DeLaveaga Disc Golf Course and the Master’s Cup

 DeLaveaga Disc Golf History

DeLaveaga Disc Golf Course was created to host the World Disc Championships in 1984. The course was designed by Disc Golf Hall of Famer Tom Schot, who took full advantage of the environment, incorporating the numerous trees, ravines and rolling hills of the land into one of the most celebrated courses in disc golf history.

2012 U.S. Women's Disc Golf Champ, Catrina Allen (Ulibarri)

Catrina Ulibarri putts on the 14th hole at DeLaveaga Disc Golf Course.

Originally only 18 holes, the course now has 28 permanent holes, with a 29th hole still used in tournament play. Every single hole holds its own against some of the most difficult and unique in the world, making for a challenging yet enjoyable experience for players of all skill levels.

Fast Greens, Steep Slopes and Tree Roots

DeLaveaga is not an easy disc golf course. It’s well known for its fast greens, partly because every basket seems to be surrounded by a slope, and that slope is often steep. The area around the basket is rarely surrounded by grass or anything else that could slow a disc down if it gets on its edge and begins to roll. There are often unpredictable tree roots and rock crags jutting out of the ground just waiting to turn your round into a disaster.

It’s not just the greens that make DeLaveaga tricky, either. Many holes have canyons or ravines just off the fairway–or even in the fairway–with ample opportunity to swallow up an errant disc or a shot that ricochets off one of the many trees. Players must avoid these pitfalls to score well, so precise shooting is a must at DeLaveaga. Many a disc golf player has had their first bad “poison oak experience” trying to track down a disc that has gone offline here.

2012 World Disc Golf Champion, Paul McBeth at the second hole at DeLaveaga Disc Golf Course

Paul McBeth, 2012 PDGA World Champion, putts at the 2012 Master’s Cup.

Over the years, trees have grown and trees have fallen, altering the course. New teepads and basket positions have also been put in. Most of the holes have several different basket positions, which are changed throughout the year to keep the course fresh and interesting.

The Master’s Cup Tournament

Every year, the DeLaveaga Disc Golf Course hosts two large tournaments that are sanctioned by disc golf’s governing body, the Professional Disc Golf Association. DeLa hosts the Faultline Classic every fall and brings in some of the top pros around, but the largest draw is the Master’s Cup.

The Master’s Cup is one of the biggest tournaments in all of disc golf. Every spring it attracts the top pros from all over the world. Often times, players from countries such as Sweden, Finland, Denmark, France, Japan and several more are represented in the lineup.

Winning the Master’s Cup earns a player a lot of respect in the disc golf world, as it is seen as one of the world’s most difficult tournaments. There are courses and tournaments that offer longer holes and more wind to gauge, but few require as many tight, technical shots.

Winning the Master’s Cup requires a player to overcome a few bad breaks and a lot of pressure. There are often hundreds of dollars separating strokes at the final tally, and for most of the competitors, that’s a lot of money.

By the end of the tournament, there is always a gallery, sometimes with 100-plus players and fans following the action and this year’s tourney will be no exception.

 This was an overview of the course written by Ben Baker, winner of the 2012 NorCal Championships in the intermediate division.