Probably one of the biggest disc golfers I have had the opportunity to interview was this individual. Some say he is immortal, some call him one half of the smash brothers, but most call him Simon. I got the chance to learn from and talk to the king of bombing discs himself Simon Lizotte and learn the story he had to tell. Simons story is unique to him and a great one at that, give it a read down below and as always enjoy!
To no surprise Simons start within the sport was at a very young age. He told me “I was extremely young, born and raised in Germany. My dad is Canadian, and my mom is German.” So, for the early parts of his life he was around disc golf but in a place that did not have a ton of disc golf. When he was a child Germany was not full of disc golfers like it is nowadays, the sport wasn’t as big overseas. He explained that “my dad was really into disc golf and when he was playing there were maybe only about 20-40 disc golfers in Germany at the time.” The entire country had such a small scene that it was hard to get really into the sport. He said that “my dad started to build the scene in Germany while we were there. I was also the only one of my brothers who took to the sport itself.” It shows the talent behind Simon when you see who his dad was and how he truly grew into the sport. His dad took the sport into the next level in Germany and took Simon along with him.
It may be hard to find a reason to play. I know personally I have taken breaks over the years and found my way back into the sport one way or another. When asking Simon about what keeps him going and what inspires him it was simple, it is his job. To explain he said, “it is my job to play disc golf, and it is the best job I could ask for and have for me.” A lot of the time when you get to be at the highest level of disc golf it is truly your full-time job. This is what he does to make a living so, living and work is what keeps him going which makes sense. He continued on by saying “I still love competing and I still love the game even when it is hard. Also, most of my friends are through disc golf and I wouldn’t have them without it.” Having come from such a small disc golf background it is amazing to see how many people he has gotten to know and how high his reputation has soared through the years. The sport has granted him unlikely opportunities and given him friendships that inspire him to compete and continue to do what he loves to do.
Simon got into the pro side of disc golf early on as you would imagine and for a reason unlike others. He began by saying “where I grew up in Germany we didn’t have a permanent course. We had a club of like 10-20 people and we would carry baskets around and make up courses.” Which is what continued to get his career going while he was in Germany. He continued by saying “eventually this led to courses being put in and being played over and over. There was eventually a German tour and around 04/05 I would take off school to play these events with my dad.” He was still young at this age and wasn’t technically in the open division even though he was competing with players and learned how to grow rapidly with the sport. He did however make the switch to the open division around 2008 when he was around 15 years old. He told me that “it took a year to get used to the play style and the competition but I got used to it and after a couple years I was blowing the competition away in Germany.” He slowly became the face of the European side of disc golf and was the force to be reckoned with through the neighboring countries and locations. He told me that “at 19 years old I become the European champion and was the guy to beat.” But he eventually had to expand his career and so did Discmania owner Jussi Meresmaa. Simon said that “Jussi then put me on a flight to L.A. and wanted me to be the poster boy for Discmania. From then on it became my job.” He was at the top of his game in another side of the world and was brought here to compete and show the world what he has to offer. He continues to battle and prove himself in the disc golf tournaments in the United States.
Being sponsored is an honor and something that Simon has gotten used to while playing. To no surprise Simon has been sponsored since he was a teenager. He told me that “in 2008 I was sponsored by Innova Europe and my dad was the one to provide everything for me.” So he had everything he needed for competitive play during his real competitive start to his career. An interesting point to this was that he told me “I have never bought a disc that I have needed, it feels normal to me to have discs all the time without paying for them.” Having the ability to receive discs when you need them is so important for a touring high level pro and Simon has had that for essentially his whole life within his career. It was interesting to hear that he was an Innova sponsor before Discmania and stayed within the same family of discs. When it comes to Discmania, Simon is very knowledgeable and has been with them for quite some time at this point. He told me “it is incredible to see what is going on with DM and what has yet to come. This is more exciting for me because I know more than the public even gets to know about.” No surprise that Simon gets the insider side to the company and gets to see what is going on behind the scenes. If I was in his spot I would be the same way. Not only did Simon have words about DM itself, he also wanted to talk about Jussi as well. He told me that “so many people have the wrong opinion about Jussi, he is one of the greatest minds in disc golf and I have complete trust and faith in his plans and what he has done so far.” It takes a lot to produce what he has produced and have the vision of the future that is needed to be a CEO. It is great to see that a player like Simon have continued support and love for his brand sponsor. It shows his character and his loyalty to those who have had his back for so long.
