2017 – Year in Review
Jan 01, 2018 // Uncategorized //

So with the start of the season right around the corner, I look back at a year and a Disc Golf Season unlike any other that I’ve experienced before. My 2017 started off with a huge trip to Oceania-Asia Trip to Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan and Japan for the start of the Disc Golf World Tour and playing tournaments in all 4 countries.

The 2017 Disc Golf Season has proven to be one of the most eventful and spontaneous years to date as I got the opportunity to travel more than I have ever done before with nearly 80,000 airline miles traveled throughout 10 countries as I got to add a few others to the list for Disc Golf Course played. And I even played a few more tournaments than I have in the past few seasons taking down a few victories along the way.

I continue to be a perpetual road warrior and a present mainstay figure on the PDGA Tour on my 18th season as a Touring Professional Disc Golfer. But now that was a much different scenario with the my family and other responsibilities even though I was away nearly 130+ days this year. It’s still the thrill of Disc Golf, the adventures that excite me and the people that inspire me to know that I’m doing the right thing by chasing this crazy dream!

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Disc Golf Forever!

Disc Golf Adventures

**Our first official road trip started at the Glass Blown Open in Emporia, KS taking us all the way to Santa Cruz, CA for the Masters Cup and the St. Jude Disc Golf Charity Invitational in Monterey, CA. It was great to be able to play throughout the day and no matter how it went on the course I had my beautiful girlfriend and smiling Baby Boy waiting for me after every round. It was obviously much different for me for the fact that being a father was so new for me but I could definitely feel an overall shift of priorities.

We ended up spending over 3-weeks in the Bay Area, soaking up some sun and visiting some epic scenery up the Pacific Coast Highway on our way north to Oregon. I also got the chance to play a bunch of new courses that I’ve only driven by in the past. I enjoy playing as many courses as possible no matter how easy, difficult, short or long…I like to take the best aspects of every course that I play as I believe that it truly makes me a better course designer because of it.

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Beautiful Silhouette of a Disc Golf Basket

I only participated in 13 PDGA Events this season including seven Top-5 Finishes and eleven Top-10 Finishes. I played in four different countries to start the season at the Aussie Open in Australia, New Zealand Championships in New Zealand, the Okinawa Open in Japan and the Asia Open in Taiwan. Almost half of the tournaments (6) that I played this year were International Events. I also had several strong finishes and wins at the Idle Hour Open, the Alaskan State Championships and the PCS Open I know that I could have played a lot better at a few of the events with three 2nd place finishes early in the season.

I still played two of my favorite events that I play every season, the Masters Cup National Tour Event in Santa Cruz, CA and of course the 2017 PDGA Professional Disc Golf World Championships. These will always be “not to miss” events for me because of the roots that I laid down in Santa Cruz for living there for 3-years and the World Championships will always be a tournament that I play as long as I’m able to being a former World Champion.

It’s still a lot of fun still traveling the country and the world on the Disc Golf Tour competing against the best players out there. That’s definitely what the tour has evolved into for me over the years and I’m not one to drive to destinations without checking out all there is to experience along the way. I’ll tell you that taking the roads less traveled will really open your eyes to how truly beautiful this country is.

**Full 2017 Tour Stats: Click Here**

Chasing that 1000th Disc Golf Course Milestone

So over the past few seasons I’ve really been trying to play as many Disc Golf Courses as possible 1) for the sake of playing some incredible courses 2) for the chance to see the differentiations between different course design elements and 3) to get to the 1000th Disc Golf Courses played milestone. This wasn’t a number that I was really after initially when I first sat down to go through my courses played totals at the end of my 2008 season. I just started going state by state trying to remember all the ones that I played even as far back to 1992 when I was 14-years old and I got a total number that was actually much lower than I originally expected.

Sure I played on the Pro Tour for several years before doing this research but then also realized that we always played same courses for many of the same events year after year and didn’t play too many new Disc Golf Courses unless we did so aside from the tour. Many of those “other” courses that we would get a chance to play were either on the travels from one city to the next or in the city that we might be staying in leading up to or following the event. Monday Fun Days or Travel Tuesdays were usually the perfect opportunities to play those new courses.

It wasn’t until the past few years that I really started on this mission to play as many courses as possible. I also starting mixing in a few other objectives by trying to play the Oldest Disc Golf Courses in every state and many of the Oldest Disc Golf Courses throughout the world along with the Oldest Disc Golf Course on every continent. It makes things exciting trying to accomplish a few goals all at once

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2015 Discmania Deep in the Game Clinics

Traveling

***It was an amazing tour with so many great experiences that I got to share with my family as we went out of way to visit as many National Landmarks as possible along the way. We started with a fun 2-month road trip to the West Coast and back, traveling through 11-States and covering over 7,300 miles. It made it incredibly fulfilling to be able to make that trip again as I absolutely love getting back to California whenever possible.

After we returned back to Oklahoma, I got about a week of down time before traveling to the East Coast, then flying to Sweden & Finland for the Deep in the Game Tour and the European Majors. It was 40-days before I got to see Leah and Arian again as they both flew to Pittsburgh, PA for the 2015 PDGA Professional World Championships. We then continued on back to my parents house after that event.

