It happened on the 30th of December. (2016)
My mother, father, and I drove down to Holts Summit, MO to play a round of 18. The course is only about fifteen minutes away, maybe twenty, and it was built a little over a year ago. I had read a review on dgcoursereview.com before we headed out to see what the future held. The golfer had commented on how it was a proficient course with good design but how it had a couple of fairways that still needed a few trees removed. I also noticed, in the provided pictures, that it had two water holes of decent length. I was excited to try a new course and the weather was great, so what could possibly happen?
The course is located next to a park. We pulled up and the parking lot was “yuge”, as one might say. It was completely gravel and you probably could have fit a rock concert on it, and I don’t know why it was so large because the only thing at he park that is regularly used is the disc course. There is a newly made baseball field which appears to be untouched and a really nice concrete walking trail… if you’re into walking. Driving to the far end of the parking lot we stopped and got out, searching for the first hole.
I won’t give a full record of the first nine holes, but let us say it was a very bad nine for me, and I won’t use the “it is a new course to me” excuse. I just played bad. From the very first throw. I think the first hole was a par four and I threw a seven: a triple bogie. My father hit it in par, and my mother… well she doesn’t like to keep track of her strokes. Dad played well all morning and it was just a build up for what was to come.
The three of us made it to hole twelve, and by that point dad had acquired a new disc. A red Star Sidewinder if I recollect correctly. It had been partially hidden in the fallen leaves. I was something like +12 and dad was about +3. We approached the hole and it was a pretty one. The ground after the tee sort of dropped off and if you looked across the little valley on the opposite ridge was the basket. I think the sign said 164 feet, something close to that. It was basically a direct shot, and the hole had a tree to the left of it as well as plenty of woods behind it. It was a par three.
I stepped onto the rectangle of concrete and selected my trusty DX Leopard. Going through a few practice swings I aimed in the general direction of the basket. I didn’t know exactly how to get it where I wanted without overthrowing it. Now that I think back I should have thrown a mid-range. I backhanded the disc too hard and it glided over to the other side of the gorge and…. BANG, right into the tree to the basket’s side and off into the wooded area behind.
I knew I had missed my chance, so turning to my dad I said, “This will be your best chance for an ace if you are gonna get one.” Little did I know. He grabbed his Star Gator and lined up on the tee pad. No priming necessary, he just went for it. Let the Gator fly forehand and it was magic! It was one of those moments you can sense before it happens. The disc drifted left and hooked back right, clinking off the middle post and the chains, then settling in the basket.
I wish I had a video. It was the flattest throw I’ve ever seen Dad have. When it went in he threw his hands up in the air and looked back at mom and I with a grin that he gets when he can’t believe something just happened. I was jealous and I let on that I was. I feel as if, out of the two of us, I should be the first to get an ace because I have been playing the longest. It didn’t seem fair to me. Only a week before I had an almost ace at Albert Oakland Park in Columbia, MO. It was also with my Leopard, and dad was witness to it. I guess some people have that touch.
Since then Dad and I have spent the past few weeks debating whether mom and I need to sign the Gator as proof of the ace. Many disc golfers make a habit of requiring signatures on aces from the witnesses who were there. In this way they are able to tell stories to other disc golfers and remember their moment of glory. This would typically be done with permanent marker. Dad and I are amateur enough that we do not traverse courses with markers in our bags. As for signing Dad’s Gator, I think we should because it is the first ace any of us have witnessed and I don’t feel as if dad will have many more. We should take the opportunity we have been given. In opposition, Dad does not want to “ink up” his disc with signatures. His argument would be valid if I thought he was going to trade the disc back in at any point, but I know he won’t. He will hold on to that disc forever until one of his grandkids gets it. Although, without our signatures how will they ever know what a special disc it is?
Also, my signature might be worth something in the distant future. Ha.