Watching the pros tear it up on the course can make the casual player wonder how in the world they got so good at disc golf! Well, we have the answers, as we share the personal stories of how each of our DUDE Ambassadors got to their level of success:
“My big step was in 2007. My dream was to play with Ken Climo and I planned 3 months of travel in the States to only disc golf for all 3 months. I started in Orlando and my first round was with the champion. The next thing I knew, I stayed at his house for a week. The 3 months of only disc golf on different courses paid off.”
“I got to my level of success by practicing all of the time. I’ve had several pros influence my game and help me improve, but I give credit to all of the field work I do to reach my level of success.”
“My parents were very influential and supportive early in my disc golf career. Our vacations consisted of trips to KY, MI, and even TX. Mom and Dad would walk along, spot, and always try to push me to the next level. Even though they don’t play much anymore, Mom and Dad will always be the ones that lit the spark in this eternal fire.”
“I got into it for the crazy passion I had for it from the first round I played with friends and family and from there pushed to become a better player. My competitive nature really helped the push forward and of course lots of practice. As far as steps I’ve taken, one big one comes to mind of moving to another city to be closer to the nearest disc golf course, and also moving to our biggest city in NZ for a job involving disc golf with RPM Discs. Having been in high-pressure situations in previous sports, I’ve taken everything I learned mentally and transferred it to my disc golf game.”
“I’ve been a lifelong athlete and played multiple sports. Coming from a background of being a professional coach and PE teacher, I fell in love with the game at 21 years old. I was completely drawn into competition and mastering the sport. The first time I saw a female throw a disc over 250 feet, that was the moment I knew I could do that and do it better. It wasn’t until I started playing at the professional level that I really started to study each skill in the game more closely and take putting more seriously.”
“Due to my competitive mindset when I started playing disc golf I obviously wanted to get good right away. After one year of traveling in Australia and meeting Chris Finn a couple of times, I ended up playing pretty much every day when I got back home and competed in tournaments every weekend to get good and experienced. One of the greatest things is to be able to represent the person that influenced me to get as good as I am today.”
“I had a few friends that played what they called frisbee golf. I honestly thought that was the stupidest thing I had ever heard. I just couldn’t picture how you would golf with a frisbee! A few months later my friends took me to play at my local course, Downriver. It was such a beautiful course and it was a lot different than I thought it would be.
I was really awful but was instantly hooked. I remember only a few weeks into playing saying I will one day be the best in the world at this. My friends just laughed, as I was just awful. I’m still not the best and I constantly struggle with this injury that the doctors can’t figure out, but I still have the same goal.”
“The competitive nature of the sport has always driven me. At first, it was competing with friends and it quickly evolved into competing in events. I haven’t reached a level of success that I’m happy with, but I’m having a great time on the journey to improvement and success.”
“My story is pretty simple – when I found disc golf I was immediately hooked because of my competitive nature. I practiced a ton just like I had in the sports I grew up playing. Like they say ‘practice makes perfect’ although in golf nobody will ever be perfect.”
“I was lucky enough to learn from my local pros, which really forced me to become better in order to compete with them. I also am very dedicated to practicing my sport and once I found disc golf, it just felt normal to play and practice all the time. I also filmed myself a lot to see what I looked like.”
“I first played disc golf in August of 2009. I’ve played nearly every day since then throwing as many shots and putting as much as my body could handle. Stan Pratt is a local in Santa Cruz who I witnessed practice putting, and I watched him make 2 60 footers in a row. I was mesmerized and waited until the next day to give it a shot. I’d only been playing 6 months or so and I didn’t leave the course that day until I had made 2 60 footers in a row. It was with this kind of determination and inspiration from others that propelled me into the ranks of fellow professionals.
There’s a big difference from mindlessly throwing discs and practicing with purpose. The later will improve your game by leaps and bounds. Once you are able to start teaching, running clinics will reinforce proper mental and physical practice, which will continue to propel progress in the game.
Golf is a lifelong game of learning about yourself and others. It’s important to be open to learning and progressing, as golf will always be able to teach us just about everything we need to be successful on and off the course – if you are willing to learn.”
What steps have you taken to reach your current disc golf goals? Give your mentor or favourite club a shoutout in the comments below!