We made plans to do another huge road trip throughout the Midwest through the Upper Peninsula of Michigan only to pass through to the Upper East Coast and Quebec, Canada. I got the opportunity to play one of my favorite events, the Green Mountain Championships in Jeffersonville, VT and finishing my year by playing the 2015 United States Disc Golf Championships in Rock Hill, SC. Shortly after we started on our final leg home and back to Oklahoma for the winter. We traveled over 14,000 Miles in Arian’s 1st Road Trip visiting 36 States and 1 International Country, he’s off to an excellent start for not yet being a year old.

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14,000 miles this year, visiting 36 States, 1 Country

Future Goals

I’ve set several goals for 2018. They include:

? Play my 1000th Disc Golf Course
? Take the Disc Golf World Tour to the next Level
? Play my best at every Event that I attend
? Bring Disc Golf to the Mainstream Media
? Hosting 20+ Disc Golf Instructional Clinics
? Promote all my sponsors to the best of my ability
? Travel the world teaching and playing the sport I love

***During the 2017 season, I will be playing a few less events but really focusing on the overall promotion of the sport through my new position as the commentator of the Disc Golf World Tour. It seems to be the natural progression of any top athlete as I will be concentrating more on the Disc Golf Business side of things this season and trying to really grow the sport in the most effective ways possible. I have always felt that I could provide the sport with a lot by being a proactive player but I now realize that I can offer this sport so much more as a promoter.

I also now share the duties of a DiscGolfPark Representative which has taken up a majority of my efforts lately as of right now in the early stages it’s a very time consuming position. I throughly appreciate and value the proper Disc Golf course design as I’m now responsible for selling the DiscGolfPark concept to city parks, state parks, golf courses, schools, etc… I’ve so far found it to be a very rewarding experience as it has definitely allowed me to utilize my Disc Golf experience and the business side of our sport. Overall, the installation of more Disc Golf Courses throughout the country is going to produce more player which in turn will grow the sport by leaps and bounds.

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DiscGolfPark, the future of Disc Golf Courses

***I will also keep myself very busy helping to organize the Discmania Combine Tour in cooperation with the existing Discmania Tour and the Flying Circus Events with Simon Lizotte, Eagle McMahon and Eric Oakley. It’s going to be an entirely new tour concept giving talented players a chance to earn a roster spot on Team Discmania by qualifying through a series of skilled events to prove their professional abilities. I’m really looking forward to this tour and it’s going to be a lot of fun getting back on the road again!

And lastly, I’ll be traveling over to Europe on three separate trips this summer for the Disc Golf World Tour. We’ll be taking advantage of having me over there again by hosting several Deep in the Game Disc Golf Instructional Clinics throughout the Czech Republic, Estonia, Sweden and Norway! I’m really excited that the Deep in the Game Clinics are still very highly demanded and I’ll be exploring to some new international markets as Simon and McBeth will be traveling exclusively throughout Finland this summer. The European Disc Golf Scene is truly exploding right now!

I plan to certainly play a lot less than in years past due to many of my other responsibilities consuming so much more of my time plus I don’t want to be away for longer than I have to these days. I recently completed my 2015 tour schedule and I have around 5-7 tournaments planned, traveling throughout the west coast this spring, traveling to Europe in early summer for the Czech Republic and Estonian Events, then back in the US for a few events to be named during the fall. This season’s tour will be structured around the Disc Golf World Tour Events and several Deep in the Game Clinics throughout Europe this summer. I’ll be making lots of trips back home in between events instead of staying out on the road as I have in the past, the priority is family these days.

**Full 2018 Tour Schedule: Click Here**

***The 2017 was an unforgettable season but I couldn’t have done it without the ones that support me the most. Special thanks to Leah and Arian for giving the opportunity to get back on the road again to live that Tour Life that continues to drive my soul. It means the world to me that Leah likes to travel just as much as I do and it was extra special to be able to take Arian on the tour with us at such an incredibly young age. We look forward to taking back out to all of the places that he’s been before so he’ll get the chance to experience that for himself.

It’s been a passion of mine for a long time as I enter into my 17th year as a Touring Professional, it’s going to be a tremendous 2016 season. I will continue to promote Disc Golf as one of the best sports on the planet in hopes to gain even more exposure this year. I am looking forward to another exciting and successful season on the Disc Golf Tour, I will do my best to make the most of it every single day.

Thanks to all of my sponsors: Innova Champion Discs, Discmania Discs, Keen Footwear, Grip Equipment, Savage Ultimate Apparel and Team Jenkins, I couldn’t do what I love without everyone’s support and assistance along the way!

Thanks to all my friends, family and travel companions throughout the year that have made my world travels possible and my disc golf dreams a reality. Here’s to an incredible 2018 Season!

2017 Disc Golf Tour by the Numbers:

10 – Countries Visited
113 (998 Total) – “New” Disc Golf Courses Played
2,700+ – iPhone Photos Taken
8,450+ – Ground Miles Traveled
79,150+ – Air Miles Traveled
87,600+ – Total Miles Traveled

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Arian’s Travel Map visiting 72% (36 States) of the US

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