Saginaw resident Angela Stanford experienced a unique first during this week’s Samsung World Championship. And it had nothing to do with her golf game.
Stanford, a standout golfer at TCU and Boswell High School, went paragliding off the cliffs adjacent to Torrey Pines Golf Course, site of this week’s event, after her third round in San Diego. Stanford, 31, was among a group of players celebrating the 24th birthday of friend Brittany Lincicome.
Each player was loaded into a harness just in front of the pilot’s harness and the tandems would jog a few yards to the edge of a bluff more than 300 feet above the Pacific Ocean to be lifted by the breeze. After hearing the pilots say they were “a little concerned” about wind conditions, Stanford responded: “As long as it’s ‘a little concerned.’” Before takeoff, however, she did take one special precaution -- just in case.
“I’ve got to text, ‘I love you’ to my mom,’” she said.
Once in the air, the ride lasted 20 minutes. Stanford said it was “really cool how we could lift and then fall really close to the cliff.”
Eventually, Stanford and her pilot landed on Black Beach, a renowned nude beach in the San Diego area. Stanford was not aware of the beach’s unique feature before landing.
“I found out," she said with a smile. “I’d go up again even if it meant we had to land on the beach.”
_ Jimmy Burch