As I have previously said, I get the chance to meet some amazing people while doing this blog. I get to talk to professionals and pick their brains, but I get to meet and talk to people who have amazing stories and lives. Not to be outdone, Ellen Widboom had an amazing story to tell and it is worth the read. Enjoy!
1) How did you get into Disc Golf?
My first encounter with disc golf was back in 2011, when my boyfriend at the time had a fun activity for us to try! We went out to a course in Northern California and played a round. There were a few rounds played in the weeks to follow, but disc golf fell by the wayside and I didn’t pick it up again until 3 years later when I found the discs in storage. I researched courses and found that Lagoon Valley was 15 minutes from me, and the rest is history.
2) Who inspires you to continue to play?
Elaine King and Des Reading are huge inspirations to me! The strides that they have accomplished in the sport and the fact that they are still out there killing it on the courses and in their towns speaks volumes. Plus, they are both so down to earth and kind-hearted, their positivity radiates and is contagious!
3) What is it like to be sponsored?
Being sponsored is a dream become reality! My first disc was a Rasta-swirl Champion Wraith. Innova has always been in my bag, and even after trying other plastic, they were the ones I came back to because of the consistency and options. And now to have their support and be able to represent them worldwide…I am beyond stoked!
4) What is it like to be on the Innova team?
The Innova team is so supportive and has a family type vibe to it. No matter what tournament I am at, or state I’m in, they are there in some facet and I know that they do anything in their power to help out a team member. Heck, I needed a new hat for World’s and I was pointed in the direction of the Innova vendor and he hooked me up on the spot!
5) Favorite Disc?
Favorite disc is by far the Firebird. My very first ace was with a baby blue, Star FAF Firebird! I throw sidearm a lot and its reliable fade and skippability are clutch!
6) Favorite course?
Whew…favorite course. I’m going to go with where my heart is and that is Lagoon Valley Disc Golf Course in Vacaville, CA. Hills, water, trees, hardpan, tall grass, and dare I forget to mention the wind! It has been crucial in the progression of my game as I experience so many variations of nature and weather on a daily basis. And the club out there has become family and they are doing amazing things with the course!
7) What do you do to continue to grow the sport?
Growing the sport is huge at this pivotal point, and I work a bit with my local club and am hoping to jump into some clinics next year when I go on tour. Honestly, just talking about it with coworkers, family, friends, and strangers has been huge to get the word out about this somewhat obscure, but amazing sport!
8) What advice do you have to players who want to step up their game?
My advice to players who want to step up their game…do just that! Step up to the next level. Set a goal for yourself to move up to the next division in a certain time frame and play against better players. That is truly the main way to strengthen your game. Also, go to some clinics, watch those YouTube videos on how to putt, how to drive, how to throw rollers. There are top level pros out there offering free advice. Take it! Run with it! And I feel like most players would be honored if you messaged them to get a round in, if possible. I know I would be!
9) What made you want to be considered a pro and start accepting money?
I’ve been involved in sports ever since I could crawl and have participated in one or multiple sports all through high school and college. When I joined the military, sports fell by the wayside as I was focused on learning a new job and traveling all over the world. Disc golf entered my life and I was filled with that desire to compete again and be the best, and my focus was on just that. Someone informed me that I could play professionally and make some money. And in all honesty, the professional aspect enticed me way more than the monetary side. Playing a professional sport as an adult and competing against the greatest players in the world is an experience beyond words and one I’ll never stop pursuing.
10) Is there anything else you would like the people to know about you that they may not?
At the time of this interview, I am finishing up my 10th year serving in the United States Air Force as a C-5 Galaxy Loadmaster. This job has taken me all over the world, to include Japan, Germany, Guam, Spain, England, Australia and more! In January 2018, I am separating from the military and pursuing my dream of being a sponsored professional disc golfer and going on tour across the United States. While nervous, the excitement and thoughts of the adventures to come keep me pressing forward and striving towards this goal. See you next year!
I would like to thank Ellen for taking time out of her busy day to answer these questions. I would like to thank her also for her service to this country and all that she does to keep us safe and protect us. If you would like to know more about her you can find her on all forms of social media! Look out for more article coming soon!
Picture credit goes to innovadiscs.com