Weekly Disc Golf Newsletter #12
The Albatross is back to cover disc golf 2023 and beyond!
Welcome to The Albatross. Your weekly guide to know what's going on in the disc golf metaverse. Happy (belated) New Year! Enjoy this weeks newsletter. See y'all next week 😎
On the lead card this week:
- Season Recap 🏆
- My TL;DR recap of the 2022 DGPT and PDGA season, including my fav moments
- Content to get you thought this cold week 🥶
- Catch up on the latest stories and updates, including the best YT clips
- Off-season Moves 🔁
- What's been happening this off-season and who's heading where 👀
Let's tee off 🥏
Season Recap 🎥
It's been awhile since I sent out a newsletter. The TL;DR version is I had top focus on my business last year. I've set up a routine to be consistent with the newsletter moving forward. While being able to stay focused on the family roofing business (that's what I do when I'm not disc golfing 😉.
With that said, back to our regular programming. Disc golf baby!
WOW! What a season we were spoiled with. The Pro Tour continues to have new stars rise to the occasion with the competition only getting tougher.
Yet we saw many of the same players on lead card. More so; Simon and Ricky won ~58% off all (elite series) events. Winning 4 elite series each (28+ % each)... Calvin won 2 elites, Paul and Isaac Robinson won one as well. Drew Gibson got himself up there in an epic battle against young Gannon. The field is only getting tougher. Yet I think we see a common theme of 2-3 players win 50-75% of the elite series over the next 3-5 years.
Ricky provided once again he is the top player in the MPO field. Y'all know I'm a McBeth fan. It sucked to see how close he would be to taking down a tournament. However, it seemed like a reoccurring theme for him this season was; Shoot a record breaking round. Shoot +3 over the next day. Ricky is a killer. He gets into his blackout mode. And the guy is not going to lose.
Switching over to FPO. The FPO seems to have gotten a new goat. JK that's still Paige Pierce.... For now. But make no mistake. Kristen is the best player in the FPO division and I don't think there's a close 2nd.
YET... the FPO field is also starting to become more competitive. I thought Evanliina was going to be a star this season. I was wrong as her putting was bad. To keep it blunt. But if she can get her putting down. Oh boy, is she is going to be a force. Valerie Mandujano also rose to the occasion this season and has proven she can play at the top level. I expect her to be on podium and win a couple Elite series next year. Including a major.
Here is my favorite tournaments from the year
- Paul McBeth vs Eagle McMahon - Europe Open (Major)
- These two were in a league of their own. It was crazy how high of a level they were playing. To see Eagle come back and take down a major. Yet alone against the goat. Proved he may be the best talent in disc golf when healthy
- This battle is one of the best I've seen in the last 3 years. Unreal play.
- Simon Lizott vs Robert Burridge in the playoffs win. Des Moines Challenge (Elite)
- This one was intense. The shots were matched each shot. Robert wasn't going down without a fight.
- Ricky Wyoscki vs Issac Robinson - DGPT Championship (Elite*)
- Raptor legs is just ice cold when moment matters. He was able to take down the Isaac Robinson in the DGPT championship. With un real drives off the tee, money approach and of course the putt to put it away. And what I think solidified his dominate season as P1
Runner up: Gannon Buhr vs Drew Gibson LVC, Paul McBeth Vs Aaron Gassage (worlds)
- Valerie Mandujano takes down the beast - Waco (Elite series)
- I'm a big fan of Valerie. Even more so cause she's Mexican 🇲🇽 🤷🏽♀️
- Haha but all bias aside. Her upshot on hole 17 was the best all year (MPO included) and she did it at one of the toughest courses on tour
- Catrina Allen takes down Las Vegas Challenge - (Elite series)
- We got to see the classic Paige vs Cat battle, along with the newest competitor of the trio. Kristen Tattar. But it was Catrinas poise and putting that allowed her to break away the B9
- Missy Gannon wins Ledgestone
- She played great all year and it was awesome to see her pull a W on arguably the toughest course
My biggest surprise this season was Simon Lizotte. I always thought Simon could come back and win an elite series or major. Here and there. But for him to win 4. In one season. As many as Ricky. Just unreal. Maybe all Simon needed was a newborn and to play more conservatively 🤭
In-case you missed it 🍿
Well let's be honest. There's no way you missed the 'leaked' speculation that Simon was leaving Discmania and going to join MVP.
And sure enough. That's exactly what happened.
Disc golfs future is in great hands with all the upcoming talent. One of those players is of course, Gannon Buhr. USA Today wrote an article on the 17 year old stud. Gannon is living the dream 😎
Nikko Locastro is back (almost). His suspension was reduced. Meaning he'll be able to play in the first event of the season. I'm a fan of this. Nikko was out of pocket for how he acted. Make no mistake. But I felt the suspension was too long. Let's hope he doesn't act like that again. And can come back to being a top 15-20 player on tour.
As the market grows. So will the opportunities and vendors in the space. DGPT is hosting the first ever disc golf industry conference. I expect this to be a yearly thing. And the first of many conferences to pop up in the coming years. The event kicks off Feb 15th in Arizona. You can buy tickets to the Disc golf conference here.
Worlds is now going to be in Lynchburg, Virginia. I personally love this because it'll be more wooded. I think know that Worlds and most Majors need to combine both the woods and golf style courses to create the best experience and toughest courses for the top pros to compete in.
Jomez will once again be the premier post production channel. It appears they will be taking over FPO as well (I'll confirm on this later or next week)?
The Paul McBeth Effect
I'll be writing about this next week. But it's no surprise that with Paul touring in Europe. DGPT felt it had to bring coverage there. I'm all for it. Although it appears some pros didn't know and that sucks. Cause nothing beats a stacked card, yet alone at elite series and majors. So hopefully more can make it (which I think they will in the end). Your move DGPT.
Let this be another reason Paul is the biggest needle mover in the game. And it's not even close.
Mexico had its first PDGA tournament. You can watch that here. But be sure to check out the OTB Skins edition in Mexico. Love that they featured some locals. You love to see it!
Off Season Moves 📖
The MVP Open winner is headed to the best disc golf manufacture in the game 😏
You can read more about the details involving Simons deal here (via Ultiworld). Also if you want to see him throwing MVP for the first time. You can find that here.
Latest Signings: I'll be posting more throughout the week
- Calvin Heimburg re-signed with Innova for 5 years (this is who I orginally thought was going to go to MVP this off-season)
- Brodie Smith has resigned with Discraft
- Valerie and Mason left Dynamic Discs. Valerie joined discraft and Mason join Lone Star discs.
Before the season starts. I will be dropping my biggest winners and losers this off-season.
What's been cooking up? 🤔
Commitment and Consistency. I started The Albatross because I've always wanted a true 'passion project'. I love disc golf. Both playing it and being a consumer. But I prefer to produce vs consume. I think it's exciting times in the sport. Because it's still so young and is just scratching the surface on it's potential. This is the perfect avenue.
In addition to the weekly newsletter. Our blog has started to take shape. Check it out and let me know what you like, dislike and what you would like to see get covered.
-Arod @ The Albatross
What did you think of this weeks newsletter?