DUDE Clothing is excited to release a snapshot into the life of a touring pro by documenting our 2016 US Disc Golf Tour. The videos aim to give insight into all aspects of the touring life, including driving, playing, working, social activities, more working, more playing and even a few more social activities.
The tour centers around CEO Chris Finn as he travels across 45 states in 7 months. His journey covered around 30,000 driving miles and what’s more, around 50,000 air miles while transiting from Australia to Los Angeles and over to Europe for the European Open.
Tour life includes more than just competing and driving to the next event. For those who have never been on tour before, you’ll gain insight into what a day in the life of a touring pro looks like.
In 2016 we have attempted to capture a little of the life, but mostly you’re going to see some highlights of the DUDE Stealth truck and its inhabitants. Joining us on this epic adventure was Chris’s family, including, his wife Leslie, his two kids Ethan and Adelina, and “Momma” Dude, as well as some other notable characters. Jordan Wheeler was on board with this being his first tour of the US as a working touring pro, and we also saw the likes of seasoned athletes such as Gregg Barsby and Philo Braithwaite.
Along the way you’ll meet some of the other ambassadors of disc golf as the adventure crosses numerous state borders and tests our resolve in some varying conditions.
All in all, it was a fantastic journey and an incredible way to see the country. We hope aspiring disc golfers can get a better idea of what tour life is all about and possibly envision themselves on tour someday. It’s quite a challenge to leave your “normal” existence, embark upon this journey, and to live a different life.
For many touring pros, mapping out their lodging options is almost as big of a challenge as figuring out what events they are going to play in. For us, we had the ability to take our beds with us in the massive Stealth trailer. Daily activities certainly become more communal when you’re staying in such close quarters, and everything from mealtime to clean up is shared.
The tour becomes your home away from home, and little things like a fully stocked kitchen to look through or a full closet of clothes aren’t always available. For a pro player, it’s crucial that what they put in their bodies will help them to perform to their highest level. While it’s tempting to eat fast food because of the convenience, eating freshly prepared foods as often as possible is essential. That’s not to say we didn’t throw a few indulgences into the mix!
Because our tour was so long and spanned so many states and different climates, we had to be prepared for anything! Packing comfortable clothing to compete in was key; luckily we know some people who make amazing disc golf apparel. When we’re off the course, we wanted to be comfortable, so bringing nice casual clothing and a few sets of shoes seemed to work out just fine.
Our adventure required us to have two main states of mind at all times: we’re here to have fun and experience everything the US has to offer, and we’re here to work and perform as best as we can. There’s definitely a time and a place for each of these ideas, and many times the two blend seamlessly together as we’re on the road.
Our videos make it seem like the tour is just fun and games, and while it is, there are some high highs and some low lows. Coming off a great showing at an event makes you feel like you’re on top of the world, and having a few bad rounds can make the drive to the next stop all that much more grueling.
With so much sitting and logging thousands of road miles, it’s important that practicing and training still come into play. While it’s true that the tournaments themselves are like the best practice there is, it’s still important to hit a practice basket and get some cardio in when you can.
Our tour gave us another insight into what touring pro experiences during their year: working. While we’d all love to be able to cover our expenses by our tournament winnings alone, sometimes that’s not always feasible. At DUDE, we obviously rely on the sales of our clothing to keep our efforts going. We got to vend at tons of events and sell at fly marts across the country. Not only does it bring in some cash, but you get the opportunity to socialize with tons of people!
Are you going on tour? Be prepared to drive more than you’ve driven in your life! Be ready to walk, a lot. It’s a toss-up as to whether you spend more time walking, standing, and playing disc golf versus sitting and driving. You will get flat tires. Your vehicle will break down. You might have plans to arrive at a course four days ahead of time to get some practice rounds in, only to experience setbacks on the road and barely make it in time to play. It’s these unknowns that makes tour-life a challenge, but impromptu mini golf and bonding with your mates certainly balance the scales.
Most importantly, savor the experience of being on tour. Try not to have expectations and take each day as it comes. Our 2016 journey was truly a once in a lifetime experience, and being able to have friends, family, and colleagues join us was something we’ll never forget.
It takes a dedicated and passionate person to grind day in and day out and to put themselves in the midst of the most talented players our sport has, just to pursue their goals and live the dream. We hope you enjoy what our life on tour looked like and hope to see you on the road!
We hope you enjoy this 9 video series, please share, like comment and most of all, support the pro Ambassadors whenever you can.