Discraft’s Ace Race delivers with a lot of fun

By P.J. Harmer — Rattling Chains staff

With Discraft’s Ace Race in the books, let’s take a quick peek at this year’s tournaments.

I don’t know how many of you participated in one of these events this year. For me, it was the second straight year I played in the tournament and it was equally as fun.

This year’s Ace Race ran from August to October and had 347 events held throughout the world. A few weeks ago, Rattling Chains writer Steve Hill wrote about the event on a more broad level.

The Ace Race disc. (photo by P.J. Harmer)

For those who didn’t read that and don’t know about the Ace Race, it’s a small and fun tournament where players have more chances at aces. For your entry fee ($25), you get two discs and some other swag.The player pack this year was well worth the money as each person got the two discs, a mini, a pair of 80s-style sunglasses and a stainless steel water bottle.

The discs are the only ones you can use during the tournament.Each player throws them at each hole, counting nothing but aces and metals, which is how many times you hit metal somewhere on the basket, but without slamming an ace.

In the end, the person with the most aces wins an excellent prize package of Discraft discs.

This year’s prototype disc is classified as a long-range driver, but Discraft calls it a hybrid driver. Being I don’t have a big arm, I was interested in the disc and I wasn’t disappointed. It flew nice and seemed to be pretty pure. I liked the feel of it and had some true lines throughout the day.

That’s something I’m not used to having.

The Ace Race doesn’t really seem to be about winning or losing. It’s about the experience and the fun. There’s a laid-back feeling to the Ace Race, which is much different than most disc golf tournaments.

I knew most of the people in my group and the others I didn’t meshed in very well. It was an enjoyable 25 holes.

Another miss for an ace, but not a miss for fun. (photo by P.J. Harmer)

Unfortunately, there were no aces in our group.

In this sport, there are things that make people coming back. Maybe it’s the sound of the chains. The competition. Being outside. Or anything else.

Like many other sports, there’s also the moment.

When I say moment, I’m speaking about those times that you do something really wild that makes you want to come back and experience the feeling again.

That happened to me on the normal 13th hole of this course. It’s a course I know quite well and this hole has always been one I’ve enjoyed. It starts in an opening and goes into the woods. Trees are abundant, but if you hit one of several lines, you can have some wonderful results.

As I stepped to the tee (shortened from it’s normal spot), I peeked and figured this was my best shot. I looked things over, got ready and let it rip.

Did I tell you how true this disc flies?

From the moment I released the disc, I knew it had a chance. The disc took flight, went on the right line and looked like it was heading right for the chains.

But as beautiful as it looked, reality soon smacked me in the face.

The disc dived a little quicker than I hoped at the end and hit the basket and dropped to the ground.

Rats!

So close, but so far. It truly didn’t matter though. The goal was to get out, throw some plastic and have some fun.

Mission accomplished.

The best part of the Ace Race is that fun factor — it brings disc golfers of many levels together for a fun round in a tournament setting. Often, tournaments aren’t like this. Do people have fun? Sure. But the competitive factor is much stronger, which can, at time, suck some of the fun out of the situation.

For my local ace race, they also had a cleanup contest. The idea was simple — as you played, pick up as much trash as you can. The group with the heaviest amount of garbage would win a really nice prize package, which included discs and minis among other things.

People pulled a lot of things out this year — including an old toilet! In all, nearly 1,300 pounds (seriously, 1,300 pounds!) was dragged off the course and out of the park. No matter how many aces anyone got — that goes way beyond the sport. That goes to giving back and showing disc golfers aren’t just about the game — they give back, too.

If you didn’t play in an Ace Race this year, make plans for next year. It’s a worthwhile event to play in. No pressure, just fun. Just the way it should be.

P.J. Harmer is the founder and executive editor for Rattling Chains. E-mail him at: pj@rattlingchains.com.

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0 thoughts on “Discraft’s Ace Race delivers with a lot of fun

  1. Second straight year of the Ace Race for me. I brought my 8yr old son with this year and he had a blast! He also won the custom contest.

