s division the previous weekend in the Whitehorse Fall Classic tournament, Dumont hit two metal to place first out of six females in the Ace Race.
“It was really great. I’ve been hearing about it for months now, so to actually be part of it is exciting.” said Dumont.
“It would be nice to see more women out,” she added. “Next year I’d like to start a women’s league in the evening.”
Eight-year-old Kayden Smith placed first in the under-10 division with an ace, which he forehanded into the basket.
Sunday’s was one of 354 Ace Race events being held around the world this year sponsored by equipment manufacturer Discraft. The two discs supplied to each participant are of a prototype design specifically designed for the event. Discraft, which has sponsored the event since 2003, invites participants to go the company’s website and rate the disc.
Norquay hopes the Ace Race will become an annual event in Whitehorse.
“Maybe a little earlier in the year next year, but this worked out really well. It was a beautiful day, really sunny, best day in weeks,” said Norquay.
“We’re trying to get a feel for the new discs. These discs will become a standard issue (for Professional Disc Golf Association) next year. Discraft wants to grow the sport just like all other manufacturers and get more discs in more people’s hands.”
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