When we were starting this blog (WAY back at the start of summer) we kicked around some ideas for some topics to write about. One of the things one of us threw out was an “Ace Story” series where we describe the aces we have thrown in all their glorious detail. Out of the 5 writers on this site, I know 3 of us have had at least one ace, not sure about #4. I do know that I am #5 and I certainly don’t have an ace to my name.
I’ve had my brushes with glory. A few clanked baskets, a chain deflection or two and even a 200’+ birdie which would have been a great ace had somebody decided to put a tee pad under those trees my first shot hit. But no aces.
I’m not here to ask your sympathy for my acelessness (it’s a word), but rather to consider the absurd notion of an “Ace Line.” I’ve heard a few people mention it, they have all either been good disc golfers or thought there were good disc golfers. Sometimes before the shot (“I’m going to take the ace line here”) sometimes after (“that was on an ace line until it hit that tree”).
The obvious definition would be something like this:
Ace Line: [Eys Layhn] noun. The line on which a disc could fly to potentially reach and land safely in the basket from the tee pad on a regulation hole of disc golf. Often used preemptively to suggest someone is going to attempt to throw the disc into the basket on purpose. Origin: Some guy wanted to make sure his friends knew he was good enough to purposely try to get a hole-in-one whilst playing disc golf.
Now, I have no problem with someone making a good throw and saying “that’s on an ace line.” (Although that’s fairly silly thing to say out loud to other human beings, so I might mock you if you say it, but rest assured I will not take offense) My issue is the preemptive ace lines. It’s the guy on the tee who walks back to his bag, putting away his original Roc and grabbing his KC Roc Pro saying “I’m going for the ace on this one, bros.” (because the person who does this is the same person who calls everyone ‘bros’ in a completely irony-free manner)
The whole concept of an ace line (or ace run, if you prefer) is that the person throwing it is good enough to determine whether or not they want to try to put the disc in the hole from the tee. “No, I don’t want to take the ace line here, I’m going to play it out to the left so I have a better chance at birdie” This makes sense if you’re Ken Climo playing for money and you have a leaderboard, competition and all of those other fun things to worry about.
Now maybe it’s just me and my extreme amateurishness (this IS a word according to spellcheck. Apparently ‘spellcheck’ isn’t but ‘spellchecker’ is, tragically.) but why would you step up to the tee and try to do anything except make your best possible effort to land the disc in the basket??? Have you ever watched professional darts on TV? If not, please get the hell out of here right now. They usually play 301 which involves scoring a bunch of points before your opponent can score a bunch of points (up until the end when they have to hit a 1 pointer, but I digress). These guys throw for the triple 20 every single time (and usually hit it) because 60 points is the most you can score on a single throw in darts. They are taking the most direct path between themselves and winning. Why does this logic not persist across every competition ever?
Maybe for the same reason I only swing for the fences in softball and only shoot 3-pointers in basketball (50% more points!!!), but I attempt to throw every tee shot on a disc golf course on an ace line. Count the number of rounds of disc golf I’ve played in my life, multiple that by 18. That is the number of ace lines I have tried. I can’t be blamed if the actual line ends up being directly into the tree ten feet in front of the pad, from the moment it was retrieved from my bag, IT STARTED ON AN ACE LINE! It also makes for an astonishingly epic failure rate on my part, 0 for 1093534.7 if my calculations are correct.
With this, I offer a revised definition of the term which I feel better represents its actual usage:
Ace Line: [Eys Layhn] noun. Me throwing a disc.
So if my colleagues ever do write stories on their glorious aces, please read and enjoy them, but remember that LITERALLY every time a disc leaves my hand, it is my intention that is will land in the basket. Not even the best disc golfers in the world can make that claim.
(Also, if I ever get a real ace I will immediately delete this post and write up a 2,500 word reflection upon that ace and it will include no less than 17 pictures)