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  2. Being that this is my first year playing (Jan 2012) I was hesitant to play the Ace Race thinking that my game isn’t quite “up to par” yet… But now, after reading this post I wish I would have just gone out and do what I always do when throwing and had a good time. Thanks for the piece, you sold me on it and I can’t wait for next season. With a little luck and a lot of practice, hopefully next season I leave a comment telling everyone that I hit an Ace.

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  3. I played in my first Ace Race this year at Belmont Park (Dayton, OH) and it was tons of fun! I was one ace shy of tying for 1st which was handled with a 3-hole playoff. But I got to see my buddy hit his first-ever ace and that itself made it worth the price of entering. Not to mention the 2 discs and swag pack that comes with the price of entering. I’ll be back next year and hopefully bring a few more friends out to see what they’ve been missing!

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  4. Thanks to PJ and RattlingChains.com for capturing the feeling of what the event is all about: good fun, old and new friends, and the potential for personal greatness! The course clean-up project is an awesome way to use Ace Race as well. Thanks again to PJ and everyone who helps to make Ace Race something to look forward to every year, you guys are awesome.

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  5. I played in my first ace race this year. It was also my first ever “event”. I had a lot of fun. Really laid back. I had never played a real tourney as I have heard people complain. Well because of the ace race “fun-ness” I figured a pdga sanctioned event could be just as fun. I was wrong. I wish the sanctioned tourneys could be that fun and relaxed. I have one more tourney to make my mind up about sanctioned events. That being said I will never hesitate to play another ace race. May consider playing two next year

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  6. I’m pretty much a newbie to disc golf. This year has been the first year I’ve played in a somewhat serious manner by 1) playin’ at least one round a week, 2) along with a co-worker setting up a work league, and 3) buying 5 of the same putters so I could improve my putting – Gateway Magic(k)s to be specific. I’m pretty much an amateur. I check my armpits to determine whether my amateur status is “rank” or not. ;-D

    I’ve got about a 150 foot, maybe a little better drive, trees jump out in front of my drives on a regular basis, and the creeks and water hazards turn up there disc attraction fields to the intense level whenever I’m near!

    I’ve never played an Ace Race. Never even heard of one until this year. I was hashin’ out an idea to do a charity benefit ace race for our work’s annual charity drive when the owner of Iron Lion Disc Golf Supply, Chase Roberts, said, “Why not do a Discraft Ace Race?” I’d had almost everything in place for this charity ace race I’d conceived except for the liability insurance. The whole thing was getting to be overwhelming due to various logistical problems such as the insurance, gettin’ all the same discs, workin’ with two of the agencies involved in the charity drives, staffing, etc. I went home and read up on the Discraft Ace Race details and thought, “This sounds a lot easier.” So, I conferred with my co-worker/league founder who simply said, “Yeah. Do it.”
    That’s all a person needs sometimes to dispel any doubts. One person to say “Go for it!”

    So, I still haven’t played in a Discraft Ace Race but I did become Tourney Director for the first Discraft Ace Race in our area. Learned it was as easy as it sounds. It went smoothly for the 37 folks who participated. Only three turned up as no-shows. But that was fine as I got to get my own Player Pack, Chase bought one for himself (he couldn’t play as he had to keep his shop open), and I bought one for a friend who helped out with some of the work and, just by his presence, provided support. And it went very smoothly I thought. The local park friends organization covered us with their liability insurance policy and I gave them the proceeds from the tournament. Two times through the course, no stopping. The winner had three aces. Ten aces scored overall with several metal hits. We held a longest drive contest and a ring of fire contest. It was all done within 3 hours not counting the sign in and player’s meeting.

    It was a great time. The Zombee is a fine, straight flying disc, and I’m lookin’ forward to doin’ another Ace Race next year as are many, if not all, of the players from this years race. I’ve even garnered some ideas for another ace race for our work charity drive different from the Discraft Ace Race for next year, too. Maybe next year I’ll play in a Discraft Ace Race somewhere outside of the 30 mile radius of ours!

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  7. Pingback: An ace race is a fun way to experience disc golf | A 'lil Hoohaa

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