The Ledgestone Insurance Open is going on right now and in the middle of all that going on, Chris Dickerson let me interview him. He was happy to talk to me for our short conversation and I learned a lot about the game, practice, prodigy, and plenty of other topics as well!
With most, if not all, interviews I always want to learn about how the individual got their start. With Chris, it was easy “I always wanted to be a pro athlete, more so football but a pro disc golfer works all the same.” With that in mind he practiced and practiced becoming a better athlete. His introduction to Disc Golf was an interesting one too me. He told me a story about his Junior year of High School when “My buddies and I bought an Innova starter pack and just rotated the discs each tee, one hole you would have the driver, then mid, etc.” An odd way to get into the sport but nonetheless he began to grow his talents from there. In his professional career, he has won countless tournaments and placed fifth at this year’s world championships. So far, he has done great things with his career and the only way to go is up for him.
Disc Golf is a growing sport but it is still an unknown to most people. So, I wanted to know from a professional’s point of view on how the sport is growing right now. Chris’ response was well put when he stated, “More people are joining the tournaments, we are getting more sponsorship’s and bigger ones like Ledgestone, but we need to get companies like monster and red bull to sponsor, then, it will take off.” Which I completely agree with, the bigger the companies that sponsor these events, the better the turn out. I am still waiting on the day that ESPN picks up Disc Golf so we can watch the European Open or even the World Championships live. Until then, I can still watch it on YouTube through Central Coast Disc Golf and the like.
For those of you who do not know already, Chris is sponsored by Prodigy discs, which is a relatively young company in the Disc Golf world. They also are not the most known company as well. Talking to Chris about his sponsorship he said, “I get the same perks as everyone else does, certain amount of discs per year, bonuses for doing well, etc.” So, it appears Prodigy is on par with everyone else. The one difference that Prodigy does that makes them unique is that they do not have a flight numbering system. I was confused by this and Chris explained to me that “the lower the number with your disc mean the more over stable it is, the higher the number the more under stable it is.” Which is a hard concept to wrap your mind around if you are not used to it. But he went on to say that “most people grab onto it quickly and makes the game more simplified in the end.” I do not know how to judge stability, but I can see how if you know what you’re doing that the stability difference is easier to deal with.
Another couple of staple questions that I like to ask players are there favorite disc and favorite course. Chris favorite Disc is “the PA 3, it is similar to a big bead Aviar, I do not have a problem with the bead.” The bead is a problem it seems with a lot of players that I just talk to, but Chris has no issue with it one bit. When it comes to his favorite course Chris told me that “the Black Course in Moundsville, WV is my favorite, it’s in the woods and has some openness but the woods I love.” What I learned from both of these questions is that Chris like to be opposite of the normal behavior. He loves the woods and loves the bead on discs, which is unique but in a world full of people following the normal path, being unique may not be a bad thing.
As always, I want to give you all the chance to receive some good advice form professional players. Sticking with the theme of opposites Chris’ advice was just that. He wanted to say “Find time to practice, the biggest difference between am and pro is the putting and mid game not just distance. Maybe take two shots off a tee and play both out and practice that way.” The biggest thing he told me was that “I hate field work, sometimes you have to shape shots in Disc Golf, no better way to practice that then on the course.” Which to me is important, just go out and play and improve on the tricky shots of the game.
If you want to learn more about Prodigy Discs, you can visit prodigydisc.com! There is no current model out for Chris, but he did inform me that “one new model is on its way and that the one I am going to stamp.” So be on the lookout for that Disc coming out soon!
Picture credit goes to prodigydisc.com