Simon has been around the world and back playing disc golf on all sorts of gorgeous courses. So, when it came to his favorite, I was expecting some course that is unknown but is meaningful to him and maybe a hometown course. Or maybe a cool course in Europe I have never heard of. But Simon told me something unexpected, he said, “I don’t really have a favorite course, I always like to think my favorite is the one I am currently playing. I really enjoy the cities or events we are at.” It is an interesting idea to grasp when thinking about courses. Having so many courses it is hard to pick a favorite. But Simon lives in the moment and just enjoys the course he is on at the time. He takes that mentality into his thoughts about discs as well. He told me “I don’t really have a favorite, I think the disc I am going to throw next is my favorite.” I think this mentality is a good idea when it comes to disc golf. Being able to just think of your favorite as the next disc you’ll throw is different but unique to him. He lives in the moment and just enjoys the sport as it comes along.
2019 has approached and already begun with the first National Tour of the year up to this point. When asked about what 2019 will have in store for him, Simon told me “I am going to try and go into events with little to no expectations.” Like previously stated, Simon has been playing the sport as it comes and taking the time to enjoy the sport while playing it. He also told me “I have been playing better, preparing better, and I feel mentally and physically ready. I just can’t wait to see what’s in store for this year and am ready for it.” Short and sweet but to the point is how Simon feels going into this year. Simon is confident that 2019 will be another year of success and is confident taking this year by storm and is ready and willing to go forward with it.
Being around the sport for several years myself, the biggest thing I have heard is people talking about constantly growing the sport. When it comes to growing the sport, Simon has done quite a bit. He told me that “I have done clinics for a lot of years but one of the biggest things I do is I try to play entertaining disc golf and maintain a positive attitude.” Watching Simon play you can see the smile on his face no mater the shot. Whether it is good or bad he is always smiling and as he says, “I want to be professional and make disc golf look fun and attractive to play.” Couldn’t have said it better myself, he really does make the sport look like something you will want to do with your friends. Not only does he grow the sport with his attitude and play, he has a YouTube channel as well and throws some crazy trick shots from time to time. He takes time to maintain these as much as he can and keeps the community as updates as possible.
Being the person that he is, I figured asking for advice would come with all sorts of answers and maybe something I haven’t heard before. Essentially, hoping for a trade secret to be able to throw bombs like he does. But his advice was something I don’t think gets talked about enough. He told me that “first, everyone has different needs. But the biggest thing is to record yourself and know what it looks like when you throw. This is important because you don’t necessarily know what it looks like when you throw all the time and you can’t feel everything.” Recording yourself will show flaws within your form and often will help the most. By seeing what you look like, you open yourself to different form looks that you may not be used to. He also wanted to add that “slowing down is super helpful as well as playing catch. Playing catch is always a good to help with form and is a good warm up.” It seems that more and more professionals are seen playing catch before rounds to warm up their bodies and form itself. Such simple thing is so tremendous for you to do to help yourself in the long run.
Ending remarks are always so different from person to person. After talking with Simon through the interview I had no idea what he was going to say to me in regard to his final statement. He wanted you all to know that “I have a Canadian passport as well as a German passport. I have a terrible diet and I love beer. But I am German, so I am allowed to love it.”
I would like to thank Simon for taking the time out of his day to let me talk to him and ask him these questions. If you would like to know more about Simon you can find him on Instagram @simon_lizotte. You can find his Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/LizotteDiscGolf/. Also, you can subscribe to his YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCed6me7QtjJiV-tvVgF7Rpg. You can also find his signature discs here: https://www.discmania.net/collections/discs/products/glow-c-line-md4-lizotte-crescent-falcon-ii and here: https://www.discmania.net/collections/p2/products/simon-lizotte-signature-swirl-s-line-p2-sky-god-ii. Be on the lookout for more coming from me very soon!
picture credit goes to Simon Lizotte