By Helen Tuman
The DeLaveaga Disc Golf Course welcomed around 175 disc golfers, both pro and amateur, when it hosted the 23rd annual “Steady” Ed Memorial Masters Cup this past weekend.
Out of sight, DeLaveaga Disc Golf Course is tucked away up the hill and around the corner right behind the DeLaveaga Golf Course.
According to the Frisbee Freestyle Players Association website, “Steady” Ed Headrick is the father of disc golf. Headrick invented the pro-model Frisbee and founded the International Frisbee Association (IFA). The tournament is dedicated to keeping his work, his legend and his memory alive.
“[The “Steady” Ed Memorial] is the best competition,” said Myles Harding, professional division competitor. “[It’s] one of the top five tournaments in the world. People from Japan and Europe are even here.”
Harding, 20, who has played the sport since he was three years old and competed in his first competition at age five, plays competitively in tournaments all around the country, and “hopefully one day the world.”
Chris Edwards, deemed the local “hot shot” by competitors, is a member of the UC Santa Cruz disc golf team. The tournament was his first competition since switching to the male professional open division.
Edwards had an exhilarating start to the three-day competition, shooting an even par Friday and two over par Saturday, which put him in 27th place.
Sunday possessed an entirely different type of challenge for Edwards because of a car accident late Saturday night.
“Sunday I woke up feeling terrible,” Edwards said. “I didn’t want to lose the round though.”
Determined, Edwards made his way to the course and ended up shooting four under par — putting him two under par for the entire competition.
“I went from ‘shit, it’s not my day’ to ‘whoa, this could focus me,’” Edwards said. “It was the hardest round of my life today, I’m so happy to be finished.”
Other competitors noticed his determination as well. Current world champion Nate Doss was reportedly telling Edwards’ competition to “watch out” for him.
The result: Edwards tied for 22nd place, moving up five slots from the day before.
The winner of the championship cup was Southern California native Steve Rico, who won in a shootout.
At day’s end, when names were being called, awards handed out and thanks given, it was clear to outsiders that this was a close-knit community.
“In disc golf, everyone knows everyone after a while,” Harding said.
There wasn’t a name called that didn’t receive applause.
“We’re peers,” said 21-year-old professional division competitor Greg Barsby. “Except for when I beat [Edwards].”
This hidden gem that is the DeLaveaga Disc Golf Course is free of charge to play on, but donations are accepted. Donations help to develop and protect the course.
“If you want to play disc golf,” Harding said, “come to DeLaveaga and play with the pros.”