Jon Baldwin shows you how to handle Hole 9 at the infamous DeLaveaga Disc Golf Course in Santa Cruz, CA in preparation for the 2011 PDGA Pro World Championships August 7-13.

Hole 9 is a cathedral of giant pine trees, with canopies reaching well over 100′. Small clusters of oaks also speckle the fairway, confounding ones route to the basket if the disc strays off path even just slightly. A lush gorge to the right awaits the thrower whose disc kicks off a tree to the right. The main fairway is in the shape of a question mark, tantalizing the right-hand back hand thrower with a nice hyzer flip route with late fade. But, there are as many other routes possible as one can dream up, including great roller avenues, overhand routes, giant turnover lines, and even a daring giant hyzer route to the right off the tee, over the gorge, and fading back to the fairway near the basket. The fairway for hole 10 is to the left of the 9th fairway and plays in the opposite direction, and is considered to be in play for hole 9. Be alert for others playing hole 10, as well as for errant throws coming to fairway 9 from fairway 10.

The approach to the basket is guarded by numerous trees, such that a run at the basket often requires some luck, in addition to skill. The green is fast, allowing for great skip runs at the basket but also increasing the risk of running too hard at the basket. A grove of acacia to the right of the basket provides another challenge for shots that stray too far to the right, although if you play DeLaveaga enough you will experience the fun of putting out of this tangled mess while trying to save par or go for birdie (if you land there on your drive). From time to time this hole is inhabited by a great horned owl, whose bass hoots echo off the trees and add to the already intense ambiance.

back to Hole #8a or on to Hole #10